There are loads of people across the country who are doing extraordinary things with the little resources they have. We come across these stories almost every other day in the form of the ‘Real Heroes’, ‘Amazing Indians’, and so on.
It is one thing to hear about them from someone, and a completely different experience to be with these heroes and hear their stories first-hand. Since I started working a month and half ago, I have been closely associated with some of these iconic stories and frankly speaking it has been an honour to have known these people.
In the very first week of my joining the company, I got to know the story of Prince Tiwari, a guy who teaches homeless street kids in Kandivali in Mumbai. Over the next few days we met him and captured his story on camera. The fact that this guy was 23 - my age - and doing something that I probably never imagined doing struck me. Check out his inspiring story…
I next met Saurabh Nimbkar just before Diwali for the shoot on the Mumbai Local and everything was embargoed until his TV episode with Big B aired last Sunday. Right from the moment I first heard his story (from the pre-recorded July interview at Red FM), it had me hooked.
From losing his mom to cancer to singing in the local trains on his way to work daily to raise funds for cancer patients- Saurabh's story is an inspiration. It is only right that he gets applauded for his selfless efforts. Not to forget, he sings really well and is also of just 23 years of age. He definitely will go a long way!
Saurabh was at the studio the other day and we were talking about a lot of random things. Guess what the big discovery was- he is a huge Potter fan too. Here is his story…
When a 3 year old kid comes to you and with great enthusiasm and excitement asks you to click her photo, another one hugs you and welcomes you to the place, and the whole lot of them is jumping around in absolute ecstasy for no apparent reason (and not because they are going to be on camera); there is an overwhelmingly huge positive vibe that you experience.
The irony of the situation? The innocent kids are all fighting with terminal illnesses- HIV, cancer, etc- but have a much better enthusiasm than probably any of us towards the short life they know they have.
When I was finishing the edit in the studio on Friday, the kids were live on-air in Mumbai. One of the kids gave me a small painted rabbit showpiece saying 'Thank you. Ye aapke liye hai.' I was stunned. The happiness that he had when I accepted it was unbelievable. And I wondered who should be the real one saying 'thank you' for teaching the value of taking life simply and optimistically.
Throughout the shoot and edit, the thought repeating in my mind was 'These kids that I am shooting now, probably won't even be alive long enough to understand that their story is being seen and appreciated by the world'. The thought was disturbing and even as I write this I am overwhelmed with emotion.
Hats off to the efforts of Mansi Shah and Abhishek Tatiya, the young turks who have given up their careers to bring happiness in the lives of these kids in the short time they have. I showed a rough edit of this video to Mansi when she was at the studio on Friday and she couldn't control her tears. Check out their story here.
For all the selfless effort that they put in, these guys deserve a lot more than appreciation. I encourage you to come forward and contribute to their cause if you believe in them.
As for me, this part of my work which entails me to ‘shoot and edit the story in the best way possible’ probably begins with ‘understanding and being a part of the cause’ before anything else. It is surprising that at times ‘work’ can get overwhelmingly inspirational.