indian cinema heritage foundation

Astu / So Be It (2013)

  • Release Date01/12/2013
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatColour
  • LanguageMarathi
  • Run Time121 min
  • GaugeDigital
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberCIL/1/94/2013 - MUM
  • Certificate Date31/08/2014
  • Shooting LocationSaswad, Bapdevghat, Maharashtra

Dr. Chakrapani Shastri, fondly known as Appa, is a retired Sanskrit professor and a former director of the Oriental Research Institute, Pune. Shastri has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the advanced stage and lives with Ram, a young student who is his caretaker. One day, since Ram has to appear for his exams, Shastri's elder daughter Ira decides to take Shastri to her house. While driving back home, Ira stops at a shop, requesting Shastri to stay in the car. While sitting in the car, Shastri sees a passing elephant on the road. He is fascinated and with some help gets himself out of the car and starts following the elephant through the lanes of the city. When Ira comes back, she finds her father missing. Frantic, she and her husband, Madhav, start looking for Shastri. Failing to find him, they file a missing persons report at the police station.

As Shastri keeps following the elephant, her mahout Anta tries to help Shastri return to his house but Shastri does not remember anything. Frustrated, Anta takes him to his own house where he meets Anta's wife Channamma who takes care of Shastri along with her new-born and offers him a new family. In many senses her quotidian wisdom makes her more understanding of Shastri than Ira who has never quite empathized with her father’s illness.

When Ira informs her younger sister Devika about their missing father, she blames Ira for what has happened and suggests an old-age home for him. Eventually, the police trace the elephant's whereabouts and find Shastri. They accuse Anta of kidnapping Shastri and inform Ira. Shastri refuses to go back to Ira and wants to stay with Channamma but she convinces him to return to his daughter. Shastri agrees and Ira requests the police to drop all charges against Anta.