Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Documentary Diaries#11: Record and Rest in Peace

8. 2. 2015

The previous day i had let both Sabari and D Jeet know of the funeral service and burial that was going to happen the next day. The newpaper had all the details. I wasn't sure that the family would let us shoot but decided to shoot whatever we could. I had asked both the men to wear black. When i, along with them walked Kolkata i felt like we were Shakespeare's three witches. Fun.

The funeral service was to be held at Church of Christ the King, Park Circus, Kolkata. The interment would be at Bhawanipore cemetery around 3 pm. We wanted to shoot the digging of the grave so decided to go the cemetery in the morning. Sabari and i left the institute around 9 a.m and D Jeet joined us there.

The cemetery was huge. People even went there for morning walks or jogs. We had made a wise decision visiting the graveyard before going to the church. The grave had been half dug. We filmed the rest of it. I constantly thought of the song in Haider which i had quite liked. This was nothing like it but we got what the documentary wanted. I was content. Every time i was happy with something Florence would start gnawing at an end of my head and make it all disappear. Such was my preoccupation with my protagonist.

Sabari and D Jeet recording the digging of the 'rest in peace' grave

We went to Park Circus and and located the church. D Jeet shot a bit there. Soon the family arrived, in black and all work. Booklets for the funeral service had to be placed in the seats. The table where the coffin would be placed was ready. The father at the church welcomed us but the family did not. We left after shooting the arrival of flowers in rickshaws. We could cut it and join it on editing table. It wasn't that bad.

It was after a long time that i was at a church which looked like the one i used to go to when i was a believer. I went on a brief nostalgia trip before hunger got the better of me and we went to Arsalan which sold the best biriyani in Kolkata (with potatoes, of course). D Jeet had his favourite biriyani and Sabari and i were true to our mallu selves and whined about food and in particular biriyani in Kolkata.

Church of Christ the King, Park Circus

By 3 p.m we went back to Bhawanipore cemetery.  After hanging around for some time we realized it was better that we operated like police in hollywood films. In other words i went out and told Sabari and D to be ready for my call which would let them know of the arrival of the coffin and family. When i did that i even slipped in a 'coming through' in there and felt really good. After the funeral party went in again and watched the burial. It again brought back memories when they sang 'Nearer My God to Thee'. I thought of Titanic too. Damn them films. Don't make any and don't watch any to make the world a better place. We shot. Till sunset.

It was then that D Jeet said that it was going to be the last day of shoot. He was going to leave for Mumbai in a day for grading our short film. I was not going to shoot without him. I felt empty again. When in love i let bits and pieces of it permeate amidst people closest to me. I knew that was why i was missing NN for the first time after being in the institute. It was why i was cracking jokes with Aalayam, my editor. D later said that he felt i was falling in love with him in those days. I apologized to him for having made him feel that. Confessed my permeation problem. I had to stop that madness and only honesty was going to do that. Honesty also hurt. I hurt.

Florence's whatsapp had 'love sucks, love punks' for a status and a picture which said she hid many things behind her smile. I looked at it a dozen times before i went offline.

On the last day of shoot which i called the 'last day of shoot of the first shift' because i intend to go back to Florence after D and NN return in the end of February, i watched a burial after ten years.
It was as dead as a corpse and as bland as death.

Sabari and i returned to the institute. Badminton matches were on. Sabari played great badminton and i sucked. He won many and lost the final. In the party after the tournament, i drank after a long time and for the first time after the beginning of the shoot, had a dreamless drunk sleep.

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