The most silent climax ever
A cop, who seems to be depressed, has seated himself in a corner of a noisy dance bar, with his glass full of whiskey. Namdeo seems to drinking with long scheduled pauses, staring helplessly at his service revolver placed on the table giving company to a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. He seems to be disappointed about something, making him no different than all those drunk souls in that noisy heaven. It’s unusual. It’s the first time he is drinking and smoking, and that’s because he has had a bad week at work.
Every sip that he takes with a numb feeling, his thoughts cut back to a silent abandoned street lit with a single flickering street light, under which he is being beaten up by a local goon. The goon is on a rampage aimlessly pounding his feet all over Namdeo’s unmoving body. Namdeo has given up on the fight like the deer that goes lifeless and falls in super slow motion when the fiery cheetah grabs it by the neck for a meal that it’s going to have after months. As Namdeo sips his drink, his numb eyes again cut back to that eerie street, where the goon is having a laugh, with his hand armed with Namdeo’s service revolver that he grabbed after a fist fight.
The goon points the revolver on Namdeo’s temple and says, “Namdeo, this bullet will not do anything to you, coz the state you are in, you won’t know the pain”.
As he throws down the revolver he continues, “I want you in your full senses, only then will I shoot you with this very gun. I want you to live to see that day, until then let these wounds heal faster than your ashamed and shattered soul.” …….the story goes on.
A film maker in India has an adjective associated with him that gets into his blood the day he steps into the world of films and filmmaking. One such guy is Sunil 34, who was glued to the idea of being a filmmaker right from the time his dad started a VHS Tape rental service of Malayalam movies in his confectionary/bakery.
Like the story of Ram Gopal Varma, Sunil used to watch all the movies that used to be imported from Kerala. The viewing used to be whilst making duplicated tape copies in real time, or with friends who used to come over for a free packet of banana chips. Over the years many films both good and bad went under Sunil’s scanner where he learnt the art of film-making, editing, story writing and everything that goes into film making. He later decided to get into the direction category of film-making, not to make a living, but to live his passion. Much against the will of his middle-class parents and his settled brothers and cousins, who looked down on him for not earning enough to buy a chocolate for their kids.
Sunil struggled to get into the mainstream commercial cinema as an intern, asst director under various established filmmakers one of them being Ashutosh Gowarikar. He missed being on Gowarikar’s team as an asst. Director for the magnum opus Lagaan, as there was someone better than him. His struggle to make it big inched towards the ten year mark, with Sunil showing no signs of giving up. During this phase he directed a lot of commercials and corporate films for clients ranging from a local Marwadi jewellery shop to a Malaysian MLM company. It’s also during this phase that he wrote many stories and used to narrate them to a select few friends that he had made during the course of his struggle. His to-the-point, no-nonsense and sly look nature made him prone to making more enemies than friends. Well Sunil was my friend for sure.
The story that had a start on paper has a climax in real life, with the near end of Sunil. The story snippet was from one of the many films Sunil wanted to direct so desperately. He wanted to get out of this stingy world of commercial film-making for the clients who would offer discounts on services and products rather than paying him his fee. Like Namdeo (a character from the second story) Sunil has given up his life to a dreaded illness that has paralysed him and that is taking his life away in super slow motion. His aged parents are by his side and are being told it could be any day that he will stop breathing.
I wonder what will be going through his head now that he has nothing to worry about, with him being taken care of as a newborn. By now he would have made a thousand films in his head, with the most scenic visuals and gripping stories. The never ending reel in his head might be beaming out his dreams that he wanted to live to cherish and die for. Today, the life for him is like that goon, who would be staring at his face and saying let these wounds heal faster than your ashamed and shattered soul.
As Sunil fades into the black sheen of death, this story if written by him will have the most silent climax ever.
How I know Sunil
I first met Sunil for a ad-jingle work for a housing project back in 2003.
It was the first work that I had ever done. I got paid Rs. 6000 for the jingle which was sung by my friend Krishnan and my sister Preeti. That kick-started my foray into the world of ad-jingles, music for commercials, short films, documentaries, corporate films and more. Sunil, too shares the credit with all those people who have helped me shape my dreams and what I’m today. I so very desperately want to meet him, but his parents warn that when he sees people he knows he gets violent and he is uncontrollable. It would be his frustration of not being able to talk, to share his thoughts, or maybe he’s just too ashamed of himself for being in this dead torpid state.
I believe Sunil is the face of the many aspiring filmmakers who die a silent death, and go unnoticed for the talent they have hidden in those outdated diaries where countless heart-warming stories, scripts, and screenplays have been penned that would have been neglected and discarded by some freaking money-minded producer.
Sunil will live on forever and will come to life in the form of a neighbour, a friend, a daydreamer who would want to make the best film of his life.
Sunil, my prayers are with you and your family.
Hi, I’m a music director/composer/producer from India and work for films, television series, television commercials / advertisements, jingles, video games, musicals and concerts. Here through my series of This Life Happens, i intend to share the simplest of stories that I get inspired from, hoping it’ll inspire yours too.
I also do love to share my expertise in creativity and music through my blog — prashantpillai.com/blog. Drop in to say Hello! there.