Artist, filmmaker and a professional speaker.
I had gone to Coimbatore for a weekend break when I got to meet a few core members of Siruthuli who were gearing up to connect all the water bodies in the city. The water table in the city had gone down and water supply was getting scarce by the day. The work had started to clear all the clogs, raise bunds around the water bodies and ensure smooth flow of water. That's when a need for a film came... a film that had to connect to the masses yet be informative.
We decided to make a documentary that would have a opening like a music video to capture everyone's attention...
The film was scripted quickly and the lyrics were penned down. The film was conceived as though it was God's voice to the people and he is sending his little child Siruthuli to take care of the people and the nature around. The voice asked for a commitment from the people of the city to take care of their little child Siruthuli.
The film became god sent as all the planning, production and more importantly casting the little child as Siruthuli. Then, it was time to roll. We had not reached the intended location, as we spotted the sunrise happening and we some some ladies sweeping the roads creating a fog effect. We quickly jumped out of our vehicles and we let our little child actor to run towards the sunrise. The first shot itself was magical and it continued for the next couple of days and I continued to play with the little one while the team captured the moments.
The film was done soon after with some beautiful music and it turned out to be an instant hit with thefilm being screened all around. The hallmark of it was when it was screened to an entire filled stadium in the presence of APJ Abdul Kalam.
The popularity of the musical start coupled with information was working and this time we decided to extend it further exploring the rich glorious past of the city by representing it with a bit of drama. The shoot though had to be done over a couple of schedules due to weather conditions but it took is deep into the nature to find some of the best locations. Also, another highlight was it rained and the water started coming from the mountains, we traveled along and captured it while it meandered into the ponds and then filled it to everyone's content.
Its been over 15 years but the charm of nature still allures. The best part was to relish the fact that a couple of videos could go around inspiring people to be sensitive and above all own the movement. The Siruthuli movement is still active today and works towards every drop of water to the city and all lives around it.
Originally published June 8, 2020