By Natalia Ningthoujam
New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Filmmaker Anand Gandhi, who shot to fame directing the acclaimed film "Ship Of Theseus" in 2013, is happy that yoga and other elements of ancient Indian culture are reaching to people across the globe. He is also game for exporting contemporary culture of India. He says he would love the world to know more about the thinking young Indian, who has real questions and is curious as well as rigorous.
Talking about the contemporary young Indian, Gandhi told IANS in a telephonic interview: "I would love the world to look at the thinking young Indian, the 16-year-old in India who has real questions, who is curious, rigorous, who wants to understand how the world works, who goes out of her or his way to seek answers, who uses his or her very little window of exposure to express the enlightenment of the world.
"Now this young woman or man has barely been spoken of. This part of Indian culture in reality has never been celebrated and understood. I think I want to create a substantial mass culture that celebrates inquiry, curiosity, collaboration and invention that is coming out of the region."
He sees his latest project -- SHASN -- the first opportunity to export contemporary culture to rest of the world. Created by Zain Memon, SHASN is a political strategy board game.
"The response has been incredible. It's the most successful Indian product on Kickstarter (an American public benefit corporation). What excites me is that for the first time I see a possibility of a global dialogue happening around Indian culture artefact. We have so many insights on the smallest nuance of American culture and policy.
"The reason for that is that we consume so much of American culture which is wonderful. It is wonderful that we get to consume global culture sitting in this region, but what we are missing out on is a real place on the table where we are also exporting culture and not just importing culture."
He's always been disappointed that we haven't exported sufficient amount of culture.
"This is an opportunity to export contemporary culture and not only culture that is ancient which is what India is known for. So while India is known for having exported yoga and all, this is the first opportunity I am seeing to export contemporary culture to various parts of the world," said the "Ship of Theseus" director.
The game began once their work on "An Insignificant Man", based on the rise of anti-corruption protests in India headed by Arvind Kejriwal and formation of his Aam Admi Party, ended. The film had been distributed and it had quite an impact on the public.
That time Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla and Zain -- Gandhi's co-founders at Memesys Culture Lab -- wanted to continue the conversation.
"This time it wasn't only about conversation of one political party," said Gandhi.
Then they started wondering what would be the finest way of engaging young people in a political conversation that otherwise can get "very alienating and complex".
"How do we filter out complexity and convert that into a thrilling experience that while engaging with people while being entertained and enthralled, you still find a way of absorbing the enlightenment that we have at our disposal? That gave birth to the idea of a board game."
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)