How can empathy and opbjectivity go hand in hand to tell a tale of love and loss?


Graduation Project
B.Des 2016
Animation & Film Design student portfolio︎︎︎

This film, inspired by my maternal grandparents’ story, charts the journey of a Bihari marriage and narrates the parallels between the couple's first and last day together. I hoped to capture the emotional turmoil I saw on my grandfather's face the day my grandmother died. My simple expectation was to immortalize my grandparents; their story and the feelings of isolation experienced after the loss of a loved one.

In many ways, staying at home helped me research the stories of my people better. I sat with my paternal grandmother and listened to her recall the days of her childhood. It helped me gain perspective to the time this story was set in. I also listened to the stories recalled by my maternal grandfather about his wedding day. Hidden in film are the words of a poem he had written, inspiring the visuals and carrying the story forward.

This story may have taken a turn towards the glorification of rituals that are typical of Hindu culture, yet undermine the female. I was in a dilemma of if I should be doing this at all. Eventually, I realized that the power of the story lay in the emotions depicted. There was no need to bring my political views and distort the narrative as it was true to the time it was based in. It was a constant challenge to keep my views away from the narrative, since it was the story of two people I am close to. However, I regret not giving my grandmother an active role. Her character in the film remains like a doll, as I had seen her most of my life. She left a profound silence in her absence, for she hardly spoke yet said so much.

It comforts me to know that I have immortalized my grandparents and their story. I learned how to empathize yet separate myself from the stories of others' and portray a narrative with sensitivity. I have learned how to glimpse into many perspectives and channel them into a story. Empathy and objectivity go hand in hand with the design process, and working on this film has helped me achieve that.


  • The Bidesia Project by Mr. Simit Bhagat
  • Movies like - Achal Mishra's 'Gamak Ghar'
  • Somnath Pal and Chaitanya Tamhane's 'Death of a Father'