I started a bit late today my routine was the same I ventured into Shree Ji for a Dosa and lassi. I had to pick up my portfolio from Camara Arts the guys who clicked me a few days back. Some pictures were ready and the guy on the computer was cleaning up the others on photoshop, the shopkeeper and elderly gentlemen knew me well and said,” Tom tho purvey chawal ho, tum ko kaam zaroor mile ga .” I was happy that I have well-wishers in this city and people still recognize me. As I ventured into the old by lanes of Khar and Santacruz to distribute my snaps, I got the feeling that the city has not forgotten me. Even the dosa joint in the Lokhandwala market the owner remembered me and said he was looking forward to seeing me on screen again.
Now with the iPhone and google maps things have become so easy, I just type the name of the production house and put the address on google map, I whistle for an auto and then navigate the auto with my google map. No-fuss no bother, I was able to cover five production houses today and my first stop was Dharma Productions. Addresses and offices of the production houses have changed, they ought to after all its been over six years since I was last in this city. It was like starting a new struggle as an actor only this time I had experience on my site it was like doing Tikku 2, like Modi 2. This could be bigger than my first stint in Bollywood at least I want it to be that way.
I was rudely stopped by the guards at Dharma Productions, man this place as guards whose ego’s are bigger than that of Karan Johar itself. They asked me to stop and not try to get in and that as a struggling actor I should approach the casting directors with my portfolio, they gave the cards of a few directors to me and sent me packing. It seems that Dharma has no process for dealing with actors no one to collect photographs or guide a writer who wants to sell his story. I was sent paining with a few names and numbers. Next was Shah Rukh Khan’s office red chilies, here again, I was meet my resisting guards who informed me that the big boss does not sit in the office anymore, why should he his last five films have flopped and the company has no projects on the floor as yet. I was asked to call the board line but everyone was busy with lunch.
I decided to scan the nearby area and went to Farhan’s Office, here again, I was given an email id and was asked to send my portfolio to the email id, no one who could directly deal with me. With the google map, I was finding it very easy to locate the offices, so I kept up with my rounds. My last stop was Vishesh Films at Khar Road and as luck would have hit I saw Mukesh Bhatt wandering around in the reception. I said hello to him and told him that I had worked with Mahesh Bhatt in Jashan, I also told him about the web series and that I wanted to narrate the story of my book to someone. He was happy to deal with me and asked me to hand over my pictures to his secretary, he also said I should meet him on the 11th of October and he will make sure my story is heard by someone in the creative department. I was happy to meet the veteran producer, it was a chance meeting he has become old and frail. But he was still very polite and helpful. That was three hours of struggle that was all I could do for the day. The evening sky had come up and I felt like a snack at Calcutta c club. With dreams in my head and a song in my heart I navigate the old by lanes of Bollywood again, there is a hint of nostalgia, some old fragrances of the past, but also the electricity of passion and urgency that something more needs to be achieved.