Welcome to Sajjanpur

Synopsis: It was Jawaharlal Nehru who changed the name of a small town, Durjanpur, to Sajjanpur, and that was about all the change that had occurred there since then. The town still lacks adequate infrastructure, no safe drinking water; in a 24 hour period, electricity is out for almost 23 hours, and most people, even though they own mobile phones, cannot speak or write English. One of the residents, who does speak and write English fluently, Mahadev Kuswah, lives with his mother, and both run a small fresh vegetable store after his dad abandoned them when he was very young. He has since obtained a degree from Satna University, and assists residents with written correspondence for a fee. Amongst his clients are Man Singh - who wants his homicidal wife to stand for the Municipal elections; a eunuch, Munnibai Mukhrani, who also to stands for elections; a snake charmer who is trying to make a living with fake snakes and is trying to locate his father; Ram Kumar, who is in love with a widow, Shobha;
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Shyam Benegal
Production: UTV Communications
  3 nominations.
133 min

This is our little village, Sajjanpur.

You like the name Sajjanpur?

Well, there is a story behind the name.

Once upon a time

it was called Durjanpur.

One day Pandit Jawaharlal

Nehru visited us.

He toured the village and said...

...'I don't like the name...

...Durjanpur (village of bad people.)'

'Change it to Sajjanpur with immediate effect.'

Since then Durjanpur became Sajjanpur.

Just like Bombay became Mumbai...

...Calcutta became Kolkata.

And Madras became Chennai.

Did anything change?

Yes, things changed.

When it was Durjanpur there

were many good people here.

Ever since it was changed to Sajjanpur...

...you see only bad people everywhere.

Official files say that...

...Sajjanpur is a developed village.

But the truth is

- there is no formal education here...

...no communication or information.

The only business here is

chewing tobacco.

And gossiping endlessly.


I am Mahadev Kushvaha.

I'm a letter writer.

I would like to be a novelist.

But in this worthless village,

there is no worthwhile subject.

That's why I would like to go to Mumbai...

...which has pretty girls,

tall buildings, and big cars!

But then I hear there is a shortage

of good subjects there.

Writers are pulling their hair out...

Directors are making

the same film again and again.

What's to be done?

I have an idea for a religious novel.

Goddess Sharada's temple is near here.

I have heard brave warriors

Ala and Udal sneak in...

...every morning to offer the first flowers to

Goddess Sharada.

And disappear without being seen.

They have been dead 800 years!

Holy Chitrakoot is right here.

And it's always crowded with pilgrims.

Here Tulsidas put sandalwood...

...paste on Lord Ram's forehead.

Even Ram's sylvan park

can be seen from here.

It has the smallest Ramayan,

and the biggest Hanuman.

During his exile Lord Ram

passed by this place.

That's why this place is full

of people with Rams.

...like Ramsakha, Ramlala, Ramprasad,

Rampyaari, Ramdulari.

Everywhere you hear

- "O Ram! Hail Ram!"...

"Come on Ram! Go Ram!"

Ever since gurus started free

religious discourses on TV...

...who will read my religious novel?

Which is why I'm left with no option

but to charge 2 - 4 rupees...

...to write letters for the village folk.

Yet email, STD, ISD, SMS,

MMS are all available.

The literacy rate too is going up.

Which means that people

can sign their names...

...instead of using their thumbs!

It's not likely that I will go

out of business anytime soon.

You have taken up too much

of my time. I have to get to work.

I shall leave now. We'll talk later.

Greetings, Uncle.

Sita Ram. Sita Ram.

Sita Ram. Sita Ram.

Neither letter, nor postcard,

nor telegram has come.


Greetings, Sister-in-Law!

Greetings, Sir.

The crow shouts from the tree top.

Your beloved is so nave...

... posted a letter without the address.

And now the forlorn

letter wanders here and there.

Like a mango without its seed.

Like Radha without Shyam.

Sita Ram. Sita Ram.

Sita Ram. Sita Ram.

Neither letter, nor postcard,

nor telegram has come.

Uncle Ramprasad, where to?

- Jaunpur.

Inked and stamped in love.

It was a letter of love.

What kind of a letter is this,

said the postman!

Salutations to the writer,

greetings to the reader.

Sita Ram. Sita Ram.

Sita Ram. Sita Ram.

Neither letter, nor postcard,

nor telegram has come.

Greetings, Mahadev.

- Greetings to you.

Greetings, Uncle.

Greetings, Brother Gaya.

- Greetings.

Greetings, tailor Durlabh. How are you?

I'm fine, Mahadev. Doing fine.


Hail Bholenath!

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Ashok Mishra

AMishra is an Indian screenplay writer and lyricist in Bollywood films. He is most noted for his work in the Shyam Benegal film Welcome to Sajjanpur (in which he wrote the lyrics for the songs Sita Ram, Dildara Dildara Sine Mein, Aadmi Aazad Hai and Munni Ki Baari Are Mandir). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Welcome to Sajjanpur" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 12 May 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/welcome_to_sajjanpur_23218>.

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