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Dropping a new music video on his website today, Shashwat Bulusu gives his
upbeat 2019 single “Sunset by the Vembanad” a dreamy visual retelling. Shot
across the northeast last monsoon, the 6-minute film explores the same
themes as the song – childhood, innocence, freedom and escapism – through
the eyes of a young boy.
“Sunset by the Vembanad”, like most of Bulusu’s compositions is steeped in
nostalgia, and is described as a song about a boy, lake Vembanad in Kerala,
and the monster that the lake is rumoured to harbor. For the video, the Baroda-
based singer-songwriter collaborated with cinematographer Boyer Debbarma
to use skateboarding as a way to visually render the song.
“I came across Shashwat’s music on Instagram and this is the type of music I
usually listen to. We got in touch and eventually worked on the idea on
bringing the song to the picture,” Boyer tells A Humming Heart.
The video zooms in on a young boy (played by Kunal from Boyers’ skating crew
Hucko) as he embarks on an imaginary adventure on wheels. Conceptually,
Boyer envisages a boy who has passed through innocence to wake up to a
reality he does not quite fit into – a world that is unsustainable and denies
climate change. It seems to trigger in him a desire to “go the woods and heal.”
“Like music and art, skateboarding gives one the freedom to express
themselves…also become a better person. I wanted to highlight these ideas,”
Boyer reflects.
As Kunal skates away from the dingy urban sprawl down, treks down forest
trails and lights a campfire by the lakeside, Boyer’s camera lingers on the
setting sun before transporting him back to reality. For those of us who’ve
grown up reading the adventures of Mark Twain’s solitary young wanderers,
the film also conjures this sense of a memorable culmination of an internal
adventure, capturing this fleeting, yet pivotal, moment of innocence.
“Sunset by the Vembanad” was shot in Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, and
post-produced by Friends Republic. The film premiered online today at a
public viewing organised by Pagal Haina.