Thursday, 2 June 2016

A story of a dream, a dream of a story!



What are the qualities of a good story? I know some people would find it easy to answer. They may say that like a speech, a story should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Some may say, well, not really. A story should have a backdrop, a climax and a resolution. And some may say, a story must have its characters! Well if you ask me, I do not find it easy to define what a story should be. Well, a story may never have a beginning or an end, a problem or a solution. So, without breaking heads over what it should be, let us just sit back and listen to it. If we like it, well, let’s call it a story.


A very good morning, dear Toastmasters. Sit back, as I tell you a story from my own life.


For a long time, the subject of dream has intrigued me personally. What are dreams, really? Philosophers say it is a projection of our own reality, and psychologists say it is our subconscious mind that builds pictures. But then, if reality is just a matter of perspectives, as they say, then why are dreams unreal?

This is two years back from now. It was late night that day and I was sitting in my office cab, playing with my blackberry, waiting for Driver bhaiya to start the car when it’s time. Suddenly a story idea struck me. Yes, story ideas always strike me at the weirdest of moment, in the non-quietest of times. I picked up my Blackberry and started typing into it a story, making up the plot as I wrote. It was a few months since I had started writing, and I was well quite in my groove. That day, that story I was writing was about dreams, and about parallel planes of reality. It was a story of a lady and her world of magic realism. Done, dusted, I mean published, and forgotten, just as it happens!


About a year back, my husband asked me suddenly if I remember that story that I once wrote. I said, yes. Soon enough, it found a space on our desk in form of scribbled dialogues and sketched back-drops… He told me that he wanted to make that into a film - a short-film, of about half an hour. I wasn’t sure if it’d be such a great idea, but we decided to give it a try. But how? Doesn’t it take quite some money? Well, some FDs were dissolved and some good friends had volunteered to do their bit, too.


But, what about cast? Facebook posters were created, almost in shape of matrimonial adverts. Height, build, looks – come one come all. Some audition rounds were arranged, and whoa, people actually did turn in in quite good numbers. Crew? References were sought, recommendations received, requirements sketched out. DOP – check. Editor – check. Music – check. Sound arrangement – check. Singer – check. Recording studio – check. Locations – check, check, check. Finally, just about marginally, yes, check. Two houses, a café shop, a hospital, an office building. Check.


And then, in December last year, leave approval from office – check. And sooner than we knew, we found ourselves in our beloved city of Kolkata. But then, there we were, looking up locations, seeking help and advices, and more than anything, volunteers. Some volunteered their apartment, some their office, and some, their café shop. Some, even a hospital! That is how things work, really, if you really, really want them to… Trust me!



But then, that was a long four months back. Four days of hectic shoot later, the days then went into rounds over rounds of iterative post production, quite a few visits to the sound studios for the song recordings to background scores, to voice dubs. Some more FDs found their way into the Savings account, and soon out of it too. Time passed.


And then, about a month back, it was one fine morning and I was deep in slumber. My husband woke me up with an email on his mobile that he wanted me to read right away. “Monsieur”…  the mail began. And then it went ahead to tell us that well, our film has been selected for screening at The Cannes Film Festival in May 2016. “See you in Cannes” the mail ended, leaving us dumbfounded, shell-shocked at the other end of the globe.

Dreams do come true, you see! A dream of a story, and a story of a dream.

By the way, remember what we were discussing about qualities of a good story? Well, irrespective of what anyone tells you, a story must always have a happy ending. If it is not happy, it is not the end, yet!






This was my ACB2 project, on Story Telling. I had to tell a personal story.