We are surrounded by stories, if only one is mindful enough to truly see. Khidakya, our Award-Winning Marathi Short Film is an amalgamation of such everyday stories around us – some hidden, others apparent; some heartwarming, others heartbreaking.
The daily commute can be a frustrating affair, but the concept behind the short film was derived in the process of making these little journeys to and fro. From windows with broken glasses, reminiscent of childhood memories of playing gully cricket with the gang, to squeaky clean, ‘whole’ windows of homes that speak of their prim and proper occupants; from windows that are tightly shut – a sign of no life (or of a fiercely guarded one?), to windows that are wide open and alive – there is so much to see, so much to take in, so many windows and as many stories!
The many windows presented many facets of life that were penned down into poems, some on the spur of the moment, others while compiling the script for Khidakya. The more we explored and thought about it, the more we realized that there are thousands of windows around us that offered a peek into the many exciting elements of life. Being visual communicators, compiling the narrative for the short film was a natural transition. Only this time, it was for us. And this meant we had absolute creative liberty with the film.
The Production Process
Once we had the script in place, we went line-by-line to brainstorm and decide what would best represent the thought visually. The scouting led us to locking in the people, places and things that we wanted to capture. The interesting part about the filming process is that most of the window themes captured in the film are real locations that we scouted for, keeping the script and its essence in mind.
Next, we sought permissions. We came across some lovely windows that we absolutely had to capture for Khidakya. This meant venturing into public spaces, even into the homes of random strangers to seek permissions for filming. This part of the process is filled to the brim with anecdotes and experiences that can be entire short films on their own! It was like a wonderful serendipity – things simply started falling into place, even when at times it seemed like they wouldn’t.
Filming & Post Production
Khidakya was shot over a span of 20 days during Diwali, 2018. Since it was an independent production, we were working within a limited budget, and a basic equipment and studio setup that was available in-house. The shoot was segmented on the basis of a rough radius of location, and one or two of us would venture for the shoot.
The narrative of Khidakya represents the complexities of life in a rather simple and beautiful manner. The thought behind each such window was discussed with our voiceover artist, who then conveyed the right emotions to support the visuals.
Presenting The Film
Khidakya turned out to be a true testament to the fact that the foundation for a good product is what lies within. Even though the short film was made with the help of modest equipment and technology, it was the content, creativity and dedicated efforts that produced a wonderful result.
Khidakya was officially selected for various short film festivals, and it also won awards for best film and cinematography at a prestigious short film festival. The public reaction to the film, even to this date is heartwarming. Khidakya managed to touch people, stir emotions and made people appreciate the power of good storytelling. Soon, we started getting suggestions to spin tales around many such concepts.
The Power Of Imagination
With Khidakya, we took a small concept and brought it to life. The entire process from ideation to presenting the final film gave us an insight into people and perceptions. We realised that if we look at it, windows are omnipresent. We realised how life is full of windows, literally as well as figuratively!
While Khidakya was a personal project that gave us an unbounded creative outlet, it made us see how we can apply such a thought process in our work too. If you have a product or an idea to sell, we have the ability to weave a beautiful story around it. After all, we are surrounded by stories. One only has to be mindful enough to truly see!
Annecdotes During The Making of Khidakya Time No Bar
One time, we came across a splendid window that we knew would fit well with one of the lines. It was around 10 p.m. that we, as complete strangers approached a kind old woman sitting at the window in her home to grant us permission to shoot the next day. In hindsight, it must have been quite an amusing sight as we spoke to each other – she, by her window and us, looking up at her from the street! We introduced ourselves, what we did and why we were making a strange request, that too at an odd hour only to have her happily oblige!
For one of the concepts, we wanted a shot of a child of around 8 years of age. More importantly, we wanted a child with a missing tooth for what can possibly be a funny and adorable representation of a window! Around this time, we bumped into an old man who has been
working for us for several years to realise that a couple of missing teeth for someone his age looked equally endearing! We quickly made a request and had him let us capture another one of our windows!
Possibly the one difficult permission to acquire was the one to shoot the colourful slums in Mumbai. We were in the city only to get the particular shot, and the view was offered only from a metro railway station. We were initially denied permission as cameras were not allowed for security reasons, but we did not let that hinder us. We approached the officials again, and were finally allowed to shoot in the presence of an armed personnel!
Back To School
One of the fondest memories around Khidakya is when we got an opportunity to go back to our school. What can be more rewarding than visiting the very place as a grown-up with accomplishments, where once upon a time as children we learnt, we dreamt, we faltered and we grew! Perhaps, the journey of the film started all those years back when the window by the school desk became our window to the fascinating world outside!
Khidakya, for us became the medium that breathed life into the inanimate. It forged and renewed human connections, offered fresh perspectives on life and at the end of the day helped bring a wide smile to many faces, including ours!
These anecdotes are just a peek into the treasure of memories associated with Khidakya, waiting to be shared. Feel free to connect with us to hear more such stories. You can drop us an email at email@example.com if you like talking on the phone, you can call us on 8554982761 if you are in and around Pune, drop in for a conversation over a cup of coffee at our office Deccan, Pune