Sunday, October 08, 2006

Anurag Kashyap, Catcher in the Rye

How does it feel to be a filmmaker who has written and directed 3 full-length feature films in seven years and not one has seen a public outing?

And yet it has happened to a filmmaker, a proven scriptwriter of immense talent. His name is Anurag Kashyap--one of the hands that shaped a groundbreaking gangster film years ago called Satya (directed by Ram Gopal Varma).

Kashyap's story is very much like a film's story itself, the struggles and the pain he has gone through in all these years makes a compelling case of creative honesty vs the powers that be.

In this autobiographical piece in Tehelka, he shares his angst and experiences, and even lets us peep into his childhood and how he suffered sexual abuse.

"I grew up in Benares, part of a larger community of relatives and neighbours. My father was an officer in the state electricity board; my mother was a housewife. We often ate at a cousin and neighbour’s home. I was five when an elder cousin and a neighbour began to abuse me sexually. It was more than molestation; it violated everything. I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t speak of it. I was always a very detached child. I went into a deeper shell; my behaviour became erratic. When I was eight, my father sent me to Scindia School in Gwalior. It was more than he could afford and I will always be grateful for that. But Scindia was hell for me. The sexual abuse continued there for years. I hated myself. I couldn’t understand why it was happening to me. I was often picked out, beaten, then taken to the toilets. To save myself from the beatings, I’d give in to the abuse. Once I saw a senior abuse another junior. I spoke up about it. The repercussion was terrible. When I was in Class vii, I felt suicidal. That’s when I began to write."

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