Friday, April 17, 2009

Mumbai freeze-frame: ... And a Musical is born

14. … And a Musical is born.

‘So, how does it look?’

‘Thrice over our max-cost range, one foreign location for eighteen days, two months post… and he’s got Daddy, as you know.’

‘What do you think?’

‘I don’t know. Depends on what you think.’

‘It’s impressive that he’s got Daddy in his pocket. How do you suppose he pulled that off?’

‘He started off as A.D. in ‘Dhruv’, remember? There was some talk about him becoming Personal Assistant to Daddy for the shoot – the A.D. thing was just for show. Rumours are he did everything for him on set – chicks, booze and some pills the man was doing at the time.’

‘Shit… So we can’t get him off the project is what you’re saying?’

‘Who? Director Keshav? No.’

‘Then why do we have a six-picture deal with that other moron if we can’t even use him on a project like this?’

‘So, you’re going to say yes is what you’re saying.’

‘I’m considering it.’

‘Don’t fool yourself. Daddy’s too big right now to miss this chance – this isn’t the nineties, you know.’

‘You don’t have to tell me, okay? I know.’

‘Should I send off the proposal then?’

‘Wait… wait… give me a chance to think at least for God’s sake…’

‘There are three studios waiting for us to say no, and not even till tomorrow morning. The only reason it’s still with us is because of me. You know Daddy’s impatience. This will walk. It will walk. It’s not even a possibility. It’s a certainty.’

‘Who else is there?’

‘Shalini for the female lead. We have options on the whole supporting cast from the last thing that was done under this banner.’

‘Not bad….’

‘That was my doing.’

‘Ya, ya, okay… We pay you enough around here, so you speak only when spoken to, okay?’

‘You have to say something fast.’


‘It’s already 1 o’clock. Keshav’s waiting for my call.’

‘Can’t we call Daddy ourselves? I can’t understand why we have to shell out an extra 2 crore for this idiot director when we already have a person here ready to do it for nothing.’

‘Daddy doesn’t pick up the phone anymore, you know that. Everything has to go through bhabhi, and these days she doesn’t give a fuck about anyone. Why should she? They’re sitting on enough for three lifetimes.’

‘I don’t even like the way he looks, you know – Daddy… He looks like something from a septic tank. The way he talks, the way he walks, his clothes, his eyes… He’s fucking ugly, you know.’

‘It’s 1.10.’

‘Ya… ya… okay… okay… Send it off with the normal twenty-five percent cut in the proposed budget – he can cut it from the local sets… And ya – tell him South Africa for the foreign location… I’m not going anywhere near Europe these days.’

‘He wanted some small town in Canada.’

‘Tell him he can go fuck himself.’

‘Will do, Madam.’

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