Devika has just hit puberty. In the absence of a mother, she wonders how she can talk to her baba about her first period. Set in a small village in Maharashtra, Arre Baba chronicles a heart-warming discussion on adolescence between a father and his young daughter. The short film is a part of a series of five that has been created by Terribly Tiny Talkies, an extension of a popular bite-sized storytelling collective called Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT). The platform made a successful debut earlier this year with films such as Bunny, El’Ayichi and Deuce, which offered different takes on love, to coincide with Valentine’s Day
The season two line-up is themed around mothers. As with the earlier films, Arre Baba started with the TTT team inviting ideas from people across the country, says Chintan Ruparel, co-founder of Terribly Tiny Tales.
Scripts that explored the concept in unconventional ways made the final cut. One of these was Cuddly, based on a conversation between a marketing professional, who is making a presentation for a high-tech baby cot, and her mother, played by Neena Kulkarni. Another film, Srinivas Sunderrajan’s Mamta Tonic, traces the life of a middle-aged saleswoman, who travels door to door selling a tonic that claims to keep the body free of ailments. L, by Amit Masurkar of Sulemani Keeda fame, chronicles a mother’s dream of riding a scooter. In Cheers, starring Ali Fazal and Anju Mahendru, a son returns to meet the alcoholic mother he had left 10 years ago.
Arre Baba is in Marathi with English subtitles. “Girish Kulkarni, who plays the father, is a well-known actor in the Marathi film industry. So, the dialogues lend a different flavour,” says Surya Balakrishnan of Arre Baba. The films, spanning four to six minutes, were released on YouTube on Sunday.