The story of “Godi” revolves around a 16 year old playful young girl living in rural Gujarat. This 16 years old Godavari likes to read and goes cow grazing with her little brother Hitesh. Godavari is raised in a happy family where she plays a lot with her little brother, helps her father with bookkeeping, and helps her mother around the kitchen.
While Godi is still enjoying her childhood, one day her father comes home with a big smile that he could not contain his face. He was excited about something huge, and asks Godi’s mother to serve sweets with the dinner. Confused, baffled; Godi’s mother insist him to reveal the reason for such joy; to which Godi’s father smilingly share the news of Godi’s wedding. He had just in the day finalized the wedding of his 16 year old girl who probably doesn’t even know what a marriage is.
That night, when Godavari sits with her father for bookkeeping she notices some unusual entries. She realizes those entries are for the dowry that her father is paying. Godi is yet to accept that she would go away from her family and is now bewildered as to why would her father have to give away almost everything he has, just in order for Godi to get married? A marriage that Godi doesn’t even want.
Helpless Godi does get married to a man who is more than double the age she is. Madha is a drunk, uneducated adult who goes to the field to help his father with farming. On the day of their marriage, Godi’s father gives away his everything Madha’s family who seemed to be quite greedy to Godavari. Her experiences in this new house were unsettling. She is sexually abused by her husband, mentally tortured by her mother-in-law while father-in-law looks at her and touches her flirtatiously. Godavari cannot understand what is happening with her but lives with it as time goes by. Godi’s vadsasu is a witness to all these horrendous activities, but can’t really do anything about it.
One day, it is discovered that Godavari is pregnant and everyone seemed happy. The family celebrates with sweets, while Madha goes out to drink with his friends. That night, Madha dies and everything changes for Godi. This unnerving ritual begins the next day, where all the women comes and hit their chests as a sign of grief. Godi cannot cry, not even a tear. She is observing how everyone who did not know Madha are crying copiously despite not knowing him. Pregnant Godi is forced to cry by her mother, her friend and is being judged by everyone as a witch who cannot shed a tear for husband. Unable to bear all the irritation around her, she faints. Godavari gets up and endlessly observes her surrounding for till the end.
GODI – My directorial debut. It was an exceptional experience making and telling a story that needed to be told and showcased to the audience for plethora of reasons. The film is taking place in current times. It took us around a year to complete the film. The project has gone through number of difficulties like Godi the “protagonist” of the film is facing challenges on each next step of her life. It was only for my parents for their never ending support that I could think of making this film. Team of this project was so supportive at every part of it, each person of the team has show tremendous efforts. To deliver 35 minutes of output we took around 6-8 months, production and post-production. Story development begun in September 2020. It was horrible times worldwide, COVID-19 was showing it’s colors. Everything was stuck and so were we. Meanwhile, a random idea just stuck through my mind that I want to make a short format film just to submit in “Cannes Film Festival 2021”. Unfortunately it did not happen this year but we are ready for 2022. Though the idea of the story I had in my mind since I was in 10th grade at that time was no where to be connected with cinema and films. When the project was finally taking place on paper it was really at a small scale as I had to finance it from my savings and earnings. So, I had to look at the both aspects of project creative and finance to keep it very tight on budget at same time I had to keep in mind not to kill the artistic side of it, but fate has something else written for us, and here it is, what happened to our small scale project. If I don’t consider the time we were shooting in Jatavad then that will be a mistake, and I certainly cannot do that, it was the most horrendous experience and lesson for the entire cast and crew of the project. Majorly for me. I would say we were being held captured by the landlords, if we didn’t pay them the said number by them then they would have captured me. That’s what heard when Mr.Lakhan enterd the prmise of our stay Mr.Lakhan: “Jo pasia na aape to ek kaam karo Keyurbhai ne ahiya rakhi lo ana baki badha bhale jata“; and the hashtag #PAISATHASE for the film simple took birth from the land of Kutch. It took as 6 days for the shoot; 2 days in Kutch and 4 days in Vanthal. Vanthanl : A wonderful village with beautiful people near Viramgam, Gujarat. Bhargav Maheta, one of the key support on this location and I cannot thank enough to Mr. Bhargav Maheta and people of Vanthal for their unconditional support at every stage. We had two wedding sequences and one choreography sequence both of them came exceptionally well. Two of them were the most challenging sequences of the film. Actually the entire film was full of challenges from the Muhurat (Project Opening Shot) till the climax scene, but shooting wedding and marashiya were at some different level altogether. Here are few glimpses from wedding sequence to marashiya sequence to the pack up.
All in all the project went through lots and lots of difficulties but the end result says it all.
Keep Smiling & Keep Picturing. . .