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  • Rukmini Ravishankar

Brand New Day

Imagine a singer who doesn’t listen to music, and an artist who doesn’t have a favorite painter. An introverted public relations officer and a writer who doesn’t read. Would they all be fish out of water? Would they all be wingless birds, trying to reach out to the sky in vain? Questions like this often put me in tight spots, when I think about how I’d struggle to create without watching. This struck me the hardest at an interview to a college that rejected me. ‘Why this course?’, the interviewer asked. Despite the first half of my brain having rehearsed the answer a multitude of times, when I said, ‘I have been fascinated by the movie world ever since my childhood’, the irrational side of me yelled a resounding ‘No! Lies!’.

Truth be told, it was only about 2 years ago that I realised how this could very well be my career. Editing sound for mimes and mock rock contests, crappy videos for short film events and cheesy Power-Points for people that don’t seem to find a way back into my life, I found myself in a world familiar, doing what I’d die to do for a living.

When I was 11, I was first introduced to Chemistry. By the end of that year, I vowed I wouldn’t take Science if heaven were to fall over. 12 years old, and people told me I’d make a good journalist. 13, public speaker. 14? ‘You’re a big fat zero’. And then, MasterChef happened.

With the clock ticking, 10, 9, 8, 7, the home cooks were running about, perfecting their tempered chocolate, laying down neat quenelles of sorbet, checking the temperature of the meat, adding last minute drizzles of olive oil, my sister and I paid rapt attention. As the no longer jellylike Panna Cotta of our favourite contestant melted to mush, we yelled, like we could make a difference, from thousands of miles away, and 3 months after the victor had been crowned. While we sat there, hearts beating, waiting for the judgment, my father said, ‘Not a single camera’. We gave him an utterly bewildered look, seeking an explanation.

In the rush of forks, spoons, blowtorches and oven mitts, the cameramen find it an arduous task to capture every moment of significant intensity. Each man manoeuvering his camera at a different angle to catch different aspects of the on-goings, must ensure that none of his fellows find a place in his shot. Putting these innumerable captures together, ensuring that not a single camera is seen in the final product, is a feat that can be only be accomplished by the most skilled of editors. Indeed, editors are a group of people who are grossly underrated for the kind of perfection that they must exhibit in their work. And just like that, it became my life’s ambition to enter the film industry as an editor, an enabler. But the problem still remained that I had watched but a few movies from here and there and nowhere at all.

Then once, on screen, Ranveer Singh was talking to a friend, about 3 different groups of people gathered at a wedding. He was in a balcony, looking down at his guests. He was describing group A, group B and group C, in the same order. First, he introduces group C, looking down at his bottom right. Then, he proceeds to Group A at his bottom left. And then when he introduces group B, he looks straight down. Problem? We see both group A and C on its right. And it struck me. No, I don’t watch too many movies, but what I watch, I observe. And I think about how I would have done it better. In short, I have an OCD big enough to be the perfectionist that a career in editing would demand.

And so, here I am today, embracing the painful twists and turns in my gruesome story, amongst a bunch of some the most beautiful, like-minded and talented people I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. And for the first time, in such a long, long time, I know I’ll be okay.


Title Credits: JOSHUA RADIN

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