India’s Resul Pookutty rose to international fame by winning the Oscar award for Sound Mixing six years ago for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. A walking and cycling enthusiast, the Kerala-born Pookutty credits his childhood experience of braving the famed monsoon rains by foot as his first foray into the world of images. The Mumbai based Resul Pookutty talks to NMT Times in an exclusive interview:
Q. What is your experience about walking and cycling in India?
I bought my first cycle, an old one, for two hundred rupees after I finished college. I repainted it white to make it look like a brand new ‘BSA’ cycle. But people started calling it “ambulance”. My brother-in-law had promised me a cycle if I secured first class in my school leaving examination, but he never gave it to me. I have written about this in my book.
About walking, there is no hill I have not climbed, no path I have not walked in Kerala. My school was six kilometers away and I walked both ways. That was the start. When we walked to the school in the morning, I will tell the story of one cinema to one set of friends. When we returned, I will repeated the same story to another set of friends. When the stories were over, I invented cinema stories. That was the start of my cinema career (laughs).
When we walked in the rain, we would take a big banana leaf for cover. This is my image of walking. A group of banana trees walking in the rain. We kept our books inside the clothes and walked under the big leaf. My walk in the rain was to save this one book I took to school every day. We bound our books ourselves back then, from unused pages of old books, especially maths books, which were the thickest every year.
Q. How do you view non-motorised transport as a professional when you are too busy with hectic work and have less time?
For me, what happens is that the morning walks have become a time with myself.
It allows me to refresh, to see what I have done and what I am going to do. It is like solving physics problems. You solve these problems while you are doing some innate things. Today, when I walk I find solutions to several problems like solving those in physics.
Q. Is there any city in the world you particularly like in terms of walking?
Los Angeles. It is for me a city to walk. One of the most beautiful things about Los Angeles is that you can walk anywhere in the city. The neighborhood is done up beautifully and that gives you the space to walk. I also like the fact that in Los Angeles I can walk to work.
Q. Which Indian city do you consider good for walking and cycling?
I like Thiruvanthapuram, the capital of Kerala, a lot in terms of walking. I have walked in this city a lot. During the time I was applying to the film school, I used to go around the city walking with ideas of fillm making. Thiruvananthapuram is where I can say I have my footprints. Where there was was sound, music and film I was there.
Q. Do you support walking and cycling as a celebrity and model for others to emulate?
Walking and cycling is the easiest way you keep yourself fit. You don’t have to pay anybody to walk. The most beautiful thing is I see people saying ‘good morning’ to me and shaking my hands, whether they are elderly people or young people. You don’t know them, but immediately there is a connection and they identify with In Mumbai’s Goregaon East, where I walk every day, there are lots of birds, lot of greenery and lot of pure oxygen. My walk is to be in union with the nature.