Saturday, May 28, 2011
Just Grin Like an Idiot (a Factional Situation)
I just got out of the Detention Center, or DC as they call it. And I tell you, the freedom was paralyzing. I stood for a good hour on the road outside the DC pondering where I should go.
Now that I’ve recovered from the paralysis, first up, let me tell you that the DC is not a place you’d want to visit. Gone are the days of yonder when the spacious room allowed us to play a game of cards, carom, stretch the legs, and maintain some sanity and sanitation in what is a very non-private chamber.
The DC is a crowded zoo minus the expansion and bunkered up. No, I wasn’t in because I smuggled a pack of Wills or a pack of Baba (I smoke but do not inhale). I was in because I got drunk and brawled in a club and drove UDI. When I came to, I was in the DC and human odor was so tight in the air I promptly passed out.
But one can hear things even when asleep: “Man it’s not fair. We are here on real crimes and now we’ve got to share this little center with these Nicotine/Baba addicts. Why don’t they keep them apart, in some special tobacco violators’ compounds or cells?” When real inmates converse, you feel like a worthless criminal, undeserving of the luxurious space occupied.
Since mine was a non-tobacco case, I was spared the wrath of inmates who take pride in their trade. Way they saw it; those detained tobaccowallas were soiling their sacred sanctuary and ruining reputations garnered the hard way. The fear was deep. They expect tobaccowallas to outman regulars doing real time for real crime and feel the space shared is unfair.
But I’m glad I’m out. And guess what? I also happen to be a leading hero of the local filmdom – there isn’t a picture made without me playing a character to the hilt.
I tend to soak myself in the roles I do using methodology - Living skin-deep in my fictional portrayals. The method is simple: run around trees in my best costumes a la naturale, beat up baddies like Rajnikanth does, and play the emotions to the tip; tear jerking all and sundry a la Dilip Kumar.
Thus there I was; about to take an intense scene depicting crime and punishment, when the director yells, “cut.” He then coyly pulls me over to a corner and whispers: “Haven’t you heard about the new force in filmmaking called the Check List?”
I reminded him of the DC and prodded him on, thought it was the title of the next flick with me in it, obviously. Then he reads out the required amount of dosage that the public can tolerate and the limits thereabouts. “So what do you want me to?”
I ask, baffled by this revelation.
“Simple” he says. “Just tone down the theatrics – look happy in a sad scene. Turn your cheek when the baddies bag your fully-clothed heroine. Keep the action as passive as possible, and in the scene where you find and rescue her at the climax, show your affections by gently holding her fingernails and then thump your chest like King Kong. And most importantly, do it all with a perpetual look of GNH on your face.”
And what is that GNH face I enquired - as puzzled as the MPs in Parliament during the discussion on the Due Process of the Due Process.
“Just grin like an idiot” he said and with that, grabbed and yelled in the bullhorn “Wrap Up and Check List.”