Korean tourists looking for sharks in the placid waters of the Dal lake in Srinagar – not quite the mise-en-scene for an Imtiaz Ali film.

Set on a shikara, the five-minute short film Window Seat chronicles a day in the life of a boatman interacting with tourists and locals on a sightseeing tour. The boatman jokes about his age with a film crew, tries to placate an irate honeymooning gentleman, and is private spectator to a group of girls singing in the local dialect.

Ali previously shot scenes from Rockstar (2011) in Srinagar and Window Seat, made the following year, appears to be a break-time experiment documenting the lives of the folks who live on the fabled lake. (Window Seat also happens to be the name of Ali’s film banner.) The central character spends his day focused on his duty, choosing to smile despite his hardships. The film closes with an enchanting song by Habibullah Butt.