In 2020, POV asked the About Love filmmakers what's happened since the cameras stopped rolling.
How is your family? Have they seen the film–what did they think? Is your mother still writing?
It’s the time of Monsoons. Strangely my family is all over India at the moment. My brother, his wife Gurbani and I are in Delhi. My parents are in Mumbai in our family home.
Gurbani is pregnant and we are looking forward to a new family member joining us this Winter.
My mother has just finished her book and is working with editors to fine tune it. Hopefully she finds a publisher to put it out in the world.
My family saw the film last year and loved it. My mom cries everytime she watches the film. My dad too is looking forward to her book coming out 🙂
This film was your directorial debut–what prompted you to tell this story, and did the focus of your film change over time?
I think somewhere it came naturally to me to make a film about my family. As one's first film, one commits to a subject closest to them. To me it was home.
I started making the film to understand marriage, I think what I ended up understanding was love, identities and family.
Do you feel that creating this documentary made you closer to your family, or helped you to learn things about them you may not have otherwise?
I think the moment you look at something through a lens, you look more closely. I think the process of filming is a process of being completely present in a given time and space, which itself lends to a better understanding of everything you observe.
I used to see all the members of my family in the roles that were assigned to them by society and by myself. I believe that now, I can see them as not just my family members but as individuals. The biggest achievement for me was to see my mother not just as my mother… but so so so so much more…
Did you experience any internal dilemma in staying quiet or objective during moments of filming? Was it challenging to play the dual role of daughter and director?
It is always a difficult task in a personal film to separate your role as a filmmaker and as a family member. I think the key here is instinct. It might sound idealistic but that's the truth. You have to know which role is key.
Filming my mother's breakdown or my grandfather's death was a very difficult task for me. But when you are holding the camera, instinct tells you to not cut, or keep filming, because somewhere you know that there is a bigger truth you have to serve in that moment.
What are you working on now?
I wish I knew! My head is a place for too many thoughts that haven’t become concrete ideas as yet. Hopefully I will know soon 🙂