For a long, long time, I have been averse to the idea of doing South films. The mere thought would bring back recollections of a dark hero with a moustache playing the tabla on the heroine’s arse!
But when you are not a star kid and you have to dive into a pool called ‘Bollywood’, you don’t have much of a choice but to strap on those arm floats, step onto the only springboard labelled ‘South films’, shut your eyes tightly and take the plunge.
Now, I open my eyes and get down to business jotting down my ‘Things to Do’:
MON- waxing, eyebrows and deposit cheque
TUES- meeting for a South film
WED- An audition for an ad film at Eyescandy films
An audition for the main lead in a TV serial at Goregaon
Join dance class this week (Bollywood dancing or belly dancing)
Don’t waste time on Facebook. Watch quality cinema.
So while the rest of the world is having its blues, I’m lying in my parlour on a Monday morning, relaxing and reflecting on things. I will recount my experience when I auditioned for a South film where the director asked me to display a plethora of emotions on cue.
He began: anger, sadness, happiness, fear, love and so on. Now when you giggle, frown, growl and blush, all in three minutes flat, for no reason, you end up feeling possessed.
My meeting on Tuesday lasted approximately four-and-a-half minutes. The director turned out to be a man of few words. That’s because his English was limited to:
“How eng are you?” (Young?)
“How experienced are you?”
“Dancing?”(Do you know how to dance?) (Are you capable of high-energy gyrating movements?)
Usually for meetings for South films, the director and his assistant mumble a few words in Telegu/Tamil/Kannada among themselves. I try to make sense out of it by observing their facial expressions closely.
I’ve even cracked the code to find out if they are disinterested, from the speed at which they go through my file. You see, if the guy spends, say more than, “Elamaa Indian-face ennakudamaaa..” or stops at a particular picture to show it to his assistant director— even a Panchvi-Pass (a real one, not those contrived and irritatingly cute ones) would know what that meant.
I figured it out using my extra-sensory perception that these guys liked my ‘Indian face’, till they smiled at me with a nod that meant— thank you. You may leave.
I’ve had a brush with the South film industry. My first shoot was for a Malayalam music video. I had mugged up all the lyrics and their meanings. I can even sing it for you! “Inniyum ni enreykkal varu killeyyyyy.. talarrum tannu nil vin kay taru gilleyyyy..” See!
Sadly I cannot put the song on my show-reel because it has a dance sequence that would appeal only to the South sector of the nation, and my mom.
The director was impressed with me. He kept saying, “Egzillent” after every take, and his final words to me were, “Britte future”, with his lips tightly pursed together and a never-ending nod.
This was unforgettable like one’s first love – for the first time I wore contact lenses and signed autographs (for some enthusiastic tourists in the backwaters).. It was also the first time I realised that a five-minute song could take 40 hours of shoot!
The most vivid of all these memories was the reason the make-up artist was late. “He went to bang,” said his assistant innocently. At 10 am? “Yes. He had bang work. HDFC.”
I’m proud of my auditions for the ad film this week. Finally, I joined an excellent dance class, canned the audition for the serial, but managed to complete the rest of my chores, including my bank work. Yes.. I know what you’re thinking. ICICI. Who do you bang with?