Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hero Aala Re

My Assistant Lakhan is one stupid Idiot. He can’t do anything properly and in order. Be it adjusting the lighting, or changing lenses or anything for that matter...he is stupid to the core. But then...I was not left with many choices. He never demanded much and I pay him less to be my camera assistant. Yeah yeah....I know. You think I am such a scum who lives on someone else's moolah. Well....I gotta make a make living pal.

"Boss, are you zooming in now?" asked Lakhan.

Lakhan never knew to shut up. He could come up with the stupidest questions and wanted to know everything. I was busy getting ready to zoom in the camera for the Hero's introduction. This is the most significant part of my job and the better I cover it, the more I earn. There comes the Hero. Damn! Even I look better on mirror (hey...really I mean it). He is dark (not dusky), has a cat like moustache, and inspite of the entire heavy make up, he looks despicable enough to puke. What the heck? If your dad is a rich producer, you could even make a donkey to be a Hero.

The Hero's entry is accompanied with heavy music. A curse and irreplaceable custom in our clichéd society. The Hero smiles looking at the camera. That is a signal that I should focus it on the face of the broom...sorry...groom. He walks majestically towards camera surrounded by stupid looking extras and I pray against hope that I should be alive after this shot. I wish I had an akela crane atleast to take one extravagant shot, but since this is a low budget movie, I have to stick to my allowed resources.

Next follows the Heroine. I will tell you something out of experience. Heroine's are far better...but their moms..god help us....they are damn bitchy. Just before a shot, they come and begin with "Thambi". Being a cameraman you automatically qualify to become the Brother of the Heroine.

"Just see that she comes nice" she instructs.

Well...what do I look like? Mandrake the Magician? You can only shoot what is available. If the Heroine manages to look like Vadivukarasi or Tuntun inspite of the heavy make up, what am I supposed to do? Truly speaking, sometimes the extras accompanying the Heroine look wonderful and gorgeous. But hey….if I cover them and the producers and Directors find it out…I would be thrown out of business.

Brushing all this aside, I concentrate on the combination shots of the Hero and Heroine which are not much dialogue oriented. That’s when I get a doubt.

"Lakhan. Is this a love story?"

Lakhan looked at me as if I had discovered plutonium.

"You never read the script before the shooting Boss. How did you find it out?"

Lakhan thinks that the rest of the world is as stupid as him. It was actually quite obvious. And that too with my experience, all I need is some signs. Basically Love stories are easy to imagine and conceive, moderately complex to execute and the most difficult ones to release. You get a hint of it once you get to see the producer's reaction. THEY HATE THEM!! They just look as if they have seen some ghost eating Hyderabadi Biriyaani.

The worse things to see in my profession are when a script changes its path drastically. What was a planned Love story suddenly changes course into an action movie or a serious weepy drama to dry your tear glands. The public remains mixed in its opinion as well. While some enjoy it, the rest despise it. long as I am paid, I care a damn about it.

As the day ends, Lakhan and I pack our belongings.

"Lakhan...get our bata from the producer."

"Boss. Do we need to always talk in the filmi lingo even after the marriage is over? Cant we talk like normal camera men who cover a marriage function?"

I feel like hitting him hard. It is my dream to become a cinema camera man...and I will become one soon.

After all...isn’t life all about chasing and fulfilling our dreams?????

P.S: Advance Happy New Year wishes to everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You, Me Aur Hum

He: Do you know where my socks are?
She: Must be inside your shoes. Now don’t ask me where your shoes are.
He: Got your sarcasm. Thanks for it. I am asking about my new pair of socks.
She: Why can’t you wear your old ones?
He: In this stinking weather? You want me to get kicked out of a job because of this? Imagine how weird it would be if my termination letter would read "Sacked due to smelly feet".
She: (giggling) Ok Ok Mr. Lifebuoy. You can find it in the top drawer of the cupboard.
He: Why do you always keep it there?
She: Obviously for you to find out.
He: Then why do you think I am looking for it.
She: Hmmm...lemme guess. Because you have a bad memory. Or maybe because you are a moron (smiles).
He: Yeah. At last you figured it out. Ever realized that that was the reason why I agreed to marry you?
She: it so? And who was the one who was running behind with flowers and asking "Will you please say yes to your dad"?
He: see...they correctly said.
She: Said what?
He: Love is blind.
She: Smart of you to realize it so soon.
He: And what does the blind man get in return for his love? Sarcasm?
She: I thought you were oblivious to it.
He: I am what?
She: O-B-L-I-V-I-O-U-S
He: What does it mean?
She: It means you are unaware of it.
He: Why do you need to use such a heavy word? What do you think I am? Some Thesaurus included word processor? You could have said unaware?
She: Not my fault that your English knowledge is limited.
He: Ok Ms. I-am-Shakespeares-neice. Maybe you should have had a dictation test before approving me.
She: Wow!!! You are good at retaliation.
He: How do you think I cope up with you?
She: I thought you just loved me for the food I prepare.
He: That has become obvious by my paunch.
She: I am glad you acknowledge me of some sunshine in your life.
He: But thanks to your super sweet cooking I have to buy dresses every 6 months.
She: I never asked you to eat above the limit.
He: Blame yourself for making the tasty food.
She: Well...then so be it. Do you want me to cook good or not?
He: (goes near her) You are a culprit.
She: Why is that?
He: You know the secret and the quote.
She: Ahan. And what is it?
He: The royal way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
She: Is it really you or just that the chicken chops I made yesterday have sprung to life inside your stomach?
He: Hmmm....maybe both. What is it that you mix in your food that has made me your deewaana?
She: Pick your guess.
He: MDH Masala?
She: Uhummm
He: 777?
She: uhumm
He: I give up. You tell.
She: Budhdhu. Its love.
He: I knew it.
She: Then why didn’t you tell?
He: Wanted to hear it from the devil's mouth.
She: Seems you need some favour from me and that is why you are melting into an ice-cream.
He: You guessed it.
She: What is it?
He: (goes close to her ear and whispers) Do you remember where I kept my car keys?

They laugh and hug each other lovingly.

P.S: Dedicated to my darling pals Nithya and Sathya (whom you better know as Nandoo and Sat respectively) as they unite to become HUM on Dec 13. Here is wishing them all the happiness and love in the world :-)

Monday, December 03, 2007

And God smokes Marlboro....

Inspite of the centralized air-conditioning, Dr. Vishnu Prasad had beads of sweat on his face. They originated from his slightly bald head, ran through the sides of his nose and died on the mask covering his mouth. The surgery lights could not pore inside his eyes behind the glasses and show that he was afraid.

"Lalitha, get me the defribbilator" he ordered his nurse.
She handed him the solution and equipment. Even she could feel the tension in the air. He was tense but didn’t show it around. It was a trait that could only come with years of experience. There seemed to be no reaction from the patient.

‘Doctor. I think he is dead’. The team of nurses and junior doctors knew the obvious and still were hesitant to tell it to the top chief surgeon in the hospital. They knew that the man did not know to give up.

He thumped his chest again. No reaction. Dr. Vishnu picked the pulse of the patient and confirmed his worst fear. The patient was no more. He wanted to throw the machine to one corner of the room and thump on his chest with his bare fist and try to bring him back alive...but that was childish and that was not what a top doctor does. He walked out of the surgery room with the possibly saddest face ever seen. It was a coincidence that Dr. Vishnu had been wearing spectacles since his school days, but they had been useful more in these trying times.

Call it cliché of cinema, but the instant a doctor removes his spectacles while addressing the kith and kin of the deceased, they know the result before hand. He went to the college -going son of the deceased and just said "I am sorry" and walked away. He could hear the wails and cries of the wife, daughter, son and scores of some relatives who had gathered outside the theatre expecting a miracle to happen. He wanted to run away from that spot as soon as he could.

Miracle. That was what had drawn Vishnu to this profession. He could have become anything with his state top marks in school, but he chose to be a doctor. The sheer amount of adulation and respect that a doctor earns in society is only next to god. He had always dreamt to be a top surgeon and had worked very hard for it. Today his name was synonymous with quality, perfection, skill...and miracle.

He threw his hand gloves in the dust bin and washed his hands twice with the hand cleansing liquid. Slowly he walked to the near by car parking area where his Honda CRV was parked and sat on the hood. He drew a Marlboro from his pocket and gave life to it with his lighter. He realized the irony of a doctor being a smoker and still advising his patients to give up smoking to live life longer and healthier. The smoke from the cigarette seemed to draw away all his frustrations of today's operation into thin air.

Every time an operation succeeded, he felt second happy to the relatives. He realized that he had enabled someone to live few more happy or sad days with his family, witness some good functions of his or her wards, maybe make some more money, most of all...he would have saved them from being non-existent. To him the operation theatre was a battle ground and his surgical instruments, his experience and skill were his weapons he used to fight the lord of death.

The trouble was when the operation would have failed. He felt like some pile of shit when it would happen. Inspite of doing everything he could, he would have failed in his battle with death. He wished he could become a child and cry on his mom's lap. Sometimes he feared that he may need counseling for taking away their sorrows as his own. How many of them knew what a doctor goes through outside the operation theatre. He had to keep reminding himself that he was a doctor and not their near and dear.

Just then his mobile buzzed." Doctor. We have an emergency. A patient is seriously injured in an accident. Could you please check him?"

He crushed the Marlboro under the skin of his shoe and drew a long breath. It was time to fight death.

It was time to save someone and their family.

It was time to play god.