Kyoorius Advertising Awards
KYOORIUS ADVERTISING AWARDS - Film Craft (Direction)
Pooja Didi - Facebook
Entrant: Chrome Pictures
Baby Blue Elephant
|Entry Title:||Pooja Didi|
|Description:||The film is a tribute to all those who’ve harnessed the power of Facebook to amplify the good within us for the greater good. And brought to life the Indian truism that prosperity too grows only when shared with others. This is the story of the 28-year-old Pooja and the people (who’ve been laid off) that she keeps hiring (even though she doesn’t need them) through the hard months of 2020, at great personal cost and how those people come together and come through for her. She isn’t a mega rich business owner. But she believes she can do some good, even if it means stretching herself and her resources that much thinner and she goes all in. It’s this selflessness even in the face of adversity and even at the cost of losing a lot is what sets up the story for the viewer.|
|English Translation:||The film opens on Pooja Milk Centre. The visual is quite stark. Most of the shops in the market are closed. The market looks like a dull shadow of what it would have been a few months back. The milk centre is one of the very few stores that are open. A sparse queue of two or three people buying milk. We see Pooja on the phone behind the plexiglass. We see a picture of Pooja and her relatively (and visibly) younger brother with their father. she is talking to an old friend Simran. We intercut their conversation.
Pooja: Aur haal-chaal bolo… (BT: And what else is happening...)
Simran: Kuch bhi toh nahi, lockdow mein toh saara din ghar pe hi (BT: Nothing, just stuck at home during the lockdown)
Pooja: Aur aunty uncle kaise hain? (BT: How are Aunty & Uncle doing?)
Simran: Tch… (a pause)… papa ki job chali gayi. Chutti bol ke bheja tha. Waapas hi nahi bulaya. Samajh ni aa raha kaise hoga? (BT: Dad has lost his job, Was supposed to be a temporary one. But never called him back. I just don’t understand how will things work out?)
Simran can’t bring herself to complete her sentence. Pooja can understand the state that they’re in. We see her trying to cheer up her friend from outside the plaexiglass. Sometime later we see Pooja, deep in thought, looking at the workers in her milk centre. Pooja has her phone in her hand and she’s clearly thinking about something, almost wrestling with the thought. She turns to look at her dad’s picture (as if looking for guidance) exhales, smiles, hits a button on her phone and we see post in the UI pop-up in frame. We hear her voice verbalise the post.
Pooja Milk Centre ko workers ki zaroorat hai. Agar aap kisiko jaante hain jiski haal hi mein naukri gayi hai toh hum se milne zaroor bhejein.
(BT: Pooja Milk Centre wants workers. If anyone knows anyone who’s been recently laid off, Then do put them in touch with us)
She keeps the phone down and goes to the working area. We see two workers here – Ustaadji and one more worker.
Pooja to Ustaaadji: Ustaadji, khoya taste karao? (BT: Sir, give me some to milk pudding for taste?)
Brother enters: “Didi, ek minute idhar aa zara. Yeh kya hai? Kya zaroorat hai hume workers ki? Pehle hi yeh do nahi sambhal rahe hai” (mumurs to Pooja) (BT: Sister, one moment please. What is all this? and why do we need more workers? We already have 2 and it’s tough to manage them.)
Pooja (softly): Papa ki baat yaad nahin hai, kuch aisa bada kaam karo ki dukaan chhoti padh jaaye… (BT: Remember what dad used to say, do something so big that the shop becomes small for it.)
She goes back to tasting the khoya.
The brother (rolls his eyes): Unka matlab customers se tha. (BT: He meant more customers...not workers....)
Pooja to Ustaadji: Ustaadji, Khoya vadiya hai. (BT: Sir, the Milk Pudding is very nice.)
Cut to the next day. We see a man approaching the store on a cycle. We then see three new workers outside the store.
Pooja to the new workers: Yeh Milk Center hai. Roz subah teen baje aana hoga. Theek hai? (BT: This is a milk centre. You’ll have to come at 3:30 in the morning. ok.)
Worker: Haan ji. (BT: Yes)
Pooja: Chalo phir. Shuru ho jaao. (BT: Okay then. Let’s begin.)
The workers walk inside the store. As they enter, Pooja notices the fourth person standing a little behind. He is the same guy who was on the cycle.
Pooja: Ji Aap? (BT: Excuse me, how can I help you?)
Worker (cycle guy): Mein bhi, woh naukri… (BT: I’ve come here for a job.)
Pooja: Haanji aajo, teen baje haan? (BT: Okay, You’ll have to come at 3:30 in the morning. Ok?)
Ustaadji looks at these new workers being introduced.
Ustaadji: Humse koi galti ho gayi kya didi? (BT: Pooja Sister, did we make any mistake?)
Pooja: Nahi nahi, kyu? (BT: No. No. why?)
Ustaadji: Toh ye sab? (BT: These many new recruits?)
Pooja (reassuringly): Thodi aap ko bhi saans lene ki fursat mil jaaegi… Sikhao Inko. (BT: You’ll also get some time to breathe. Teach them.)
We now see the new workers learning the ropes. Cleaning the floors. Pouring the milk into containers. Working the machines. Some loading the milk containers into the three wheeler tempo trucks. In total, we see six workers.
Brother comes in: Oye, Kya ho raha hai yahaan pe? Kaun ho tum log? (BT: Hello, what is happening here? And who are all these people?)
Pooja: Yeh Raju hai Ustaadji ke saath, Surennder delivery pe, Baaki do neeche dukaan pe. (BT: This is Raju with Head Chef, Surennder for deliveries, rest two for helping at the shop)
Brother is shocked, looking at the workers.
One new worker comes in with a container: Didi, yeh kahan rakhoon? (BT: Pooja Sister, where do I keep this?)
Pooja to brother: Baboo, bata isko. (BT: Little brother, show him the place.) And leaves from there.
Brother to worker: ghantaghar hai na... uski chatt pe rakkh aa. (BT: Go to the top of a watch tower and keep it.)
Next day – Milk is being unloaded from the Tempo by the Brother and a worker.
We hear Pooja talking: Pehle kahan kaam karte the? (BT: Where did you work earlier?)
The guy : Ji, tailori ka kaam karta tha. (BT: I was a tailor by profession)
Her brother while unloading the Canister: Kissi carpenter aur plumber ko bhi jaante ho? Unko bhi le aana… naukriyon ka langar khul rakkha hai na yahan. (BT: Do you know any Carpenter, plumber who is looking out for a job, get them too. This place is not less than a job fair.)
Pooja gives her brother an admonishing look. He looks away.
Pooja to Ustaadji who is working in the background: Ustaadji, yeh aapke hawaale. (BT: Sir, he’s all yours.)
Ustadji (stops, asks hesitantly ): Didi, ek aur? (BT: Sister, One more?)
Pooja (smiles): Ek se bhale do. (BT: Two are always better and stronger than one)
Ustaadji: Haanji, thik hai ji. (BT: Sure.)
She smiles at ustaadji who also smiles back, but turns to find her brother grumbling under his breath.
It’s raining outside. We see Pooja’s car coming in front of the store. A customer (woman) is at the shop buying some paneer. The worker (cycle guy) who had been asked to learn from Ustaadji to make paneer is at the counter. Customer isn’t impressed. It looks a little lumpy.
Worker: Paneer kitna madam? (BT: How much Paneer, Ma’am)
Customer: Yeh … rehne do. (BT: This…… Leave it.)
Worker: Auntyji bilkul fresh hoga khaane mein. (BT: Ma’am, its super fresh and moist in eating.)
Customer: Khaane laayak bhi to dikhe. (BT: Doesn’t look too good though.)
Pooja is walking into the shop as she hears this exchange. The aunty looks at Pooja walks off but not without sounding a warning.
Customer : Quality gir gayi hai tumharai dukaan ki. (BT: Quality of your products/ shop has degraded)
The customer walks off, the worker looks at Pooja apologetically.
Worker: Sorry didi, woh ustaadji ki tabyat thik nahi thi toh meine bana diya. (BT: Very sorry Pooja Sister, I had to make it today because our head chef is not keeping well and he couldn’t.
Pooja (reassuringly): Naya kaam seekhne mein sab ko time lagta hai. (BT: Not an issue. Learning new things take time.)
Now Pooja gets down to helping the workers, teaching them how to make Paneer. Pooja is interacting with them, training them. Brother sees this and decides to join them to help. Pooja appreciates the fresh paneer made by the new worker (cycle guy).
Pooja: Waah! Thoda ghar ke liye pack kar do. Aur thora aap bhi le jao. (BT: Very Nice! Please pack some for me to take home. And even you take some.)
It’s late at night, all the workers leave and Pooja follows them outside. Her brother waiting for her in the car. She tells her brother “Dekha, badiya paneer banaya tha na”. (BT: Look! That Paneer (cottage cheese) actually taste better, right? )
Brother just looks away with a sigh.
At their home. Their mom is serving them dinner. Both kids are at the dining table. Pooja looks completely exhausted with the day’s work, unable to keep her eyes open. Mom serves her a phulka, nudges her. Pooja wakes up with a start. Her brother who has been noticing it, quips.
Brother: Fauj kyon ikkhatti kari itni… jab khud hi laddni hai jung? (BT: Why did you hire so many people , if you had to still take up on this world alone?)
Mother is concerned and confused.
Mother to Pooja: Tu thik hai na? Sab thik chal raha hai na? (BT: Are you okay? Is everything going fine?)
Pooja (underconfidently): Haanji (BT: yes.)
Mother: Tu dhyaan rakh apna haan. Tu khana kha. (BT: just take care of yourself and eat dinner now.)
Pooja is left thinking as her mom walks back into the kitchen. She’s standing on the terrace alone thinking.
We now see Both the brother and sister at a dairy farm. There are cows and other milch cattle there. A middle aged sardarji, the owner of the dairy is sitting with Pooja and her brother, we catch them mid-conversation.
Pooja: Uncleji thoda time do… mainey jaldi kar deni hai payment aap ki. (BT: Uncle, I will need some more time to clear the dues. But I’ll do it soon.)
Sardarji: Betaji mere bhi worker hain… aagey se payment ni aaegi to inki payment kaise karoonga. (BT: My dear, even I have workers and their salaries to give. Just imagine, how will I pay them if you don’t pay me.)
He motions her to have her tea, Pooja takes a sip, she’s increasingly feeling that they’re in a tight-spot. A little later, both Pooja and her brother are walking towards their car, parked in a corner of the dairy farm. They get in, Pooja looks pensive, her brother has nothing to say. He turns on the ignition and right then a faint smile appears on her face. She has an idea.
We now see Pooja arriving in a scooter while a bunch of her new workers unload the milk canisters from their tempo. her brother is doing the counting of these canisters. They all do a namaste on seeing her. She smiles at them, walks in. The workers look at her and remark.
One worker asks the other, “Didi ki gaadi nahi dikhai de rahi aaj-kal?” (BT: Haven’t spotted her car for a couple of days.)
Pooja’s brother overhears it
Brother: Nikal gayi woh… tum logon ki salary mein… (BT: Had to sell it off to manage your salaries.)
The workers look apologetic, but also get a sense of what all she’s going through to keep them employed.
A few days leading up to Diwali. A couple of sparse decorations are going up. We see the brother and sister poring through the books. They both look pretty grim.
Brother: Diwali aane tak, diwala nikal jaega humara … Extra logon ko nikalna hoga… (BT: We will have to shut down after Diwali, sister. We will have to fire the extra people we’ve hired.)
Pooja(shakes her head): Unki bhi to Diwali hai. (BT: it’s their Diwali too.)
This conversation is heard by a couple of her workers. They realize the extent of Pooja’s efforts. Fade to black.
We see Pooja and her brother about to leave the house for work on her scooty . Brother’s face is sullen. The brother has a sullen face. Pooja looks at him and says, “Thoda smile bhi Kar liya kar, saare time sad hua reheta hain”. (BT: Smile little brother, don’t be sad all the time.) As they are leaving, we see one or two people in the neighbourhood addressing her and telling her “Waah Didi, aap kitna achcha kaam kar rahe ho”. (BT: We’re very proud of you sister.)
Pooja seems clueless, wonders.
Pooja and her brother are riding their scooty to the shop. Pooja turns into her lane and is surprised. We cut to her POV. There’s a huge crowd gathered outside their shop. She’s surprised. Her brother is also alarmed. The store front is so crowded, that they have to stop some distance from their own shop. The brother quickly hops off the bike and rushes towards the shop. He charges into the crowd, Pooja parks the scooty and then starts walking towards the shop.
We stay with Pooja as she enters the crowd. She notices an orderly but a big crowd nonetheless. Long, snaking queue leading right up to PMC. Her team of workers are arranging people into a queue. One of them instructing the customers.
Worker: Please thoda duur-duur rahiye… please line mein aaiye please… (BT: People, please maintain some distance, do not crowd & form a Que.)
Pooja heads closer to the shop. From her POV we see the old hand Ustadji is at the galla, and another girl is noting down the sales in a rough ledger. The products are flying off the counter. Pooja can’t believe her eyes. She turns to find the girl who had uploaded the video. She’s also busy packing something,
Pooja gestures: yeh sab kya!? (BT: What’s all this?)
The girl: Wo aap humaari Facebook friend nahin ho na… isiliye shaayad aapko nahin pata... (BT: You’re not my Facebook friend no, that’s why you don’t know…)
Pooja is puzzled.
Right then her brother hands her a mobile with a facebook page open on it. There’s a video that he clicks on. She turns to look at him, his eyes are moistened. He clicks the play button. In the video we see a bunch of her workers standing in front of her shop, addressing the camera. It’s the tailor guy who does the talking.
Tailor (into the camera): Yeh hai Pooja milk centre. Market mein ek chhoti si dukaan. Is dukaan ko chalaati bhi ek choti si ladki hai… phir bhi hum sab unko didi kehte hain. Kyon? (BT: This is Pooja Milk Centre. A small shop in this huge market. This shop is run by a young girl but we all call her ‘big Sister’ . why?)
Pooja notices that everyone is looking at her, the workers, the customers. She gets conscious, walks past the door into their working area.
She presses the play button again.
Tailor: Kyonki khud bhookhi reh kar jo apni thaali apne bhai-behenon se baatein woh behen umar mein chotti ho chaahe… phir bhi baddi behen hi hoti hai. Humaari Pooja didi. Jab Naukri nahin thi humaare paas unhone hum ko kaam diya … sahaara diya, himmat dee. Aap bhi yahan aa kar unhein himaat dijiye, unka hausla badhaiye.
(BT: the one who stays hungry but shares her food with brothers and sisters, that sister may be younger in age but still a elder one/ matured. Our Sister ‘Pooja’ offered us a livelihood when we had nothing to do. Inspired us. Supported us. Would urge others to come here & support her.)
(He points at the board of Pooja milk centre. All the workers do a namastey.)
While watching the video pooja gets really emotional.
She turns around it’s her younger brother, who himself looks quite overwhelmed with all this, eyes brimming.
Brother: Tu theek kehti thi Didi… waaqai chotti padd gayi dukaan. (BT: you were right sister…our shop has actually became too small…)
Brother and sister hug, tears roll down Pooja’s cheek.
Pooja: Chal-chal bahut kaam hai aaj… (BT: let’s go…. Lots of work to do.)
Pooja comes to the front of the shop. The customer next in line is the woman who had turned down their paneer. The customer tells the tailor guy…
Customer: 300 gram paneer… aadha kilo hi kar dena. (BT: give me 300gms of Paneer. In fact give me 500gms.)
Pooja and the brother see this and smile.
Super: Dil kholo, Duniya khulegi
VO: Dil kholke toh dekho, duniya khul jaayegi
(BT: when you open your heart to the world, the world opens up for you.)
Facebook. More Together.
|Company Credits:||Chrome Pictures|
|Company Credits:||Taproot Dentsu|
|Individual Credits:||Amit Sharma, Director|
|Individual Credits:||Santosh Padhi, Agnello Dias , Pallavi Chakravarti & Neeraj Kanitkar, Creative Directors|
|Individual Credits:||Shashank Lanjekar, Strategic Planning|
|Individual Credits:||Radhika Sabherwal, Hemant Joshi & Ana Iman, Account Supervisors|
|Individual Credits:||Akshat Ghildial, Creative Partner|
|Individual Credits:||Napolean Daniel Amanna. Producer|
|Individual Credits:||Tushar Kanti Ray, Cinematographer|
|Individual Credits:||Shahnawaz Mosani, Editor|
|Individual Credits:||Sidhant Mago & Mayank Mehra, Music Composers|