A decade of Bhavishya: Docs’ story on celluloid

Doctors Nikhil Kaushik, Raghuram, Vyjayanthi share their memories on the film ‘Bhavishya’ that turned a decade recently

April 16, 2016 03:51 pm | Updated 03:51 pm IST - Hyderabad:

Dr Raghuram, Dr Nikhil Kaushik and Dr Vyjayanthi Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Dr Raghuram, Dr Nikhil Kaushik and Dr Vyjayanthi Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Dr Nikhil Kaushik, the consultant ophthalmologist from the UK, who turned filmmaker with Bhavishya , a decade ago, has a photographic memory of the incidents that inspired him to make the film.

He sits back leisurely at Hotel Marriott, sporting a nostalgic smile, remembers being in consistent touch with doctor-couple Vyjayanthi and Raghuram and their decision to return to India, after spending 12 years and holding top positions in the UK. Their move was significantly influenced by the fact that Dr Raghuram’s mother (Ushalakshmi) was suffering from breast cancer. This incident ignited the filmmaker in Nikhil, who worked over-time during weekends, setting aside 100000 pounds for the film, not expecting commercial returns.

The medico wanted to explore the emotional conflict and practicalities one encounters on the decision to go to an alien country and then making a comeback too.

Limited audience

“The film was particularly targeted towards the doctor community. There are quite a number of medical references that the doctors might enjoy spotting, but I wasn’t quite indulgent in inserting them. I’d shot the film in UK, Dubai and certain portions at Haridwar too. The technical know-how, making the film light-hearted yet focussed were challenging aspects in the process,” the medico remarks on a fulfilling journey. About 110 minutes long, Bhavishya featured a lot of amateur, experienced actors, one of them being Saeed Jaffrey besides camera-shy doctors (his anaesthetist, gynaecologist friends). Nikhil had hired staff from multiple production houses to assist him during the making.

The first reaction

How did the couple react to the film idea initially? “I wish I had cameras placed when I told them this,” Nikhil reacts, as Dr. Vyjayanthi (present HOD-KIMS Fertility Centre), along with her younger kid, joins our conversation. Her better half Dr. Raghuram (CEO and Director of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation) too accompanies them, but promises to join us in due course. “We felt really humbled that somebody could make a film on our lives.

When we saw the film, it helped draw parallels, made people be more aware of the challenges that exist when we go abroad,” Dr. Vyjayanthi reacts.

The doctor had only borrowed the seed idea from their tale and was liberal enough in letting his creative juices flow, to form a structured narrative. “As the decision wasn’t an easy one, I was a witness to them pondering over possibilities. There was a phase when I was just awaiting their confirmation,” Dr Nikhil adds.

Meanwhile, Dr. Raghuram gets back and recollects one nearly cinematic incident that happened after his return to India.

“I literally burnt my UK doctor-certification papers. I realised I would do something only if I am pushed against the wall.

I still can apply for it again and earn it back. I and Vyjayanthi made a list of advantages and disadvantages on being in the UK. We hardly found any plusses there.

There was no dilly-dallying at all,” says Dr. Raghuram.

Better humans

The couple assuredly says they’ve become better humans ever since their return.They found a social purpose to life and every reason to contribute something back to society, especially in the field of breast cancer. “It took time for us to switch back to the realities in an Indian scenario. The key to adapting to this was arriving in batches, my kids, Raghuram and myself, though it was emotionally tough,” Dr. Vyjayanthi says. Whatever they’ve established here and accomplished great success is all thanks to the principles they borrowed from the UK.Nikhil is witness to the conversation that’s unfolding and his face shows he’s every bit overwhelmed listening to their tale. This lets him reveal his plans to write a book on the same. “I doubt if my writing skills would be strong enough. But, yes, the book is on the cards,” he says and the couple’s equally surprised.

He sometimes re-visits his film, only to wish if there was better finesse in the production. The title Bhavishya to the result makes more sense now as the film completes a decade, he says, “The film is about future, the hope and the changes that may happen. The film’s future is thus intact.”

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