What is freedom? For some, it is to speak their mind without any filter, for others, it is to take their own decisions. But, for many, freedom is about fighting for basics such as roti, kapda and makaan. Yes, it’s true. Far away, in barren lands, away from the hustle bustle of the metropolitan cities, many families are still fighting to survive — to eat, breathe and for a shelter over their heads.
Such stories are quietly buried like old, rusty books in a library. But, a Mumbai-based actor and film-maker decided he wanted to bring it out undiscovered tales to the fore and captured a heartbreaking video that shows the grim reality of India. In an 8.36-minute video, Shubh Mukherjee brought seven such experiences alive on-screen that will “make you think, question and hopefully act”.
“It’s been 70 years, and a lot of great things have happened. We are the seventh largest country in the world, and collectively the whole country wishes for this to be the best country in the world. While we were filming our travel series, #tripwithme, by travelling across India in 30 days, we came across many experiences, that remind us about all the things that come in our way from becoming the best country in the world. It’s been 70 years, & that is a long long time. So its about time, we all walk a step forward, together or even alone, to make a small difference in making this a country we could always remain proud of,” the video has been captioned.
So, what really went behind the making of the video? “It took me over six months to get started and with a lot of thought, my team and I narrowed down on India. I wanted to create a travel documented series by travelling to the most deep-rooted corners of the country and get connected to all the unheard stories from unknown places. We decided to complete the journey in just one month, and so we travelled over 36,700km in 30 days,” he told indianexpress.com, adding, “the video is curated from our travel series, which was based out of filming for 30 days non stop. Our camera would constantly be rolling. In fact, what had set out to be a travel series, had actually become an experience of a life time.”
“The experience of meeting roughly 100 uniquely diverse people, was way more satisfying than having more than 5,000 friends on Facebook. All we had were the realities of the circumstances, the people we met and each other to interact or deal with and it was like entering a new world every now and then,” he said.
When asked if there was something else that they shot but couldn’t show it in the video, he said, “There’s is a lot more from Kashmir that is disturbing. I ended up there at a time of a serious curfew and the stories that came out were highly disturbing. I was held up by the Kanyakumari cops (in Tamil Nadu) because I was flying a drone. I understand that I did not have permission, but harassing my team for over two days for a desire to film my own country was strange. They knew we were innocent. Today that drone video has over 11 million views. The kind of investigation and interrogation our law and order did is difficult to explain.”
“I received threats and warnings to pull off my content. Irrespective of that, there were also people who would support this, and that is what a story teller like me would live and work for. My journey was beautiful, and we learnt about so many things, which we would love to share through this series,” Mukherjee said.
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