Character Study

While attending the script writing workshop, in Dec 07, one of the first exercises was to go and spend about half an hour in Gandhi Bazaar and observe three people; comeback and then write about them. I choose a fast food restaurant as an excellent spot to view multiple options. During this process, I observed “a mother”, “a flower vendor” and “an old man”. Out of these “the mother “was chosen by me, to construct a script around the character, later in the course. Here is the first character description exercise.


She stood at the end of a hotel by the street, looking at the passing by vehicles. Her five year old son restless as any other child of his age, picked one stone at a time and made sure it landed on the nearby road if not at any specific target. She looks at him and drags him near to her, as though it would make him realize that what was game for him is a subject of botheration to the elders whose mind has no stop to predictions of mishaps.

She presents a grim face and as though in deep thoughts. Her expression does not change except when she looks at her kid. When her attention is not on the kid she is busy in thoughts. Thoughts that may not be pleasant, one could say so from the rigid look she displays. One can see anger slightly surface on her face as a result of her thoughts.

Now and then, she adjusts her chudidhar shawl to cover her stoutness. An old man comes to her begging for some money.
“Mother, please give me some money.” He says

She ignores his request and instead drags her so closer. After he is gone, her son looks at her and asks with a confused look –
“Are you his mother too? Why did he call you mother?”

The lady bursts out into a loud laughter. She picks him up and holds him closer to herself and while doing so observes people around with a beautifully smile garlanding her otherwise intense face.

Her expressions change suddenly and she appears to be more lively with the smile still refusing to fade. The kid points out at the toys and asks her to buy him one of those. Like a slight pinch of strictness sprinkled over a sweet smile, the expression on her face changes quickly to appear annoyed. She rejects his request with a “no” and drags his hand away.

She returns back to her thoughts that had been felt unattended for few minutes. As though she is waiting for someone, she looks out in one direction.

Suddenly a faint expression of recognition surfaces on her face. There is her husband with two plates of idli. She takes one and begins feeding the kid first and in between tries to taste few pieces.


  1. Beautifully written, Ajeya. I could almost visualize him.

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  3. i like the character more interested in the course as well..where is it held ?

  4. Very powerful composition! Can help draw a dozen parallels from this!

    Good blog!

  5. indrani - :-) Thanks

    Lakshmi - I am a member of Suchitra film society, Banashankari. They organized this workshop. They also host, Film appreciation shows -They show one movie a week and after which there would be a discussion about it. Discounts for International film fests. Membership is Rs500 per year. Yes you read it correctly!:-)

    @Rahul - Thanks

    @Rakesh - Welcome here. Thanks

  6. That’s beautifully written :)

    P.S : you have been tagged! Pick it up from my blog.

  7. Nice article, very well written

  8. Very nice Ajeya, its hard to portray a character!


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