10 September 2011


Trains is the first in a series of video essays examining the significance of iconography in Indian cinema. The first episode looks at the centrality of trains as a metaphor for life, death, partition and love. Part 2 and 3 will be posted in the coming weeks.

I have already noticed a few typos - Balraj Sajni should in fact read as Balraj Sahni and also Salim Mirza is the name of the character played by Sahni in Garam Hawa.


  1. Great stuff, Omar. Loved your brief look into trains, undoubtedly a very significant icon in Indian cinema.

    At times it acts as a metaphor and/or a symbol, at others they are just there because trains form an important part of an Indian's life. There have even been movies that have attempted to make trains the film's primary subject.

    As you've aptly noted, be it the Apu & Durga's viewing of a train in Pather Panchali, or the memorable action sequences in Sholay, trains have always been and continue to remain an important part of Indian cinema.

    Looking forward to your subsequent video essays on the significance of iconography in Indian cinema.

  2. Thanks Shubhajit - trains, we love them! Due to the restrictions on Vimeo when it comes to uploading I have had to upload this first section on trains in 3 parts so the next 2 parts will continue with the icon of trains. Cheers!