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Emotional Tribute: Chhaya Kadam Honors Late Mother with Saree at Cannes

Chhaya Kadam expressed that wearing her late mother’s saree to the film festival was like bringing her mother along to Cannes.

Chhaya Kadam, celebrated for her memorable roles in films like ‘Laapata Ladies’ and ‘Madgaon Express,’ recently made a glamorous debut at the prestigious 2024 Cannes Film Festival. The festival witnessed the entry of her Malayalam film ‘All We Imagine As Light,’ directed by the talented Payal Kapadia. This film has garnered significant attention as it marks the first Indian film to be featured in the main competition category (Palme d’Or) at Cannes in the last three decades.

In an emotional conversation with Brut, Chhaya Kadam opened up about the sentimental experience of wearing her late mother’s saree to the film festival. “Two days before I left for Cannes, I saw the saree and said, ‘I couldn’t take you with me, but I will wear your saree to Cannes,'” Chhaya recalled, emphasizing the deep personal significance behind her choice of attire for her debut at this illustrious event.

Chhaya took to Instagram to share heartfelt pictures of her look at the French Riviera, accompanied by a poignant caption in Marathi. She explained that she had always dreamed of taking her mother on a flight, a dream left unfulfilled during her mother’s lifetime. By wearing her mother’s saree and the traditional Maharashtrian nath (nose ring) at Cannes, she realized her dream metaphorically. In her touching Instagram post, Chhaya wrote, “My dream of taking you on a flight remained unfulfilled…. but today I am content that I brought your saree and nose ring to the Cannes Film Festival by flight. Still, Mom! I wish you were here today. To see all this. Love you, Mom, and miss you a lot.”

The picture not only gained thousands of likes but also poured in heartfelt comments from fans who were deeply moved by her tribute.

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. Many admired her for keeping her mother’s memory alive in such a meaningful and profound way.

The film ‘All We Imagine As Light’ holds a special place in Chhaya’s heart, not just because of its cinematic essence but also because of what it represents for Indian cinema. The narrative of the film revolves around Prabha, a dedicated nurse who receives an unexpected gift from her long-estranged husband. This gift stirs a sense of unease within her. Parallelly, her younger friend and roommate, Anu, is on a quest to find a quiet place where she can meet her lover without disturbance. Eventually, the two women undertake a road trip to a serene beach town, a journey that allows their dreams and desires to flourish.

Payal Kapadia, the director of the film, has established herself as a revered figure in the world of documentary filmmaking. In 2021, she won the Golden Eye for Best Documentary for her work ‘The Night of Knowing Nothing.’ A graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Kapadia has previously helmed critically acclaimed projects such as ‘Watermelon, Fish and Half Ghost,’ ‘The Last Mango Before the Monsoon,’ and ‘Afternoon Clouds.’

Chhaya Kadam’s portrayal in ‘All We Imagine As Light’ has been lauded by critics and audiences alike, with many suggesting that her performance is one that resonates with authenticity and emotional depth. The film’s entry into the main competition at Cannes marks a significant milestone for Indian cinema, especially since it has been three decades since an Indian film competed for the Palme d’Or. This achievement brings immense pride not only to the filmmakers but also to the entire nation.

As Chhaya continues to bask in the limelight of Cannes, she remains deeply connected to her roots. Her choice to wear her late mother’s saree is a testament to her love and respect for her mother, reflecting a beautiful fusion of personal history with the glamour of international cinema. This gesture has touched many hearts, reminding us all of the importance of family, memories, and the bonds that transcend even the most glittering platforms.

Chhaya Kadam’s Cannes appearance is not just a story of glamour and success; it’s a story of heartfelt tribute, love, and the realization of long-held dreams. The actress has set an example for many, demonstrating that no matter how high we soar, it is our roots that give us the strength to reach for the stars.