The story of “Shankari”

Almost two years ago, Ashwini (Vibha MN volunteer) had asked me to make a video for Vibha. I was busy to work on it at that time, but an idea had already formed in my mind. Filmmaking has always been a passion for me, but it took me a while to realize that I must make a career out of it. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Information Science from University Vishveshvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore in 2005. I worked with documentary filmmaker Pavitra Chalam on a short video and I was the script writer for that project as well. I also worked as an assistant on the set. ‘Shankari’ is my first ever adventure in short films.

My cousin had brought me a puzzle from Zurich. I was obsessed with it for many months and I always wondered at how the puzzle required nothing from the solver, except, that they connect two things – strategical arrangement of the four pieces of wood to form the shapes indicated on the sheet of paper. It was culture free. Anyone could attempt it and yet, it wasn’t easy. For someone like me, who always keeps thinking about plots and movies, the idea came quite naturally.

A brilliant girl born into an impoverished family, works in a house where two boys are trying to solve this puzzle. They can’t solve it, but the girl observes it and solves it! It seemed as though it could happen anywhere in the world. The obvious nature of the puzzle and the obvious possibility of a super genius girl born into a very poor family struck me. I made a note of it on my computer and almost a year ago, I decided to return to the idea. But when I read it again, I felt that it could be a short feature with a very strong message. I decided that it would be the perfect Vibha video. I contacted Ashwini and finally made it. I thank Vibha for giving me an opportunity to make a short film for a noble cause.

A wonderful and heart touching film with a strong message that shakes hands with Vibha’s cause, was unsurprisingly very well appreciated by our Vibha Minnesota volunteers.  This is what they had to say:

Lakshmi – “I was captivated by the video. How a small puzzle and a curious mind ends up defining the desperate need for education in our society! It is a moving story set in a very realistic tone. I am sure, all of us can relate to it in many ways”.

Sreekanth- “We have seen many girls like Shankari in our lives- smart but lacking opportunity. I have seen many Shankarans too – boys who work in tea shops and as street vendors. The portion where we hear Shankari’s voice in the dark was pretty good. The newspaper shot that says that ‘education becomes a fundamental right’ was good too. What is the point in having such a right when one needs to work to feed the family? The story was effective. Overall, a lot of thought has gone into the creation of the video. Abhijith is talented and he seems to have a good understanding of the issue”.

Manju- “An inspiring and thought provoking video. Thanks to Abhijit for this wonderful effort”.

Satya Boda- “Fantastic!! Thanks to Abhijith for this great idea and execution!!

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