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PEOPLE SOFT Rabi Kisku, Jubi Devasia and Imran Ahmed Khan. Photo: Bhagya Prakash k.

PEOPLE SOFT Rabi Kisku, Jubi Devasia and Imran Ahmed Khan. Photo: Bhagya Prakash k.  

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Writer director Rabi Kisku and the cast from Bangalore’s quirky indie movie Software Hardware Kya Yaaron talk about the fun and the hard work that went into the making of the film.

Rabi Kisku always wanted to make films. Despite the four-year detour at IIT Madras studying engineering, the director and writer of Bangalore’s indie film Software Hardware Kya Yaaron was focussed on tinsel town. “After my first film, Silicon Jungle, I was working on my second, Dreamers Boulevard,” Rabi says. “Shruti Hassan was supposed to star in the film. But then she signed Luck — to my bad luck! This was in 2008; recession struck and no one was willing to put money into the project. I tried getting finance till 2009 then I thought rather than be idle I might as well make some movie.”

The 31-year-old says his software engineer friends’ lifestyle intrigued him. “They would not think twice about peeling out Sodexo passes for Rs. 1,000. While if you were giving Rs. 1,000 in hard cash, you would feel the pinch.”

Rabi got the idea for …Kya Yaaron on a train journey to Hyderabad. “There were these real hip guys talking with a posh accent. And suddenly when they met their friends, they lapsed into local lingo. That’s when it struck me that you can take a guy out of his city but you cannot take the city out of the guy.”

…Kya Yaaron tells the story of four friends and roommates — Srinivas from Hyderabad, Narain from Chennai, Nongem from Mizoram and Gireesh from Telangana who work in a software company. Imran Ahmed Khan, who incidentally worked with Nagesh Kukunoor and has also made films, plays Srinivas, who has all the hilarious dakhani lines.

“Srinivas is Rabi’s alter ego,” Imran says with a smile. “If you notice, his hairstyle is like Rabi, he is fond of cooking — also something Rabi does.”

“They were staying with me and yes I cooked for everybody, we were on a shoestring budget!” Rabi exclaims.

In spite of being a Bangalore movie, there is not much of the city in it apart from a passing mention of the traffic. “Don’t forget Srinivas’s comment on the city’s fondness for alcohol,” Imran says with a laugh.

“It is woven in subtly,” says Rabi. “The very fact that people from all corners of the country can come and call Bangalore home, that a software office is a mini India — all that contributes to the unique dynamic of the city. I purposely did not include subtitles even though a host of languages are used in the film. The fact that different languages are used in context helps you figure out the meaning even though you don’t understand the language.”

Juby Devasia, who transforms from ugly duckling to beautiful swan (don’t we all love fairytales?) as Merlin in the movie, convinced Rabi that she was a dead ringer for the role. The Mumbai-based Juby (she is writing a film with her roommate) says: “I insisted he take my audition. Lola Kutty is my favourite character and I perfected that slightly goofy look,” Juby says rolling her eyes to prove her point.

Rabi says the tone was purposefully kept light. “I was not aiming for the festival circuit or anything like that. I wanted to make a clean, entertaining film.” Which explains the total lack of swear words in the film! “ …Kya Yaaron is a masala independent film,” Imran says, adding that Rabi’s engineering background has stood him in good stead as he has designed equipment, thus saving money. “He designed his dolly and track and also a Jimmy Jib crane, which is huge and cumbersome. The one Rabi designed however, can be dismantled and taken anywhere.”

Sanjeev Nair, who plays cool dude Narain in the film said he was not sure the audition went well. “I know Bharat who was working on the visual effects apart many other things. He told me about the film. I auditioned for it but I was very different from Rabi’s original idea of Narain.”

Commenting that Rabi gave the actors a free hand in interpreting their characters, Sanjeev said, “I asked him if I could drop the accent. And he said go ahead. I think the greatest thrill was when people came up to me and said they thought I was Tamilian!” The chemistry between Narain and Gireesh is brilliant in the film and apparently extended into real life too. “We hit it off from the word go,” Sanjeev says. “We are both architects and I think we just found we had a lot in common.”

Sound of music

For a small movie with a 20 lakh budget, …Kya Yaaron has six songs. “The person who gave music for my first film was supposed to score for …Kya Yaaron,” Rabi said. “However when he saw the first cut of the film, he said he couldn’t score for the film. I was at a dead end. I then went to the independent music website, reverbnation and trolled through over 500 bands to zero in on these bands and songs. Lucky Ali gave the title song while Bangalore band Sur.Rheal gave the background score. “They have an IT background which I thought was perfect and having worked with a symphonic band had a good arrangement.”

Ask Rabi what next and pat comes the reply, “I will keep on writing.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 9:09:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/bangalore-bytes/article3658285.ece

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