reative ideas find clear expressions in a film. To film makers, a film is a means of important art form and a powerful medium of communication with the masses. The visual elements cast a powerful influence on the audience. IITs help students to attain versatility and provide a canvas to them to portray their creativity. Rabi Kisku, a young IIT – Graduate in Mechanical Engineering from IIT-Madras, throws light on his film ‘silicon Jungle’ in a conversation with his friend, Vaibhav Badhan, also a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from the same institute.
Rabi: Silicon Jungle shows various shades of IIT life through the eyes of four students – the main character – Frooti (Kashyap Arora) and 3 of his IITian friends – Bulby (Nitish ‘Fubar’ Joshi), Shocker (Abhijit Mohanty) and Stud (Mihir Mysore) coming from different backgrounds. The story is one that many IITians can relate to. Frooti has come to IIT just to app, Stud is a creative guy who is disappointed at IIT due to the grade-centered approach, Bulby is highly interested in Physics but there is pressure from home to get a job and settle down in life, and Shocker is a typical guy from Hyd who considers that getting into IIT is enough and that he can now rest. The story takes you through the four years that these guys spend at IIT. It shows you that IIT is not all about studying and then going to the US. It shows the emotional side of IITians.
Vaibhav: What was the inspiration behind the movie?
Rabi: When I first came to IIT, I found that the life here was pretty different than what I had imagined it to be. This is completely a different world. The way most of us live, the emotions that we go through are what I wanted to portray to the outside world – especially to those tens of thousands of students who write the JEE every year.
Vaibhav: When did you decide to make this movie? Rabi: I was interested in movies from my second year onwards. I initially wanted to make a documentary movie, but that didn’t get much support. I also thought that it might not be that interesting. Then I thought of making a short movie. When I approached alumni and the corporates for funds, I was advised to make it on a larger canvas with a better story line – and it was then that I decided on making this movie.
Vaibhav: Did anyone sponsor the movie?
Rabi: Apart from friends, there are corporate sponsors including Airtel, Honeywell, and AMD. This movie is made on a shoestring budget.
Vaibhav: Tell us something more about the movie?
Rabi: The movie was shot in a digital format. It was mostly shot on IIT campus. The other locations include the Besant Nagar beach and a couple of eateries in Chennai. The music is by Vaibhava, for whom this is the second movie. We plan to release it in Bangalore, Kota, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Chennai and are on the lookout for distributors in the US.
Vaibhav: Personally, when did you start planning to enter movies?
Rabi: Movies have fascinated me from childhood. I have always had an interest in photography. After seeing movies like Roja, Titanic, and Braveheart, I knew that I had immense interest in this field.
After my second year, I realized that I was not cut out to be an engineer and I wanted to do something that I was really interested in.
Vaibhav: Did the IIT system help?
Rabi: The IIT culture surely helped me. Working as the movie coordinator during Saarang, playing for the institute Cricket team and participating in other cultural activities helped a great deal in my personality development and inculcated in me the spirit to achieve. I received help from most of my hostel mates (Narmada). The Dean – Prof. Idichandy, the Registrar – Dr. Usha Titus, and Prof. KN Satyanarayan helped a lot to make this dream come true.
Vaibhav: What are your future-plans?
Rabi: After the release of Silicon Jungle, I plan to work for some time as an assistant director. My next movie will be on a larger scale. This will give me exposure into film-making and would also help me establish contacts.
The creative stuff in Rabi Kisku’s thoughts and visualization has molded his life. He is keen that his thoughts travel from one mind to another through his films. To achieve a goal, one has to think and imagine hard like kisku from within and only then one can reach one’s goal.