Watch: Sunset by the Vembanad by Shashwat Bulusu

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 during the 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 harbour. 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 of 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 have 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.

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