“Cut it! Cut!” The director of this ad film screamed, rushing towards the model. This was the sixth interruption of the hour and Naman was certain that this project would drag on for two more days. So, there was a chance that he would have to miss out on the heritage collaboration assignment, if his portfolio was selected.
As the director started berating the make-up artist, adding a few rebukes to the light-men as well; Naman’s boss, the DOP joined the fray. By the clench of his jaw, Naman knew that he was about to lose his patience with the incompetent director who kept changing his directives, confusing the crew and creating a disaster.
Soon, the AD signalled for lunch break and the relieved crew members fled the scene of the shoot. DSLR slung across his shoulder and burrito in hand, Naman toured the theme park. Though officially open, this garden-cum-adventure park hadn’t quite seen the number of footfalls as it had expected. Hence, the need for a showstopper to feature in this ad shoot.
As he neared the walkway that connected the adventure park to the large garden beyond, Naman heard the instrumental version of an old classic playing from the park’s sound system. Jets of fountain water arched above the marbled path like a canopy. It looked beautiful, especially accompanied by the soft strings of the famous melody.
It was then that he saw her.
Bare-feet, open-haired, she swayed to the rhythm of music. He wasn’t a connoisseur of dance, but even he could see that she had correct posture and perfect form, belied by graceful movements and elegant sublimity. She switched between Indian classical, western and ballet styles effortlessly; unperturbed by the public setting. To her the ground was the stage and the air her audience; the water her curtains and the sun, all the lighting that she needed. She covered his vision, drowning out everything else.
An euphoric escape from the world.
Watching her dance to her heart’s content, Naman felt as though he’d transitioned into another world. Just some metres away, they struggled to project joy in being here; here, she expressed it without a word.
The quest to achieve artificial perfection behind the screens, lauded as it transformed into entertainment. But the raw authenticity, a symphony of simplicity and reality, overlooked or discarded.
Before he went back to work as the assistant videographer, he took a single picture of her. Not for commercial purpose, just as a beautiful memory; a reminder of passion and purity. In that shot, she’d posed as though she could touch the sky.
Maybe she could.
© 2020, Cozy Quiet Corner.