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Screenplay Writing Contest Winners | 360 @ Campus

01st November 2019

Winners from a literary arts event held at Wilson College.

To Veil or Not To Veil by Munira Ozarwala

 

(PRESENT DAY)

 

Samina is 16. She’s standing in front of an audience of over a 150 people. A note in her hand

that reads ‘speak for 3 minutes on the topic ‘THE BECOMING OF YOU’

She takes a deep breath, nervously adjusts her head scarf/hijab and her mind rushes past a plethora of events that has

made her who she is. It all comes down to one particular memory.

 

FLASHBACK

3 YEARS AGO

 

(INT.)- A mall somewhere in Mumbai

The candy and chocolates isle.

SAMINA(loudly): Ammi, can I take these marshmallows. They are 20% off on MRP.

BATUL(SAMINA’S MOM): Sure! Please check if they are halaal first okay?

(Salina drags her cart to the halaal section and her cart accidentally bumps into a stranger)

SAMINA: Sorry ma’am, didn’t see you there.

(The stranger turns to her)

STRANGER: Don’t bother, I couldn’t see you either. This place is always so crowded and the carts are just bulky and such a disturbance.

(PAUSE)

 

(She looks over at Samina and smiles)

 

STRANGER:

Oh! I just want you to know one thing. That you are very brave to be who you are

unapologetically and the world might sometimes not be very kind but I support you.

(Just when Samina was about to cut her mid-sentence, she walks away leaving Samina very puzzled, staring at her walk by.)

BATUL: Do you plan on moving ahead, we have a whole day of work and we can’t afford to waste any more time.

SAMINA: Yes ammi, just calm down. Okay!

(Samina forgets about the stranger and frantically begins to strike off things on the shopping list.

 

SCENE 2

 

EXT. Outside the city college

A board that reads ”WELCOME FRESHERS”

Another one that reads collect your schedules here

(SAMINA collects her schedule, glances at it and looks around.)

(The atmosphere stuns her, she hadn’t got the time to absorb the vastness of it being the first day of college until this very moment.)

(She walks past corridors awkwardly fixing her hijaab and wondering why were people staring at it.)

SAMINA

(To herself)

I bet it’s stained somewhere. I’d asked Ammi to wash all of them. I’ll rush to the washroom rightmafter this class ends.

(She walks in the classroom, sits at the far right corner hoping to draw no attention)

PROF. MISHRA (Walks in, keeps his stuff on the table and begins) Welcome on your first day at college. I’m Professor Mishra and I’ll be teaching you about world

history and politics.

Although today’s news is very drastic. A politician just tweeted calling all the marginalised people infiltrates. That includes the minority of our country. In other countries of the world people who are visibly Muslims are asked to not practise their religion and forced into shunning their belief.

 

(SAMINA sits there for the what she remembers as her life’s most terrifying enlightening 45 minutes as Per. Mishra continues to talk about Islamophobia)

(A loud bell that announces a break)

SAMINA(To herself)

So that’s why people have been looking at me. I am Visibly Muslim.

(At dinner later that night)

ABBU: Sammi, how was college?

SAMINA: It was alright, except I just wanted to ask.

ABBU: Yes beta?

SAMINA: Is it bad to be visibly Muslim?

ABBU:Not at all! Did someone say something? You should tell them that it’s not bad, because you’re not a bad person. You are just like anyone else.

(Unconvinced, Samina lifts her plate and walks away from dinner table)

 

FEW MONTHS LATER

INT. (In a crowded train)

(Samina rushes and pushes past the crowd to find herself a seat)

CO-PASSENGER: (Pointing at her scarf)

Aren’t you feeling hot in this? It’s actually sad that you have to wear this all the time. Don’t you feel trapped?

(Before Samina could answer, she left the seat and walked out on the platform)

 

(PRESENT DAY)

 

INT. In the auditorium full of 150 people

(Samina is talking at the topic “BECOMING OF YOU” at the extempore event)

 

SAMINA: …And so I’m here to tell you that I am not oppressed into wearing my identity on my head. I choose to look the way I do and I’m tired of being the elephant in the room. And yes, I do feel hot in this but that doesn’t mean I would rather wear something else.

The constitution gives me a right to practice my religion and my hijaab is just that and so much more.

Had I not worn this little piece of identity on my head, that stranger at the mall,

three years ago, would not have known that she needs to tell me that she supports me.

And it’s because of her that I’m here to tell you that every time someone comes

ahead and tells the world who they are, the world becomes a better and interesting place. And it’s because of that woman at the mall I am who I’ve become.

So next time when a Muslim is sitting next to you in an airplane, don’t be afraid to

start a conversation and share mints. It could be the memory that the Muslim would later become into.

 

(The audience breaks into an applause.)

 

(FADE OUT)

—————————————————————————————————————-

His Story by Samarjeet Sule

1. FADE IN:

EXT. TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK CITY – DAY

It is still only in the evening. The ‘New York’ sun is still a long way from making a decision to set.

The square is deserted. Hardly a man is seen on the streets.

CUT TO:

EXT. MUMBAI – SAME MOMENT

An aerial shot reveals a jam packed cluster of concrete craftsmanship of tall buildings. The camera glides over the city deserted by the actions of the concrete minds of a concrete world.

FADE OUT:

2. SMASH IN:

EXT. A STREET IN LONDON – DAY

Audio cue-in: Rumbling sounds from a rundown factory along with the blaring of the horn resembling an air raid is heard.

We see a poster that is miserably torn stuck on the wall that reads – “BUCKLE UP! THERE IS STILL TIME. PLANT! SO THAT DIE YOU CANT.”

The camera dollies in slowly through a street. A wide shot reveals a frail man, bent over, trying to move using not only his legs but also his hands.

The rumbling sounds grow louder and louder.

SMASH CUT TO:

3. ON BLACK:

SCREEN CAPTION:-

30 YEARS AGO

 

SMASH IN:

INT. THE WITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON DC – DAY

In a room, resembling a board of directors’ conference halls in top corporate companies, we see a panel of people sitting around a long table. Presidents and Prime Ministers from various nations are seated with the United States President presiding over the meeting. They are engaged in a serious discussion. One of the leader’s speaks.

ANONYMOUS LEADER

I think what the world requires right now is speed and efficiency, the lack of which is going to

render this world of ours, helpless and hopeless

 

ANOTHER LEADER

I agree with you. I am glad that we’ve come together to trigger up hope, trigger up the

development and to bring this financial degradation of our world to an apotheosis

ANOTHER LEADER

Yes, I am delighted that the world has come to such a stage where such brave decisions of absolutely sprawling decisions of progress and fortune can be made in absolute majority. This move of appointing nearly 80% of the whole population to strict and compulsory production

jobs in our industries is going to make history for our wonderful world.

The camera pills back slowly, from a master shot and we

CUT TO:

4. ON BLACK

SCREEN CAPTION:-

A DECADE LATER

AUDIO CUE IN:- We hear a voice on the radio.

RADIO PRESENTER

(Solemnly)

It is with a heavy heart that I am speaking to not only just the citizens of my country, but the rest of the entire world. (breathes heavily)

INT. ABANDONED CAR – NOON

A radio in a broken down car is surprisingly working, plays a radio program. The camera shows a series of locations as the radio commentary proceeds.

RADIO PRESENTER (continued)

It was nearly ten years ago when the powerful politicians of our wonderful world took a decision.

 

MONTAGE

A long, deserted road, with nothing but buildings and factories on either side of the road

 

RADIO PRESENTER (continued)

A decision that was intended to bring about revolutionary development and plummeting progress which instead plummeted straight into utter devastation and danger

MONTAGE CONTINUED

INT. A DESERTED MALL

Empty shops, outlets are seen. Not a single being is present. Cafes and restaurants arehopelessly empty.

RADIO PRESENTER (continued)

People are changing. Like really, physical changing. The spinal cords are bending. This is because of the constant need to dig the earth and look for nutrients. Who would’ve thought that a decision for progress could change into a decision of destruction? People are turning back into what we were before. APES! It is true what some people would say, “Great ambition is not always a great idea.” The air is rendered deplete of oxygen. There is no point in breathing the natural air.

EXT. LONELY RADIO – DUSK

The camera follows a pair of hairy feet. We see an ape walking through rubble. It comes across a pile of rocks and other dirt. We see things of yesteryear like doors, tires, etc.

RADIO PRESENTER (continued)

His story has brought the world to death.

EXT. LONELY RADIO – CONTINUED

The ape finds a rock. He rubs it once or twice and spark ignites. He rubs it again and drops the rocks and the spark ignites a fire. We see an expression of illumination on the ape’s face.

ON BLACK:

RADIO PRESENTER (continued)

But his story has begun again.

ON BLACK:

SCREEN CAPTION:- THE END

—————————————————————————————————————-

The Bride in Red by Smruti Chauhan

 

Scene 1: Indoor – A white and yellow bedroom

We see soft curtains, a warm light, a pretty bed with a lot of pillows and two sisters bickering.

First Frame: A wide shot of them on the different sides of the window and yellow light passing.

Aisha:- Why do you always take what’s mine, when you own things yourself?

Samaira:- (Irritated) It was just a dress, you gotta calm down. I’ll fix it.

Aisha:- No, you won’t.

Samaira:- (Picks up a cushion and throws at her, then giggles.) I will, I always fix things. (takes a jar of fairy lights in her hand from the table beside her)

{over the shoulder shot showing the jar of fairy lights}

See this. There’s magic here.

(A butterfly flies and leaves through the window. Aisha makes an irritated sound and walks out

of the door.)

 

——-Fades to Black——–

 

Scene 2: Indoor – Living room with a wide sofa and a passage right in front

{Evening time, night lights on, somber music on the television}

(Aisha is sitting on Rehan’s lap and giggling at the television – (wide shot))

 

Transition :- from wide to close up of Aisha giggling

(Samaira walks out in a red lehenga holding it back with her hands. Aisha gets up quickly to help her.)

Samaira:- (enthusiastically) How do I look Jiju? (takes a turn in her lehenga to let it twirl)

(Aisha comes back and sits next to him. Rehan touches her waist and says)

Rehan:- You look great. (Samaira walks away)

(Aisha’s expression changes as she notices the lust in her fiancé’s eyes.)

——-Fades to White——–

 

Scene 3: Outdoor – coffee shop, daylight

Split Scenes: Two Frames

 

Frame 1: Samaira is sitting alone, eagerly waiting with a milkshake. Armaan enters in a haist. Armaan drops some stuff, smiles, apologizes, removes a flower from his bag and gives her.

Both giggling.

Both leave together.

 

Frame 2: Aisha seems annoyed, is staring at her clock, sitting alone. Rehan enters

calmly, apologizes half-heartedly, both are quiet, food arrives. Rehan is constantly busy with his phone. Aisha gets irritated.

Both scream and fight.

Aisha leaves.

 

——-Fades to Black——–

 

Scene 4: Indoor – The house we’ve shown is dressed up in garlands and fairy lights from the

outside; a lot of marigolds and diyas.

(We see the house through a handi-cam with all its decorations. People dressed in wedding

attires.)

An old Uncle:- Two marriages are supposed to be done, not one! Hurry up!

(camera walking towards Samaira’s room shown in Scene 1. The door knob opens and Armaan screams “SURPRISE” but there is no one else in the room. The camera dropped down open. He asks her father, both of them running together around the entire house. Then on the stairs

outside the house)

 

——-Merge——–

 

Scene 5: Night – Outdoor, terrace covered in strings of fairy lights

(The door opens. We see the father and Armaan.

Angle from the door – wide shot (door’s POV) i.e. other side of the door)

Aisha dressed as a bride hugging Samaira’s dead body and standing. Samaira’s dead body dressed as a bride, her throat slit and bleeding. Her entire body covered in fairy lights. Aisha slowly rocking the dead body – utter silence – somber music plays – Armaan screams and sobs.

Aisha turns to look at Armaan and her father. Leaves the dead body, it drops on the floor.

Aisha:- (in utter shock) She always ruined what was mine.

Her father:- (shaking Aisha and screaming) What did you do? What did you do?

Armaan – holding Samaira’s bodyin his lap and crying while looking at her.

 

——-Fade In——–

 

Through the broken handi-camera in Samaira’s room we see the jar which had the fairy lights, now empty. A butterfly flies in and sits in it.

 

——-The End——–

 

—————————————————————————————————————-

 

DEBATE  – Can Culture  be blamed for the disharmony in the society

Held on 10th August 2019,

Winners -Harsheen Kaur and Abhishek Nair