Once upon a quarantine

Updated: May 18, 2020, 10:28 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

A new project has collected over a hundred lockdown stories, from one-line posts to poetry and video tales

Footage from earlier shoots is used as visuals for the stories
Footage from earlier shoots is used as visuals for the stories

'Tina kebab le aayi.
Arjun, Old Monk aur Thums Up.
Radhika ne Faiz-ki-nazm sunayi.
Houseparty par Pictionary khelte,
Door baithe yaaron ne mehfil
Kuch aise jamai.'

The above lines are excerpted from one of the posts from a collection of stories (video, audio and text) called Quissa Quarantine Ka. "An interesting incident happened with a close friend of mine. He was in a live-in relationship with his girlfriend for a decade, and they had decided to part ways; this is when the lockdown was announced. They continue to be quarantined together," says Ankit Bakshi, founder, Break a Leg (a content platform for theatre and allied arts). "There are so many such strange and interesting stories taking place during the lockdown around us," he adds.

A scene from one of the stories
A scene from one of the stories

Bakshi started the project early into the first lockdown in the country and invited entries for stories in all formats. From a single line to nazm and essays, and all the way to video stories, he has received over 140 such entries from around the country. "Some of the longer poems were very heartwarming, and we engaged the local theatre community to lend their voices and unearthed footage from earlier shoots to fill in gaps since we couldn't go out and shoot," says Bakshi from the Hyderabad-based portal.

While the objective is to share stories, Bakshi believes the exercise may hold more value in the future. "A year down the line when we come out of this or 20 years later, we will be able to see the psychological graph of people in this period. I hope it serves as a mind capsule someday," he says. "Most entries we have received are poetic in nature. With the response we received, I realise people needed a platform to express their feelings during this time," he believes.

Ankit Bakshi
Ankit Bakshi

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