The Goan film industry has just started getting recognition in the film fraternity of India with the movie like “Nachom ia-Kumpasar”, directed by Bardroy Barretto which has set several benchmarks in the Konkani film industry. Now it is the time for K Sera Sera, directed by Rajiv Shinde to set another benchmark and new records. Rajiv Shinde is not the new name in the film and drama fraternity of Goa. In fact, he is one of the pioneers who started the trend of producing the quality film in Goa but may that was too early and he did not get the desired recognition then. But his latest flick has come with the bang.
Rajiv Shinde is the stalwart in the drama industry of Goa. One of his drama Gela Madhav Kunikade has done more than 2000 shows across India and it is still running successfully. Rajiv is a professor of the Arts College and heading the department of the applied arts. According to Rajiv, the teaching is his first passion and that will always remain one of the priority. “Teaching is my first love and it will always remain as my priority. I have dedicated my life towards teaching. Theatre will is my passion which I am doing for the past 30 years now but the teaching will always remain my first love,” said Rajiv adding that, “Theatre has always been my dream and I wanted to learn about the films, how the films are made and what goes into it.”
After the blockbuster drama “Gela Madhav Kunikade” (Where Madhav Gone) Rajiv scripted and directed another drama called “Thodasa Logic Thodasa Magic” (Little Logic Little Magic) which again set the records in Drama industry. “For this play, I won an award for Best Director, Best Script Writer and this is the first play which was also remade into the Gujarati Language as “Thodo Logic Thodo Magic in which the well-known film and television personality Tikku Talsania played the leading role. The Gujrati version did more than 200 shows in 150 days which is quite an achievement in itself” said Rajiv.
Although most of the theater work done by Rajiv is in Marathi since he always has more demand coming from the Marathi audience and producers. But that does not mean that Rajiv did not do the work in Konkani. “I did many Konkani plays and all of them won state awards. In the year 1997, I did the first Konkani film called Dekhani Durai. Of course in those days Goa was not ready for the Konkani movies of that standard since more of the audience was happy with Tiatr (Konkani Theatre) and the making of Konkani films was very rare then. It was difficult to make a Konkani film and exhibit in theaters since the audience was not ready yet,” Said Rajiv.
Despite all the odds, the first Konkani feature film made by Rajiv in the year 1997 won several national awards including the awards for the best direction, the Best Actor and Actress and many other awards that year was won by “Dekhani Durai”. It was the first Konkani movie that was shown on the national channel as the best regional film which was in itself a big achievement for Rajiv and his entire team. In spite of winning all the national awards in filmmaking Rajiv always kept the very low profile and his love for drama remained unshakeable. “There is another reason due to which I preferred doing more dramas compared to opting for movies. Being in the profession of teaching I get only 10 to 12 days vacation which is not enough to make a feature film. The films according to me takes a lot of your time and hence it is not possible for me, in fact, I had rejected many offers of making films,” said Rajiv.
Due to Rajiv’s commitment to his duty he had to sacrifice many golden opportunities that kept coming from the film and television industry of Mumbai. According to him, once he was offered to make the entire TV serial of 320 episodes and that too for national television but he rejected the offer due to his teaching. “I was asked to stay in Pune for the entire period of duration that serial would take to complete and that was not possible for me as I already said that I cannot give up my teaching due to anything,” said Rajiv.
The offer for the making of K Sera Sera came from one of his very close friend and professional colleague, Rajesh Pednekar, who had also worked in his first film Dekhani Durai. “Rajesh is a very old friend of mine and we have worked together on many projects besides the “Dekhani Durai”. I had no option of saying no to him cause he insisted this time,” said Rajiv. According to Rajiv, the script of “K Sera Sera” was written by him almost 12 years back. “I wrote the story, screenplay, script of this film and finally directed it. Actually, everything is mine in “K Sera Sera”. In fact, let me tell you that this story was selected by Zee TV than for the serial of 21 episodes. But later on they decided to make it a daily soap of 360 episodes which I turned down,” said Rajiv.
According to Rajiv if he had to accept the Zee TV’s offer then it would have spoiled the entire story which he never wanted. Rajiv feels that his decision was right then as his film has been selected from over 230 films for Indian Panorama featuring in IFFI. When I asked Rajiv as how he is able to manage the time now for making the feature films, he said, “Entire credit goes to Rajesh Pednekar, who is the producer of this film. He adjusted complete schedule of the film making it according to my requirement. This one thing is not possible with other producers unless I am very big. You will be surprised to know that this film was shot in just 15 days,” said Rajiv.
Although Rajiv has just stepped back into the limelight but his technical background in filmmaking his not new at all. Soon after completing his graduation in fine arts Rajiv went to Mumbai and there he met his Guru (Teacher) Raghuvir Talasurkar, who according to Rajiv was a great artist and a great personality as well. According to Rajiv Mr. Talasurkar always helped him while taking the tough decisions of his life. “At that time I was very much interested in learning about filmmaking. Mr. Talashikar saw the spark in me and gave me the address of Mr. T K Desai who was the art director in films in Mumbai Film Industry. I immediately joined him. He started giving me small work of visualizing and designing. I worked with him in some of the blockbuster movies like Lootmar, Suhaag as assistant art director,” said Rajiv.
Although the opportunity of a lifetime came to Rajiv but according to him, the work was very hectic. When Rajiv came back to Goa for a small vacation he got an offer from the College of Arts to join them as Assistant lecturer. The opportunity was very big for him but he has another obligation in Mumbai also. He got completely confused about the choice in front of him. One side he has the opportunities in form of Mumbai’s film industry waiting for him come and conquer the world and other side was his dream, love, and passion. He went back to Mumbai but could not get the thought out of his mind completely.
In Mumbai Rajiv spoke to Raghuvir Talasurkar and narrated to him about the situation he is going through. His Guru guided him and just told him one thing that changed his life entirely, He said: “Do what your heart says because the mind is corrupt”. “That made me take a decision of coming back to Goa. After that, I told Mr. T K Dessai about this and came back to Goa appear for an interview in College of Arts and got Selected as Lecturer. That time my salary was Rs. 1200 per month but I was very much satisfied with the work and teaching the students,” said Rajiv.
In Goa Rajiv’s new journey started in which he had his first love his job and then rest of the things related to theater and cinema. During this time Rajiv made his first Konkani film Dekhani Durai (1997) which was also written and directed by him. Rajiv also worked for Goa Doordarshan and did professional theaters, Drama’s, “Apurnank, Gela Madhav Kunikade which is a professional play that did more than 2000 shows and which was the greatest hit at that time which was teamed up with Prashant Damle and Madhavi playing the lead roles,” said Rajiv
Rajiv Shinde still does more than 35 short films every year in the college and at the same time, he is also actively involved in the theater activities. He is an Actor, Director, Filmmaker, Writer, and Designer. He always comes up with new ideas and concepts for his scripts and he is known for a lot of Experimental work in Theatre.
“Now when I look back I feel very proud and happy that I took those tough decisions earlier in my life. I was never interested in making commercial films. According to me, Konkani films should be made more appealing for the Goan audience in the line with Bollywood and Hollywood movies. I feel that there is a lack of technical skills in Konkani films which need to be developed. According to me, there are many good actors in Goa. It’s just that they are not showcased properly. I feel that it is the director’s job to provide them that platform and bring their talent out. Finally, things also depends on the script on which they work on, whether they are suitable for the script or not,” said Rajiv.
According to me, Rajiv Shinde is a perfect example of passion and dedication and he is the real trendsetter in the film and drama industry of Goa. Despite the available opportunities from the Mumbai film industry he gave up everything for his love and passion and preferred to stay back in Goa. The latest flick made by Rajiv will surely go to break the records of various technical and creative parameters.