One out of ten June 24, 2007Posted by qmediawatch in Gay & Lesbian, Indian Express, Television.
An orthodox Tam-Brahm girl agrees to meet a typical Punjabi boy as their parents match-make, little knowing that the two have more in common than they know themselves. They are both gay and looking for a way out. Their marriage of convenience is only one of the twists in this complex tale of queer love and longing in India.
Aarthi Parthasarathy’s pilot episode for an Indian gay sitcom, One Out of Ten, may not be as high-budget or glossy as the UK cult gay sitcom, Queer as Folk, or the USA’s trendy lesbian serial , The L Word, but it certainly had a full house at a private screening in Bandra last weekend.
A graduate from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, Parthasarathy has returned to her hometown with hopes of making movies here. “This was my first big venture in film and it took everything out of me. Now that it’s made and is getting screened, I’m not sure how I am going to make the next part of what I hope will become a 13-episode sitcom,” says the 22-year-old.
Getting airtime on TV for the serial may be moot dream for Parthasarathy right now but she certainly is enjoying the feedback her screenings are getting her. “This may be the beginning of India’s own queer cult serial, passed down from hand to hand,” says independent filmmaker Shaina Anand, who has Parthasarathy currently editing her five-part film on Mumbai.
At the screening, many members in the audience could identify with the protagonists of the sitcom, especially Ravi, whose mother is after him to get married. “My mom is just like the lady in the serial, constantly planning my wedding and looking out for girls, I dread the day when I will have to come out to her,” says Kunal. Vickram agrees that it’s a slice of life for any queer person in India and hopes to screen it at one of the Gay Bombay film festivals.
“The actors were perfect and I couldn’t have cast better. In fact, they’ve committed themselves to the other 12 episodes too. Location hunting will be a problem, since I see myself settling in Mumbai for the next few years,” says Parthasarathy who wrote, directed and funded the film. While it remains to be seen how the rest of the serials get made, we hope the ‘private’ screenings turn public soon.