I Am is a 2010 Indian anthology film by Onir. It consists of four short films: “Omar”, “Afia”, “Abhimanyu”, and “Megha”. Each film shares the common theme of fear, and each film is based on real-life stories. The film was financed by donations from more than 400 different people around the world, many of whom donated through social networking sites like Facebook. There are four stories but the characters are interwoven with each story. “Abhimanyu” is based on child abuse, “Omar” on gay rights, “Megha” is about Kashmiri Pandits and “Afia” deals with sperm donation. I Am was released with subtitles in all regions as six different languages are spoken in the film: Hindi, English, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Kashmiri.
“Afia” – A single woman Afiaa (Nandita Das) decides to become a mother using a sperm donor. She is a web designer by profession. She had been pushing her husband Manav (Manav Kaul) for a child but Manav leaves her because he loves some other girl. She then decides to have a kid on her own, through a test tube baby. She visits a Doctor Basu’s (Anurag Basu) clinic and asks the doctor to provide her more details of the Donor. She meets Suraj (Purab Kohli) and asks him few questions wherein Suraj feels awkward. Later, she goes ahead with the sperm donation and test tube baby and offers Suraj some reward as thank you gift. Suraj politely declines but hands her over his phone number. In last scene, they show a smiling Afiaa tearing the note on which Suraj’s phone number was written.
“Megha” – Almost 20 years after leaving Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandit Megha (Juhi Chawla) returns home on a business trip to find her childhood Muslim friend Rubina (Manisha Koirala) has suffered too. “Megha” is inspired by Sanjay Suri’s real life experiences in Kashmir.
“Abhimanyu” – Abhimanyu (Sanjay Suri), a successful director, is haunted by memories of sexual abuse as a child. He must deal with his dark memories even as he struggles with his sexual identity. “Abhimanyu” is based on the experiences of fashion designer Ganesh Nallari and gay rights activist Harish Iyer.
“Omar” – Jai, from Bangalore, (Rahul Bose) meets Omar, a struggling actor in Mumbai, (Arjun Mathur). They flirt and have dinner together and then have sex at a public place. A policeman (Abhimanyu Singh) comes and manhandles them both and threatens Jai to turn him in under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and blackmails into giving 100,000 Rupees as bribe. Omar goes with Jai’s ATM card to draw money, meanwhile the policeman rapes Jai. Omar returns with 50,000 Rupees, which the policeman takes along with both Jai and Omar’s cellphones. Then he takes Omar along with him against protests of Jai (A hint of the policeman intenting to rape Omar). Later on Jai meets Omar again in a hotel and tell him that later that night, Jai had gone and woke up a big lawyer and went with him to the police station to get Omar released only to find that Omar was never there and then he realized that Omar was a part of setup to extort money from Jai. “Omar” is inspired by stories and research material provided by the online portal Gay Bombay.
Nandita Das as Afiaa
Purab Kohli as Suraj
Anurag Basu as Doctor Basu
Manav Kaul as Manav in a special appearance
Juhi Chawla as Megha
Manisha Koirala as Rubina
Rushad Rana as Rubina’s brother
Madhu Sagar as Ami (Rubina’s mother)
Behram Rana as Abu (Rubina’s father)
Faisal Burza as the lawyer
Fayeem Shah as Rubina’s cousin
Mushtaq Kak as Beig Shab (shop keeper)
Sanjay Suri as Abhimanyu
Radhika Apte as Natasha/Nats
Shernaz Patel as Asha (mother)
Anurag Kashyap as Vinay (step-father)
Pooja Gandhi as Aparna
Rahul Bose as Jai Gowda
Arjun Mathur as Omar
Abhimanyu Singh as Policeman