Tilak Rishi's weblog

Musings on writing, expression, world politics, journalism, movies, philosophy, life, humour...

My Photo

Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stunning Cure For Stammering

Next to Mumbai and Kolkata, Lahore was the largest movie-making center in India before Partition. Besides the two big studios, Pancholi and Shorie, that boasted of many blockbusters, there were many more independent units, which too had quite a few hit films to their credit. Many of the mainstream stars started their career in movies that were made in Lahore, and later moved to Mumbai where they became some of the biggest stars of the Indian film industry. My brother Raghu, editor of Film Critic, the only English film magazine of Lahore, had a big hand in boosting the image of some actors and eventually their career through the good coverage he gave them in his highly valued and well circulated monthly magazine. An upcoming starlet also aspired to become a big star one day, especially after reading the review of her first film in his magazine, which highly applauded her maiden appearance and predicted that she would be a great star some day. The starlet was so impressed by the beautiful lines on her acting in the magazine that she immediately sent a message to Raghu, inviting him to her house for an exclusive interview over lunch. Raghu was not at all excited on receiving the invitation. He was as fearful of meeting people as forceful he was in writing on them. Introvert by nature and handicapped by severe stammering, he was averse to socializing and avoided attending premiers and parties, or interviewing movie stars for his magazine. All the same, he did not want to miss the opportunity to feature an exclusive interview with the newly introduced film actress in his magazine. As on earlier occasions, when he passed on invitation to film parties and functions to my eldest brother Dev, Raghu requested him to interview the actress for him. Dev was only too happy to help him, as it was a golden opportunity to have a good time with the beautiful actress.

Dev, dressed in his best attire, looked no less than an actor himself, with his handsome face and impressive personality, when he rang the door-bell of the actress on dot that Sunday afternoon. With her ravishing smile the starlet received him so warmly that Dev either did not notice or inadvertently overlooked to correct her when she addressed him as Raghu. Dev's omission might have been absolutely unintentional at that moment of time, but his continuing to pose as Raghu throughout his stay with the starlet that afternoon was, perhaps, done with a purpose. It was Dev's dream to become an actor, and he had been trying hard to be one, but without any success so far. Who knows, he might have thought, meeting the starlet was a God sent opportunity to achieve his life's ambition. Knowing that she had a great regard for Raghu as an editor, for pushing her career by giving good publicity in his magazine, Dev thought the best way to get the starlet's help in achieving his goal was to let her remain under the impression that he really was the Raghu she liked and admired. He. of course, took Raghu into confidence, who did not object to his plan if it pushed his career. The starlet's respect for Raghu kept increasing with every issue of his magazine, which invariably had something good to say about her that resulted in her getting offers for better roles to play in forthcoming productions of big producers in Lahore. And correspondingly, she kept coming closer and closer to Dev, Raghu for her, at premiers and parties, till that fateful evening when she came face to face with the real Raghu.

B.R.Chopra, the journalist turned famous film producer, gave wedding reception at Lahore's Flattis on my sister's marriage to Surendra, the popular yesteryear singing star. The starlet was also there amongst a large number of invitees from Lahore's film world. It was there she met the real Raghu for the first time when Mr. Chopra, who was editor of Cine Herald magazine before becoming a film producer and knew Raghu well, introduced her to him. The starlet was visibly shocked and anguished on learning that it was not Raghu, but Dev, impersonating as Raghu, whom she had been seeing all these days. But she soon cooled down and was overwhelmed with compassion for Raghu on knowing that it was Raghu's own idea to send his brother to interview her, because of his severe stammering condition. Her admiration increased all the more for Raghu, the man who did so much to promote her career with his pen, yet did not come forward even for a word of thanks from her. She decided there and then that she would repay Raghu for all that he had been quietly doing to promote her career. She resolved to do her best to bring Raghu out of his complexes, and restore his confidence, which he had lost because of severe stammering. She started seeing him as often as she could, and went to premiers and parties with Raghu as her constant companion. Eventually they became intimate friends, and thanks to her determined efforts, Raghu got rid of his stammering surprisingly fast. Together they left Lahore, well in time before Partition, and moved to Mumbai for better prospects in their respective careers in the mainstream movie industry. Indeed, love is a many- splendored thing, it could even be a stunning cure for stammering.


Post a Comment

<< Home