Teaming up with the makers of Dostii Dance to create something out of the box, actor Shantanu Maheshwari’s new short film highlights a relationship between two brothers celebrating the festival of Rakshabandhan in a very different manner.
Shantanu who has always taken the initiative to promote and be a part of content which has a message to give out and is more on the meaningful side, has once again gone the unconventional way for an occassion which has always highlighted the relationship between a brother and sister, to showcasing what a relationship between two brothers can look like.
Not just talking about two brothers and their bond on Rakshabandhan, the story focusses on Shantanu supporting his brother played by India’s first transgender model Nikkiey Chawla, who has become a transgender and is coming home to grace the occassion with his family for the first time.
Speaking about being a part of a story which breaks the clutter on this traditional occassion, Shantanu shares,”When I first heard the entire story, I knew I had to be a part of this short film. More than just wanting to enact the characters, this concept had me intrigued from it’s first word because it not only highlighted a relationship which is very contrasting to what the festival is about but it also spoke about something very important in this day and age that the creative team wanted to put out there. It also highlighted a bond so strong between two siblings that one is ready to support the other irrespective of his choices, inspite of his family not accepting the change. I also feel that Rakshabandhan is not only a festival about a brother promising to protect his sister, but in totality a bond between two individuals being there for each other and supporting and protecting each other, which I am glad got strongly highlighted through this meaningful film created by the amazing Beehive productions team whose films I would honestly love to be a part of again”.
Shantanu elaborates,”It’s great to see topics like gender choices being highlighted with simple yet thought provoking and heart touching stories on the content front for our screens which definitely make a difference. On the personal front, while shooting I myself got a lot of insight from Nikkiey about the struggles she had to face and how she overcame them which was very inspiring to hear about. Overall, I also feel that there needs to be more acceptance about the reality of these matters, which can be spoken more about through platforms like the digital space and television for people to realize the importance of respecting every individual irrespective of their personal choices to be who they want to be in their lives”.
India’s first transgender model and motivational speaker Nikkiey Chawla speaks about associating with the short film,”This project is very close to my heart as the entire incident has similarly taken place in my life. I still remember my first Rakhi after my transformation with my younger brother, we were in the car talking about life, so the entire scene with Shantanu and me in the car just made me relive the entire scenario. So I really want to dedicate this film to my younger brother who passed away 9 years ago. Working with Shantanu was also a lovely experience. He made me extremely comfortable and I just saw my younger brother in him throughout our shoot”, shares Nikkiey.