Tiparu in Marathi means a small piece of stick used to beat drums. It is a short film that has portrayed the anxieties of a teenager from a poor social and economic background. This evergreen subject may have been one of the reasons it was officially selected for many national and international film festivals.

Hanamya (played by Amol Giakwad) is a teenager from a village in Maharashtra. His father (played by Ganesh Karale) does odd jobs to make ends meet. Though poverty is the immediate concern of his parents, Hanamya lives in a world where his dark complexion is his biggest nemesis. He tries fairness creams endorsed by bollywood celebrities and though he is positive, it makes no difference to how he is treated by the people around him. His classmate Rangya (played by Pranav Bhand) has a more supportive demeanor and may have something to do with his family circumstances. Hanamya’s father’s frustration finally gets to him and he is left gathering the pieces.

Amol Giakwad as the protagonist Hanamya beautifully portrays the teenager. The excitement in front of the mirror getting ready for school, the crossed eyebrows when he faces ridicule and tears of sorrow point to a talented actor.

Subtitles have been dropped for the dialogues which are not directly relevant to the narrative. As an audience who does not understand Marathi, this prevents me from knowing Hanamya’s environment in more detail. Natural sounds (though sometimes out of sync) that are played in the background help to capture the village. Camera may not have been the best, but captures the emotions of Hanamya competently, on which the film rests most of its laurels. And for the same reason, I wonder what would have been the experience of the dark-skinned actor Amol after he played this role. Colour has a stigma unlike many other.

The irony of teenage is that though it is a very seminal part of a man’s life, the people who have been through it seldom treat the teenager with the tenderness he deserves. This Tiparu drums up support from the society for its teenagers, as a little kindness and consideration would be all the difference between a healthy step into adulthood and a future scarred forever.