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Guest Post: A Day in the Life of Karishma Jhalani

Guest Post: A Day in the Life of Karishma Jhalani

Continuing with our Guest Post series, we're delving into the lives of interesting people and how they spend their days. As always, all content and images are their own.


When asked to write a post for the Taramay Journal, I accepted with alacrity (hello, Scrabble word from last night!) My mind immediately assembled snapshots of a “productive” day. But January being the month of post-holiday blues - even though we’re all new people this year - makes this task a little bit less than perfect.

Today has not been one of those motivated, fiery days that begin with the gym at 7:30am. Gym, summer, 6:30am: no problem. The winter brings along a whole new feeling of hygge and life becomes slightly more cozy.

I find mornings with my jumping out of bed tend to be more productive than mornings of reading the news, aka scrolling deep into the Instagram sinkhole. And because I work from home and report to my conscience at night, motivation has days that it decides not to show up.

Today begins with my crawling out of that sinkhole. I am a freelance writer and filmmaker. I spend months standing at my desk trying to churn out ideas for something that will hopefully see the light of day. Being “creative” for me thus far hasn’t been about an AHA moment, or about moments of intense inspiration. It’s literally been about showing up at my desk every single day, and writing.

Reality - 1; Romanticism - 0.

Here’s how my day panned out.

Today won’t be much of a writing day; it’s more of a production and studying day. I’m trying to put together cast and crew for the short film I spent three months writing and re-writing. I also have to try to raise some money for this film, but that’s a whole other battle.

Here’s my to-do list:
(On second thoughts, I’m not attaching this)

Just got off the phone with my casting director, who I was incredibly lucky to find. We hashed through the characters and I suggested that we try to cast most characters from Jaisalmer itself. That’s where the film is set.

I spoke using the royal WE so I wouldn’t sound like a one-woman show. He asked whether I would be there for the casting or my assistant would? “Of course I’ll be there.” (Note to self: get an assistant. Following thought to self: you can’t afford one).

Days of write, read, watch and sleep are ideal. When on my own, I tend to watch movies with a pen and paper, and the remote nearby so I can pause and make notes of scenes and characters I love. Recording and analyzing – this is my film school.

No day goes by without writing, or at least reading. I have a large green sleigh bed in my living room that is swamped with 'lush scenes from a forest' kind of cushions, placed near a bay window.

This is my favourite reading spot. Today I’m studying the screenplay of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. My short film is set in a mystical village where two children set out to break through its ridged and oppressive landscape in the search for music. Eternal Sunshine has an ethereal quality that I’d like to read through and understand.

Inspiration for my short story though came from Dr. Suess, 1984, numerous mugs of hot water with honey and lemon (coffee makes me bounce off the walls), and hand-written notes. I tend to handwrite everything before typing it out. I think writing it twice gives me clarity.

In my day-to-day work there isn’t a feedback loop and there is seldom any instant gratification. An idea or a character might be instantly gratifying, but to understand its role in the larger picture takes...well, it takes the entirety of the script to figure out if it works.

I regrettably admit that I am somewhat of a millennial, and a sucker for good things quick. I have found this gratification in cooking. I take immense pleasure in cooking something yummy and consuming it immediately after.

Last night I made my favourite - pho, along with a couscous Buddha bowl. I’m vegetarian but I decided to make some prawns for Ash (my husband, Ashwin) and had no idea what a poop chute was. Thanks to Masterchef, I know that one exists and I also know how to scoop the poop out of the chute.

It’s late afternoon and I’ve gotten through a part of my to do list and this is the time that it very clearly dawns upon me that I’m not going to get it all done today. That’s fine, I’ve decided not to stress myself out too much.

Guy and Daisy are my favourite mutts who we picked off the street a couple of years ago. They’re entirely amusing and are the silliest things around. A bone each for them, cup of hot chocolate for Ash and I as we settle down for a cozy evening of guilty pleasures with the Queen in The Crown.

Karishma Jhalani is a filmmaker and writer, she's currently working on a short film. And honing her cooking skills for a spot on Masterchef. Follow her: @karishmajhalani

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