Friday, February 12, 2010

Akshataa: Story/Script

A rough breakdown of frames.

Frame 1

She stared out. Her eyes searching. Anticipation in her breath. She was excited. She felt alive. Many thoughts in her head. Many questions. Some answered, others unanswered. She looked. Anxious. She waited. Patient. Yet keen. And then she left.

She returned. She stared out again.

Out of the window.

(Rati was a twenty two year old girl. With an unpleasant past, which left her with an uncertain future. She suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder (O.C.D), a mental state which makes a person obsessed with a particular object, place or habit, due to a particular reason, which could even be something really vague and incomprehensible. Rati was obsessed with a window in her house. She felt a constant urge to go and look out of that window, in expectation of someone, or something.)

Frame 2, 3, 4

(Rati looking out of the window, while her concerned parents, doctor, friends, stand and watch her, puzzled. They pull her away, only to find her going back to sit beside it.)

Her obsession puzzled everyone- The doctors, her parents, her friends, and herself. None of them could trace a particular event in the past that could have triggered off such an obsession.

She would stare out of it for hours on end, unless she was pulled away, by her concerned parents, or brother. Yet it didn’t stop her from going back and sitting beside it. She felt a strange need to.

Next few frames: (Girl by the window, same position, but the scene outside the window changing)


The blue skies.

The leaves being blown off trees.

The blazing sun.

Children walking home from school.

Birds flying in the sky.

The setting sun.


A twinkling star.


The window.

Rati keenly observed the world through that window. She found an interest in everything she saw. It was her escape from the world she lived in. She stared out. Her eyes searching. And then she saw.

Frame 10, 11, 12

(10-The scene from her window, with Rati watching, 11-The couple, moving in, 12-Inside the house)

Rati saw a young couple moving into the house opposite hers; a handsome man, his pretty wife. Visibly pregnant. They looked busy, and flustered. Luggage was being brought into the house. Rati looked. She could sense that it was the beginning of a new story.

It was a new place. Arjun and Farah were tense, but content. They had found the right place. Everything about it was perfect. The house was cozy and small, a part of a neighbourhood in one of the quieter, sparsely populated parts of Chennai. They didn’t need the noise, the constant chatter of people, the honking of vehicles. A few houses here and there around them, was the perfect setting. They were safe.

The next few frames (From the window)

Rati looked.

They were eating dinner, packed in a paper bag. There was luggage all around.

They were smiling, chatting excitedly.

They were busy arranging the sparse furniture they had brought in.

They were unpacking a set of baby clothes, and little stuffed toys, their eyes beaming.

They were happy.

(Frame showing passage of time) Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks.

Frame 18, 19, 20 (Strange activities, Rati watching)

Rati couldn’t help wondering about the people who lived in the house opposite hers’. Her window was framing a story. The couple was engrossed in themselves. They were deeply in love, but in some way, they seemed strange. All she saw of them was through her window. They never got out of the house. In the evening, when the people of the neighbourhood took time off their busy schedule to unwind, she would never find them around.

At night however, she would see some mysterious people entering their house. It looked as though they were planning something. They always began with a pledge of some sort. They discussed. They argued. They reached decisions. They ended the meeting with the pledge again. And then they left.

This happened every other night.

She wondered.

Frame 21 (Inside the house)

Arjun and Farah were getting tense. It was about time. Justice would be theirs soon.

(Frame showing passage of time) Minutes. Hours. Days.

Frame 23, 24 (Couple missing, Rati wondering)

Rati had not seen the couple since three days. The curtains were drawn, lights switched off. She wondered where they were. Something seemed wrong.

Frame 25, 26 (Radio, TV)


News channels. Radio. Panic.

Investigations were on.

The state was on red alert.

Frame 27, 28, 29 (From the window, and then a zoom in into the house)

Rati looked.

The couple was back.

They appeared tense and scared.

It seemed like they were in hiding.

He took utmost care of his heavily pregnant wife.

They were compassionate towards each other.

Rati saw trust.




She smiled.

(Frame showing passage of time) Minutes. Hours.

Frame 31, 32

After their return, the couple seemed more anti-social than before. The lights were never switched on. The milk and newspaper kept outside their house on a daily basis was never picked up. The only constant form of noise in the house was that of the television and radio news channels.

Frame 33 (TV)


Frame 34 (Inside the house)

Arjun and Farah were in trouble. They had to escape.

Frame 35 (Phone call-The frame shows what is being said over the phone)

There was a method. A member of their group had arranged a truck with coffins inside, which would stop for precisely two minutes outside each of the group member’s house. They were expected to get inside the truck, and into a coffin. They would then be driven away to a safe place. A clean escape was guaranteed.

Frame 36, 37, 38 (Conversations inside the house)

Farah was in her eighth month of pregnancy. Moving about was not an easy task. She could barely walk without support. She knew that if she was to escape with Arjun, they would not survive. She kept convincing Arjun to think of a safer plan.

Arjun, on the contrary, fully convinced her of the fact that they would be able to make it. He kept saying that she and the baby were more important than any escape. He told her to try, but if that was not possible, he said that both of them should surrender. After all, family and love was what mattered the most.

Frame 39, 40, 41 (Rati watching from the window)

Rati was confused. She knew something was wrong. She had sensed that a long time back. She saw confusion in the couple’s house. Bags were being packed. Many phone calls, tense conversations. News channels. Stress.

And in the midst of all this, love.

Frame 42 (Phone call)

The phone was ringing.
“The truck will reach in five minutes. If you make it, it’s good, otherwise you have to face your fate.”

(Frame showing passage of time) Minutes.

Frame 43, 44 (Inside the house)

Arjun sweating profusely.

Farah standing helplessly.

Labour pains.

Frame 45, 46, 47 (From Rati’s window)

Rati looked.

Arjun smiled at his wife, his backpack on his shoulders, ready to escape. He signalled her to run.

Farah smiled at her husband, and then at her inflated belly, tears in her eyes. She signalled him to stay.

They looked at each other.

She looked at them.

Frame 48, 49, 50, 51 (Inside the house-Clock ticking, Arjun shoots, Rati watches)

Arjun looked at the clock.

And then, in the fraction of a second, he took out a revolver from his bag, and shot Farah.

Again. And again.

Rati looked.

Frame 52, 53 (Inside the house)

Farah’s face was white. She was dead.

Next few frames

Arjun ran away, throwing the revolver behind him. He didn’t look back at his dead wife or unborn child. Not once. He ran.

The truck had arrived. He got onto it, and into a coffin. The truck began moving away. It disappeared into a distance.

Frame 59 (Rati- First looks at the scene, Close up- She is disturbed)

Rati now saw deceit.




And something broke within her.

Frame 60, 61 (Rati’s house)

She shut the window, turned, and walked away.



Rati: A young girl, observant, curious (Suffering from O.C.D)

Farah: Loving, caring, pregnant, doting wife, part of a terrorist group.

Arjun: strong, muscular, intimidating, protective, part of a terrorist group.


-Style: Hand drawings (characters) juxtaposed with photographs in the background to give a 'real' feel.
-Establishing a difference between the frames which are seen from the window, vs those which are taking place inside the house.
-Calculating an approximate number of frames (60), the book would probably be around 15 pages. (Just a rough idea, might change as I go along.)

Immediate next steps:

1 comment:

  1. Akshata - move the frames into pages through thumbnailing. :-)