The Silicon Valley, a rough triangle that stretches from San Francisco and Oakland in the north to San Jose in the south, could be mistaken for an extension of an Indian city.
From streets with names such as Gurudwara Road to Indian restaurants and even a store named The Love Of Ganesha, the area is home to thousands of Indians, many of them techies. And first-time filmmaker Rucha Humnabadkar, who has assisted Nagesh Kukunoor on his films Hyderabad Blues (1998), Rockford (1999) and Bollywood Calling (2003), is looking to capture the journey of these people in her new film, For Here Or To Go?
“It’s the story of every Indian who comes to the Bay Area with dreams of making it big,” says Rucha. The script is written by Rishi Bhilawadikar, who is actor Atul Kulkarni’s nephew, and is based on posts from his blog, Stuff Desis Like. “I met Rishi about a year ago and we got talking about this script that he’d written. I was interested in making the film right off the bat,” she says.
Actor Gulshan Devaiah, who was last seen in Hate Story (2012), is playing the lead character, a first-generation immigrant from Mumbai. “He is a loner who likes western culture. He wants success and goes to America in search of it,” says Gulshan. “However, he soon finds that he’s facing the age-old dilemma of migrants, where do I belong?” he adds. Although the actor hasn’t had a similar experience himself, he will be meeting techies in the States and hopes to draw inspiration from their lives.
The film, which goes on the floors by July, will be shot in the Bay Area and Mumbai. “It’ll be nice to have a wide release,” says Gulshan. “This is a story that needs to be told, especially with the spotlight on immigration reform right now,” says Rucha, referring to the Mark Zuckerberg-led initiative FWD.us (pronounced forward US).