Once upon a time…. a Haiku

A few days back, when I had just finished the shooting of a project, the children who were with us for a whole month or so acting in it, felt sad that it was all getting over. One little child even had uncontrollable tears pouring from her eyes. It triggered the memories of two seemingly unrelated incidents… 


Once upon a time, when a reputed writer from the Hindi mainstream cinema wanted to get into TV serial production, he had contacted me to develop, co-write and direct a comedy detective serial. Well, the serial did not come through, but some of the ideas that I had worked out found its way into a well-known detective comedy film written by this gentleman writer. There was no acknowledgement. I did not pick up a fight, but had felt cheated. ‘Maybe, I missed it’ was what I had thought then. 


Once upon another time, I had gone to a small village in Kutch region in the Indian state of Gujarat to shoot a small documentary film on a family that made simple metal bells which could be tied around the neck of their cattle. I awed by the simple aesthetics involved and tried to bring out that aspect in the film. 

Later, when a devastating earthquake shattered Gujarat, the entire village was wiped out. A few more moths passed when I got a desperate post card from the head of the family that made the metal bells. Everyone he knew had died in the quake. He was on the look out for a job; he pleaded with me to find him one in Mumbai. I myself was jobless. I never replied to the letter. ‘Maybe, he missed it’, was what I had thought then. 


I would now want to have a rethink about the two incidents and interpret the following… 

The reputed Hindi film writer – Maybe, it was he who had missed it then. 

And as far as the master-craftsman from Gujarat goes – Maybe, I too had completely missed it then. 

It could sound Haiku-ish, but I would now like to consider myself as redeemed. 


PS: Haiku is a Japanese poetic form; having three short lines. It offers no rhyme; it is deliberately incomplete, “painting” its meaning in the reader’s mind.

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  1. Not really. A haiku must have 17 syllables distributed in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 respectively. Still, poignant thoughts.

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