T for Taj Mahal
2018 / India / 104 Minutes / Kireet Khurana
Bajjar, 60 kms. away from Agra (city of the great Taj Mahal) a village of complete illiterates with no school.
However, Bansi wants to carve a different future for his younger brother Nanhe and the other village kids. He starts a successful eatery ‘TAJ MAHAL DHABA’ by the highway. Bansi stumbles upon a unique idea to ask customers for their time to teach the village kids instead of paying money for the food.
After a bit of struggle, tourists of various hues start teaching the kids in his make shift school behind the dhaba.
An American tourist and Sociology graduate – Janet Wright is drawn towards Bansi’s unique social enterprise and decides to stay in Bajjar for a few weeks. She fixes the curriculum of the haphazardly run school and empowers the villagers with her views. Enriched with Bansi’s magnanimity, she leaves Bajjar.
Just when Bansi’s dhaba-school seems to be doing well, his ‘EAT AND TEACH’ plan runs into great opposition. A new, swanky, air-conditioned restaurant just 1km. away springs up almost overnight completely cutting off all tourist customers.
Bansi confronts the restaurant owner, but gets beaten up by the guards. He is forlorn at the loss of his “tourist teachers”.
The shutting down of Bansi’s dhaba-school becomes a rallying point for the fractious villagers, who are determined to revive it at any cost. They decide to fight back by wooing back their coveted tourist customers. It is time for reinvention.
The new, reinvented Dhaba is ethnic and beautiful, attracting tourists of all hues to get a taste of the “real India”, thereby also reviving the school.