The story of how my forever love for South Indian films began
Proven by survey, Event Management is the fifth most stressful job. For me it never felt the same, probably as this was the only job I have ever been eternally satisfied doing. In my early twenties, getting a job from a newspaper ad was exhilarating. We were a three-member team to start off with. Basically, my boss was clueless on how to run a company – he just happened to have a lot of ideas unorganized in his head. It was our job to execute them. After almost a year of running around for projects, spending sleepless nights, last minute uncertainties, and a lot of arguments later, we had nailed an event. It felt like how a mother would feel after the delivery of her child. The execution won us a lot of appreciation. We got featured in the local newspapers too!
After almost two months, we managed to bag a Corporate Cricket event. This was huge – since the three of us had to do everything, we were back to the grinding phase, vetting on initial estimates and costs. Finally, we were ready for our grand presentation. That night, I couldn’t sleep because of all the anxiety. The next day I woke up early and got dressed for the occasion. To strike a balance between conservative and flattering, I put on a slim-cut navy suit with a white shirt and heels. My boss arrived to pick me up and we discussed the key pointers on our way to the venue. The best part of being in events for me was to be able to get access to all the big hotels and beautiful architectural buildings which I could for one have never dreamt of even entering had it been on my own. The meeting was set in the mesmerizing backdrop of a hotel amidst an island with a combination of luxury and magnificent landscape. There were more than 500 people and I was nervous to speak. I grabbed the waiter, had three sips of rich, smooth, and exotic wood interlaced fragrance of white flowers – (basically champagne) and stomped up the stage. I managed to speak and improvise on points we had not even discussed. After what felt like an eternity, there was a round of applause filling the room. I got down grinning as I felt I did fairly-well. My boss came up to me and offered me another glass. We raised a toast and he showed me to the buffet. After all the talking, I was famished. I took the biggest serving plate and got everything I could find and stood at a nearby table watching every people in the room busy networking.
I grabbed a muffin from my plate and was about to devour it, when someone hurriedly walking by tossed it off my hand. Furious, I was about to get myself another one, right then a man comes up to me and says “Are you looking for this? – Muffin!” I blushed so hard because that was a fine pick up line. At a first glance, he remotely resembled the corporate groove. His head was filled with rapid curls, his eyes gleaming with curiosity, a golden suntan brought out his clear and smooth complexion. His curved nose and a gap in his teeth, brightened up his whole face. The beardless cheeks and chin scarcely needed a razor. He wore a simple sky-blue colored shirt with white buttons complimenting with the classic jeans and sports shoes. With much ease, we began to converse. Turns out he was from Bangalore and a sports journalist by profession. Now it made sense as to why he was here. Hours just flew and the crowd disappeared around us. It was time to leave and my boss offered him a ride. Coincidentally, we stayed in the same neighborhood. He invited us in for a cup of coffee and we politely agreed. He lived in a rented porta-cabin. It was cozy and comfortable with limited furniture. A typical bachelor pad to be precise. Him and my boss were both from the same native place and hit it off in their crazy twisted language. Something about South Indians – they completely dive into their language if they find one person from the same place, regardless of non-south Indians around. I tried hard to understand what they said, but hard luck! I just sipped on the sweet and strong decoction of filter coffee.
That was the start! Work got us meeting every day. Most days I would drop him off to his place and he would walk me home. We had all kinds of conversations – beginning with his childhood, Bangalore weather, food, and so much more. Somedays we did not want to rush home and would sit in a parking lot till late evening sipping on tea and just talking. It was a surreal feeling of wanting to be with someone who would just willingly talk to you, listen to what you have to say, opening up without judgements, and taking that monotony away.
On a Sunday afternoon, I had to urgently meet with him for getting some files. He invited me over. I decided to pack some Hyderabadi biriyani for him as it was his favorite. He took a while to answer the door. The smell of the biriyani got him grinning wide. He suggested since I walked all this way, why don’t I spend some time and have lunch with him. I agreed. We sat down with two paper plates and a laptop screen in front of us. He said “choose a movie that you like. My hard drive would definitely have something of your choice.” I scanned for about 10 minutes and it got me confused. He had an array of options. So, I said, “Why don’t you surprise me?” He rotated the screen and in a second we had a movie playing. It started with a Malayalam song. I was quizzed. He smiled and said, “This is my favourite film. Just watch it, I’m sure before you leave, you’ll thank me for this.” To be honest, reading subtitles while watching a movie has never been a problem for me. Most of the American English is quite hard to understand. The name of the movie appeared in bold on the screen – Bangalore Days. As the story began, I felt this connection instantly. After each episode, he would pause the movie and give me a detailed description of what was going on – details which anyone would have missed unless they had watched the film a million times. It was a coming of age story about three cousins: How they find love, their trials, tribulations in real life, and all being connected to the city of Bangalore. A two-and-a-half-hour movie went on till the evening. With his narration and literal actions, I felt like I was a part of the film, a part of how he felt and related to the movie. As we got done with the day, he dropped me off and handed me a pen drive with more movies in different south Indian languages. He said and I quote “Don’t worry, all of them have subtitles.” That was a beginning of my love for the South Indian creations. They are content driven, touching and definitely leave a hangover. If it wasn’t for that one evening of crazy, I don’t think I’d ever truly enjoy my first experience of a south Indian film.