A number of youngsters from Odisha are making it big in Bollywood. A recent addition to this list is Sisir Kumar Sahu, an assistant director to Ashutosh Gowariker in Mohenjo Daro.
Apart from this, the 29-year-old has worked with Shyam Benegal in a 10-part television series on the making of the Indian Constitution for Rajya Sabha TV. He was also an assistant director to Chandraprakash Dwivedi of Pinjar fame in the 2014 film Zed Plus.
Sahu’s journey from the village of Binjhabhal in Keonjhar to Mumbai was one of perseverance and patience. In 2012, after passing out from Biju Patnaik Film & Television Institute in Cuttack, he moved to Mumbai to try his luck.
Sisir found working with Ashutosh very different from his experience with Benegal. He says he “enjoyed working with Ashutosh more”. It was not the first time Sisir had worked with Ashutosh, though. “I have assisted him in the television series ‘Everest’,” he says.
The assistant director also found Ashutosh a “down to earth” person, who assigned responsibilities to people irrespective of their experience. “He believes in grooming people and often says a person learns and becomes responsible only by making mistakes. He would conduct meetings every day and ask each person there about what needs to be done and takes suggestions from everyone,” Sisir recalls.
The film also offered Sisir a chance to hone his culinary skills and to share Oriya cuisine with the film crew. “Ashutosh used to ask members of the crew from different states to cook food native to their states. I made bodi chura, sag, fried fish and dahi pakhalo. I guided the chef to prepare all the Oriya food items and served them. They particularly liked dahi pakhala as it soothed the stomach in the searing heat,” he said.
Sahu is now working on a documentary on the Raja festival. The shooting for the 50-minute film has begun in Puri. “I want show our culture to the world. I will send the film to various national and international film festivals,” said Sahu.