A curfew night huddled in muffled silences screaming bodies of pain. A stone's throw away a life barbed for life lies a prison that I didn't make I never asked for it it was not mine thrust upon my forehead like a brutal bane.
A film about a young school going, 'employed' girl in a working class environment. Raising issues of gender and 'aspiration', the director has used an improvisational film technique to make a reflexive piece of cinema that constantly refers to its own making.
My diploma film set in Madanpur Khadar,a semi-urban settlement on the outskirts of Delhi. The project started with frequent visits to the basti and understanding what young women their wanted. Over a period of 3months, I found that they were going to school not to get an education, but to get a job. Over the next month, I got some of them together and worked on the story of this film. Using elements from popular culture - soap operas, films and a lot of hamming in the acting, I tried to make a film that people in that community would be comfortable viewing and not make it a talk down elitist lecture. I produced it with a no funding at all, but a lot of help from friends. Once the film was ready, one could see the impact it had on the audience. UNFPA bought the film a few months later.
I have finally arrived. In the early hours of this seemingly normal morning, Corporate Nirvana was achieved. No, not in the conference room or on my business phone, but in my very own home. In my sleep. It was a dream come true, but only that it came like a nightmare.
I have had a history log of dreams, and apart from the usual stories of falling and the one where I cannot scream, the nightmare that constantly makes an appearance is the fire dream. As a kid, I had a recurrent dream that the house was on fire and I was running around, getting everyone together and taking them to a safer place. Psychologically, in a condition like this, I was pre-programmed to get people and things most critical to my existence - dad, mom, sis, music system, my happy socks, audio cassette compilations. That is how my mom and dad made me. Love thy parents, care for your sister and never ever forget your music collections.
Now, few years post the childhood phase, the professional phase enters. The nightmare knocks on the door of my sleep again. It is 4:30am and it began with looking at an installation of a beautiful artwork in acrylic. Lots of colour, lots of crazy art. Its a place that looks like a combo of my school, my college, my home. Except, it is made of hay. Mom, dad, baby sis, tall cousin are with me taking a tour of the fantastic place. Mom decides to rest under one small thatched room, next to an almirah of dried grass. Sitting in shade, sipping lassi, a fire erupts. Yes, they are like stinker e-mails, they come unannounced and then screw you. I put my arm around mom, carried baby sis on my shoulder, beckoned dad and tall cousin to run along....And then darted for my 5kg laptop bag tucked away in the almirah made of dried grass. Yes that's where the fire started. Risked life and limb to pull the bag out, and finally took it to safety. Thankfully, I had put the ipod in the same bag :)