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Updated: September 5, 2012 20:54 IST

Pushing the boundaries

Hari Shanker R.
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Rahul Nair. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu
Rahul Nair. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rahul Nair juggles work, films and entrepreneurship with ease

Rahul Nair looks every bit like any other 20-something IT professional. A business analyst working with a reputed software company in the city, he leads a hectic life. However, unlike most of his peers, Rahul is not known only by his job designation. The young professional is going places, quite literally, with his maiden directorial venture – ‘The Human Boundaries’, a documentary about the state of 151 refugees from Pakistan who are temporarily located in New Delhi. The documentary has obtained wide critical acclaim and international attention with its recent marathon screenings in 12 cities across the United States.

The film is the first of its kind to portray the state of Pakistani refugees in India. “Even though a few works have documented the plight of these refugees, most of them are biased. We have tried to narrate their story through an independent perspective,” says Rahul. Apart from editing which was done by a professional, all the other work, including cinematography and narration, were done by Rahul and his friends who are also IT professionals. These young filmmakers had to work on a deadline of one month, since the refugees were at the risk of being deported at any point in time. “Finding time from our day jobs, we burned the midnight oil and finished the work on time,” he reminisces.

The film was first screened at Delhi University. “Soon word started spreading about the film through social media and it went viral. On repeated requests, we screened the movie across the country,” he adds. He says that the screenings in America were a huge eye opener. “I had the opportunity to interact with senate officers who report directly to the Senators. They said that they would take up the issue at the right time,” he says. Screenings across Europe are also in the pipeline.

Support for entrepreneurs

Apart from filmmaking, entrepreneurship is another thing that makes Rahul tick. Selected as one among the 400 members of ‘Tata Jagriti Yatra 2010’ – an 8,000 km train journey which aims at fostering entrepreneurship, he mentors start-up business plans. “Entrepreneurship is all about following your heart. It’s a manifestation of one’s creativity. Kerala badly needs a strong wave of entrepreneurship to fuel its development projects,” he opines.

Rahul is also going the entrepreneurial way with ‘First Print Productions’ – the production house he runs along with his friends, which has produced his documentary. “The biggest compliment I had ever received was when a few college students came and thanked me after watching my documentary. They said that I had opened a new path in their minds,” he remembers. Rahul also heads an NGO ‘Save My Ten Foundation’ which works in the fields of creative skills development, education and environment protection.

Does Rahul plan to widen his canvas? “I currently have offers to direct a few documentaries. But I’m trying to do something different as my next venture,” he answers. Rahul is currently working on the script of a full-length Malayalam movie.

How does this professional manage to juggle work, films and entrepreneurship at the same time? “I owe it all to my guruji, Sri Sri Ravishankar,” admits Rahul. It seems Rahul’s efforts are finally bearing fruit. The refugees in Delhi have received a visa extension of six months. “Nothing brings more joy than watching my humble steps leading to a giant leap for an underprivileged few,” he signs off.

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