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Documentary tracks ‘Unreserved’ thoughts

What do you get when you put an IIT Kharagpur graduate and a friend with a camera and sound-recording equipment on unreserved compartments for 17 days across India?

Students of St Joseph’s College (Autonomous)’s Department of Communication witnessed the answer to that question: a National Award-winning documentary called Unreserved. The film by now 27-yearneeds old Samarth Mahajan has been showed in 15 national and international festivals.

Travelling for 17 days in the general compartment to various corners of India, Mahajan and his friend filmed the documentary in the train. They engaged some otherwise bored people in open interviews, and came up with eye-opening insights into poverty, unemployment, and deprivation of basic yearneeds, besides hope and positivity in the youth. “Filming the documentary was a process of discovery and my aim was to build relationships and not sensationalise things,” said the director.

“I was open towards the passengers I interviewed and made them feel like I was one of them,” he added. The crew spoke to hundreds of passengers, but could only pick and choose a select few due to time constraint. These were the people in the final cut.