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Mumbai Varanasi Express: 30 minutes of self-reflection


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Royal Stag Barrel Select has been providing opportunities to budding Movie Directors to express their creativity through short films on their YouTube channel. It has become a highly credible and viewed YouTube Channel with a niche audience who enjoy insightful and different cinematic works.

After some amazing short-films like ‘Ahalya’, ‘Nayantra’s necklace’, ‘Interior Cafe’, ‘Ouch’, ‘Chutney’, ‘That Gusty Morning’, they have another inspiring cinematic piece of work by the name ‘Mumbai Varanasi Express’. Gorgeous actor and model and the winner of Miss India Worldwide 2000 Aarti Chabria made her directorial debut with this thought-provoking short film. National Award Winner Darshan Jariwala plays the protagonist in the movie who decides to spend the last days of his life in Kaashi. According to the director Aarti, “This is a musical Large short film, as very few short films have a song in it.” And the song is worded beautifully and the melodious voice is of renowned singer Kailash Kher. The sound design of the short film is created by the Oscar award winner Resul Pookuty.

Mumbai Varanasi Express

Aarti shared her experience of how she had actually researched at the ground level in Varanasi about the people, happenings, socio-economic structure and other environmental factors there in general. She had actually visited a place called ‘Mukti Dham’  shown in her short film and experienced out of the world things there. When asked, she said that age has to do nothing with making serious films or deep thoughts. It is all about internal emotions and approach to express creatively. She shared her experience how she was recognized and loved by the local people in Benaras.

Actor Vivek Singh who plays a cycle-rickshaw-wala guy in the movie, shared his experience of how brilliantly Aarti molded him in that character of a local Muslim rickshaw-wala. It is very difficult to ride a cycle-rickshaw and that too in a crowded traffic place. And more difficult to deliver dialogues while riding it. But he did it with flawlessly according to Aarti.

The short-film with a run-time of thirty minutes leaves us with a thought provoking question. Are we forgetting to live our lives fully and cherish all the blessings we have right now in this rat-race? It is as important to do good deeds daily as to earn money and run behind our desires. In the end, it will be all about the people you have, respect you have earned, good or bad deeds you did, memories you have created and the love you have shared. So do all that right now. Life and death, both are unpredictable. So it is better to satisfy our soul as well along with our mind and body. As Lebanese Author  Khalil Gibran once wrote, “To be able to look back at one’s life in satisfaction is to live twice.”

Talking about the film, director, Aarti Chabria said, “The story of ‘Mumbai Varanasi Express’ is a depiction of our lives today where we are constantly running in the rat race trying to be successful, but in the process, we forget to live our lives and enjoy it. I am sure the audience will be able to relate to this film. As a filmmaker, it is very important to be able to showcase your work freely and I believe Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films is a great platform that lets you be as creative as possible.”

Commenting on the release, Raja Banerji, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Pernod Ricard India, said “Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films is extremely happy to present Aarti Chabria’s directorial debut Mumbai Varanasi Express. Having won several awards, the film has already made a mark for itself and has gathered acclaim for its deep thought and content. The platform has always believed in the art of perfection and we are indeed delighted to encourage and motivate young and talented directors to perfect their skills to showcase their work along with known directors. The short film industry in India is rapidly growing and evolving and we are extremely proud that Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films is at the helm of this evolution.”

Also, you can watch the movie below! 🙂

About The Author

Devesh Purohit is a Gold-Medalist in MAPR from Hinduja College, Mumbai. He works as a freelance writer, poet and PR. He is a huge fan of Shah Rukh Khan and loves movies.
  • Rajeev Moothedath

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Will certainly watch film!

  • I have watched the earlier movies, so I’m definitely gonna watch it. Thanks, Devesh, for the link. 🙂

  • I prefer watching short films as they are pithy and precise. This one sounds interesting…will watch it.. 🙂

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