I honestly still don’t entirely know. I mean that. I sort of have an idea of what I’m supposed to be doing here so let’s start there. I’m here on a Student Visa attending St. Xavier’s College in Bombay while simultaneously assisting Q with his film. We are currently in pre production. Back in January, on a cold, actually f*%&ing freezing night in Utah at Sundance I went to go see the premiere of Brahnam Naman which was described as an Indian comedy. Whatever the hell that means. An Indian comedy that’s what it means! So I went and I admit I laughed my ass off.
The three protagonists were set out to lose their virginities and the process of that happening was pitifully funny from resorting to intercourse with a fridge, masturbation with the help of a ceiling fan, yada yada yada the list continues. The bottom line was these desperate pervs needed to get laid before they seriously hurt themselves or worse.
After the film, what do you know? Only at Sundance! The director known as Q and the three main characters came to the stage from the audience and did a q & a. How special right? And it really actually was. These guys were inquisitive, talented, smart, intellectual, funny, and deeply inspiring considering just hours before I was subjected to watch as one of them straight up molested a refrigerator. Ahh the magic of cinema.
The director talked a lot. The movie was highly sexual and the audience wanted to know why. Not that they didn’t enjoy it I think, but more of why so much of it. I mean, from my perspective, the sex was overkill. But it wasn’t something that made me leave the theatre or that got in the way of the storyline. Could there have been less sex and still have been a great movie? Yeah. But why take out the sex if it doesn’t affect the movie one way or the other? Keep it in if it doesn’t do damage. And besides it’s Q’s creative process and that must hold meaning, I’m sure it wasn’t just senseless sex…at least I think.
So Q is up there on stage, he’s wearing his sunglasses at night in a dark movie theatre, (I guess the stage lights were too bright or his eyelids too heavy). He had a mixed accent of British and Indian which just sounds great to me. Sophisticated and exotic I would call it. He’s up there answering all the questions and maintaining his cool and then they wrap and everyone files out of the theatre. I return back to our airbnb and rave about this movie to my roomies that were still up. Some of them had seen it and agreed that it was funny as hell.
So then I get back to the bay area and I can’t seem to get that opening image out of my mind. The guy with the fridge. Like really dude a fridge? As I’m walking around thinking of this, and maybe its potential, (kidding of course ha..ha) I stumble across this Global study placement through UC Berkeley.
I’ve traveled abroad every summer for the past three years and knew I was going somewhere just didn’t think it’d be India. Sure enough I’m in India writing this. I reached out to the study abroad office and they educated me on this program in Bombay that they send students to who are interested in working with NGO’s, charities, things like that. I talked with them about coming here to film a movie in Bollywood. They shook their heads and said no way. Impossible. I knew right then and there I was going to Bollywood. It never fails, when the term ‘impossible’ is put in front of me, I without fail always get rid of the ‘im’.
The ‘im’ within a couple months was gone. I got a random email from a program director with the UC Berkeley office telling me that she is really happy to tell me how she knows someone who knows this well known director named Q who is filming his latest project this summer and wants to interview with me. Insert jaw drop here, ok! I mean c’mon what are the odds? Saw the film at Sundance. Liked Q’s vibe. Would’ve loved to work with him.
Couldn’t get the sequence out of my mind. Start making tentative plans to head to India but still on the fence. Then boom: Q out of nowhere somehow someway wants to interview ME. What the hell? So we Skype. Hit it off. He invites me to Bollywood to cast and collaborate with him and his team on his newest film…and that’s just about how it all happened. Check out the video of our house in Goa. Extraordinary!
So, we got to Bombay and stayed there, got settled for three days before trekking out to Goa. It’s an amazingly beautiful beach town with gorgeous Arabian Sea beaches and a town that, although, quite different from what Sebastian and I are used to, absolutely fell in love with.
We had a blast! The people are friendly and just straight up fantastic. They’re nice. They’ll help you in any way they can. They strike up conversations with you and are curious where you’re from. There’s coconut trees everywhere. It’s truly paradise.
Reason we took the hour long flight to Goa was to meet and stay with Q and the team. We showed up to the airport in Goa to meet a man holding a sign with my name on it…C’mon! LOL. Is this a dream or what? Humbled of course. He drove us to the house Q arranged for us which coincidentally is in his neighborhood. It’s absolutely breathtaking and a much needed breather from the chaos that is Bombay.
Today we took a scooter, that’s right a scooter in MONSOON weather, to Anjuna Beach which is stunning. There’s a track by the amazingly dynamic duo Above & Beyond Above & Beyond – Anjunabeach (Original Mix) – YouTube. Every year Anjuna sees thousands of trance fans flock to their beach to party party party! Yes, my friends, I have reached paradise.
Tomorrow actually will be the first day that we’ll be doing some filming and I am incredibly excited. I’ll be doing some set design, and capturing BTS footage so be on the lookout for that! Stoked and loving India!