This is always a difficult one. Professionally, I run a video production company called 'Miya Biwi' (no points for guessing who with!), as well as freelance as a video journalist and director for international channels and other production houses. Personally, I am settling into my thirties, learning to understand my mind and body a whole lot better, and looking forward to all the exciting ways I will be able to bring the personal and professional together with time.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everything to be honest. The real world will always be stranger than fiction. One simply has to learn to observe.
Does India inspire you? What is inspiring about India?
Absolutely, and incredibly. It is one of the most cinematic places to film. You can turn your camera in any direction and there will always be some kind of colour, pattern, person or object that catches your eyes and reflects the inherent beauty of this country and its myriad cultures. I’ve travelled to many far-flung corners of this country thanks to my job, and I’ve consistently met people with kind and generous souls, no matter what their circumstances are. People have an extraordinary strength of spirit here—you can see that in the way they live, or take on life, despite its difficulties.
The easiest and hardest thing to do.
What's marriage like?
The easiest and hardest relationship to have.
What's feminism to you?
Non-negotiable in this day and age.
What do you do for fun?
Drugs... hard drugs (dialogue courtesy: Osho)
The story behind the PCRC music video 'We're Getting Married.'
We were staying in Berlin this summer with our friend Gerd (the third person in that video.) One night he took us out to a infamous club his friends and him love—a legendary space called Kit-Kat. Around 5 am, Suryakant and I found ourselves sitting by the pool area of the club, watching all these naked people swimming in the early morning light. The pool has a strict no clothes policy. Everything was so free and beautiful, and it put us in a really bewitched state of mind. Often, after a long night of inebriation, when the two of us still can't sleep we'll play music to each other or—if he's in the mood—he'll sing to me. So we were in Gerds room doing our thing, which is often me prancing around him as he plays.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
No recurring themes as such, but definitely an aesthetic. It's not a kitsch Indian aesthetic—it's not fusion. Our aesthetic is an amalgamation of our influences from all around the world, presented within the Indian context we grew up in. It's a new Indian sensibility.
What's the future of this country?
Currently looks like we're headed towards doomsday at breakneck speed and most people don't even realize it. Every day it gets worse. But perhaps—hopefully— one day it will all boil over, and we will be able to overturn the fascists currently running this country. Let's be clear, since it isn't grey anymore, democracy is dying in this country.
On a more positive note, tell me about the importance of female friendships.
As family and marital relations morph in the 21st century, we are starting to realize that our true safety nets become the women we entrust ourselves to. Female friendships are what take you through all your phases in life. In my experience, this was harder to understand and value at a younger age, because I was less comfortable with myself, and found it harder to trust others. But with time, one realizes that female competitiveness is such a social construct—a myth we need to bust for younger girls—so they learn to stand by each other as early as possible.
Your self-care tips.
Learn to listen to your body, and don't ignore what it's telling you—even if it feels like it can be dismissed. If you learn to tune into it, you will know how much sleep, activity, food, water you need to stay balanced. There is no mantra. Every single body and lifestyle has its own combination.Do you own any heirlooms?
Does my dad's personal diary from the 70's count? It was the book he used to jot down notes from all the novels, poetry and non-fiction books he was reading in his college days.Comfort food.
Khao suey for cold nights, aloo paratha breakfasts for hungover mornings, and salmon sashimi with truffle oil for any night of the week when it's summer.2020 resolutions?
All images by Tenzin Lhagyal.