Friday, 10 July 2009

A Facebook Message and the Memories it brought..

A message that came to me on Facebook this morning made me look behind - the paths of life that I crossed and reached where I am right now. That message was from Santoshettan, more familiar to Malayalis as Santosh Palee or Palee.

An eighteen year old with bright dreams of being in the limelight - that was me in a nutshell in 2003. It was also the time when Palee was reigning many a Malayali heart including mine with a program called Kairali On Demand. One of the many things I did to realize my dream was writing long letters to him with program ideas in the hope that he would just pick me to anchor them!

One day, that much awaited call came as well - to give a screen test. For me, hearing his voice across the line was an achievement in itself. He was an icon of sorts who encapsulated the ultimate media dream for me - someone who had to come on screen from behind by sheer coincidence and stayed on gloriously. The screen test was truly just a bonus.

I cannot imagine the nervousness I experienced that day. Probably, something I have never ever felt before or after, in my life - in that measure. I vividly remember his lady love being in the studio for the shoot of a program called Weekender. Of course, I did not know at that point that there was a love story going on. ;)

The screen test was totally uneventful. I was asked to perform an introduction for the program Mail A Scene. The otherwise ultra talkative, oversmart me just shrinked into a coy little thing with a puppy face in the great producer's presence. Needless to say, my performance was nowhere close to what I could have done and I don't even think he gave it a thought whether to take me aboard or not.

I thought, there goes my future in my dream channel into the dustbin with a silly piece of script I made.

I moved on, appeared for a screen test at Indiavision and did much much better this time. May be, because I cared much less if I would get through or not. And of course, Santoshettan was not there to distract!

I made it and I faced the camera for the first time for a programme there. Destiny had other plans though. Eleven months down the lane, I sensed another opportunity at Kairali with another producer. I wrote to him about my experience at Indiavision and I was on!

It indeed was a dream come true. Kairali had the most creative graphics team of all Malayalam channels at that point and my imagination knew no bounds about the riot of colours I would have for accompaniment on screen. Yet, somewhere inside, the sense of loss lingered that I did not become an anchor for a Palee programme.

Kairali became home to me soon. I bumped into him very frequently in the studio, yet continued to be star struck each time it happened. My producer was a good friend of Palee, so there was no dearth of insider news about Palee's life - professional and personal. In that way, I was in a much better place than most of his fans, even though I did not realize the anchor dream.

Life goes on. So did mine. I relocated to Hyderabad, much away from my media dreams, doing totally different things. Malayalam Television soon became a thing of past to me, something that I do not have access to even when I go back home, thanks to Kunjunni's addiction to Pogo.

But then, there is Facebook and orkut. Many lost media connections got revived especially on FB. Among them are Santoshettan of course and also Aroonz (Arun P G), a great graphics artist who did some of the most fantastic backdrops for me at Kairali. He is ready with his first movie work - Puthiya Mukham. Wish you the best, buddy!

Coming back to our hero, let me share the message he sent that made me take this walk down the memory lane - unabridged!

Two days before me and sree konny wr sitting tgthr for chilling.. ,me confessed to him that I cudnt recognised your talent at that time, or conveniently forgottn to uplift your softskills,due to the lack of a good prgrm which suits to your persona..I mean it..

Today I am really feelin proud bout you.. while walking thru d corridors of memories I can recollect those wonderful letters you wrote to me with poetic touches. "Ardramaanasam"... I used to call u like that... nywayz.. go ahead babes... my heartfelt best wishes to you....

When people say some dreams should reamain unfulfilled so that we feel the need to keep going, I usually disagree. Realising dreams is an extremely important thing for me. I think I just changed my mind. May be, some things should remain unachieved. God can keep watching, and based on your track record, can gift bigger and better blessings. Like the one I got today. :)

PS : Just in case you have not noticed, the name that Santoshettan gave me - I adopted it for life. My Internet persona Ardramaanasam owes someone a lot, you see! :)

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