It is morning 1.30 AM here. I just got back after 6 hour long work as a waiter in a Kerala Restaurant. The best thing about this job is Chef Yousaf Bhai’s traditional Kerala food and being in the ambiance of my homeland listening to Yesudas songs. I also enjoy the walk after the work late at night from Quayside to my house at Fehnam making fun on Newcastle roads fooling around everyone. Today while walking back I suddenly thought of my very first job in life, back in the year 2002.
I was always been blamed of seeing life through the eyes of a romantic. I won’t deny; it’s quite true. To be honest with you, I did my first job to earn money to buy a gift for a girl hoping to propose her. It was during my graduation days in Hyderabad. I was adamant that if I buy something for her, that should be with my own income. Since then I was been dependent on my parents completely. I never had any shame to ask money from them for myself, but I thought it is unfair in such a context. The job was to do promotional sales of Rexona Safron and Sandal soap at various shops, as part of its launch. I did the work for 4 days under the hot summer sun of Hyderabad with a record sale of 256 soaps. As a promotional deal I was asked to give a free shampoo along with 4 soaps of Rexona. A little intelligence worked there, to make that record mark by approaching wholesale dealers directly; who brought soaps in bulk from me along with all the shampoos, which they could sell separately for extra profit.
I too gained enough to buy something I thought is precious for the little money I could gather with that job. I got the payment a few hours before my train to Kerala. I ran through the roads of Hyderabad and caught a bus to old city. That was my second visit to old city and got into a shop called Kesiah or something, where I got a cute white pearl. I was too confused whether it was an original pearl. The shopkeeper was a kind man; he showed me how to find the purity of pearl. He made a flame and kept the pearl on the flame. He told me that if it changes the colour or get burnt it is a fake one and if it retains its shine it is genuine. He thus proved his point; that he sells only pure pearls. The pearl was pure and my heart too baked in Hyd sun, but interestingly only the pearl was acceptable to the girl. Well, she had her reasons… At later point of life, I realised that love and adventure as an infatuation quite natural for a young boy of his graduation days.
I can see that young chap, running through the dirty roads of old city, catching bus to the railway station to get the train to Cochin with a dream. He had a pearl close to his heart. That was my very first run of victory and failure. But the experience I gained is still unique. It was my love for her that introduced me to multimedia to do a music video on the theme of love. It is multimedia that introduced me to the world of editing and it is editing that opened a path to videography, direction, filmmaking and hence me, cockroach in cocktail… etc… everything… A Malayalam poem I did write, compose and sung that was recorded with a pocket walkman, transferred and edited with sound forge in the space of Arena Multimedia. I had never seen a camera during those days and hence animated clips generated from Flash and 3D studio Max was used for the video that was edited using Adobe Premiere. Special effects were added in After Effects. I myself handled every single aspect of it, without anyone’s help. In that process learning a lot about the art of cinema… Thus my first audio-visual art work happened. There used to be a time which I bunked my B.Sc Computer Science lessons and spend whole day in Arena practicing editing and making this film. The first preview of that video was done to the pune Vinay. The day I finished it, we both sat there watching it continuously again and again until we were bored of it. I used to help Vinay to pull down the shutter of Arena on many nights for many months. I remember that old maid servent of Arena too, who always hugged me and called me ‘Anarkali Betta’. Even now she won’t remember my name, but she definitely recognize me as ‘Anarkali. Now that is a different story, of acting as female character ‘Anaarkali’ for a comedy play at Arena.
Walking back through the roads of Newcastle late night, I realised that I haven’t changed at all… fooling around people, dancing and howling on the roads, I haven’t grown up at all. Still playing bet games on street run or jumping to catch the roof of bus stops. How much ever people blame me for being impractical, I still enjoy being that boy of Hyderabad roads, running with a pearl close to his heart. He still hasn’t learnt to love, but he enjoys his romance to his life. He is not okay with people who are busy complicating their lives. He is not ready to except the world’s comment that romance kills the sense of practicality. His life is a simple one; He see it with a lot of romance, adventure and care… love to live it this way, simple and straight… with the heart of the same boy of Hyderabad… whether it is filmmaking, family, friends… hopes, journeys, fantasies, adventures and dreams… A few days back I had a moment to cry when a young boy who had a problem of autism suddenly started sharing ideas with me when I was doing a little film editing with him. I haven’t lost anything… life has a reason to move on… it is magical… And I feel myself a magician. :)