Between guests, extended lunches and Mom’s updates about almost everything, I tried watching the Independence Day specials. Thank God for 60-odd channels, I made easy viewing decisions, like surfing over crap like the mind-numbingly boring pattimandram filled with Solomon Paapiah’s unfunny interruptions/observations.
The strangest program was the special on Vijay TV about Santhome Higher Sec. School, Madras. Apparently Prabhu Deva flunked his XI std. in Santhome and Fr.Yesuraj (I think), the currrent principal and former teacher of Deva explained to the viewers how Prabhu Deva used to sit in class. Not just in words, but with an actual demonstration on the back row in Class XI. It was exactly at that moment that I hit my head with the remote, and knocked myself out.
Nasser interviewed Ilaiyaraja on another channel. After 20 mins, Ilaiyaraja had still not answered a single Nasser question, but I had enough material to write a thesis on “How to absolutely drive an interviewer nuts?”. Thankfully, the program was interspersed with footage of Raja conducting the Budapest orchestra for his TiS project, which made up for his babblings.
Another composer, Bharadwaj, was also interviewed. He listed the names of many of his albums and kept referring to them as “hits”. In spite of the sound editing, I could hear giggles in the background.
I later learnt that Renuka Menon understands 100% of Tamil but can only talk 90%, while she can understand 40% of Kannada but can speak none of it. I made a note of the stats and then hurriedly switched channels in time to hear Namitha answering the one question that had been nagging at me for atleast eight minutes the day before. Yes, she will continue to act, but WILL diversify to playing serious roles from glamour. The program was interrupted for a few minutes as they waited for the cameraman to regain consciousness.
On Surya TV, Suresh Gopi was asked how he had managed to live & breathe through yet another cop role. Gopi went on to answer the question for a good 15 minutes, repeatedly using the word “Magic” throughout his answer. As pompous as he sounded, I was still impressed by the fact that he said “nostalgia” without a Mallu accent. Magic?
Priya Mani was on another Mallu special where she was interviewed by a bunch of smart kids. And thanks to their not-so-dumb questions Priya Mani came off looking adorable. I told my Mom that she had chosen the name “Rithika” for her debut film, keeping in mind Bharathiraja’s obsession for introducing “R” heroines. My Mom looked confused and asked me if Bharathiraja was the ugly one? Then quickly corrected herself, “I’m thinking of T.Rajender”. Ouch TR.
And then to round off things, there was a really really long musical special celebrating Hariharan’s 50th birthday. SPB(with a great white beard) & Hariharan sang “Roja Jaaneman” together, each trying to outclass the other. While both their variations & modulations got out of hand to the point of making the song sound like some stupid ghazal, SPB still had Hariharan eating dirt most of the time. Hariharan btw, is as nauseating as ever even after 50 years of his existence. And still needs a shave & a haircut.