Mani Ratnam’s ‘Anjali’ and its persevering with reference to a gated community in Chennai

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Mani Ratnam’s ‘Anjali’ and it’s persevering with reference to a gated community in Chennai

Forward of Kids’ Day, a have a look at Aashiana Flats which stands the place Venus Studios was earlier located and ‘Anjali’ was largely shot, particularly the scenes involving a gang of kids. Throughout the pandemic, children at Aashiana have been bringing again recollections of that iconic movie, however in a way that has 2020 written throughout it

The 1990 Mani Ratnam blockbuster Anjali, which supplied a glimpse of gated-community dwelling, had a subplot involving an uncontrollably exuberant gang of kids. As a collective, these kids had been portrayed as quick-witted and nimble-footed, and this meant that their pranks discovered their targets — the grown-ups — as uncannily as a cruise missile. The storytelling gadget did wonders for the movie, including its humor part, and it operated on the underlying concept that these kids had been on an equal footing with the older inhabitants of the gated neighborhood.

Quick ahead to 2020, this concept is asserting itself, on a massively completely different platform and with much more reverence for the grown-ups concerned, however on the identical spot the place a lot of the movie, significantly the scenes involving the youngsters’ gang, was shot.

Aashiana Flats on Second Cross Avenue in Venus Colony in Chennai stands on the land the place Venus Studios was earlier located and Mani Ratnam’s iconic movie was largely shot (extra on it later).

Throughout the pandemic, Aashiana Flats shifted a lot of its common social actions on-line, particularly these pertaining to tradition and leisure, and the youngsters on the neighborhood discovered an equal footing with the grown-ups. With their digital expertise, they had been in truth usually within the driver’s seat, steering these on-line initiatives.

Usha Manoj, committee member of the residents’ affiliation and a key member of the leisure committee, factors out {that a} tech help group consisting completely of kids performed a central position on this on-line social engagement.

“These 12 months’ Navarathri celebrations had been carried out on-line. Movies of kolus within the households could be compiled collectively, and on daily basis, a compilation could be despatched out to the residents. The youngsters’ tech help group — Manasa (13), Shambhavi (11), Sukriti (15), Ayush (14), Aarush (13), Rohith (13), Avikshit (12), Rakshit (11), and Rishi (12) — would work on these movies, enhancing them, and including titles and captions, and in addition background music to them,” says Usha.


She continues, “Wherever residents had been diffident about capturing movies of their golus, members of the youngster’s tech group would wind up at their doorsteps, shoot the movies and have them edited — all in brief order. On every one of the 9 days of Navarathri, one girl from the neighborhood was on MC obligation, introducing the golus. The youngsters shot the MC speeches too. In addition to this, seven kids got here up with a skit based mostly on the Navarathri theme, wrote the script for it, directed it, shot a video of it, added background music to it. They executed every stage of the work with none assist.”

Not solely Navarathri, even different festivities have had a digital contact of the Era Z, and in some circumstances even Era Alpha.

The youngsters helped in enhancing dance movies,” says Usha. “At our neighborhood, Halloween offers an event for social interplay and leisure. Usually, individuals would gown up, come down, and do trick or deal with. These 12 months, I voted in opposition to it. So, we simply had a digital celebration, which was made participating, due to the youngsters’ tech group. They did all of the Halloween collage movies and pictures, full of spooky background music.”

Usha factors out that the youngsters didn’t get up to this position, however, have been rising into it steadily through the years.

They’ve been integral to most of the actions carried out on the neighborhood,” she explains. “Throughout the final 12 months’ Navarathri celebrations, the paper baggage made by the youngsters on the neighborhood had been used to present away thamboolams. We now have an Aashiana Inexperienced Membership for youngsters that introduces them to sustainability. After we launched supply segregation on the neighborhood degree, at every of the 11 blocks, kids went from door to door, with the charts they’d ready, to inform each family how waste must be segregated, and the aim served by every bin.”

Usha additionally attracts consideration to how the neighborhood helps younger upcycling wizards and sustainability champions by showcasing their efforts, by circulating it round in the neighborhood’s on-line teams and, additionally displaying it on the noticeboards within the blocks.

Certainly one of them is 13-year-old Aarush, who has the skill to show waste into artworks.


“In his fingers, twigs flip into wands. He upcycles waste into present gadgets, which he presents to kids on the neighborhood celebrating their birthday,” says Usha.

The making of a movie

The mother and father of Shruti Vijaykumar — extra well-known as Child Shruti to a technology of Tamil-film aficionados — who performed one of many three kids to Raghuvaran and Revathi within the movie, are residents of Aashiana Flats.

Is there any specific season for getting a flat in this neighborhood, which was handed over to the consumers in 1997?

“It simply occurred, you already know. My mother-in-law, my husband and I got here to see this place. My mother-in-law appreciated the home rather a lot,” recollects Mano Vijaykumar, Shruti’s mom.

Did the truth that Venus Studios had been situated there, and Shruti had acted in a movie that was shot there do something with the selection?

Probably not. My mother-in-law shouldn’t be so emotional. She could be very sensible. She appreciated the home. It’s near the place we had been dwelling,” laughs Mano.

Aashiana Flats was handed over to the house owners in 1997. Anjali launched in 1990, and the movie gave viewers a way of life in a fully-functional gated neighborhood, which was refreshingly new as life again then was largely lived horizontally in particular person plots.

How a lot of the movie was shot on this property the place Venus Studios was situated, and the way?

The home you see was all units. The within of the home was all a part of the units. If it seemed so actual, it’s due to artwork director Thota Tharani. To create the phantasm of a gated neighborhood, scenes had been shot elsewhere. The stairwell scene was shot at Gee Gee complicated in Nungambakkam,” explains Mano.

Anjali is the one movie Shruti Vijaykumar has ever acted in, and that received her a Nationwide Award.

Says Mano, “She lives in Boston, the United States, is married, and has two daughters; she works as an enterprise analyst.”

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