To Write and To Live with Aahana Pereira

Modern day writers are similar to the most accomplished session musicians in the world of music in that they are an unseen ingredient in the creations which shine the spotlight on other artists. Flying under the general public’s radar is not a problem for Aahana Pereira, she’s happy to consume herself with writing for a variety of outlets without being the focus of them. Films, advertising campaigns, even music videos have all received the benefit of Pereira’s creative insight and inclination for tapping into emotion. Hailing from Mumbai India, Aahana work is on display globally from film festivals to billboards to online/streaming services. For an increasing number of vocations, success these days requires diversification; in this regard Aahana is operating well above the curve. The paramount quality throughout all her writing is the connection she establishes so quickly and authentically, allowing us to see something of ourselves and our experiences in those of others no matter how different.

 

Pereira worked with director Anish Dedhia on the celebrated Drama/Mystery film Chypre which stars James Gaines, Svetla Georgieva, and Aubrey Manning (of Golden Globe Winning seriesRay Donovan and the Golden Globe Winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine). This tale of a middle class wife’s frustration with her husband’s lack of interest leads to her interest in a fellow train commuter. Chypre won awards for its suspenseful mastery at the Los Angeles Thriller Film Festival in addition to being an Official Selection at a number of prominent industry events including the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival, Interrobang Film Festival, Rumschpringe Film Festival, and others. Aahana teamed up with Anish again to create the premier video for Indian music artist Chhavi Sodhani’s “Banna Re.” Chhavi’s representatives understood the massive importance of her first video as it would present her to a worldwide audience and thus enlisted the winning creative team of Pereira and Dedhia to conceptualize a strong visual accompaniment to this traditional sounding song. The music video became an instant online hit with more than three million YouTube views that bolstered the popularity of “Banna Re” to currently over ten million streams for the song. A tale of modern romance in which two very different personality types seek a love connection, Aahana designed the story to rely heavily on a color strategy that is instantly eye catching. The message of the music video communicates that we can possess a strong sense of identity and allow the differences we have to strengthen both parties; it’s an idea that is well heeded these days.

 

Even in the world of advertising, Aahana’s work seems to settle into a gentler approach that focuses on humanity. Her writing for the Qantas / NSW’sMeet the Sydneyporeans tells of a couple separated by distance who connect in different global destinations to cement their relationship. Meet the Sydneyporeanshas received thunderous praise in the form of a number of awards from the Markies Singapore and other industry groups. In contrast to her advertising work, Pereira’s current project  was completed for the UN-OHCHR (The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights). Recognizing that communication is evolving at an expeditious rate, Aahana was tasked with crafting and presenting a new brand identity in verbal form for the UN-OHCHR. This would involve A new tagline, a new tone of voice, “About Us” in different formats, Writing Best Practices, Examples, and Instructions for social, website, reports, Glossary of terms, etc. The important work of this group and its representatives demanded an update and a clear communication of its essence for 2020 globally. Even more daunting was the need to write in a way that translated well across borders and languages. In addition to her insight from the world of film and advertising, Aahana’s working experience in locations like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Shanghai, Mumbai, Paris, and others has enabled her to overcome verbal and conceptual barriers. The launch of this new UN-OHCHR Brand Book was set for 2020 but has experienced the same delay due to the pandemic that is prevalent across the planet.

 

It would seem that all of the different projects and productions which Aahana has undertaken and found success in must require a focus and a restriction of her personal life. Pereira quickly discounts this notion stating, “To write, I first need ideas and ideas come when you interact with people, when you explore your surroundings, when you pay attention to what people, animals, and birds are doing. As a writer you need to play several parts first before you can put pen to paper, or rather keys on a doc. You need to be an interviewer, an eavesdropper, an observer, a talker, etc.;first and only then can you be a writer. All of this doesn’t happen in confinement. You need to be out there. Yes, when it comes to the physical act of writing, I believe most writers, myself included, need to be left alone. Craft takes focus and peace to think and concentrate so that you can tell a story in a simple yet powerful way.” It’s a powerful sense that comes from Aahana Pereira which whispers, “To write is to live.”

writer Cecil McCoy