Skip to main content

Gate-crashing into shangri-la


Well, thats what we (me, soumik, R-kay, Kashan) did recently. and ended up spending 4 blissful days in Sonapani. Its a small village in the hills near Nainital. The place was secluded with only a few hotels and houses a little distance further away. Sonapani film festival; that's what got us here. I had little idea about it apart from what R-kay and soumik had told me earlier when we had met at Kunzum cafe in Hauz Khas.
It was a splendid affair - amazing hosts Ashish and Gurpal, brilliant filmmakers Amlan, Saba and Sanjay and a very intimate group of festival attendees who knew each other well. I tried to put together the footage i shot in those 4 days here and the result is this video.
For me the biggest insight in the 4 days was in way these brave film makers lead their lives. They had to fight apathy, financial crunch and a host of other problems and yet they carried on and went on to make some of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen. Saba felt strongly about gender politics and it reflected in each of her frame in her films. Amlan's film and his life have intertwined and his fight is as much about his films as for his life. To witness an intelligent movie and then to understand the circumstance of the film making itself was a huge revelation. Every single of his movies has a sharply located human condition being questioned in a poetical manner. Each of his movies can spark a rebellion or two, they are that powerful.
It was a great honor to be in company with such passionate and talented people.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I repair my shoe

I have 3 shoes. One formal, One sport shoe and another a mix of the two. The last one is particularly awesome, cause of its uniqueness. It looks like a formal shoe, but is as comfortable and flexible as a sport shoe. I bought it for my first job in Mumbai. I was newly rich and was expected to behave like one. I found this gem of pure black leather in a Colaba Causeway showroom. Quite a find. But its been almost two years now and the shoe shows its age. For all its awesomeness, its quite a weak shoe, to give out so early. I have stitched it, got new laces, and strengthened its sole. It doesn't look shiny anymore cause the leather has suffered from a few hostile trespasses. I think, like a man, things too should be allowed to carry their scars. Shiny scar-less men are just so... irrelevant. 

Since childhood, I have been used to using things for long times. Clothes, equipments, shoes etc. I can't just throw things away cause they don't look as good anymore or they don't w…

Walk about - II

I have been living in Gurgaon for the last 5 years. 5 years! in Gurgaon! I never thought I would end up staying this long here. In my head, it always was just a transit camp - to earn money to fund travel to Himalayas, come back and refill, go back and chill.. repeat until one figures out a way to break out of the cycle.
For the first 2 odd years that reflected in my lifestyle - My house was small and barely functional, a temporary base camp to return to 'home' in the hills. That 'home' was among strangers in the farthest corners and alleys of small villages in the hills. The home was not peopled really. It had no walls. It was the crisp cool air of the hills, the majesty of Himalaya, the clarity of sun's rays, the hot vapours rising from the ginger tea and the never ending walks in the forests, up the hills, down the valleys and through gullies and alleys of small villages and towns. When I was alone, that's what home was for me: A living breathing intimate …

Reading India through 'Dictator's handbook'

What's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?
The book says, not much. India, agrees. Current political dispensation especially agrees vigorously.

"Soma" of hindutva and past glory + divided impoverished amnesiac masses + legitimised attack on individual rights + tremendous wealth shared among few = brave new world of oligarchical India.


Essentially, democracies/ dictatorships etc., are simply variants of the same power dynamic between the ruler, essentials, influentials and inter-changeables.

Interchangeables are the nominal selectorate - the individual voters who have nominal (or cosmetic) power to choose leader - most of us.
Influentials  are the real selectorate - the guys who really choose the leader. In US recently, the electoral college famously went against the popular vote and elected a clown as their president instead. In India, theoretically, the system is a bit better in terms of a wider base of influentials - it could be religious gurus, party…