05 August, 2021

Bugbear Debugged

Indian cyber czars tell the tale of their success-induced stupor

Bugbear Debugged
If you thought Silicon Valley was the proverbial El Dorado for Indian software professionals still riding the ’80s boom, those who ostensibly have it all—dream careers, luxury cars, suburban homes, stock options—you have another think coming. In the shape of a poignant, humorous, wild and wacky 16-mm film, Bugaboo, that captures the ennui that has set in in the utopian lives of the Indian software whizkids.

A trendsetter of sorts, the film is the maiden effort of Indian software engineers to tell their own story. Conceived by Sujit Saraf and Sanjay Rajgopalan, two Stanford PhD students—the former is the director and also plays the main character, Bapu—Bugaboo is the story of the ordinariness and predictability of successful life. Says Mahesh Umashankar, who plays Bapu’s friend in the film: "The central concept is about people playing by the rules and learning about breaking them". Adds Lalitha Rajgopalan, who was in charge of production: "Doing things becomes such a habit that we don’t question the premise on which we’re...

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