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Maker in the making

An imaginative scriptwriter, eager actor, aspiring musician and budding poet... fifteen-year-old Kaushik Subramanian is all this and more. A profile...

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS, at home or abroad, affect a creator, trigger his imagination and inspire him to use it as a take-off point for his project.

In such cases, age, or the lack of it, need not be a factor at all as Kaushik Subramanian proves.

This 15-year-old shy and reticent schoolboy is an imaginative scriptwriter, an eager actor, an aspiring musician and a budding poet. ``His poem delivered extempore at Rotary's `Mission for Vision' meet won him the first prize.

``That was long ago... I don't remember the lines now,'' adds a self-conscious Kaushik, whose passion, at present, is making animation films, using the moviemaker software.

Just making a film with the basic software may not be a daunting task. But writing a story with focus, conceiving a suitable screenplay, effective dialogue, music and sound effects and making it into a complete film, single-handed, surely needs skill.

The Kandahar plane hijack made a deep impression on the boy who was a 12-year old then. And so did his parents' ordeal for school admission at the local level. He combined the two ideas, wrote a story, scripted it and created an animation film of seven minutes duration. He called it ``Hi (KG) jack''. The response it received from parents and friends made the young mind want to do more.

The Gujarat earthquake made Kaushik come up with the 10-minute animation ``Earth for Sale''. Marked by witty dialogue, neat sequential narration, excellent sound effects and a story that makes you ponder, ``Earth for Sale'' is undoubtedly a commendable effort.

The film in Tamil has its moments of levity and humour too. `Crazy' Mohan, a family friend, found the screenplay incredibly good and was all praise for Kaushik.

With the Twin Towers as the scene of action, ``Terrorism'' another 10-minute animation film in English deals with a story of four members of a family separated in the melee that followed the September 11 blast and their reunion. The salient point that Kaushik makes through "Terrorism" is the need for peace. The film also lucidly states that even the so-called invincible U.S., is not free from the scourge called terrorism.

Kaushik is a Class X student of the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School in Nungambakkam. Intel, as a gesture of appreciation, has given the school Rs. 1 lakh, as Kaushik had made the film for his school annual project.

Come weekends and Kaushik sits glued to the computer or the keyboard. His parents, who realised his sense of rhythm, even at the age of three, helped him train formally in the playing of mridangam.

The interest in keyboard came later — Kaushik now uses it for the background score for his films. ``I download a little of the music ... the rest I compose myself,'' he explains and goes on to play a piece that he had composed just the previous day.

Kaushik himself gives the voice for all the characters. ``Sometimes for the chorus and small pieces of dialogue, I give my neighbours and friends a chance,'' he adds.

For all this, Kaushik doesn't write out anything. ``I just plan what has to be said and done in my mind, and do it,'' he says simply.

With proper avenues thrown open, this kid with potential is a budding talent to watch out for.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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