Sinking deeper into my seat, in the wonderful Bal Gandharva auditorium, I’m in awe of the movies being screened on the giant screen in front of my eyes. I’m partly hypnotized, partly compelled and partly shaken inside, by what I witness here. It is like a violent epiphany, a slap on my face, my beliefs, my environmental awareness and my insensitivity regarding nature. I can recall the school days, when I had least cared to read an environmental awareness book, and finally did so only to pass my exams. I’m visibly shaken. There is frustration, there is despair – and then there is an enlightening hope for a better dawn. The videos, the photos, the messages strike me deep. I try to ignore them, as I’m conditioned to do it, but they dig deeper into my heart, carving a space in it permanently.
The auditorium is not jam packed even though the passes for this amazing film festival are free. The great Indian paradox, yet again is highlighted here. A nonsensical Bollywood flick becomes a commercial success in a single opening, while such responsible documentaries and initiatives are unable to appeal the aam junta strongly. Nevertheless, hats off to the organizers and contributors who have been doing this supreme work since the past couple of years. The photo exhibition is par-excellence, an eye opener for what is going on in Maharashtra on the name of environment protection and wildlife conservation. I’m glued to the seat for next 5 hours, surpassing the limitations of my physical body. From the marvellous, soul-stirring migratory patterns of animals across the Strait of Gibraltar to the surreal, silent and scary death of Inuit community in Greenland, everything is just bewildering and sad. Some revelations are strikingly different. I never knew, for instance, the aftermath of Green Revolution. While most of us are aware that Green Revolution solved most of our food problems in the last decades, it is scary to know that due to immense use of pesticides many farmers and their families in some parts of North India have suffered from cancer.
The KVIFF film festival features some of the best international and national documentaries and insights from veterans of the environment and wildlife conservation fields. For the young junta, especially those in and around Pune, it is a grand occasion to be a part of this simple and yet effective, film festival. It will help everyone to connect to the nature in a more enhanced manner. It is indeed the need of the hour. As I leave the auditorium hall at 11pm, I’m almost drenched in some never known facts and insights about Mother Nature. While I can’t quit my job and join environmentalists full-time, which isn’t required anyway, I can do one thing. As Lao Tsu says, From Caring Comes Courage, I can care for our nature, in some simple ways. Â Taking small showers, saving water, recycling cell phones, distributing old clothes, going paperless, choosing vegetarian diets and most importantly, switching off the lights and fans before I leave the room, are just some of the steps through which I can help my planet.
So, what are you waiting for? If you have time, do visit this festival. I can bet, if you come once, you will never be the same person again. To get a deeper perspective about the event, read what the organizer of the festival, the Kirloskar Group, say —
“Kirloskar Vasundhara is not just a festival or celebratory event. It is a movement, an attempt by Kirloskar to change minds, attitudes and if possible, policies too. It strives to make people more concerned about ‘Mother Vasundhara’ and fosters the need to preserve our priceless natural heritage.”
The schedule of the film festival is as follows:
6th Kirloskar Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF),
Date – Saturday 18th February to Sunday 26th February 2012.
Venues – Balgandharv Rang Mandir, Campus, Pune and Ishanya Mall
Theme – “Sustainable Life Style for all”
For more details and information go to the following link:Â http://www.
Let’s save Mother Earth. Pune youth, over to you!