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Amitava, Tagore & a Veg Meat Recipe

Posted in Documentary

I was making a documentary on Amitava, a transgender, about whom I had read about in some newspaper article. I tracked him down to his office in Zamroodpur Delhi.  Amitava was approximately five feet ten inches tall, wearing ethnic clothes, a kurta with parallels to be specific & carrying a cotton jhola bag. I found his face extremely charming. We found a comfortable corner sipping pheta hua coffee which the office peon served in colorful mugs. He spoke very gently and gave me a short history of his life. Amitava was born a man in a middle class Bengali family…

TEEKAKARAN AGAINST FAKE NEWS

Posted in Social awareness

“It can either be fake or news”, opined Rama Lakshmi, the Opinion Editor of The Print. Her statement brought an unequivocal reaction from the audience and even I couldn’t agree more that FAKE NEWS, when pronounced together, is indeed an oxymoron. Very often than not if the Fake News consists of casual opinions or sarcasm, entertainment-related media stories, then it poses no risk but when some high impact stories lead to panic, confusion and rumor, the real damage occurs. Sensationalism sells well and Fake News is nothing but a clear example of sensationalism, stemming out from an underlying motive to…

GENDER ON WHEELS

Posted in Social awareness

Musings of a female documentary field-director My documentary shooting assignments have taken me to some of the most interesting and interior regions in India. So, I usually flaunt myself as the rural India expert at Carrot. With topics ranging from Health, Sanitation, and Education – I have seen the nation through an unusual lens. A lens of Gender. Female field director’s experience- that’s what I have been assigned to write. The word “director” has always intrigued me. Words always have layers of meaning; to each of its own. So, a director is a person who is well aware and equipped…

“NEW KID ON THE BLOG”

Posted in Lifestyle

‘MONDAY’ – The shortest horror story of an employee’s life, with weekly repeat telecasts. A mere mention of its name sends a chill down the spine of many. People like me can barely open our eyes and fail to understand what on earth compels people to greet each other ‘GOOD MORNING’ on a Monday morning. Monday blues is not a myth and trust me, whoever created this must have been a big time sadist. My biggest dilemma is that I can’t even show my deep seated resentment towards Monday (FYI, I am a Monday born). From attending morning meetings to…

“DRONE DIARIES: SOME FLIGHTS OF FANCY”

Posted in Feature

I remember – when the movie 3 idiots came in 2009, I was already doing short films with my friends. I was impressed by a scene in the film, where a character makes a ‘Quadcopter’ in that film. Me being a small town boy from Bankura in West Bengal, being ‘aspirational’ has always been ingrained in my nature – if you know what I mean. I got besotted with this seemingly simple idea of making a flying camera – and attempted to make a DIY drone myself. A couple of desperate tries and amazing failures later – I realized this…

“Of Khichri, Sundried Meat & Goat Tea”

Posted in social films

My films have taken me to different states, difficult terrains, tribal forest villages, remote mountain villages – where people or communities live as though they are living in an island and not in Indian mainland. I had no idea such communities ever existed, living with bare necessities, with bare demands. They toil hard for their survival and they respect their surroundings because their rivers have waters, and their forests have trees & their air clean. Even with their meager living condition they look happy and they are extremely generous when it comes to showing hospitality to outsiders like me. I…

“MY CUTS REFLECT MY INSTINCTS”

Posted in Documentary

Editing documentaries When I was told to write my experiences related to documentary editing, honestly I was very excited, as I have never penned down my thoughts on my profession as a Video Editor. In fact, I never thought of doing so. Turning hours of footage into a well-polished film requires creative mind, hard work, complex judgement about what should make it to the final cut and a careful division of technical and creative working between director and editor. This is the most challenging part of my job. But, the most thrilling part as well. Let me introduce myself to…

‘Keeping up with times’

Posted in Feature

The key to staying relevant stems from the iconic irony! Change is the only constant! Yes, to be able to remain on top of things, to stay “in the business”, it is imperative to constantly evolve, to be dynamic, to re-orient, to revisit and finally to think out of the box. Carrot started its journey in the era of bulky beta cams, transitioned to digibeta, DV cams, HD, 4K, 6K, 8K and the journey still continues. However, what excites us and keeps us ticking is this very change! When we started out, the industry norm was hiring specialists for various jobs such…

‘SHERU OF THE STREETS; SHAPING HIS DREAMS’

Posted in Documentary

Story of a street-child turned image-artist Old Delhi. Chandni Chowk. Tea Stall. By now, you probably have an image in your mind. But wait! Take a deep breath before you start stereotyping. The story here is different; this one is a story of courage, hope, determination, and of dreams – emanating out of the same space; this is about someone I work with now. He is Sheru; an unsung hero like many others out there, an uncommon commoner. When I first met Sheru in the Carrot Films office, he was like any other colleague, who I would greet every morning.…

‘WE NEED TO RECLAIM OUR PUBLIC SPACES’

Posted in Social awareness

ANECDOTES ON RIGHT TO PEE- A LITTLE TOO HARD TO BELIEVE CAMPAIGN Mumbai sure is a city of dreams. From Vada pao, to Irani chai, to Cinema… everything here is dreamy. The sea link consumes you in its structural enormity and the magnificent sea, is a harbourer and a keeper of innumerable yearnings.   But what happens when dreams concede and the reality takes over? When one shifts from the skyscrapers towards desolation in the streets, there is a paradigm shift in the day to day mechanisms. The city’s metabolism flickers every few kilometres. When I went to Mumbai to…

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