Monday, 24 August 2015

Anjum Sir Launches the Book- #IAm16ICanRape

IAm16 ICanRape is launched by my Mentor, my Guru, Anjum Rajabali sir smile emoticon
On 14th September, 2013, I went to Anjum Sir's place with a one page synopsis, I had tentatively called it, Juvenile Justice India. It was something that looked like a story or a debate. I told him I have been mulling over this idea that questions JJ system. While I spoke with him, I trembled with anger. He sat across me like the wise father figure as I spoke.
Then he said,
"I am happy to see that you are this angry. The anger is good. You need to channel it in right direction. Rape is a complex subject. As you will start peeling the nature of this crime, you will realize that rape is a final event of a social system that has a much deep seated roots of gender discrimination. Don't fix your story or idea in stone. Don't approach the story with "Kill the Rapist" angle. It is very easy and minimalist to say that. Let yourself understand the subject, and you might be surprised to see your own stand might change."
When my story changed in its nature from-
Kill Aarush Kashyap to
Save Aarush Kashyap, "I know I could not save Subhangi from Aarush, but I also know I could not save Aarush from Aarush." ~ Rudransh (FromIAm16 ICanRape) - I knew that what my mentor meant when he gave me the advice to have trust in the intuitive nature of organic writing.
Later when I wrote 15 page treatment of the work, I again asked Anjum Sir's opinion, He said, "You have improved in your craft, but you are still not letting your characters create your story. You are fixed with plot points."
Again, as a naive writer, I didn't understand meaning of his words. But I also knew that I need to keep them in my mind because, by this time I had realized that I understand deeper meaning of his teaching only in time.
Then, when I started writing the book and reading a wide range of literature on Rape, books like
Against Her Will by Susan Brownmiller.
Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender by A. Nicholas Groth
A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion by Randy Thornhill
Lucky: A Memoir by Alice Sebold
I Am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility
No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court
And many other titles- I realized what he meant.
One day I called him and said, "Sir, today I understand what you meant when you said the topic of Rape will open a Pandora's box in my mind."
When he opened this book for me and blessed me with his presence for the event, I was choked with emotion. I knew he has been there for me on this long journey as a writer. He was there all these years like a light house.
And what makes him even more special as a person and a Guide is the fact that I am not the only student by whose side he stands like a father figure. He has been there for a whole generation of writers.
They say, give to this world, what you want to get from it. I am sure, Anjum Sir himself walked a lonely road as a writer because when he came in the industry, the way screenplay writers were treated was very different than the way they are treated today. Thanks to the efforts he put to Empower Writers for 20 years. But his presence made the road so much more easier for all of us.
Thank you my Teacher. I am proud of myself that I learnt the Art of Dramatic Writing under your thumb

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