Hyderabad: Author-turned-filmmaker Aditya KV talks about his web series that was inspired by unsung people, untold events in Hyderabad.
It’s exhilarating to hear stories from Hyderabad’s chequered past. The times before Independence, riots, the chaos during the aristocratic rule, and accession into the Indian Union — these are tales of people some of which saw light while some got buried in the labyrinth of the past.
Author-turned-filmmaker Aditya KV’s debut web series, titled ‘Unheard’, revolves around a fictional tale which was told in a conversational style. As a young chap, Aditya grew up hearing stories from his grandfather on how people of Hyderabad faced trouble during those times.
“A marketeer in Nizam’s cigarette manufacturer Vazir Sultan Tobacco (VST), my grandpa had a detailed account of how people suffered during the period. As part of his job to market cigarettes, he would tour the Telangana region and used to tell me his experiences,” shares Aditya.
The maker explains further how his grandfather had seen the freedom struggle as a 15-year-old teenager growing up in Regimental Bazar, the heart of British Cantonment. “I could sense his anguish as to how to jump into the freedom movement. My great grandfather, too, worked for the British, and I heard from people who served the British forces during World Wars in Europe. Some of them had inspired me enough to actually look at how they went to fight war on behalf of the Allied Forces,” he adds.
There’s so much diversity in the way people perceive history, feels Aditya. ‘Unheard’ is a book presentation in a visual format, narrated through six conversations.
Starring actors Bala Aditya, Srinivas Avasarala, Chandini Chowdary and Priyadarshi in prominent roles, the web series is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. A newbie to the craft of filmmaking, Aditya had worked in the writing department for ‘Gods Of Dharmapuri’ (G.O.D) which was produced by Radhika Lavu.
“Radhika stood like a rock to make me pursue the project. Even for her, it was a huge experiment to take up — first, the subject and then me as a director. Abhiraj Nair, one of the technicians, could visualise my concept of how a conversation could be seen as cinema. Later, we consulted the History department at the Osmania University to ensure ‘Unheard’ had no factual errors. Some of the journals like ‘Economic and Political Weekly’ helped the project,” says Aditya, an alumnus of Cornell University, New York.
For a person coming from a corporate background, numbers mean a lot to Aditya. “We always saw history from leaders’ perspective. Be it Mahatma Gandhi, Subash Chandra Bose or Bhagat Singh. But we didn’t know about the people who worked behind them. If Gandhi has a stake in history, what about the people who worked behind him? As much as 30 crore people working towards attaining freedom was mind-boggling. So, ‘Unheard’ runs like a part of the opinion of the people. I have another interesting subject that I am currently working on — about the history of Secunderabad. It’s coming under the production of Radhika garu,” added Aditya, the author of ‘Daitya Diaries’.