Posted by: Ranjith Sankar | November 16, 2012

Arjunan Saakshi and Kochi Metro Rail

***(Reproduced from my column in http://www.nowrunning.com)

I remember one night when I called Prithvi and said “Man, we should shoot Arjunan Saakshi immediately,Kochi Metro Rail may become a reality very soon and we may have to change the script”.It was mid 2010 then! Now almost 3 years later,nothing much has happened ,is it?Only news,allegations,controversies …

I remember I was in my final year engineering in Kothamangalam and I had to present a seminar.The subject I chose was “Road Development in Kerala”.While doing some R&D for the same, I chanced upon a report in Hindu.It was a proposed tram project connecting Alwaye and Kochi to be inaugurated in 2000.I was excited as I used to travel to Kochi many weekends from Kothamangalam.I felt this is going to be a project which is going to save atleast one hour of millions of people’s lives for 100 years maybe!

I was very excited talking about that tram project during my seminar. I felt it was going to be history!

Life got busier after I took up a job after my engineering.Earning for first time,new friends,new place..life was changing.I was also writing couple of soaps for Asianet,Surya etc then.Struggle to make movies happening parallelly..

I got a call from one of the GCDA officials one day.He liked my writing for the serial “Nizhalukal “and had called to Congratulate.We got talking and I suddenly remembered the tram project.I was driving a Hero Honda Splendor those days and it was either scorching heat or bad rains, for me to travel!Tram would have been a sweet and cheap alternative.He said hes not aware of the project and he will get back on the status.He called me next day and said that the project got extended and will become a reality in 2002.It was 2000 beginning then.

Nothing happened in 2002.More than a decade has passed from then on.Nothing has happened.People don’t even talk about it I guess.Now it’s the Metro rail time for all of us.Few years back it was express highway etc etc,isn’t it?

I never thought about making a movie after Passenger.And that’s a very sincere statement.I was too torn out in those 6 years trying to make Passenger even to think about another movie.I felt I won’t have the fire,vigour or energy left to make another movie.I had told my wife that once I make this movie, we will migrate to US or UK,which will give us money to clear the debts this film may make.We were prepared for it.

Things changed drastically from there.Sreenivasan arranged me another producer for Passenger.It was a huge success once released .There were enormous offers to make another movie.Most importantly, I did not have to migrate since there was no debt remaining to be paid…

Then I started thinking about making another movie!

I happened to visit Dubai during one of those days.When I visited, some 6 months back the metro was under construction.6 months later I got to travel in it!!That journey for 30 minutes in Dubai Metro gave shape to Arjunan Saakshi.

Arjunan Saakshi didn’t do well at boxoffice.It was never discussed for the subject I tried to portray.Whatever shortcoming and mistakes it had,Arjunan Saakshi is going to remain the closest movie to my heart!Its the most personal film that I will ever make at various levels.

And yeah, most importantly, hope I get to travel in Kochi metro rail at least in 2020!

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Responses

  1. Very Well Said.. It is a pity that we are a team of literate and educated people(sometimes that is also a curse) talking about endless opportunities and projects but utterly fails in execution. Politics,beurocracy all come in play and in the end things doesn’t happen at all.. Not only with this Metro rail Project, see others like Fly Overs at Vytilla,Edappaly and palarivattom.There has been discussions for many years but nothing has happened except for increase in vehicles and this increase in traffic jams.. We should all think of the waste of time and fuel that is being caused due to these traffic jams and as these are not quantified nobody ever knows about the loss that it causes in the society….

  2. Writing this comment from the fashion city of the world, Paris. I’ve been exploring this place without knowing a single word of their language yet I won easily in conquering each nook and corner I liked to. There was only one reason, and that’s the metro here. Whether its montmatre, eiffel, opera, notre-dame, disney land wherever I liked to go there was a metro station utmost within 100-200 metres away. And another blessing is their android application which will get you details on the metro you need to pick from where you are standing !!! Metro is in one word, the most useful thing which is going to be in Kerala if executed well.

    Even if we look at the plan of the current routes and stations, lot of places with the need are not there. Where is infopark? wheres fort kochi? Afterall, where’s airport !!! Why can’t we make a line which connects the attractions of our place.

    And dear sir, I’ve been a close follower of you, being an aspiring film maker and stuck (or is it just feeling stuck?) in the corridors of IT (the modern Indian daily bread). I always wondered how you got that one courage to get out of the comfort zone of the rather high paid job to a riskier passion !!! The answer is there in this blog, the fire !!! The fire to change, the fire to conceive ideas !!! The most important thing film makers like you can do to our society is make movies which can enlighten common men and at least make a spark in that 1% (or less) of those politicians and their co-workers to do “something” for the society who pays for them !!!

    When I saw Arjunan Sakshi from the cinemas, yes as a common man who just goes to cinemas to get entertained I felt not much satisfied. But hearing these unending controversies about kochi metro, I now feel the movie was quiet futuristic from inside !!!

    You should at least do if possible to pressurize our channels to air it in the coming few days, if people are not listening then we should yell right in their ears !!! We have the ideas, we have the money, we have everything !!! Then why the hell are we not executing?????

    And once again, well written Sir !!!


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