June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
An old friend of mine sent me an email with an attachment. It was a movie idea I had written in 2006, the time when I had just started to think of movies. I had forgotten about it, now after 8 years, its quite a feeling to read it again. It made me wonder if in these 8 years I have gained something or lost something. When you are not aware of ‘practicalities’ in Filmmaking… I guess this is how you’d end up writing scripts.
(Cant remember what I had titled this)
Anna stops all of a sudden. I look into her eyes and I know what she is thinking, but we can’t stop. We have to run, run faster. I hold her hand and try to pull her along but she presses her feet on the ground, clenches her toes tight, and stands there firmly, unwilling to budge. I am panting. I fall down on my knees trying to catch my breath. Drops of sweat drip down my fore head as I breathe harder and harder. I see Anna standing right there waiting for an explanation, wanting to know why I stormed into her office, why I have blood on my face, why she has to run, who is she running from. Every breath I took I knew a question was popping up in her head. I look around. People are looking at us; they are carrying a smile, a knowing smile. I have to run, I have to take Anna away from this place, take her far away. I have no time to give her any answers. I put my head up and look at her and she says “Come, Let’s go”, saying that Anna starts running. I see her and wonder where I went wrong.
I am on the 26th floor. Puffing and panting. I am claustrophobic. I push the glass door open and drag my feet up to the reception desk. “Mr. Agnihotri” I say, and the bored middle aged woman sitting at the reception pretending to be busy gives a plastic smile and asks “do you have an appointment”. I nod. She picks up the phone and speaks in to the receiver as though she is whispering a secret in the ears of a new born baby. After hanging up she utters THE sentence “Please be seated. He is in a meeting”. I wish I didn’t know that already. I pull myself to the comfortable looking sofa placed right next to the huge French windows. As I sit down I feel that this would be the last time I have to do this. I look around. The security guard at the door is staring. I smile. He doesn’t. Just when I am wondering what he is trying to find, a man holding something walks behind him, he is carrying one end of a huge something. With the guard in the foreground a river of colors is flowing in the background. The colors come alive.
I am standing alone in an oblivion state. Everything around me is void. Am I floating I wonder. Just then I see something flowing towards me from the eternity. I look around and I see that it’s coming from all directions. I get scared. The further I run from one the closer I am getting to the other. Helplessly I stand there waiting for the inevitability to crash in to me. I close my eyes. And it those few moments, I am no where. I feel my feet getting wet and then my head, my hands, my back, I am drenching. It feels so cold, it feels so soft. I open my eyes and I see myself. I am all colored. I look more colored than a rainbow. I feel more pride than a peacock. I turn around and I see myself everywhere. I am radiating all possible colors. I am in a cage and I am tied by my own reflections. “You are called”. The colors are now fading. It all seems to be happening so quick. I look around and the color is all fading in to grey, there is a strong sense of fear that takes over and… and… And I hear it again – “You are called”. I see the grey shades morphing into a face, a grumpy looking serious face and then slowly like a flower blossoming, the face smiles. The look hits me like a jolt of lightning and I wake up to hear the receptionist saying “You are called”. The security guard is smiling.
The moment has arrived. All my life I have been waiting for this moment and when it is finally here, I feel like running away. I feel like quitting. I feel like shouting it out to the whole world “I am not a Film maker”
As I am walking up to the door, I have a sinking feeling in my stomach. And I freeze right there. I am in two minds now. To step ahead or to turn back. I turn back and go up to the receptionist and softly mumble. She gives an ‘Oh you men!’ expression and points her head towards the left. I just follow her direction and slowly walk up to the room. Did I really want to come here or I just wanted to buy some time? I put my file down and walk up to the end of the room. I step up and unzip my pants. I close my eyes and I let go.
“This is great work”. I open my eyes. I don’t remember how long I have been standing here. Has it been 30 seconds or 30 years? I zip up and step down. I see a man sitting on the floor, resting his back by the door and reading through my file. I have never seen him. I should be angry at him for reading through my file but instead I just stand and see him read. I walk up to him. He becomes aware of my presence and says “This is really some good work, come with me”
The door closes as the old man leaves. I am still standing there wondering what just happened. The fact hits me that a stranger just took my file and walked out. I open the door and hurry to the reception. I look around, the receptionist is not there. The place feels different. Its not the same beautiful world outside the French windows. I turn around and see the security guard pointing towards the stairs. I run to the stairs. Climbing up a flight of spiral stairs is easy, not climbing down.
“Climbing down, is a funny phrase, isn’t it?” It’s coming from the floor below. The voice is familiar. It’s him. I rush downstairs and follow the voice. He says “I think climbing down is a funny phrase. The word climbing instantly brings an image of one going up, but as soon as you add the word down, the image is the opposite.” I am still trying to catch up with him and yes I am not in any state of mind to understand the theory behind the phrase ‘Climbing down’, may be I will think of it when I get my hands back on my file. I bend down and I see him slowly stepping down, he places his foot firmly with out any rush. Who is this man I wonder as I start jumping two steps at a time. My father would be this old if he was alive. I don’t know how many floors I am down now. “Are you tired of climbing down in your life?” He asks. Everything comes to a stop. I drop down. The question feels like somebody just grabbed me and asked me to quit the mad race I was running. I don’t hear his foot steps anymore. There are only echoes of the silence. In these echoes I start hearing faint voices. The spiral stairs rearranges itself in rows and columns. The place becomes dark and the voices become louder. I am in a theatre and there is a bag of popcorn in my hand. And on the screen I see –
A small boy looking through a small paper roll. Bending over the parapet wall, he is looking through the roll at the world below. He is smiling as he is looking at a fraction of the entire world through the small hole. He likes the idea of just looking at what he wants, and reject everything around. As he is scanning down, he moves from person to person, objects to objects and builds a story around them. The man in the yellow shirt is a sad man but wants to appear as though he is the happiest person, he is walking up to the butcher shop. The Butcher is sweating and is now chopping the 23rd head off. The chicken is lying down and it sees the knife coming down on its neck and its entire life flashes in front of its eyes. It sees the day when it was caught by the butcher when it was running away from the limping boy who was chasing it. The boy was limping because of the fall he had from the tree. The tree has been there for 120 years. The tree then was a small seed sowed by the man who is now buried next to it. The man used to water the tree till the last day of his life. His grand son is a very sad man and today he is wearing a yellow shirt and is gone to buy chicken from the butcher. The boy then unrolls his small little pipe and makes a paper aircraft of it and flies it off at the world below. I am looking at the paper aircraft gliding in the air and dropping altitude, in just a few seconds it would hit the ground. The boy is looking at it, so am I. The aircraft glides out of the screen and drops near my feet. I pick it up.
“Would you kill to make your film?” asked he, now sitting next to me on the stair.
The answer to that question has brought me here today. I get up and slowly start running towards Anna. The answer to that question is making her run too.
“Yes” I say. He looks at me, smiles and says “Alright then, the contract is simple. I give you the money. You make the film. What the film would be like, I don’t want to know. The only condition being that after you have done it, you owe me something. Deal?”
Was that really an offer? I remember then how all the 2 million producers I had met had rejected my work or had a clause in the contact or wanted to spend a late evening with me or they saw themselves saving the world. And here I just owe him something ‘after’ the film is made. “Deal” I say.