Shooting Pains (BH: D320)

June 21, 2012

"Sir, I guess you didn't recognize me!" he said beaming while sinking into the visitor's chair. Long strands of well oiled hair flowing away from a reflector quality bald head. A mouth wide enough that the full set of teeth stand separated from each other so that they can cover that cavern.

"No," I didn't recognize him.

"I am the famous production executive for Divakaran TV serials." He went onto reveal his famous name.

"Good to see seniors like you are considering coming back to school." I shuffled the papers to make sure I can give him the right one from Mech, Elec or Comm admission forms.

"Ayyo Saare, Good Joke. I am not here for admission.""Then?""We need the college for filming. Our new megaserial is in progress: Ammayiammayude aliyanmar (The mother-in-law's brothers-in-law). Family subject. Megahit!"
"Why do you need a college for that?"
"Hero is in an engineering college, Sir. Heroine is in medical college."
"Terminally ill?"
"No, student!"
"Same difference"
"It is a professional love story that way."
"We have exams going on now, so it will be a hassle to have the crew around."
"We don't want to disturb anything. Only stock footage enough. One classroom, one lab, one corridor, main entrance, one exterior."
"Which lab?"
"Engineering lab"
"All of them are..."
"Then, any lab"
"What do we get out it?"
"Publicity Saare, free publicity. 15 seconds "thanks" before the title card. Then the college name board shown before each scene set here."
"I see" I said, but I must have appeared unconvinced.
He continued."7:30 pm prime time serial. 90% female audience Sir. Good buzz."
"We will need an undertaking?"
"For what, Sir?"
"What if there is a suicide in the story and it becomes linked with the college name? What if there is violence? What if the college reputation becomes damaged?"
"Nothing like that. It is a novel that appeared in Madhuramanoranjini magazine. Haven't you read it?"
"Sentimental, sweet story Sir. No gangrape, murder, suicide, violence."
"Yea, we should include those also!"
"Actresses will be here, Sir"
"That doesn't make any difference."
"Kumari Kanakambari, Parithapakarimol..."
"They are?"
"Cine artists, Sir. They are our heroines."
"The filming can only be on Sunday."
"Fine!" he was thoughtful for a second. "I will have to arrange extras as students then."
"Yes please. And only if we have an undertaking with other clauses by Friday."
"That is no problem. We will sign anything you want!"
"One page agreement would do"
"That may not be possible, Sir. We never write anything that short. At least 5 pages....with commercial breaks"

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