BENGALURU: In the year 2005 in her role as a psychologist, Sujatha Balakrishnan came across an adolescent girl who was facing blurred vision, getting dreams of drowning and would wake up screaming and sweating in the middle of the night. As a swimmer, the young girl was rebelling against her parents who were pushing her towards pursuing mainstream courses like engineering and medicine. Peer pressure and a fallout with her close friend made this a case that Balakrishnan remembers vividly even to this day. In the last two months, Balakrishnan, the founder of Theatre for Change, has been working on a short film, I Am Enough, based on this incident.
“It’s dramatised for the screen, but there’s a strong message we are trying to convey. We’re living in an era of helicopter parenting where children’s self worth is defined by their academic grades,” she says. Balakrishnan, who has written the s t o r y a n d screenplay, has shot the 15-oddminute long film in association with Being Productions . Directed by theatre person Pooja Pandey Tripathi, the camera and editing is by Usha Rao. “It reflects the negative effects of comparison in children.
With a pinch of suspense, this film is certain to send out a strong message to parents in providing the space for holistic development. We are reaching out to parents to initiate a dialogue on this burning Indian education mania,” she says. The two friends are played by Satviki Tripathi as Sia, and Stuthi Rao as Shreya. Through them, Balakrishnan wants the film to highlight that there are many avenues that are respected, and that needs to be emphasised.
She is also contemplating whether to go in for a public release or send it to film festivals. Interestingly, Balakrishnan herself took to becoming a psychologist when she was having trouble with her teenage daughter’s behavioural issues. “It was a turning point in my life, and I plan to make a film on the issues my daughter and I faced. That’s for another time,” she says.