Material collected over some years began to make sense only as a large archive of memories. Events, anxieties, dreams, and fantasies, nightmares, and love stories, violence and police brutality, all these began to merge with each other indiscriminately.
The strike ended six months ago. I was shooting my short film Afternoon Clouds. That day, the new chairman of the film school (who the strike had primarily been against) was visiting the campus for the first time. The students had decided to protest his arrival. It was also the last day of my shoot. So I made the practical decision to stay away from the protest.
Every once in a while, a friend who had been helping me on set, went outside the studio and disappeared. When I went to investigate, I saw that they were sitting inside a large police van! When I tried to reason with the lady cops to set them free, two of them grabbed me and started to lead me to the same van! I began to shout in protest that my film would remain incomplete if they detained me. Hearing my voice, the head of campus security told the cops to escort me back to the studio, making sure I didn’t come out till I had finished my shoot.
In the studio I had created a set of an old-fashioned apartment. A famous actress from Marathi films of the yesteryears was acting in the film. We had plastered a green screen outside the windows and later were going to replace those with shots of the ocean. As the shoot came to an end, and the sounds outside had vanished too, I looked up and saw two curious cops standing outside the window. They peered at the actress and took selfies on the set. They smiled at me with childish curiosity. Separating us were just their uniforms, for they too, like the whole country, had a deep love for cinema.