ETCHING of PAI

KOCHI: Memories cannot be erased, particularly when they are of a heinous and painful nature.  When a person undergoes a traumatic experience during student life, it is likely that
ETCHING of PAI

KOCHI: Memories cannot be erased, particularly when they are of a heinous and painful nature.

 When a person undergoes a traumatic experience during student life, it is likely that it remains etched in his/ her mind for a life time.

 The pertinent and contemporary theme of ‘branding’ on the body of students, is the plot of the 13-minute-28-second long film directed by Novin Vasudev.

 The film adopts a real life incident where a student was branded with the name of a political party in November 2000 at a college in Thiruvananthapuram.

 The director, a student at the same college then, received a jolt hearing about the incident.

 More than a decade since it occurred he converted the memory into a short film.

 In the film, he has chosen the symbol of the communist party, the hammer and sickle, as tattooed on the body.

 “The film is an expression of the intellectual or emotional regression inside me.

 The incident deeply disturbed me.

 That is how the film was born,” Novin says.

 Novin, an ardent follower of communist ideology, was an active member of SFI in college.

 “I am still a staunch supporter of the communist ideology but am completely against violence in politics.

 So during college days itself, I longed to tackle the theme of violence in campuses, something politics has not been able to do,” he says.

 The film opens with a tattoo artist complaining at the police station regarding the missing of a girl who came to his studio to emblazon an image.

 Except this girl, every other client has returned to the studio rebuking on the artist.

 As this girl has not returned, he assumes she might be missing.

 The studio can literally be called ‘a place where time stands still’.

 It wears a deserted ambiance, the damaged clock and art works hanged on the wall stand testimony to it.

 Thumbing through the design file, she chooses hammer and sickle and sits before the artist to get it tattooed on her hip.

 The scene shifts to the police station and a man leaves the place.

 The police officer learns from his subordinate that he often arrives there with the complaint for he bears the trauma of ‘branding’ that he was subjected to.

 “His intention is to make others suffer the same pain he underwent.

 For that he uses tattooing as a tool that turns violence into art.

 In one way, he is becoming a carrier of the ideology by tattooing the hammer and sickle," Novin says.

 It was an onerous task for the director to find an artist to display the symbol on the hip.

 Finally he found Preethi Kamala, a model, who was ready to take up the role.

 The cast includes actor Mahesh, Jain, Padmendra Prasad, Sandra and Jayesh.

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