Saaya (2003) – A unique love story amidst a natural disaster in Myanmar

The New York Times has reported that a boat carrying some of the first aid to Myanmar sank, apparently after hitting a submerged tree. The article uses this fact to highlight the enormous logistical difficulties of delivering aid to the region. But, the article does not mention what happened to the crew of the boat, the crew that braved the dangers to bring relief to the survivors.

Good people from all over the world and all walks of life are trying to reach Myanmar to help the victims of the cyclone. We are unlikely to hear about their stories or their sacrifices!

In this context, we bring you the film Saaya, a story about a doctor who went to the Myanmar area to help the victims of another natural disaster.

Saaya is a story of Akash and Maya, both young doctors in Delhi.  They are deeply in love with each other and their work. Then, one day, the news wires are full of descriptions of a terrible flood on the Indo-Burmese border. Maya decides to go the remote area to help the victims. She is five months pregnant and Akash does not want her to go. She insists and he relents. Maya makes him promise to take care of her ward in their hospital during her absence. The rescue operation is winding down and Maya is about to come home. During her return journey, her bus is swept away by a sudden mud slide and falls in to the river. There are no survivors according to the local authorities.

Akash’s life is torn apart but he continues to take care of Maya’s ward. Then strange things start happening to Akash. He begins to feel Maya’s presence in the Hospital and at home. He notices phenomena that seem impossible to his medically trained mind. Slowly, he becomes convinced that Maya is calling him. He decides to go to the remote Indo-Burmese border to find Maya. He does not find Maya but instead finds the tribal village where Maya was taken after the bus accident. The villagers could not save Maya but they saved Maya’s daughter. 

Saaya is a beautiful film. It first brings you the love between Akash-Maya and then, the agony of Akash. It takes you through the journey of Akash’s tortured mind as he struggles to make sense of the strange phenomena around him.

The music of the film is exquisite. Get a DVD of Saaya and watch the music on the biggest TV you have. You will be affected.  The subtitles are necessary because the poetry is superb. Three of the songs are described below.

Akash gets a parcel sent by Maya before her death. This brings back memories of their love captured in a lovely song “Aye Meri Jindagi” or “you are my life”.  Click on to view.

The title song is another gem visually, sensually and poetically. Click on for this song. 

Akash goes to a Church to find Sister Martha, the nurse who worked in Maya’s ward. That scene features a poem of faith sung by the Church Quoir.  View this superb song at

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