Nov 6, 2008

Chennai ... Chinna ... Cinema ...

The first sight of Chennai and its pulsating environment made Cinna to swoon, he has not seen such a place in his life before. This is the first time he has come out of his village amidst the opposition of all his family members who warned him to be circumspect in whatever he does. Chinna is one of the hundreds of young villagers who step into this city with aspirations of becoming a superstar. Chennai is a place where anyone can survive, it’s the city which welcomes the rich and the poor and keeps them mesmerized with its baffling nature. Every day in this city will be challenging, Chennai unfolds a whole new world to such new comers and will kindle them to search for their desire. Chinna is one such person who has come all the way from Madurai to solve this jig-saw puzzle called Chennai ...

Triplilcane is one place where new comers to this city targets to get themselves an accommodation, it is the only location which is close to the Central Station and it’s the mother of mansions. Every mansion is a separate world on its own, you could find variety of people in mansions, who mostly are bachelors, who will be roaming in their own world with their trade mark "disheveled" looks. Mansion's to me is the place where you can see people of all varied characters, it’s a place of extremes where you will find imbecile, prodigious, loquacious, magnanimous, rapacious, indigenous, obsequious, ominous, odious and also altruistic personalities. Some of the greats of Tamil film industry were sculptured in such mansions, so it’s the place where you can shape yourself or screw yourself.

Chinna too found one such mansion on pycrofts road, all he has is a yellow bag and few hundred rupees with him. It was strange for Chinna to see the queue that is formed in the mornings in front of the restrooms where people go in and come out in a timed fashion, he used to take bath in a open pump set where there is never a restriction on the quantity of water he consumes, but here he was given just half a bucket of water with which he has to do all his morning routines including bathing. Chinna told himself that these things would certainly change when he becomes a superstar, but what he failed to realize is, there are more people standing in the same queue in front of him with the same dreams. Chinna is new to competition and Chennai will take care of teaching him the lesson for his life.

Chinna contacted the mansion's administrator Ramanathan and with no compromise on his innocence, he asked, "Sir, can I get the address of superstar Rajinikanth?", there was a big round of laughter in that room and people were looking at him up and down. Chinna felt a little too embarrassed with that and stood there blank without knowing how to react, his inner voice told him, "Welcome to chennai". Ramanathan is an experienced campaigner, he was in his mid fifties and he had seen many youngsters like him coming into his mansion with the flare of becoming a star in cinemas. He is a matured person too, he took Chinna to his room and asked him, "So you have come here to get a chance to act in movies is it?", for that Chinna replied "Yes, Sir, I want to become like Rajinikanth".

Ramanathan does not want to scare him by saying the bare truths of cine industry and also he does not want to discourage him by saying that it is not that easy to get into the cine industry. He knew that there would be a family waiting for him in Madurai and expecting the news of him becoming an actor. If not for such encouraging mansion owners, we wouldn’t have had a genius like Rajinikanth today, so you never know what is one's potential. Ramanathan told Chinna to join an acting school and learn the skills of acting in a professional way and he also told him that without proper skill, no one could survive in this industry. Chinna does not that the money to join such a school, he can't even go back to his parents and ask for money, but he too felt that he needs to develop his skills if he has to become a star.

Chinna joined a nearby hotel as a server for a paltry Rs 800 per month salary, out of which he has to give Rs 150 as mansion fee every month, though Ramanathan would love to discount that amount for Chinna, he has to think about his family too, as they are entirely dependent on that money. Chinna decided to save money for him to study in that famous acting school and based on his calculations he should work for 5 years to save that amount and then only he can join that school. Chinna decided to do part time jobs and worked almost round the clock. He worked in the hotel in the mornings and in the evenings he would work in a nearby go down as a coolie and early in the morning he used to put papers and milk packets to his nearby locality. He does not mind doing all these petty work, as his dreams are bigger.

Chinna saved each and every penny for his ambition and he could save some good amount of money every month, after nearly 6 months of his hard work, he felt that he has some money to pay for his first semester at the acting school, he went there and got an application form and with the help of Ramanathan he took a neat snap and then got his form ready to be posted the next day, but he received a shocker the next day morning when he found his yellow bag missing where he has kept all his money, who will he go and ask in that huge mansion of unknown people, everyone in his eyes seem to be a culprit. His head started to spin and he was about to faint. He somehow gathered some strength and went running to Ramanathan's room and burst out in tears and said someone has stolen his money bag. All Ramanathan could do is to be a silent listener and share his grief.

Chinna wandered in the streets of Chennai as if the entire world had crashed on him, he kicked himself for not safeguarding the money. He does not want to go back to his mansion that night, so he slept in one of the platforms on Mount Road, that too near an open drainage. Their opens a dream in Chinna, he got a very good chance to act in a movie opposite to Nayan Thara and he has been surrounded by a mob of people who are waiting to get his autograph, the shooting is in Ooty and it was a song sequence that was being shot, the director screamed "Rolling ... Start Camera ... Action..." Chinna was doing his best dance moves with Nayan and he sees the sky it was very clear, bright and sunny, and all of a sudden it started to rain and Chinna got completely drenched, but in reality someone poured a bucket of water on him and asked him to vacate the place as he was sleeping in front of a tea shop.

"Time and tide waits for none", they should have actually added "Hunger" to that list, even it does not wait for anyone. Chinna's tummy started to groan, but his pocket was empty to buy even a single glass of tea. He has no other option other than going and standing in front of Ramanathan who was worried all through the night about Chinna, he was happy to see him that day morning, without he asking anything he offered him a plate of hot idly, Chinna's eyes got wet and his eye lids tried a lot to put gates to stop those tear balls rolling out, but he couldn’t. Ramanathan gave him a comforting look and encouraged him to try even harder and not to lose hope. His encouraging words poured fresh gallons of blood into Chinna and he was fully charged up by his words and also by those two idly’s.

Chinna started to search for a chance on his own and hence he climbed all the studios in Chennai, but everywhere he got only "NO" as the answer and somewhere even more harsh in saying "If you become an actor, then it would be doom of our film industry", but Chinna was not demoralized, he knew that he has that fire in him to break the ice and get into film industry. He then started to concentrate on his writings and then planned to pen stories and become a story writer, and there also Chinna got cheated when one of his story was stolen by a producer and then it was made into a film, which became a super duper hit, Chinna does not know the intricacies of patenting a story, but that bitter lesson taught him the truth and he learnt it in a hard way.

As per the famous saying "Every dog has its day", even Chinna could see light at the end of the tunnel, one of his stories got published in a leading magazine and Chinna shot to fame overnight. Instead of he going and searching for producers, producers keep knocking his doors and requested him to sell his story to them, so that they will use it to make a movie. Chinna's story was made into a film and it became the talk of the town. Chinna was interviewed by all leading magazines and he enjoyed that limelight. He felt happy that GOD has finally answered his prayers for all the hard work he has put in.

Pradeep was anxiously waiting for the reaction of the producer who was listening this story, as he closed his eyes and was chewing the story, Pradeep go too nevrous and started to sweat, but unfortunately the producer was not so convinced by this story line and he said he is not ready to sponsor for his story and hence he asked Pradeep to leave. Chinna, who has changed his name to Pradeep, thinking that it would bring him good luck, got dissapointed and left that place.

Its almost 20 years now, Chinna, oops!! sorry, Pradeep is now a proud owner of a mansion in triplicane who is serving shelter to ambitious bachelors. One fine morning, a guy by name "Kanna" came to his mansion with a yellow bag and asked him without compromising his innocence "Sir, can I get the address of superstar Rajinikanth?", there was a big round of laughter in that mansion, Chinna smiled to himself and took Kanna him to his room. Chennai is still the same...

2 SAID FROM THE HEART:

Amrita said...

ah nice one! ur stories are simple, some of them seem "inspired" ur writing is not the stuff classics are made up of.. but somehow still... i am hooked.. i kinda keep on reading ki end kya hoga :)
keep posting satish!

Satish (a.k.a) Bhaashaa said...

Thanks yaar. I dont have the capacity to write classics like "Coffee and Stories", but at the same time, I want my stories to be simple and should always have an unexpected twist at the end.

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