Such a feeling’s comin over me
there is wonder in most everything I see
not a cloud in the sky
got the sun in my eye
and I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream…
Kaavalan in Shanghai has put me on top of the world!!!!
Shanghai is a clean city with warmhearted, well dressed people!!!
All my bags packed along with my apprehensions…my husband Hari, daughter Sraiyanti and I (ad)ventured on the Shanghai experience…June 11th 2011.
We were supposed to land an hour before Vijay and his friend Sujai, but as it is wisely said, we propose God disposes…our flight was half an hour delayed!
Our very good friend Vino (anchor of Bru stars ungaLudan) and her husband Deepak and son 7 year Hriday along with Melody the Chinese interpreter were waiting for us…Oh I felt awwwwful!
Vijay extended his hand out welcomingly but the renowned ‘hugger’ that I am, I gave him a welcome to Shanghai hug!
We checked in and planned the ‘things to do’ for the D-day! Vijay as guest of SIFF (Shanghai International Film Festival) registered at their counter. The entire staff was very friendly and courteous. People here have such good fashion sense, when we step out we have a fashion parade for free! It is such a visual treat for the eyes. Shanghai is spic and span…these are the times I feel sad about our Indian sense of cleanliness…and a big boo to neel fanalca!
All girls in Shanghai have a self christened English name, simply because their Chinese names are tongue twisters.
So our Chinese translator for the festival is Liza though her real name is ‘Goawayhome’! I asked her “goawayhome…aaa?” meaning what kind of name is that! She smiled and so happily said “Rekhs, you speak very good Chinese!!!”
June 12th, Sraiyanti and I packed the gift from Vijay to SIFF on behalf of South Indian Film Artistes Association, a friendship gesture for the 2 cities/ countries to bond…a Hamsa brass lamp that can be hung, along with incense sticks of different fragrance, wrapped in an unusual mat bag which we wrapped with utmost care that needed unusual dexterity. Plus we had bought a beautifully painted peacock in ceramic to stick on top. We managed to stick the peacock’s feet to the turquoise blue wrapper almost professionally! I got myself draped into a salmon pink sari and carrying bundles of brochures and bookmarks, we bundled ourselves into the car…picked up Vijay and Sujai who were dressed to kill…ready to at least break a few 100 hearts!!
Cathay cinema hall is one of the oldest and most popular theatres in Shanghai.
We were ushered into the hall where many Chinese came over to us and asked Vijay for his autograph. Sraiyanti, little Hriday and Vino distributed bookmarks and brochures while Deepak, Hari and Sujai busily clicked snaps of Vijay, who was centre of attention amidst Chinese from 17 to 70…
Oooops I forgot to tell you about our bookmark
It had a nice snap of Vijay with these words below:
Victorious like his name
Industrious, a focused film ally
Jovial…reserved, a simple guy
Accomplished hero in every frame
Young endorser of India’s fame
Is…an entertainer of mass and class
Whose films are never a full stop but 3 dots…
FLIP OVER… written on the other side, with a black thread (for drishti) and embellished with a colored ceramic bead…many got his autograph on this with great joy!
At 3:45 we were ushered into the theatre and Vijay was introduced by Leo, who pronounced like all the Chinese here do, Vijay as VJ! Vijay spoke calmly, while I had 100s of butterflies somersaulting within me…
Goawayhome translated at regular intervals, I silently thanked God they had practiced this to perfection 10 minutes prior to the function!
Vijay spoke in bright earnest, with pauses for effect and sincerely thanked his film director, cast and crew, family and fans…we were overjoyed at the thundering applause. Margaret who received our gift from Vijay was overwhelmed and hoped to see more Indian films next year…
I enjoyed 3 ‘First time’ experiences simultaneously…watching a film from the first row, in Shanghai, seated next to Vijay!!!
I was so happy to hear the audience laugh, enjoy Vadivel-Vijay comedy, 2 songs we had retained (introduction song vinnai kaappaan oruvan and yaar adhu?) really thrilled the Chinese audience.
As soon as the credits rolled, Vijay smiled at me, saying ‘very good subtitles, Rekhs’ and my joy knew no bounds!!!
Biggest surprise of all, a Chinese gentleman in his 50s walked up to Vijay and said
“Well done Bhoomi” and 2 girls in their early 20s “how sad you waited so long to marry the one who loved you so much!!!”
Before we realized ‘VJ’ was surrounded by men and women, all excitedly gesticulating in animated conversation, with Goawayhome translating, trying her best to keep pace with the ecstatic crowd…while I sent a silent thank you to God!
We walked out with intense satisfaction in our hearts, a spring in our steps, elated minds and a glow that spread all over…we couldn’t have asked for anything more soul-satisfying than this…
I thought to myself, just like Vijay was one of the lucky few amongst the next-gen of stars to share screen space with our dear Chevalier Sivaji the legend (in once more) he is a pioneer amidst this younger galaxy of ‘stars with substance’ to represent South cinema in Shanghai…rock on Sollywood:)
On our way back Vijay was so overwhelmed at the response…and thanked me once more!
I think its just destiny…que sera sera… God acts in the most surprising ways…!
His hard work got its due rewards…But what my heart did sing that night as we celebrated this huge honor was ‘I could have danced all night and still have asked for more…’ a la Elisa of my fair lady fame:)
Until I share this space again with you dear friends of mine…
xiexie xiexie (pronounced she shay) which means thank you…as the Shanghanese here love saying ever so spontaneously…xie xie for your faith in this little squirrel to bridge the gap between Sollywood and the universe!!Respond to
This page hosts the views of the authors of the column. The views are generally about films, movie reviews, movie news, songs, music, film actors and actresses, directors, producers, cinematographers, music directors, and all others that contribute for the success or failure of a film. People looking for movies online, movie reviews, movie analysis, public response for a movie, will find this page useful.