My friend Ravi Shankar has been talking about making an animated movie since the time I first met him in 2012. He is someone who is passionate about telling a story (this story in particular) and is genuinely moved by the impact it will have on people when the story is listened to, seen and experienced).
Its a story that celebrates integrity. I had heard the story when I was a kid. And several times later as well. Here is the story in short:
Once upon a time in a small village in Karnataka, there lived a herd of cows. Each day in the morning they would unwillingly leave behind their little calves and go to the hill where they will graze on fresh grass. In the evening they will come back, care-for and feed their little ones.
One day when they are in the hills, a tiger called “Arbhuta” comes and attacks. The tiger had grown weak and had been unsuccessful in hunting for food and had therefore been very hungry. It catches hold of one cow in particular called “Punyakoti”.
Just before Arbhuta bites into the flesh of Punyakoti, he hears the cow saying – “Please let me go for now. I have a little calf waiting for me back home. It will be very hungry. Let me go back and feed the little one. And then I will come back.” The tiger is taken aback by this strange request. And for some reason, it makes up its mind to let go of Punyakoti. It then waits for her to come back.
And sure enough later that night, Punyakoti comes back and says – “Here I am, as promised. You can eat me now!” The tiger is super-surprised by this. It lets the cow go for good and disappears into the woods.
Punkyakoti (the movie) dives into unanswered questions like – “why did the tiger let go of the cow, instead of eating it?”, “why did the cow come back, knowing fully well that it would be killed?” and “why did the tiger let go of the cow again?”. The story aims to inspire you into thinking – can you and I as human beings give our word and put our everything (including our life) to honouring it? And what does it mean for us to honour our word? Can it move the world and make the impossible – possible?
Like I said, its a story that celebrates Integrity. Its a story that celebrates truth, kindness and majesty.
Its also story of Ravi Shankar dreaming of making a animation movie and transcending all his personal barriers to actually making it.
Its a story that inspired Ilayaraja to work with young, not-so-experienced film makers. Simply because the story is powerful and worth telling.
Its a story of 7 people (Girish, Anwar, Manoj, Baiju, Rakesh, Sindu and Ravi Shankar) coming together to compose an experience for an international audience based on a story thats authentically Indian. Its also a story of how these seven people brought even more people into the making of this movie.
Its a story of 100+ backers who lent their moral and financial support to make this dream come true.
Its a story where human-possibilities win against all odds!
Support it please. The effort is really worth supporting.