YouTuber Prajakta Koli makes her acting debut with short film, Khayali Pulav
Fresh off her participation in Michelle Obama’s Dear Class Of 2020 and Creators For Change global initiatives, one of India’s leading YouTuber Prajakta Koli, aka Mostly Sane, makes her acting debut with a short film.
Written and directed by Tarun Dudeja, the short film titled Khayali Pulav, which loosely translates to ‘Flights of Fancy’, features Koli as a 17-year-old small-town girl who instead of focussing on her government school education, pursues a vocation in sports.
Set against the rural landscape of Haryana, the film navigates between her struggles as an amateur handball enthusiast to her triumph in breaking hoary stereotypes and traditional archetypes associated with womankind.
“The film is a beautiful reminder of how dreams, especially in small towns, are often realised through sports. It’s also a reminder of how precious the freedom to live your life the way you want to is, how even the seemingly simple act of being able to wear shorts becomes a complicated mission for a young girl. The act of being a sportsperson is her excuse to live as a free woman who isn’t defined by the opinion of others, and confidently dresses up in shorts baring her legs in a society that expects her to cover up,” says Prajakta.
Talking about the idea behind the film, director and writer Dudeja says, "Being born and brought up in one of the towns in Haryana, India where patriarchy is the accepted norm and tradition is associated with the women staying behind the veil, I would come across by subtle acts of resistance to oppression every now and then."
"In the conservative society women just seize at whatever semblance of freedom could be contained within the constraints of the society but mostly it is aimed at freedom - be it the freedom to express themselves, or choose their partner, or wear the clothes of their choice. They fight in their quiet ways and refuse to become victims of the circumstances. Their spirits remain uncrushed and they win a certain degree of independence for themselves. The film honours such women and is a tribute to them," he adds.
The film also sees veteran actor Yashpal Sharma essaying the role of a sports teacher who further leverages Koli’s on-screen depiction.