Once Upon a Time

More than the songs of the saints and the flourishing golden era, Sukhwinder Singh is taken by the dark ages, a black hole in the Sikh history that has little record and account. An animator, director and CEO of Mohali-based Vismaad Mediatech Pvt Ltd, Singh has been digging the past, the 1740s to be precise. "The Sikhs were being targeted from all corners, punished and killed, and there is no written documentation of this period", says Singh, who decided to research the missing links and present it in his own way one that would be entertaining, educative and informative, and primarily involve children. "So we set up Vismaad in 2004, which marked 300 years of martyrdom of the five Sahibzaade, and made an animation feature on them," says Singh.

Driven by passion and encouraged by positive response from India and abroad, Singh went on to making animation features on legends like Banda Singh Bahadur, the women Sikh warriors, in Sundri, Bhai Taru Singh, and the latest, Bhai Subeg Singh. "The story takes off from where Bhai Taru Singh ends," says Singh, who will have the Chandigarh premiere of the film on October 7 at Bhargava Auditorium, PGI.

A learned man, Bhai Subeg Singh, as the story goes, was a master in mathematics, Persian and economics. His superior intellect and illustrious nature landed him a job at the Lahore Court, where he played a key role in critical negotiations between the Court and Dal Khalsa. His teenage son, Shahbaz Singh, too was exceptionally intelligent, handsome and promising. "But those were testing political times and, in a conspiracy hatched against the father-son, they were told to choose between faith and life. They chose faith and were tied to wheels and dragged," narrates Singh, who sourced information from Giani Dit Singh and Rattan Singh Bhangu of Pracheen Pant Parkash, and kathas of different pracharaks, for the film. The movie has already been screened in over 40 cities overseas and in India.

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