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I believe strongly in this statement

‘Life is all about serendipity and destiny’

To everything there’s a reason!

If I had not subtitled Enthiran I wouldn’t have met co-director Jayaram AND if the well known DoP Manoj Paramahamsa wasn’t known well enough to me, I wouldn’t have landed in Dehradun.

There started my tryst with being ‘shot’ instead of watching and writing dialogs shot by shot! And trying not to be wary or worried to show my smiling face to the whole world to comment on

It all started with a call from director Shankar’s office asking if I would do a teeny-weeny cameo appearance in his 3 idiots remake, Nanban. For one who believes in calling a spade a shovel (!) and living the role of Ms Articulate in real life, my lips got zipped and I was wordless! Then better sense prevailed and I told Sree, the A.D who called me ‘Are you maaaad? I can’t act for nuts!”

He said “Rekhs, you just have to come and hug Sathyan (silencer) on graduation day and give him a peck on his cheek”!

I asked Hari, my husband, who much to my chagrin joyously said ”unakku dhaan hugging kai vandha kalai aachay da, you will be a natural” (you are an expert hugger!) : ))))))) Packing up my tension and trepidation, on March 5th 2011 Hari and I found ourselves at Indian military Academy in Dehradun, guests of our extended family Zarina and her ever so popular Brigadier husband, Billu.

The whole Nanban team was soooooo courteous and friendly that soon my apprehensions flew out of the window. Actors Vijay, Jiiva, Srikanth, Sathyan, Sathyaraj sir put me at ease, in fact they were piling compliments and pats on my back for aspiring to take Thamizh cinema worldwide. It was so heart-warming to hear their support and endorsement; they reinforced my dream into a concrete reality!

I was wishing my ‘noodle flash-in-the-pan’ (2 minute appearance or even less) moment would get over and I could enjoy being a mere spectator.

And for someone who is rarely wrapped in a sari this was double trouble!

I was part of the audience for the convocation, seated along with 1000 or more people, with the sun blazing down my back (penalty for wearing a blouse with a stylish swooping low back) I even thought to myself, instead of subtitling happily in Editor Anthony’s studio what the heck am I doing here?!

Countdown…Asst director Atlee smiled at me and said “2 minutes Rekhs and we’ll call you”

I went up to director Shankar and said “Wish me luck, it’s my first time in front of the camera” and he shook my hands warmly, most amused, replying “you’ll be fine”.

Manoj stifled a chuckle and when I wanted to know why he was grinning like the Cheshire cat that swallowed the yellow canary, his rejoinder “I am sure no one has ever demanded luck, this way, from Shankar sir “!!!

Well…finally the moment arrived…Sathyan whom I know very well for the past 10 years said something that sounded in my panic-clogged ears like “never thought I would be your son onscreen” and I smiled distractedly at him.

I heard ‘start camera…rolling…action and I went up to him, hugged him, kissed him on his cheek and ruffled his hair and thought to myself I guess I just have to replay my daughter Smriti’s convocation! Except this is reel and not real world.

But the first time I looked into the camera and director for approval too soon! Even before he called “cut”

So I was asked to do the same again…and this time I prolonged the hug and kiss and I could hear Hari’s voice in my head vouching for my doctorate in hugging!!!

Cut and the director said “you were such a natural, why were you even worried?”

Jayaram smiled and nodded his approval, Manoj supplied his canaried-cat smile.

Sometimes a minute can stretch to aeons…this was one such ‘first time’ for me!

Why I named this article so is ‘cos when Nikhil Raghavan, a well known journalist and my friend published trivia about me in his column, my pic took more space than the text and I was aghast! Pat came the reply, “Who knows rekhs, for all you know you may play Suriya’s mom soon on the silver screen” !!!

Well…his words proved almost right… seer that he was / is.

Signing off from my first ‘slice of rekhs’ category, with a song popular in the mid 60s, by the Byrds

A time to gain, a time to lose, A time to rend, a time to sew

A time to love, a time to hate, A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late …for my dream to come true, I mean taking our south Indian cinema worldwide, not being in front of the camera!


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