Dream for My Boy

Nimah from Dharamsala wishes for her son to be ambitious and that her country (Tibet) will become free.

Q&A with Neha Chopra

1. What’s been your role on DREAM:IN?

I’ve been absorbed in the DREAM:IN team as a filmmaker and an editor. In phase one, we held a participative, hands-on workshop for our dreamcatchers in basic framing techniques. In the second phase, our team put together the fully functional Dream:IN Edit Studio.

My main role is to gain insights on the dreams captured during the Dream Journey. I believe that people in India have an innate desire to dream, share and express. Once that force has captured on camera the storyteller has the responsibility of looking at the whole picture of the Dream:IN concept to bring out nuggets that are insightful at the same time keeping the freshness of the dreams intact. It’s an Herculean task to screen, sort, separate and select the footage into groups. It’s an ongoing process to sift through the footage, mark clips for editing and to finally make the cut.

2. What’s been challenging about being at the receiving end of so much video footage?
One is left exhausted after a day of going through around 150-200 clips which is about 5-6 hours of audio-visual material. By the evening the buzzing of dreams and stories in my head gets louder! Sifting through raw footage of life and dreams, people sharing basic emotions and ideas directly to the camera can be a daunting task. You have to continuously zoom into the dream-scape while keeping the reality of the project intact.

There are rivers of dreams flowing into the edit studio. It might have proved impossible to cut such enormous amount of footage but during the edit I was amazed at how skilled my team became with the material. Every few frames trimmed and on-the-move capturing style is continuously lending the edit a real energy. I guess the passion is infectious!

3. Can you tell us a bit about the span of dreams that have been captured?
It’s an eclectic collection of dreams, from students to scholars, shop owners to housewives, young to old, radical to conservative – and from local, to national, to global dreams. We have dreams of success, dreams of adventure. If you look at the images and listen to those feelings captured, you can often arrive at an understanding about the dreamer and their world of dreams.

This collection of dreams is proving to be a triumph for one minute films – they form links to these dreamers whose stories stick in our minds. The subject matter leaps out on the screen. Watching all the dream videos makes one think how similar we all are around the India. These films become a mirror, the audience is looking at behavior and dreams in a deeply reflective way.

4. What’s been your favorite random story from DREAM:IN so far?
Oh – there are so many! I am fond of the flower-seller Manikndan who dreams of exporting Indian flowers to Paris someday. The coach who dreams of training a team that will win the football World Cup for India. A young brand manager who has quit her job to become a teacher for underprivileged kids. A media professional who is now on the path of spiritual healing. A lot of youngsters have parallel dreams, to old folks who dream of living a peaceful retired life with respect and dignity. But our journey isn’t over yet… we still have many more stories to share!

Amar Dreams

Amar’s humble plea for schools to include & acknowledge the handicapped and the visually impaired. He also hopes to help in removing the great divide between the rich & the poor. (Mumbai)

Reflections by Ankit Khurana

Profound photographs caught by dreamcatcher Ankit Khurana from Team Santili traveling from Bangalore, Delhi to Dharamshala.

Lost, Found & Remembered

A splash of colour from dreamcatcher Tara Maria’s dream journal whilst traveling from Bangalore to Bhubaneshwar. Trinkets documented from all over Chennai, Vizag & Nellore.

Very insightful! Thanks Tara!

Driver Dreams of Helping Others

A Christian rickshaw driver from Bangalore wants to help and nurture poor children.

Q&A with Rahul Vijaykumar

1. What’s been your role on DREAM:IN?
I’d been working on earlier SPREAD projects – the Design Leadership Workshop, Corporate Innovation Workshop, Young Designers Workshop and Greenies. So I was on board with our DREAM:IN initiative from the start as the project leader – contributing across the Journey, Conclave and Portal. It’s been a wild ride! Akanksha and I earlier drafted and designed the DREAM:IN Journey that took 101 Dreamcatchers to over 50 cities and 100 towns across India. I co-ordinated the selection of Dreamcatchers, anchored the Journey Workshop and will be promoting February’s Conclave. We’re a nimble team and everyone chips in and lends a hand wherever and whenever they can. I haven’t been this busy ever – I’m loving every minute of it!

2. How was the response from Dreamcatchers during and after their journey?
The call for Dreamcatchers was a big hit. I got calls from students and young professionals all over the country. Some people thought it was a pleasure trip, while most others wanted to really dig deep and find out why we were doing this. We had setup a group on Facebook so that selected Dreamcatchers could meet and get to know each other before the journey.

The Dreamcatchers reported personal transformations after returning from the journey. We got numerous thank-you posts and notes which told us how the journey had made them look at life and India in a whole new way. Strangers became friends for life and team members became family. One note read:  “just back… but couldn’t stop myself from spotting… I’ve ended up chit-chatting with an autowallah who wants to be a teacher… then a salesman and many more… Thanks DREAM:IN, the journey was a lot more than I expected… it has really made me look at life afresh” – Dreamcatcher, Paulami R Choudhury

3. Can you tell us a little about the upcoming Dream Portal?
The Dream Portal is going to be a website which allows users to share, view, upload, comment, categorise and rate dreams from all over the world. It’s going to be a place where, once you share your dream, someone just might be able to convert it into reality. We are partnering with IBM on the development of the portal. DREAM:IN is going to have counterparts in Sri Lanka and Brazil in the near future – so the portal will become the central Dream Bank. Right now we’re furiously working on various aspects and features. The portal will be officially launched in February at the DREAM:IN Conclave.

4. What’s been your favourite random story from DREAM:IN so far?
Oh, there are so many! Where do I start? I remember the day before the Dream Journey Workshop, where the entire team (including some of our visiting Dreamgurus) stayed in the office till around 4 am, even though we had to be back by 7 am. Everyone was so excited, running around, helping each other and getting everything ready for the workshop the next day. The energy was amazing – everyone was wide awake, even after working continuously for so long. I felt that was when DREAM:IN began to really come alive.