Heroes can be anywhere and all you need is an eye to see it like Ashish Kumar did. Director Ashish Kumar was moved by the indomitable spirit of Lakshman, a handicapped person living in meager circumstances. Lakshman is one of those disabled people who could have chosen to beg outside a temple but he didn’t. If you could see deep within him, beyond this frail and plain body lays a heart of pure gold.
Ashish Kumar, actor and director speaks to Half Samosa on his short film LOL – Life of Lakshman and its multiple nominations.
Half Samosa: Life of Lakshman is a wonderful venture. Tell us more about Lakshman.
Ashish: Laxman can neither walk nor talk properly. He can’t do anything properly actually. Instead of begging he not only chooses to but also loves to work and want to nurture his family like a normal man. He has dreams for his kids. He is an inspiration to the other handicapped people we see in our country. While some decide to beg for a living and others live in dependency, Laxman is one brave man who has shown that the greatest disability is in our minds. If one has will, one can live a life of respect out of hard work.
Half Samosa: LOL – Life of Lakshman has been received quite well and it has been nominated in four film festivals.
Ashish: LOL is a 5 minute-long short film and it really gives me a lot of pleasure and pride that it has been so well appraised. It has been nominated in 2015 at the Pink City International Film Festival in September and the We Care Film Fest at Delhi. In 2016 it has been selected in the well known Ozark Film Festival and in IOFF (International Open Film Festival).
Half Samosa: How did you get the idea to shoot for LOL?
Ashish: In 2014 I had participated in YES Foundation 101 hour film competition.It was then I got the idea to direct LOL Life of Laxman. It was received quite well and was screened in various international film festivals.
Half Samosa: Ashish, we would like to know about you. You have been acting as well as directing in the small screen for some time.
Ashish: I am from Chirimiri which is a small town in Chattishgarh and like just another person completed my graduation and then my MBA and started to work in Delhi in the private sector. However during my job, I kept touch with theater. I did plays in Delhi. After some time, I deiced to change my career so I came to Mumbai and started to work as Assistant Director in TV serials.
Simultaneously I gave audition and worked in many of the TV series like Savdhan india, Crime Patrol, Police files, Adalat and many more. I have also worked as an actor in many short films. Presently I am involved in 2 Indie films which are yet to be released.
Half Samosa: What more films are in the making?
Ashish: Presently I m working on my feature documentary film Beauty Of Life, which is in post production final stage. This is based on acid attack survivors which is an important social issue today. It is about those survivors who have decided to marry and settle down after the attack. The film talks on how they coped, how they met with partners and got married. It will show what the perception of society is towards them. It aims to give light to their life now and if and what the government is doing for them, how the families are reacting. It will also show how NGOs have come forward to make their lives better.
Half Samosa: That is wonderful effort, we really appreciate your effort towards them. Are you making commercial films as well?
Ashish: I like the kind of films that are based on realty. So I am focussing on films based on social issues by which I can tell something to the audience.
Half Samosa: We have one last question for you – what makes you keep going and inspiring you in as this kind of work?
Ashish: I am getting motivation from the people I am shooting and making movies on. For me they are real motivator. I am learning a lot from them. I am especially learning about true meaning of life and now people like Lakshman are ideal for me. I am making this kind of cinema because when I work for them I feel good. I want people to know them and their ability through these movies and feel the inspiration as I do.
Half Samosa: Thank you so much for this wonderful talk! Not many people are there who have such a beautiful vision like you do. We wish that you succeed keep on bringing these unpolished diamonds of our society to light and show them to the world in all their glory.
Watch Life Of Laxman LOL
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