The Journey of Harjeet Singh Oberoi || SIKH VOGUE ||
- Edited by Sikh Vogue Webdesk
- Jun 11, 2018
We are thrilled to have you on this issue as a successful movie maker of the industry. Let’s start from the very beginning of your journey, how you started?
It was at the age of 5 years that my imagination started developing and I started visualizing vividly. My parents wanted me to study in the best of the schools and I was sent to a prominent day boarding in Ludhiana. But this effected upon me unfavourably that I became melancholy and was always gloomy missing my parents. How I wished my parents knew that I needed their presence and love more than lavish expenditures. But we have been trained by the money-making propositions of the society in such a way that we tend to drive ourselves too far.
I was 13 when my father’s sudden demise jolted the entire family and his death served life as a big nasty joke for years to come. I loved him more than anybody else and his absence was a devastating loss. And before we could survive his death, the problems were exacerbated when we lost our other two life-sustaining pillars too – my grandfather and my sworn brother.
How did you manage things after and have you faced some kind of problems?
We faced acute financial crisis and I was withdrawn from the day boarding. I found myself in the most awkward predicament when I and my mother had to manage my father’s shop of readymade garments to earn our bread.
Gradually, I lost all engrossment I had in books and it was only with big hardships that I could complete my senior secondary. Later we had to sell our shop to grapple with the financial difficulties and I even worked with a restaurant to earn a living. Alongside I joined a computer institute and completed my diploma in computers to compensate the loss of education in the yesteryears. This study-work plan worked out for me for some time but then again I found myself directionless and falling into loneliness.
Then my maternal uncle came in to assist me to alleviate our burdens and with the help of family and friends I started my own business of advertisements. It boomed really well during the initial year and I started earning a great fortune. But I wasn’t prepared yet to take the success I guess HAHAHA. Prosperity spoilt me and I became chesty as a peacock. I developed a massive ego and would never admit I was wrong. As a result, I lost all my clientele and the venture turned out to be a round-trip ticket that landed me from where I took off.
How you came up with this profession?
It was God’s plan to lower the boom on me. He teaches silently but deepens the convictions as He takes things into His fair hands. My emotions were all screwed up and I deliberately started avoiding the world.
Amidst this loneliness, my imaginary powers developed to perfection and I started writing scripts and screenplays. With a hope of finding work I set off to Mumbai and struggled there for seven months in vain. This was the time when I learnt true to life lessons and realized my shortcomings as a human being.
I started praying for the enlightenment of my mind and my spirit. I felt God so close to me as if He was holding my hand and leading the way for me. I just submitted to Him. And stories started happening to me which I later transmuted into films. This is exactly what He wishes from us – to repress one’s feelings of pride, righteousness and pretension.
My first film “Chullah – Ek Boond Amrit Di”
Happened when my maternal uncle expressed his desire to make a movie based on Sikhism under his production house.
This is exactly what He wishes from us – to repress one’s feelings of pride, righteousness and pretension.
“Hum kookar tere darbaar” I am a dog bowing my head in submission. We made it for the Sikh Net Film Festival and it turned out to be a huge success with more than 5 Lac views across different platforms. It won a lot of critical acclaims too. This movie was more of a learning experience and it modified me as a director with the conditioning it did on me.
One of your movie “Rupee of God”, what was all about?
The second venture was “Rupees of God” which was again an experimental silent movie. It went on to win the best movie critics award and was liked by one and all. Then I made a movie on road safety namely “Caution” which was taken by a number of schools across Punjab for imparting basic road safety rules to their children. My intent behind was thus fulfilled.
Looking for producers for my projects was a struggle up the steep slope always.
It was a joint effort of my family and friends who pooled in to produce my next project “Mannan”. This short movie on Sikhism established me as a director officially and I got an enthusiastic approval from everyone. It was screened everywhere especially in all the Sikh Gurudwaras. It was screened at the Sikhlens Arts and Film Festival USA and was awarded too there. Post its huge success I was on a whim that the people who appreciated the movie and the self-proclaimed prophets of Sikhism would come forward to help me in my upcoming projects. But to my disappointment, this never happened. Words are different from actions.
Only a few practice what they propagate. And one such example was set up by Sikhlens USA and a few close friends who again produced my fifth venture “Impact”. It has already got more than a lac view on YouTube since its release a month ago and still counting.
What do you want to conclude in the as a director?
One thing that I wish to consider here is about the non-existence of the unshorn baptised Sikhs in the film industry of the world. And I firmly believe that the onus of bringing us into limelight lies on the Sikh Media which can do wonders in this direction.