The year 2020 has changed the way we look at life. A return to our old 'normal' life is some way off. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely hit us hard and in bleak moments like these, it can be difficult to find hope. But here's 91-year-old Devaki who has seen almost every bad times over the past decades ensuring us that we have every reason to be hopeful.
She would have never thought to be the talk of the town when her grandson Vinu Janardanan was capturing her daily routine at a quaint little village in Kollam. A four-minutes forty-seconds video shot and directed by Vinu, a media person, tells the story of survival narrated beautifully through stories from the past.
Titled 'Memoirs of Devaki - Oru Ammummakaalam,' the short video touches upon the various epidemics Kerala has seen through the eyes of this nonagenarian. The video has already gone viral with actress Maala Parvathi, dancer Methil Devika and lot of other celebrities sharing it on social media. Needless to mention is Karthik Jogesh's edits, which has turned out to become more than just a #homevideo during the lockdown.
So, what's good about it? Vinu's beautiful frames of his grandmother (ammumma) narrating the stories from her experience is sure to touch many who are struggling to cope with such odd times. She tells us how we have tackled epidemics like cholera, small pox and whopping cough and that this too shall pass. And that we will prevail!
Devaki reminds us how the humankind has always had the willpower to cope with change. When she warns us to be careful and watchful, the message is very relevant and to be taken seriously.
For Vinu, it was a very personal experience who has always found talking to his grandmother a wonderful learning experience. “My ammumma always had a perspective of her own on every issue and whenever she explains, it had a lot of value. So I thought of asking her what she feels about the current situation and that's how the video came about,” said Vinu.
While stuck at home during the lockdown, Vinu took his camera out and recorded her daily routine starting from her morning walks to checking upon her loved ones on phone, reciting Srimad Bhagavatam and above all... understanding life.
“She kept asking me why I was taking her video and when I said I was documenting her experience, she wanted to dress up to look good on camera. I just followed her throughout the day and captured the essence of her daily life,” said Vinu.
When Devaki stands holding the gate of her house waiting for this to pass, it gives us a hope for a better tomorrow and serves as a benchmark for all our future fights.
The sound for the video has been done by Dhanush Nayanar.
Previously, Vinu has directed The Agam Story, a ‘rockumentary’ on the Carnatic rock band Agam. He has also donned the role of assistant director of the Malayalam movie 'Pathinettam Padi'.