Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Interesting Meal

Day before yesterday I had a meal quite delicious and truly special cooked by an Aravani (a transgender) at her small hut, hardly of the size of a maruthi van, at a small town called Kallippetti in Maduri. I call it special because such a thing had never happened in my life before. I can boldly say that the very little rice and Karuvad (Fish curry) she offered is one among the best I have ever had in my life.

This is the second time I traveled with my friends Rayson and Susan, shooting this Aravani family for Susan’s Ph D research on their lifestyle, art and culture. I was too doubtful about this idea initially as I have seen them only as a rude and ridiculous lot disturbing common people around. Yet, true to the inner call for adventure n thus realizing the fact that a second thought is of no scope, I joined them on this documentary mission almost a year back.

Like last time, we got a warm welcome from the inhabitants constituting of 6 to 7 Aravanis and their mother “Pandi Ammal”. I am not getting into any details of the visit coz that would be like intruding into Susan’s research material. At the same time I can’t be but express my feeling about them for being in their hospitality for 2 days. In spite of their sexual orientation towards men, I have not felt anything different in their attitude towards life from others. In fact, I found them extremely talented, philosophical and creative. Their only difference is that most of them are male by birth and female by heart. They talk-walk-dress-dream like a woman longing for the identity of a woman.

Susan explains it in this way “If you consider man and woman are two ends of a string these people comes somewhere in between. Nobody can be a complete man or a complete woman.” In fact after the first day shoot I had to tell her, if she is 80 % woman, I could see them as 100% woman by heart.

Yet before blaming the society, I would like to blame myself for acting indifferent. It so happened that on the return journey, I was feeling so restless when the guy who came with us as our guide openly admitted that he is a bisexual living a duel life.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Butcher
A few weeks back, on a routine visit to my friend Sweta’s desk at Hexaware, she asked me this question
“Arun, don’t you think you must be doing a short film based on the bomb blasts? See how many are getting killed every other day.”
Though the concept of “The Butcher” was there in my mind for quite sometime, it was then I actually decided to frame it. I’m glad that she asked this question coz it made me realize that there are people who genuinely think that a short film can create some impact on the society we live in. How big or small it would be…don’t ask me…I have no clue..!!! If the film can reach and touch the mind of at least one among a billion, I strongly believe that, it worked.

Now about…‘The Butcher’…In a single sentence……it is the story of a man becoming the cause as well as the victim of a destiny written by him. Let me not give any further explanations on that...but leave it for your to watch...

When I showed this film to my colleagues in office, the immediate response was, “How did you make a butcher act so well in your film?”
And I repied, “Guys interesting question, but the Butcher here is a documentary filmmaker, a music director, a PhD scholar and finally my friend, Rayson. He is the same person who acted as a chicken-trader in my previous film ‘Two Ways Together’. Actually our friend Susan already made this comment that, with ‘The Butcher’ I had given him a promotion from Chicken to Beef”.

Jokes apart, I always enjoyed working with him as we share these notorious qualities in common- lack of shame, lots of unwanted guts and adaptability to anything and everything. We are in the process of another short film where his role is not again of a butcher but of a music composer.

‘The Butcher’ gave me a new friend and an assistant, Sachin from MCC. He has a better role back in MCC. He is the founder, planner and coordinator of a Film Club, Reelity Bites, targeted at reaching the campus crowd with good quality films. Let me talk about it in another blog. He learns commerce in college and breathes Arts. A brilliant person to share thoughts on film, culture and society. I hope to see his name more often in the credits of my future ventures.

The voice of wife and daughter on phone in the film is of ‘Agnetha’, yet another friend whom I got from MCC with this film. Agnetha, I am sure you must have identified a brilliant dubbing artist in you by this time. Good job, get going.

My hearty thanks to Susan for all the support and care. I like the way you take ownership of my works. Your presence is energizing the mode of filming. I can’t forget Mr. Udhay Kumar, the beef stall owner and other friends from the shop for providing the space and helping us on the shoot. In fact, by mistake, I broke a watch given by them while shooting.
Thanking you all,