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Visual Diary – I

March 24, 2010

In the Audio-Visual Media class, we were given a weekly assignment of coming up with a “visual diary.” A visual diary has short scripts of sorts, which are short stories of sorts, but pretty descriptive in the visual aspect. The idea is to be able to write stories which can be shot into films directly. Rather, the reader/listener should be able to visualize the story as he/she is reading/listening. We were asked to observe a scene or a location for a few hours and write about it. This is a small part of all that happened last Saturday when I was with my friends. Also, this is the first such assignment that I submitted yesterday. The I size is almost twice as much as the limit that was given, but here is the story nevertheless. I will try and upload my future attempts/submissions as well. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

So here goes…

“Let us watch some funny stuff instead, guys!” he insisted to his four friends seated around the room.  He wore a blue t-shirt with the words “Play Healthy” written in big white letters across the back, and a pair of khakhi shorts. His hair was curly and bushy. His eyes were fixated on the same thing that the other four were looking at. Pictures of brutal murders and post mortem studies kept flashing across the screen. Three guys and two girls were seated around the laptop, in a small room. All of them seem to be of the same age group (early twenties) possibly friends from college. Beyond the laptop screen and footwear scattered across the floor, a door lay partially open. It was dark but clear night outside. Sounds of vehicles speeding down the street could be heard through the door and white-curtained window to its right.

“You should check some of the other stuff out. This rotten.com has some crazy shit in it. Wonder what on earth makes people turn into such animals. It does not affect me at all, but. Choor also I don’t feel bad.” said the girl who was handling the laptop. Her hair tied at the back of her head, but a few strands still falling on her face, hiding her eyes partly- her purple sleeveless t-shirt and a pair of blue faded jeans covering her slender body. She brushed her hair aside with her left hand and lied down on her stomach for a better view of the screen.

Behind her, a guy in a green t-shirt and a short pair of checked shorts covering his vast expanse, and a shaggy beard covering his face turned around to sit with another smaller laptop. The tubelight on the wall opposite him lit up his face as he bent down in concentration to press the “resume” button of the game he was playing. “Let us play Counter Strike, man. Come fast. Join CT. I am terrorist. Join my server. I have to do CRM assignment after that.” Sounds of gunshots and bombs start coming from the laptop as the guy in green starts playing the game with full concentration. A bed lies ahead of him, against the wall, with several wires running near his legs and under the bed in serpentine fashion. An ash tray, a box of Marlboro Lights and a box of Gold Flake lie scattered on the floor.

A table lies to the left of the bed, against the wall. Several things lie scattered on it, including a long mirror against the wall, several keys, medicines, a few empty packets of cigarettes, a big matchbox a bag, women’s accessories, etc.. The girl in purple lights up another cigarette and takes a few puffs, her eyes still fixed on the screen, as another (bespectacled) dark guy in a black t-shirt starts meddling with the laptop, switching between windows. Sounds of “not this one, dude, I have already seen it” and “can we watch some funny shit instead?” are heard in random.

Another rather plump fair girl in a pair of pink pyjamas with floral patterns and a plain, black t-shirt gets up and walks up to the door at the other end of the room, climbing two small stairs to reach the door. “I will be back in a minute, guys,” she says as she reaches the door. Inside are seen a wash basin and a shower, as the door closes behind her. She returns after a couple of minutes, as “Aicha” by Outlandish starts playing from one of the laptops. “Play my favourite song, Sam!” she pleads.

As the song stops and another one starts, the rather oversized guy in the green t-shirt closes his laptop shut, keeps it on the bed next to a book titled “The journal of ADVERTISING,” and starts moving his body to the tune of the song with a wide grin across his face. The others turn to each other, laugh, and start humming the tune of the song as well, waiting for the lyrics to begin.

Suddenly, the door opens forcefully, and in enters another guy in a green, white and blue striped t-shirt and a pair of blue denims. He is lanky, with short hair, a goatee and a sleepy look. The door slams the wall and comes back towards the frame, coming to a stop in a near-closed position. Without saying a word he heads straight to the bed and throws himself on the bed. “NOT ON MY LAPTOP, PABLO!” screams the guy in green. “Why can’t you move it aside? You can see it no? And the journal is not mine also. Library’s! See what you have done,” he says, as he fishes it out from under the new entrant, and displaying the badly folded pages of the book, and keeping his laptop under the bed to keep it safe. All eyes were on the guy on the bed.

“Stop telling me what to do. I am tired, okay? And sleepy. Don’t keep asking a million questions as soon as I come. What do you think?” retorts the guy on the bed, with his face hidden inside the pillow. “I am telling you nicely, right,” says the guy in green, “please take care of my laptop. Don’t jump on it like this. And where are those two people? How was Blues?” The girl in black quips in, “yeah, what the hell were you doing in Blues? I thought you didn’t have any money! And Sup, don’t yell at him. Poor Pablo is tired! Look at him, like a kid he is.” There is laughter and giggling.

“Paaapaa. How cute my Fai is. Don’t shout at him. Look at him. Sooo sweeeet,” says the girl in purple, turning towards the bed and sitting up with knees folded between her arms. “You sleep, Fai. My baby you are. Look at him no. Paaapaa. Hahaha!” She takes another puff and blows it out towards her left. “Stop acting gay! You are too gay da!” she exclaims as the curly-haired guy in the blue t-shirt covers his nose with the edge of his t-shirt to protect himself from the smoke. He shrugs his shoulders and says with his face still hidden behind the t-shirt, “so be it. I don’t want you to kill me. It is okay if you want to smoke. It is an effective way to lose weight… One lung at a time. Suit yourself.”

The attention of all but the guy in bed then turns to the laptop screen that was keeping them busy initially. They start seeing some more gory pictures of a different murder, with “shitttt” and “I can’t stand to see such things” in the chorus.

There is a gentle tap on the door. The door opens slowly. “Don’t freak out guys. Please please don’t freak out. We are both fine. We met with an accident, but we are both fine. Just don’t panic,” says a voice, as a face is slowly visible through the door. A tall and dusky girl is seen, with blood across her chin, lips and right cheek. She is clad in a green sleeveless top, torn in a few places, and a pair of jeans folded up to her knees. The blood on her face is mixed with sand and dust. As she steps in, it is obvious that she is covered in mud, and has injuries in several other parts of her body. Everyone in the room except for the guy lying down on the bed get up immediately to see what the matter was. Some are calm while others panic.

Another figure is visible behind her as the injured girl walks into the room and towards the door at the other end. A fair guy in his mid-twenties is seen. His white shirt with blue and red stripes, folded up just over his elbows and his faded denims are covered in mud as well. His right hand is held in his left hand. His right arm is bleeding profusely, and his clothes are torn near his right thigh, right knee, right shoulder and near his rib cage. He is smiling wide as his face is lit by the tubelight inside the room. “Hey guys,” he says as he notices everyone else looking at him.

The injured girl turns around suddenly just as she was going to enter the bathroom and exclaims, “Ohhh! I forgot! Guys, this is Ashwin. Sorry for introducing him in this state.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 5:27 PM

    Well there’s a definite change in your style after a year in Manipal. You’re able to express yourself in fewer words and give more substance. I’m sure this piece would’ve been double the length if you’d written it last year.

    I’m kinda jealous of you guys having to write screenplays for assignments. This was a decent job for a first attempt, but you still need to work a lot to actually make it like screen writing.

    About the story, I’m guessing you tried to give it a dark feel; but it didn’t turn out that way. Also, I know this is an actual diary and all events described are more or less true, but you should’ve worked on the first and last line. The beginning and end of a movie are the most important bits.

  2. Gayathri permalink
    September 23, 2010 1:21 PM

    awesome post! V well written Adi..

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