I met M. T Vasudevan sir on the sets of Neelathamara last week. And that made me write this. I think I have a problem while meeting legends. I go completely dump!
Lal jose introduced me to MT sir. Lalu tried to explain the merits of passenger to him. To our surprise MT sir started talking to us about Passenger. His daughter Aswathy had seen the movie and very highly recommended it to him. She is a harsh critic according to him. He felt Jagathy Sreekumar has come up with an outstanding perfomance. He talked all this about my movie. I could just stand near him and said Thank U sir. He dint seemed to mind such formalities.
I spend almost half a day at the Neelathamara set. I was sitting very close to MT sir near the monitor still couldnt utter a word. He was my childhood(and still going) hero. He was so near me, I couldnt gather words still! Some spectators were giving me shake hands for passenger. I felt little awkward to receive it sitting near him. I wanted to talk to him in detail on how his writing had infulenced me and helped me shape into a writer. Couldnt speak a word!! I wanted to say a bye to him while leaving from the set. He was a bit busy with someone, then i decided to move on.
I think I have this problem with meeting legends. I remember meeting Sreenivasan for the first time on the sets of Arabikkatha. I was in the sets for 9 days with him, still couldnt speak with him. It was an year later we became friends during the making of passenger.
I remember meeting Bharath Gopi while he was acting in one of my television scripts. We rarely talked. I thought he felt I was too young to write screenplays then.
Balachandramenon was the same when he was doing “Nizhalukal”. We barely knew each other. He met me once in the dubbing studio and thought I was one of the assistants. Later when he realised I was the writer smiled and said “You came to see your character right?”:)
Padmini was a expetion I think. I met her in New Jersey during the shooting of American Dreams. I believe she last acted in American Dreams.
It was a wonderful experience meeting her. We went to shoot in NJ for her convenience. She was not perfectly fit but was very much in control of herself even attending functions regularly.
She used to bring video cassettes of some of her greatest movies and we used to watch everyday after the shoot. I was amazed to realize she along with her sisters used to shoot songs on their own hiring studios and then sell it to producers for them to add in their movies. They used to do conceptual classical dance. Nowadays its item dance!
Remember she was excited like a kid one day as our manager had ordered KFC! She ate quite a lot that day, seems she had restrictions from the doctors.
I used to accompany her for her occasional smoke outside the hotel. She presented me with a watch after the shoot. I wanted to meet her when she was in India later, couldn’t though. Great actress, great memories.
I have thought about this strange behavior of mine. I could only go back to a famous dialogue of M.T.. Probably reinforced with my experiences. Its better to worship your idols at a distance. You get closer, idols may break!