Lying comfortably on the sofa, that face smiled at me, and I smiled back. “You are mine, at least for a few days”. Then it had a bumpy ride in the side-box of my bike. A very precious and a priceless thing in my bike, I giggled. Upon, reaching home, I quickly paced up the stairs. “No, not today. Not Today”.
The Next Day…
Upstairs, my trusty computer, in it’s full grace, stared at me. In front of the monitor, a few compact discs lying there scattered, a marker and random pieces of paper. Beside the computer, a large table that is crowded with many necessary and unnecessary things including a Worldspace Satellite Radio which has gathered dust (I really miss it). Behind it lies my printer, which doesn’t print anything. “Some issue with the… might cost (so & so) rupees…”, said the man in the hardware repair shop. I grinned sheepishly. “Enna Venda chetta…”. It has been lying there since. On top of it, a photo album; Appa’s and Amma’s wedding album. Above it, a copy of ‘THE HINDU’ daily. And on top of it lies that thing of beauty. A fresh copy of ‘Conversations with Mani Ratnam’.
Of course, I’d never buy a book. Too stingy. “Mind : Those things are too damn costly now-a-days”. This was given to me by a friend.
Me : When should I return it?
Friend : You can give it to me after you finish reading it. I’ve already read it. You can even return it after your ‘children’ finish reading it. (To those who don’t know, I’m just 18)
And so, I have a copy of a book on my favourite director. I open the first page.
Conversations with Mani Ratnam. With a foreward by A.R. Rahman. Baradwaj Rangan. On the left side, a B&W photo of the master himself, smiling. On turning to the next page, I was truly stunned for a moment. A picture of a computer on the right side and a desk in front of it. On the desk, there are a few files and papers scattered all around. And Mani Ratnam sitting in front of the desk bending down with a pencil in his hand and scribbling something on the papers fixed steadily on the writing pad. Truly, I’ve never imagined this scene anywhere. I have watched many of his movies and most of them are an inspiration to me. “I wanna be a film maker”. And I’ve never thought of this great person sitting down and writing a script. “Sathyam”. I always felt that all those legendary movies flowed from his mind directly onto the screen. Never have I imagined him writing a screenplay or giving directions to the actors. No, I haven’t. And you must believe me. I speak the truth. This image felt somewhat strange to me. On the right side, the table of contents. I can see the complete list of his cinemas; from ‘Pallavi Anu Pallavi’ to ‘Raavanan’. I skipped the foreward by A.R. Rahman and the introduction by Baradwaj Rangan. “I’ll read it later”.
The next page. Right side. A huge ‘1’ in the middle. On the next line: ‘I remember telling Balu Mahendra, I want to run’. Below it, the list of his first four films and a small blurb about them.
This was my initial experience with the book. My thoughts on the rest of the book, I may write later.