Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Story Behind It

The truth is, I'm an idler. Although I was suffering from fever since we were back from Jadavpur and then something happened to my broadband connection (I was able to access internet using my dongle) they just don't stand up as good alibis for not posting on the blog since the 13th. It's been 9 days without writing. The feverish feel didn't even let me feel how fast time flies by when one is not working.

On the 19th evening (or may be night), in the month of February, at around 22:30 hrs. when I told Mr. Gurpal Singh "Gurpal ji, bahat ho gaya, abhi feature banani hai. Logon se ek ek rupiyaa leke suru karne ka socha hai [It has been enough, now I want to make a feature. I thought of starting it by putting a demand of one rupee to everyone]" Sriparna and Surya were there in front of Chakrateertha House, Puri, Orissa and I was quite astonished that I've actually said it. Before that, the idea was shared only once with Sriparna. Gurpal replied smilingly, like he does on every occasion, 'well, it's a great idea but is there anyone here who believes that you won't spend those one rupees on fags and boozes. See, there have been many people in the last years, coming up with ideas like these, collecting money for making film and afterwards none of them were traceable neither their films." --- This reply is what made me feel the necessity of starting this blog.

Four hours before that, I was sitting in a train, Howrah-Puri Duronto Express, at seat no.2. Beside me there was a guy on no.1, named Mr. Abhayanand Pathak. Sriparna, her mom and my mom were on Seat no. 3, 4 and 5. Between us there was the passage, so, I really had no option but to chat with this aged friend of mine when he started talking. Normally I don’t like explicitly religious people, but this time it was different. I felt a touch of wisdom in his words. He speaks a lot (I mean when he starts). Soon I discovered that he is one of the uncles of actor Vinay Pathak. So we talked a bit about Vinay’s performances in different films. Mr. Pathak said that he is a poet and he has two books to his creddit. So, we moved on to poetry and he said he is not a regular poet. He does not understand poetry; rather he tries to understand his religion and the world through his poems. I said, one doesn’t need to understand poetry really, that must be left to the academicians and critics. One must understand oneself to write or compose. Thus, philosophy and religion occupied the central thread of this conversation. Mr. A.N Pathak is one of those guys who say Hey Ram even while yawning. But I, somehow, did not really have any problem to carry on chatting with the Bihari Pandit Brahmin. I myself came to know that I ‘m a Kankubji Brahmin and not a Gaudiya one. Later on, he told me a story of a writer he met at Kurla station. He saw this guy in a bit untidy white shirt and black trousers, asking for one rupee from everyone on the platform. He came in to the waiting room, approached a man sitting next to Mr. Pathak. That man replied negative in a rudely manner and then turned to Mr. Pathak and said “Look at this poor guy. He has learnt this much English only to become an unconventional beggar. What’s becoming of this country”. Mr. Pathak did not reply. He silently started to follow this unconventional beggar and wanted to know the reason of his begging. The man told him that he is a writer. He has written a novel and now he is raising funds as he does not have enough money to publish it.

Yes, it’s an idea copied from somewhere else. I don’t know the name of this writer (I wish I had) but his way can prove to be fruitful for us. Till date, as a forum, LFEBF has produced 14 short films and two feature length films since 2008 out of which 12 shorts and two features were released in three compilations in three consecutive years. Do you know another forum in this country which has been this much consistent? Do you know a filmmaker in India who did take up no-budget as a serious method of film production before or by the year 2008? And when you visit the websites on so-called “Indian Independent Films and Filmmakers” how many times do you find mentions of these works there? Except producing a feature there’s another aim behind starting this fund-raising that is the process itself works as a campaign. This is a good form of no-budget promotion. But some of these so-called ‘devotees’ of “Indian Independent Film” are not even spending a single word on this project. Moreover, some of them are not even responding or replying while communicated with proper information. Where is the problem, can you tell me? Is it with Bengal? Is it with the forum? Or is it with the No-Budget method? I mean if everyone knows us or keeps on following us on facebook why do they become misers when it comes to sharing or writing something about some honest and off-the-track initiative?

Recently my latest film Memories… of a Dead Township (2012) was reviewed by Dr. Ian McCormick. Dr. McCormick also interviewed me via email and posted it to his blog. It’s something adequate to make us happy but we’d have been happier if the review was written or the interview was taken by some Bengali friend of ours, or at least by someone from India.

Thanks to Dr. Ian McCormick and everyone who’s reading, sharing, talking about this blog/project/initiative or the forum. Thanks to all the contributors who helped us reach the threshold of 19k within one month.

The truth is not only that I’m an idler but I belong to a community full of slackers and idlers I believe.

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