A stroll with an aspiring Film-maker

|| Act I ||

There are moments in my life where I’ve wondered if I could become an actress. I do have a natural talent for it. There are moments when I’ve even thought about becoming a vocalist, been in training for as long as I can remember. Not the conventional courses you’re thinking of, just self-expression. But then to be able to pick one talent sometimes is a challenge. Architecture however, allows me to become all or none, as per my convenience. To be an architect is to be an all-rounder but at the same time be able to negate the parasite that comes with it.

Did the title misguide you? I’ll get there. How and why I decided to write about this particular film-maker is a story in itself. Bored with my everyday routine, like we all are at times, I’ve been urging to engage in something more fulfilling. After a couple of years of finding what to fill that gaping whole of dis-satisfaction with, I finally came back to Bombay, to do a post graduation course that I keep mentioning in my other pieces as-well.

Here I meet these two girls, Rashmi & Srishti. I have no idea how old or young these girls are, how rich or poor. The only context I have when I meet them is, they’ve had each other’s numbers for ten years, but, and this is where it gets interesting, they’d never met before. Yes, like you, this made absolutely no sense to me either. I tried asking them whether they had common friends, the usual way we save random numbers that we don’t use. But funnily enough, they had exchanged numbers for a research project a few years ago through a common friend, but never had a face to face conversation. “It was just a text ya!”, said the two of them. For them to meet in this serendipitous way after ten years was the part of the story that stuck with me. I keep saying this, I’m a romantic.

Serendipity is the nearest thing to romanticism for me.

|| Act II ||

Well then, with that story as our ice-breaker, Rashmi bid us farewell on that night as Srishti and I took a random walk around the streets of South Bombay. We started with the usual small talk, went on to discovering how easy it was to open up since we had very similar views about the world. My ability to have a conversation with almost anyone has taught me also, to filter my knowledge and view-point of the world. But with this girl it came so naturally. I’ve had a few aspiring film-maker friend’s before (You can browse through my previous blog posts for that). This one was new, I had no common friends with her, just a clean slate to share all my stories of the world all over again. I found my audience, again.

My other aspiring film-maker friend, who currently is doing crazy work in Los Angeles, was my starting point to film-making in general. You can see her on my Instagram stories if you happen to follow me. She’s more of a grasshopper and it gets hard to keep up with her at times. But nevertheless I love meeting her and mutually sharing ideas. I remember encouraging her back in school to pursue her passion and not do a mainstream degree. She took that passion to another level. Whenever I do get the time, I try and help her with her current work, no matter which part of the world I am, or she is in.

A rare image of my photographer/film-maker/spirit animal Mansi Bhajanka

|| Act III ||

Coming back to Srishti though, my protagonist for this particular piece, since she may never end up reading this because we’ve literally just met, I’m going to be more open about the kind of work she’s done. She’s done the all the dirty work you can think of for a mind-opening show called Made In Heaven. She did share a few footnotes on her work process and research methodology. She spoke about the places she had to travel, in and around Delhi mostly, being a bombayite. Now that is a scary thought even for me. See, I’m comfortable with my city because I have an established social circle, but Delhi is not that inviting to strangers. I admire the rigor of his girl to actually go through with the to and fro to these places in Delhi. So like I’ve been publicly defending my city, I told her a bit about the scary sides of Bombay, just so that the scales were balanced.

A mutual point of why we were doing that course in Bombay also came up, very organically, I might add. Like all art forms are a derivative of the artists life in some sense, we too wanted to achieve the same. We shared some notes from class about Kant. I even went to the extent of telling her I made a version of what I’d like The Louvre museum in Paris to be like. That stroll with her where we both struggled to reach our final destinations, which is the best part of any engaging conversation for me, helped me write my piece about the importance of colour in my own sketches. She aided me into believing that I am thinking on the lines of Kant. For those of you familiar with the great philosopher Kant, the above reference would make sense. Still, I like to write for all types of readers, take a look at the post below.

I will write a piece about the questions I’ve raised above too. These women that I’ve mentioned above, were also my inspiration to go out there and achieve what I really wanted to. I’m still in the process of finding out what it is though. But then again, aren’t we all?

|| Act IV ||

I have mentioned another film-maker in my ‘All my boys’ post. I’ve even mentioned him in ‘Rajasthan; a battle ground’. I strongly recommend you read those before I talk about this man though. He has now after screening alternative films for five years with another architect friend, decided to pursue film-making. See if it were anyone else, honestly I’d know if they could or couldn’t make it. But with him, I know for a fact he’ll be brilliant at it. No matter what he does actually. It’s so jaw-dropping to watch him achieve literally anything and everything he puts his mind to with that rigor. He does however, like we all do at times, need a little push to be reminded that he is that brilliant. I hope he reads this and stops moping about his scholarship finally!

It just doesn’t stop at film-makers for me. Any self-expression content creators are amazing to converse with. My dear friend Swaahti is one such individual. This girl! Oh god! She never fails to entertain me. She has a story for every mood; an answer for every come back. She’s just the best person to have any debate healthy or not. She’s a little hard to get out of your head at times. When she reads this, she’s going to smile too, and then say, “Yaar, why have you let my secret out!’, “Are you scared of me yet!”. The below quote from one of my favourite artists RHCP (Red hot chili peppers, for you stupid non 90’s rock hating idiots) describes her perfectly.

Yeah, you don’t know my mind, You don’t know my kind ;

Dark necessities are part of my design

Red Hot Chili Peppers

What she does for living is not even required for me to describe her. You can ask her yourself, she is very happy to share her stories, in person. If you happen to visit Gurgaon look up this human being and I suggest a face to face meet.

|| Act V ||

The first day of 2020 started with these inspirational women; Swaahti (Camera ready for life), Mansi (Morning = Chai) and since my guitarist was too drunk to stay alive till 12 am that new year’s morning Me doing a terrible job at playing that beautiful instrument (Ukulele)

I’d also like to mention my Guitarist/BFF/teacher/reality check guide Karan Parmar’s amazingly self-sufficient girlfriend Somya. Though I havn’t spent much time with her but a little walk from a restaurant near my house, to my house, just to use the loo was enough for me to understand this free-spirit. Her taste in food is amazing, her taste in most things in amazing (Karan being the exception, “rolling-eyes”). I hope she sticks around for longer though, I’d like to spend more time with her.

In the brutal spirit of the pressure that is valentine’s day, I’d like to keep the rigor of my first day in 2020 going, call it a resolution. Self-resolution? That’s another debate. My version of love is already out there, find it, read it, decode it.

You can however, find all these beautiful people on Instagram, in my stories and posts. Most of them I’ve already written about in my previous blog posts as-well. But if you’d like to read more on my versions of them (I do keep going back and forth about these random moments), follow me for more of these distorted stories.

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