Documentary Jasvinder Sidhu has come up with a documentary on luge champion Shiva Keshvan

At a time when we are celebrating the success of our Olympians, let’s spare a thought for Shiva Keshvan as well. The luge champion has not only represented India four times in the Winter Olympics but also broke the Asian record at Asia Cup in Nagano last year. Now, senior sports journalist Jasvinder Sidhu has come up with a 25-minute documentary An Unsung Shiva From Himalayas on Shiva. It brings out how with no infrastructure for the sport in the country, Shiva practises on the roads of Manali, sometimes sliding past speeding vehicles, by making alterations in his gear. Crisp and cutting edge, the documentary covers the struggle and rise of Shiva without being melodramatic about it.

Born to an Indian father and Italian mother, Shiva first represented India in the 1998 Winter Olympics at the age of 16. He got offers to represent Italy but he refused because he considers himself an Indian, Shiva tells Sidhu.

“Last year when he broke the record, it set me thinking. I knew about him already but not so thoroughly. After two hours of search and reading about him, he was a film script for me. From struggle, rebellion, fighting with system, failure, love and of course success, there was everything in his story,” says Sidhu.

Then four month back he met Shiva at a gathering at British High Commission. “I told him he was in my mind for a short film. He said he was in. After four weeks, we spent a day together at his home in Manali. Then, I walked on foot in the valley to find locations for interview and other shoots. During shooting, most challenging part was to capture scenic beauty, his sports and his story together. I think my team has done it wonderfully.”

Sidhu has been writing on sports for the last 14 years. “I always wanted to do something like this but my ‘middleclass’ mentality never allowed me to convert ideas into realty. Now, suddenly I got chance and time together.”

Shiva says it was wonderful experience. "I was wondering how fast was Jasvinder finishing his shooting. When he landed in Manali, he had all his plans on paper.

“I find a good professional in him as he is full of ideas. Like when he introduces me in film, for such shot you need a pro-cam (miniature camera) but he asked me to clinch camera in between my legs. I thought that was a funny idea. But when we saw that shot on screen, that was best shot of the day.”

The Asian success has brought him some sponsors and now Shiva is raring to go for that Olympic medal.

a.k