The Global Search for Education: A Conversation with Eshaan Mani, Creator of Delhi Days
This month, audiences can screen Delhi Days on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by Planet Classroom.
Step into a heartwarming journey with Delhi Days by Eshaan Mani.
This nostalgic film offers a captivating interview-style narrative, where Arun Mani revisits his youth in New Delhi, evoking nostalgia and gratitude. Enjoy touching reminiscences, lifelong friendships, and youthful exuberance. An engaging tale that leaves you wanting more.
The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Eshaan Mani.
Eshaan, could you share what inspired you to create Delhi Days? Please also share any memorable moments in the filmmaking process.
I’ve always been enthralled by my dad’s stories of his days growing up. I’ve loved our trips to India, especially Delhi. So I decided to capture on camera my dad reminiscing about his school days. The film actually has a deeper meaning for me now than it did when I first made it, as I’m approaching the end of my high school career — what I suppose one could define as the last year of childhood; it’s a reminder to never forget where you came from, even as you advance toward the future. My favorite part of our interview was when my dad talked about playing cricket in the green space behind his house and bonding with his friends; oh, and when he admitted to cutting class to walk around the bustling Connaught Place commercial complex.
Arun Mani’s reflections are both heartwarming and thought-provoking. How did you approach capturing his memories and balancing them with the present?
The film has relevance to me — and I hope to the viewer — in two ways — one, it’s a portrait of growing up in a simpler time and a different culture, and two, it shows that years may pass but memories will never fade, especially if you nurture the connections that you make. That second message, to me, was the one I wanted to hammer home through how I edited the film. I balanced my dad’s childhood memories with scenes from a few years ago reuniting with childhood friends. Also, ‘Little Eshaan’ makes a cameo in the film — there’s a picture of me standing in the green space behind my dad’s house. That was meant to be a bit of a ‘full-circle’ Easter egg, since my dad spent much time there too!
What techniques did you employ to direct Arun’s story into the film we see today?
In making Delhi Days, I wanted to provide an overview of my dad’s childhood with details like where he grew up, his hobbies as a kid, and his school life, so I constructed an interview script of about ten questions. It turns out I never even needed the questions! Our conversation flowed naturally.
The film leaves viewers curious about Arun’s life beyond his Delhi days. What emotions or perspectives do you hope your audience takes away from this narrative?
I hope they’re curious not just about his life beyond his Delhi days but also what else happened in his Delhi days — there are so many interesting, intriguing, perhaps scandalous stories that I didn’t have the runtime to include! But jokes aside, I hope that after watching this film, audiences can reminisce on their favorite childhood memories and perhaps consider how their culture and surroundings have impacted their childhood.
Thank you Eshaan!
C.M. Rubin with Eshaan Mani
Don’t Miss Delhi Days, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated by Planet Classroom.