When MONU’s (11) parents decide to migrate from their remote Himalayan village to the city, he realizes that he may never be able to see SHERA, the elusive leopard that lives in the forests around his village. Everyone in the village seems to have seen her but MONU.

As the day of departure nears, MONU grows despondent but his best friend RAJU is determined to give him the best parting gift he can think of – a view of SHERA.

Why I made the film

Where are you from?

As a second-generation migrant in Mumbai, I faced that question often. The film is an ode to millions of migrants, including my parents.

We’ve shot in my village, with non-actors – everyone from the kids to the villagers – to make a film that showcases not just the landscape but also people of the land, a snapshot of a village very much in decline, with every new summer, seeing the migration of yet more of its inhabitants. The film, is thus, an ode to that village, to many such villages, strewn across India.

It’s also about people who’ve learnt to live amicably with a leopard, a wild cat, something unbelievable in a time when we’ve all grown so intolerant of each other.

Finally, it’s a story of friendship, of losing one’s home and childhood, the end of a chapter in the story of life.

Key festivals the film has screened at

  • LA Shorts International Film Festival
  • 40th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
  • 16th KUKI Young Short Film Festival Berlin
  • International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala
  • 46th Drama International Short Film Festival


Bulbul Children’s International Film Festival (2024) – Best Director Award, Short Film Competition.