Article English (India)

I wrote The Little Pause in one day: Ayesha Julka on her directorial debut

The one-time leading lady turns director with the short film, A Little Pause, which revolves around a child coping with its parents' divorce.

Photo: LIFFT India

Suparna Thombare

Actress Ayesha Jhulka is making her debut as director with the short film, The Little Pause, which will be premiered at the LIFFT India Filmotsav today, 10 December.

The 20-minute film takes on the subject of the effect of divorce on children and how they cope with the drastic change occurring in their lives.

"A child has almost 35-36 emotions when parents separate," Julka explained. "He or she is a mute spectator watching the divorce. And the child has to make a choice. Who will the child stay with, the mother or the father? The child wants both. How easy it is for parents to divorce these days. People have very little patience. The story revolves around the effect of that on a child."

While Julka had been contemplating getting into direction for a while now, this short film happened purely by chance.

"The thought came to my mind one night," she said. "A very close friend of mine was going through a divorce. And I kept hearing a lot of things on the subject. It is about the kid's life. Others will find their way, but it's the hardest on the child."

It took Julka only a day to write the story after the idea struck her the night before.

"So I had these thoughts and I felt like I need to write," she said. "I didn't think of making a film at that point. I sat down in the morning at 8. It's very uncanny, but I wrote a couple of drafts. And at 10:30 in the night I completed it. And I didn't want to change anything because it was purely from my heart. It came purely from watching what was happening around me and what troubled me." 

When her husband Sameer Vashi asked what she was going to do with it, Julka said she was going to make a film.

"I just said I'm going to make a film out of it. I didn't want to make a big or a small film. I just wanted to show my vision," she said. "I called a couple of friends and said I want to make this. I didn't know what I was doing, but I just wanted to do this."

Julka decided to direct it herself because she found it "difficult to explain to anyone else" how she wanted to make it. "I made it the way I wrote it," she said. "I didn't narrate the script to anybody except my husband. Nobody knew that I was doing this. And I shot it in two days."

While her first film is being premiered this week, the newly minted director has already completed shooting for her second short film, coincidentally titled The Little Parents. It is an environment-based film. 

"It's again about a child," said the actress. "It talks about how children need to be brought out from the virtual world into the real world. And why our next generation is only playing games at home and not spending time in nature."

Julka and her husband have also been working on a script for a mainstream feature film for the past two years. 

Julka, who has featured in hits like Khiladi (1992), Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992) and Rang (1993), was recently seen on the big screen in a supporting part in Genius earlier this year. 

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