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Home is where the heart is

Home is Where Heart is
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The COVID-19 lockdown was a time of uncertainty for all of us. For many of us, this was the first experience living through a worldwide crisis. There was little to do with the time on our hands. And there is the old saying – An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. From cheery morning messages, in our many WhatsApp groups, it soon became a reminder of how bad the situation was around us.

A lot of friends and family were also falling sick and facing loss that was difficult to handle. Even though I proposed a lot of fun daily activities that would keep them occupied, there was very little response. People were caught up in their own fears.

One thing I noticed was that in that free time, we had all started watching a lot of movies and series. We shared our views on them, and it kept our minds away from the pandemic. It sparked the idea that people would engage with a positive message if it was conveyed through a medium that was accessible to them.
Of course, the restrictions prevented the planning and execution of full-length movies, but we could try making a short film. I went about forming the idea with the help of my friends from the All Ladies League, Cinema Chapter of Tamil Nadu.

The next step was deciding the theme of the movie. A very relatable topic was how weddings were delayed or that people could not attend them due to the pandemic restrictions. We started joking about long-distance weddings over Skype, which were fast becoming a reality. So this was what we landed on.

For Indians, weddings are usually lavish affairs where all our loved ones gather in their finery and bless us. There’s so much noise and lots of good food. But what could be done during the lockdown? The short film which was titled “Home is where the heart is”, covers a group of people excitedly getting ready for a wedding. The women are discussing what to wear, and the men are prepping themselves more than the groom.

The actors are regular people from my friends circle, and about 80% of them have no experience in acting. The scenes were shot in their own homes with the help of their family members. Shots were discussed over Whatsapp, and ideas on how to film the scenes better were shared. Each of them participated enthusiastically in bringing life to the dialogues written by us.

The 5-minute film focusses on how home is where our heart is, with the people we love. Even without our physical presence we can still bless and connect with them. This is an important message that brought all of us together, as we yearned to be closer to our loved ones. We were all separated from them, unable to travel, and stuck in different cities, states, and countries. But geographical distance does not matter when they are all in our hearts and minds.

This project was super special to me, helping me bond better with my sisters in the All Ladies League. We went from exchanging pleasantries to exchanging ideas that truly mattered. I am grateful I got to work on an impactful project that brought joy not only to me but touched the hearts of many people around the world.

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