Films with relatable characters linger on your mind much longer after you have finished watching the movie. Take Ved from Tamasha, Fleabag from Fleabag, Miguel from Coco, Kaira from Dear Zindagi, Devi from Masaan, the list goes on and on. Ever wondered how do the writers manage to put them on paper so well? Ever wished to create characters like them? These exercises can just be the start of a beautiful process for you.

Get your pencil and paper ready. Let’s begin!

  1. Person I Hate Exercise

As a writer, it is best to feel strongly for the character in order…

Sometimes I feel like I have seen all the classics. All those movies that had the power to make me fall in love with films. But then yesterday I had a pleasant epiphany. I watched City of God for the first time.

My world, what a film. What an iconic opening sequence and an even more iconic climax, ‘the beginning of the end’. I could feel the makers wanting to shoot the film exactly the way they would have imagined it while reading the novel it is based on. …

While the man’s life largely stays unchanged, the woman is expected to take up the responsibilities of a new set of people.

A still from the Hindi film ‘Vivah’

You can draw direct parallels to the sati practice of the 19th century and an expectation from the woman of 2021 to live with her in-laws.

Sati (as explained in an article in India Today): A practice among Hindu communities where a recently widowed woman, either voluntarily or by force, immolates herself on her deceased husband’s pyre. …

I had a rather unfortunate epiphany on my 25th birthday. The food I was eating was staying with me in the form of love handles (nowhere close to the acceptable form of an ideal body in popular culture), and that made me think about my diet for the first time.

When you are happy-go-lucky all your life and get struck with the realization that you are already 25, you start looking at your life from a third person’s POV. Both emotionally and physically. When it came to the body, I started getting influenced by the ‘influencers’ who ate like a…

Many many years ago in a land far away, existed heaven. It was my home. I remember waking up that morning overly excited for the very famous, death metal band, Covid-19's concert.

I was a security guard at Gate 1 of heaven. Today was going to be the best day of my job. Preparations were on for the gig on the very next gate. I gazed at it in awe with a child’s curiosity and loved the entire hula hoop around it. One of those rare days I couldn’t wait to get off duty.

Quick as a wink, it was…

It is easy, very easy.

Remember the movie, ‘Into the Wild’ that was based on a true story? Christopher, having lived a long time in his own company, on the brink of his death engraves on a wooden table, “happiness only real, when shared.”

Of all the pleasant permutations and combinations you are making of his last words, at its core, it highlights the importance of a community. For community is what makes the difference between surviving and living.

At the core of our existence, we have been social and as humankind took the escalator to urbanization, every change aimed…

It was a tragedy of errors if not a comedy.

The year is 2079 and cyberwars have created havoc around the world. Maxi, a bomb diffusing software has been hacked by the terrorists and made non-responsive. It is up to the minds and skills of humans to locate and diffuse five deadly E-Bombs that can potentially overthrow allied governments and disrupt the universal peace pact.

Information War by Marek Skupinski

This is the age of information warfare and so are the weapons. E-Bombs attack the electronic systems, not humans directly. They produce an electromagnetic field of such intensity that their effect can be far more…

Going through a strangers album and living a nostalgia that never took place.

It is just past midnight and I am trying to complete a long pending project in the silence of the night. As I feel the project is on track and I will be able to sleep sooner than expected, the phone screen lits up. It is this thought of having time in control allows me the leeway to check my phone. I reply to the WhatsApp message and involuntarily move to the browser and type after a long time.

There are a dozen friend requests. I…

Safina and Murad have a secret meeting spot in the alleys of Dharavi — the bridge. Romance is in the air and you feel it in their conversations, that they must have been having since they were 13. For a long time in the film, you are lost in this beautiful camaraderie. Only to realize at the stroke of the interval, the bridge they are standing on, is covering a ditch. But, it’s a colourful ditch, one you don’t disrelish. …

Looking at the raindrops saturating on the edge of the window shed, I waited for them to close the distance between them. As they would come closer, meet and fall into the puddle of clear water underneath. Drenched in my observation I was lying still, when my roommate called from inside, “close the door, it's raining outside.”

Cloudy day in Tikjuk (Photographed in a cellphone by me)

This was the time before the realization; that I don’t always have to keep the book on the table. …

Harshad Fad

Dedicated to all those great stories, novels, books and articles who showed me my place.

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