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Hi dear people

This particular ‘episode’ of my ‘talkie with rekhs’ journey is called ‘ poruthaar bhoomi aalwaar’ which translates to ‘Patience rules the (reel) world’.

Vicky as Vignesh is called by family and close friends is the son of a cop couple. After his dad’s demise in 2003 when he was in the 12th grade, his mother, the strong woman that she is, shouldered the responsibility of a single parent and ensured her children Vignesh and Aishwarya were given a proper education. He has fond memories of Daniel Hobday, his music teacher who motivated him and gave him bags full of confidence.

Despite his limited exposure-upbringing, his dreams are infinite! When he was 7 years, his mom dressed him up as, you’d never guess…Tipu sultan for a fancy dress competition and the ‘clap-bug’ caught his fancy. When he was 13 he decided he wanted to become a director. When I quizzed him why, glib came the answer ‘I was so good at reeling out tales that the reel world seemed the ideal place for me’.

Vicky studied in Santhome High School where Simbu was his senior. Later, determined to make his teenage dream come true, he joined Hindustan College of Engineering and completed his undergrad in electronic media. That’s where he met his girl friend and his heroine.

His classmate Karthik Veera believed in every single story of his and wide eyed listened to Vicky’s flights of fancy and fantasy. His faith in Vicky’s story-telling ability was further garnished with positive vibes that emanates from him till date.

In 2007, while in college, he made a short film that set him thinking. It was the ‘call center’ fad then. Students worked in call centers at night…easy money, temptation and sauntering late into class was in vogue. Titled ’20 not = to 30’ it stipulated that a student should go through student-ship and not act too big for his boots with rationed pocket money so as not to be tempted by drugs, women or booze.

Fresh out of college he started writing stories that were gory and grisly. Then he suddenly got enlightened he should make a film his amma and Aishwarya can relate to and appreciate, a feel-good film. Not melodramatic. Not clichéd either; his muse being Radha Mohan’s Mozhi and Venkat Prabhu’s Chennai 28 which delighted the viewers with their spontaneous strokes of realism. He decided this was the kind of film he wanted to make, here the camera is so unobtrusive but an integral part of the story, weaving the right weft and warp into the fabric of entertainment.

Life is all about serendipity. This is reiterated in Vicky’s life. At this point, into his life entered Padam Kumar who fell in love with the 4 minute photo-video of the first and earliest version of Podaa Podi titled ‘Mr Poda Mrs Podi’ (I personally think this is a more endearing title). Padam Kumar, who met Vicky in Dharan’s house took him to meet Simbu.

Their meet was on these lines: Simbu’s eyes flashed recognition when he saw Vicky, ‘weren’t you my junior in school’ and Vicky said ‘Yes and now the director of this photo-video Padam sir just showed you!’  And that’s how Vicky got Simbu’s dates, ‘cos STR instantaneously loved the video.

Long before Balaji’s Kaadhalil sodhappuvadhu eppadi emerged from the fledgling short film state to a film in full form, Vicky used this modus operandi, a video doubling up as a business card. But since it took almost 1500 days and 4 films in which Simbu starred in between, we are unaware of this fact. Why I’m specifically saying this is, my dear young aspiring film makers, this seems a sure shot way of gaining the attention of producers and stars!

The very next day, a day Vicky is unlikely to forget in a long long time, April 6th 2008, a dozen people including Simbu sat in a circle around him and he narrated his story. Overwhelmed, Simbu hugged Vicky and said, ‘we are doing this for sure’ but the ‘doing’ happened sporadically by which time Simbu finished acting in Silambattam, VTV, Vaanam and Osthe. Now you know why I titled this episode so.

August 11th 2010 Podaa podi’s shoot began and he could not even attend his only sister’s wedding! Meanwhile when he was not shooting and simply waiting, Vicky went to Malaysia wanting to make a music video. Nothing clicked. During this trying time, his mother and girl friend were his Rock(s) of Gibraltar. His patience paid on November 13th when he watched his film on screen with the audience. He was glad they laughed where they thought they would. He looked at me, smiled and said, “I now know where I passed and where I failed.”

His mother and sister loved it, which was his initial intent, before he started on this long waiting journey. One other person whom I should applaud who has been so patient is Varu, the heroine of the film. She got fixed in Vicky’s head as the lead pair when he was in college and she was his senior. He connected with her on Fb and asked if she would play this role, sometime mid 2008. She has been waiting too. Her dance trainer Mojo played by Jeffrey Warden shares the same role in her real and reel life! This was the director’s choice. Contrary to what people believe that Simbu is very interfering, Vicky says, ‘it shows he cares and I am glad he did’

Vicky is disappointed about the gamble that didn’t pay off regarding the release date. I go one step further to reiterate this statement of mine that post production should be given the time it takes and deserves. It seems like a ‘cutting the nose to spite the face’ syndrome if the release date is not well-planned. Either be ready when a date is announced and not do a rush-rush job, or announce after you’ve done justice to the months of blood sweat and tears contributed by a whole team besides the captain at the helm.

But I am not the right person to be so emphatic, as I don’t know what the actual hassle in why this is not happening in our part of the world. But if we actually get our films ready well in advance to give time for publicity and not bend backwards and somersault with unrealistic deadlines, sleepless nights wherein quality of work tends to suffer and make compromises shoved to a corner at gun point, then the chances of the ship sailing to worldwide horizons seem brighter!

Wishing our films a smooth sailing December before we watch the much awaited ‘Kadal’ and Viswaroopam,


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