Vevek Upadyay’s Pravasi is a heart-wrenching tale of migrants trudging back home
The visuals of thousands of migrants desperate to return home during the lockdown unfolding on our TV sets and mobile screens moved and inspired actor Vevek Upadyay to make a short film Pravasi – A Migrants Tale. The film that released on Hotstar recently brings back memories of the exodus. Vevek who made a mark with the film Kachrewali Love Story shares with us the challenging task of scripting the pain, agony and helplessness of the migrants in the short film format. Excerpts:
The sight of the migrants desperate to return home moved us all. How challenging was it to put their struggle and pain in a short film?
It's was very difficult to put their struggle and pain in a film as the situation they all were in only they could have felt what they were going through. We felt that when we had to walk carrying all the luggage and kids in that extreme hot weather, in different locations like highways, railway tracks, etc. which needs courage and strength. Our artistes got exhausted and took many breaks to bring that on screen. And this is something unimaginable what we all had to just bring out on screen is what the migrants went through where they were helpless. This film Pravasi is what one needs to know about how the migrants struggled just to reach their respective homes and watching this will be heartbreaking.
Did you add your first-hand experiences in it as well?
Maybe yes, as I also stay away from my family and when the country was going through the pandemic nobody knew what was coming the next whether we will be alive or what the scenario would be. Not only me but I think each of us who does not stay with family might have become emotional, scared and worried at the same point.
Why did you choose a short film for the subject? Do you think it did justice to the subject?
I love short films and I think they are very effective in their way. Without any unnecessary diversion, it has a certain point of view, and I tried my best to do justice to the subject. I am passionate about bringing out the stories and telling them especially the ones that people often miss out on subjects. With time we saw how new-age content creators have come up not with a big banner but with actual talents and that too on YouTube to which the audience has loved. Technology with time has been creating more space and this helps a filmmaker to not restrict himself on concepts.
What's next after Pravasi?
I have three more short films and a web series coming up and I will soon be starting the pre-production of these considering the circumstances. The work is in progress and I hope to bring out another story soon the way ‘Pravasi’ happened.