Shamiana

This work week consisted of staring at columns of numbers for hours, the monotony broken by the irritation of dealing with middle management types who think increasing the length of a sentence can substitute for accurate grammar. Friday was no different in that, than Monday, so when I arrived for the gutter press reunion I was taken aback. A nice arty type asking in silky voice ‘So are you a novelist too?’. It took some adjusting! About 20 minutes into a surreal conversation that involved mostly the current interests of mainstream Malayali artists in Mumbai, it was decided that folks would head to the Shamiana festival where a Telegu movie was being screened.

Anukokunda Oka Roju is a mainstream telegu thriller movie. I think it qualified for the Shamiana festival because all of the organisers and most of the audience were non-South Indian and could therefore draw deeper meaning and ‘admire’ its art. Not that its a bad movie. Its a good one… I giggled my way through the evening. But I’m the sort of philistine that watches most movies, absorbed, crying and laughing with the characters for the three hours that they last and then step out of the movie hall and forget about it. Unless its a really good flick though. In which case ‘rinse and repeat as required’ instructions hold good.

 The wikipedia synopsis of the story is good enough to give here so I don’t get accused of plot spoilers.

“Sahasra (Charmme Kaur) is a chorus singer struggling to make a career in playback singing. One night she attends a wild party at the behest of her friend. The next day, life seems as usual for Sahasra, only she is oblivious of one small detail, the next day is actually the day after. And she is completely unaware of what happened during that one missing day in her life. She realizes something is amiss only when, a few days later, she is chased by unidentified men who try to eliminate her. The rest of the story is about finding the missing links and putting together the jigsaw puzzle.”

All of the above takes about 2.5 hours and involves some brilliant fight scenes, 2 (almost) heroes, and incredibly funny dialogue. If things went a little slowly, there were several distractions to entertain one.

a) Shivering. With the breeze blowing off the sea and the lack of Shamiana it was bloody cold. Till one member of the press pulled out bedsheet from her bag it was touch and go for the thin blooded folks like me.

b) Left-right-left: If you looked left, there was buffet on at five star hotel which provided great contrast to what we were doing. Made me feel smug and non-corporate. If you looked right, there was building lighted up with ‘Marathon Messages’

c) Sundry watchmen: About half way through the movie, a wavering torchlight and outline of human figure were observed above our movie screen. That is when epiphany happened – film was being projected onto the water tank. And the marathon message at that precise moment? ‘Water partner’. Much giggling happened.

 The film wound its way to a happy end and so did I. My sleep last night was truly well earned 🙂

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