Archive for May 22nd, 2008

This really funny thing happened to me a couple of days ago. As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, one of the delights of being a writer is that you get to meet some interesting and whacky characters – and not just the ones you create.

Okay, so there I was at a party when this producer, let’s call him Rajinder calls and says that he read about me in some paper and that he was looking for a writer to pen his film and would I be interested? I said, “Sure.” I never say no.

So the next day, I went to meet him and was promptly shown into his office. There sat Mr. Rajinder along with a colleague of his, who after the introductions were over, promptly closed his eyes and fell asleep.

Mr. Rajinder (he’s a kinda middle-aged dude so it doesn’t seem appropriate to call him just Rajinder or Raj or Raju) started by congratulating me on my achievements and commended me on the fire-in-my-‘bally’.  At that moment the only fire-in-my-bally, sorry belly, was acute hunger and I wondered whether he had heard the rumblings in my stomach since I don’t recall ever giving any interview where I or indeed the journalist has accused me of having fire in my belly.

On a more serious note, I knew what that prologue meant. That the producer was unwilling to pay and wanted a sucker. I decided then that it was no go and moments later my decision was endorsed when he named an erstwhile-great-but-now-senile director.

But since I was already there, I decided to sit it out for a while and politely listened to the one line the geriatric director had in mind. The other sleeping partner snored louder through the narration. After he was through, he asked me for my opinion. Several thoughts came to mind, none of them polite.

But I pasted an eager smile on my face and told him I that the idea was ‘mindblowing’ (an adjective that is very much en vogue in the industry). I told him that I really looked forward to writing it if the director’s and my wavelengths matched (having decided to commit suicide if it did). There was no point in wasting anyone’s time if the director and the writer were not in sync.

He looked a little nonplussed, but recovered and said affably, “Nahin, wo toh hum match karva lenge.” I wanted to tell him that it wasn’t exactly a sari-petticoat-blouse matching centre but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The phrases ‘fire-in-the-bally,’ and ‘humne socha is ladki mein kuch karne ki tamanna hai,’ were used several times. It seemed he had set his cap on me as the writer for his film.

This is a hilarious account and too much for one post. Read more about Smita’s exploits with Mr. Rajinder (yeesh!) tomorrow.

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