The Story of Twin 'Births'…

Guns & GuitarsMr. Murphy simply loves us. And constantly demands our attention. Whenever there is a deadline looming, he makes sure that we don’t ignore him one way or the other. This time also there was no exception –just as we were rushing against time to finish our film ‘Guns and Guitars’, Murphy’s Law made its presence felt loud and clear… and our editing computer crashed! Thankfully, we were under Apple’s extended warranty. Yet for a few days we could do nothing but to keep ourselves busy in achieving psychological satisfaction by calling up Apple’s customer care time and again, trying to speed up the repair process. Must say, we were successful to an extent in our efforts – the spare parts arrive in less than a week instead of the regular seven days duration and the editing computer was operational again…

The loss of that week was crucial. When one has a deadline to meet, the loss of a week is always crucial –yet, the loss of this week was really crucial. This time we were up against a natural deadline, which can’t be shifted. We were expecting our first child, and the due date of the baby’s arrival was looming large… and to make the situation little more interesting, my wife Pallavi also happens to be the editor of ‘Guns & Guitars’, handling the post production of the film almost single handedly for close to two years…

What is a filmmaker’s life without a dose of drama? After an extended editing session till 2:30 am on the 17th of September, we returned home. Just as I was falling asleep, a SMSwakes me up and makes me return to the studio again- the sound guy has to collect a few audio files urgently. Finally I hit the bed well past 5 am, only to be woken up by Pallavi at around 8 am – time to rush to the hospital! The baby had decided that she is missing out on all the excitement of the edit of film’s climax and decided to pre-pone her arrival!! (On hindsight, it shouldn’t have taken us by surprise – our friend, actor Naved Aslam jokingly once said once- after nine months of listening to the sounds of ‘Guns & Guitars’ in the edit, the first question the baby will come up on its arrival will be ‘who is this Lou Majaw??’)

So by 8:30 am we were at the road, heading to the hospital … unsure of whether to curse our luck for the’ wrong timing’ as we were negotiating through the Mumbai’s slow-moving peak hour office traffic or to thank our stars for the ‘right timing’ as we were spared the nightmare of having to face the possible non- moving traffic of the Ganesh festival’s immersion route, had the baby decided to come the next day instead…

The car stereo was playing Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s one evergreen number- ‘Kahini eti likha’ (Write a tale)… and suddenly Pallavi started speaking – ‘ Bidyut, in case you have to send the film for mastering before I returned to the studio, remember to look at the four shots…’ I used to consider myself mad about movies, but at that moment I couldn’t help myself from bursting out – ‘just shut up…don’t think about the film now!’ …And added, as a afterthought – ‘don’t worry, you can look after those shots yourself when you return to the studio next week…’

At around 4:30 pm that afternoon (after a few people around us breathed a sigh of relief that it was not exactly at 4:20…), our daughter Môu – ‘nectar’, in Assamese – came out of the operation theatre & greeted me with a smile…Yes, with a SMILE, I have photographic evidence to back my claim.

Looking at the youngest citizen of the world at that moment, I promised to myself that I’ll do my best to leave behind a better world to her than the one we welcomed her in – a world where the sounds from the strings of Guitars will be louder than the noises coming out from the barrels of the Guns …

P/S- one day after bringing mother and daughter home, my mom threatened to disown me. She had her reasons – I got Pallavi and Môu back at the studio… I had my compulsions – after a ‘pregnant pause’, we need to complete the film… for which Pallavi needed to revisit her editing table. And Môu insisted on coming along to oversee – guess she doesn’t trust us enough with the film…

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