After finally crossing the finish line of completing the first-ever documentary of my life, I indeed have much to say. Hence, the blog! No matter how much amateurish it might be, no matter how much full of faults, it shall always be one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Unsurprisingly, it was incredibly tough as well! Not sure if it was the day I had to travel eight hours back and forth in a day to visit Gorai, a place well known for being home to Essel World or the evening when I had to trace back my steps in a jiffy after spotting a squeaking mouse in a dark, narrow alley in Mahim. Yet, as I go forward with memories of this experience that lasted me about two months of hectic schedules (I suck at time management) and a lifetime of bittersweet memories, I am most likely to remember only the heart-warming smiles that I witnessed and not the aches I took home — only to sleep without even changing my sweat-soaked, smelly clothes.
For the most part during all these weeks, if you were to mention the words Koli or fishermen in a conversation around me, you were very likely to gain my attention before even completing your sentence. I was definitely all ears! And needless to say, it affected my personal, professional as well as student life. I almost made it my life’s mission to know as much as I could about the Koli community in Mumbai — my group’s topic for the Documentary. Trust me, I failed for the most part — there is just too much to know — it’s an insane amount of information!
During the entire experience, a lot of life lessons and realisations came my way. One of the most endearing parts of my experience was visiting the Mumbai University — both Kalina and Fort campuses! I got the opportunity to visit them a couple of times. At first, it was mayhem that took me an hour to solve, only to be dismissed for having not having the appropriate documents needed to access the Kalina library. The Fort one, on the other hand, was a dream come true. Although to be frank, in all the craziness of that day, I only realised about my dearest dream to be in the Watch Tower clock library, after being in it for about an hour already. It was a sudden, gripping and fuzzy feeling of being thankful for my stars that seemed to be perfectly aligned.
Another part of the tale was what changed my outlook to not just education but life as a whole. Walking along the mayhem like lanes, I realised the opportunities that were out on offer — all I had to do was to stretch my hands and take it! Meeting a professor who had taught four of our own was an inspiring moment. It dawned upon me how much teachers can impact their students, how some are indeed Dumbledores in our muggle world. My respect for the profession grew manifold and the will to study as further as I could, took flight.
The awe I felt at looking through the books in these libraries wasn’t limited to the content they held. It was in fact partly because this was the first time I understood what people mean when they say that the internet is not a reliable source. I would perhaps never forget the moment when everything I had read on the subject for weeks came tumbling down as experts spoke to us about factual information. It was a disaster but thankfully helped us in tracking down some better sources of information — books and research papers.
One of the most interesting aspects of the documentary making process was the shooting part. Going to different places and interacting with the sweetest people in the city was perhaps the most amazing part of my journey. Another realisation that dawned upon me was how important a person feels when they are asked to narrate the happenings of their everyday lives, especially the little things about their profession. The moment you show genuine interest, they open us so easily! It is perhaps because not even our closest people show such interest in our professional lives. And those smiles and tales are indeed going to be a part of my life and memories, for a long time.
I have written such a long post and yet I haven’t been able to even cover a tiny bit of feelings towards this project! I guess I will just end it here because I will never be able to put it all in words anyway. So to conclude, I would like to give a big shout out to my team, professors and everyone who helped us in making this documentary a reality. Thank you for being a part of one of the most beautiful memories in my life.