Saturday, June 09, 2007
The one where I met Balu Mahendra
Not that meeting celebrities is a new thing for me. Ennai Juppan'la jaaki saan kootaha, amrikkavula maikayl sackson kootaha. Yesterday was my wife's friend's marriage-wedding-funcsaan. I accompanied my wife because I hadn't eaten 'kalyana sapadu' for a long time. The bride's father's profession had something to do with cinema. So Balu Mehandra had come to attend the funcsan with his trademark cap, 'cooling glass' etc.
Circumstances contrived to make me sit next to Mr. Mahendra at the dining table. Our conversations resembled the long periods of silence that is a common feature in most of his movies. Out of respect for each other's talents (multi faceted I might add), we did not say anything. Instead we decided to direct our mutual admiration for each other - on the food by fervently amukkifying the dishes put on our banana leaf. Balu, we are on first name basis now, was apparently in a pissed-off mood. Didn't talk to people who came to ask "ellam ok'va sir! Sapadu okay'va sir". All the eyes were on me. Ofcourse a couple of people noticed Balu also. Then, a funny thing happened, the bride's brother along with a couple of lackeys came and asked Balu if he wanted hot water. Balu shooshed them away. I had cold, cough and a sore throat. My wife, unaware of the ups and downs of being in show biz, assumed hot water was available for everybody and asked, one of the lackeys, for a glass of hot water for me. "Hot Water'aa. athellam illama" was his reply, barely 2 seconds after he offered Balu one. 1 minute later the same lackey came back and double-checked (using an over dose of pronouns) "neenga sir'oda son'ungala" (are you sir's son)? Maybe if I had said 'yes' - I would have got one glass of hot water. But I didn't want to change my lineage for a glass of water. For a cinema chance, maybe. But I had my standards.
After the 'oru vettu vettitu' happened, Balu closed his banana leaf and departed. He probably regretted not speaking a single word to me. An opportunity he may not get for the rest of his life.