Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ullaasapoothirikal Kannilaninjavale...

L to R: kannan(outside the stage...looks like he is watchin out for rotten eggs to drop the curtain!), me(don't i look like a dork!), shan(pink shirt, green pants...haha!), kiran(background...enjoyin!), kevin(background...barman all the way!), arun(he looks rite out of a jayan movie), viswan(is that a tanktop shirt???, shinoj(oddly missing in the frame!). Courtesy and Gratitude: Shan for spending his valuable time digging this lousy(but this is the best we have!) snap out!

College wuz all about proving to others that the savages cud do anything under the sun. And Viswan, made it even more tougher for us. Hardly a day wud pass before he came up with a new scheme or adventure...that typical mischievious smile on his face and we were all shouting..."Oh No! for cover"...we dreaded his many whims and a nice afternoon that wud have been spent lazing away in the backbenches irritating teachers and distracting classmates, shooting bullets, playing cat-and-bull, etc had to be sacrificed for a day-out-in-the sun, raising funds(college panavu pirivus were so fun) and begging for support from teachers and classmates, etc. And that wuz when the Arts Festival came up and we were just happy taking part in essay writing, dumb charades, poetry writing, drawing, music, etc when Viswan dropped the bombshell...we had to dance too! Now, we knew he wuz crazy...except for Arun Hari and Anoop the rest of us including Viswan wud have made mammooty strut with pride!

The infuriating thing about Viswan wuz his vulnerablity and compulsiveness when he cant have things his way...and as usual we fell in line. Finally practise was scheduled for next day...
SCENE-I Viswan's house. The song..."Who Let The Dogs Out"...the choreographer, Viswan himself, the dancers...Arun, Shan, Anoop, Kevin, me and Viswan. Kiran and Shinoj didnt even bother to turn up...they must have been laughing at our plight huddled in some a/c bar while we sweated. Viswan showed us a few steps, told us to practise till perfection and when we tried to sync up it wuz a total failure. Kevin and I were miserable...we had two-left foots, Shan and Arun lazy as ever, only Anoop like a diligent pupil lend his ears to Viswan...who finally ended up in tears as we excavated his cricket bat and headed for the medicos ground. SCENE-II My Basement. To distance us from the medicos ground viswan prudently shifts practise here. After a few mins of practise, the villainous cricket bat comes out again and finally we bargain with Viswan that if he let us play a game we wud obey him henceforth. After frantic calls to get Anoop, viswan despondently breaks the news that Anoop fled to mangalore seeing our performace yesterday and for fear of rotten eggs. After the game when we start practise in earnest, Kiran and Shinoj barge in and they ruin everything poking fun at our clumsy steps and mocking our "master". After half an hour of this parody, Shan announces he is tired and need refreshment...again beerings!

SCENE-III The Footloozers - By now Viswan had Arun on his side, and realizing his inability to coach us,he hires The Footloosers, Trivandrum's champion professional dance troupe to coach us. We stared open-mouthed at the steps they asked us to do... we hardly cud manage Viswans stupid moves...within a few minutes they realized our caliber...we wondered if they wud bolt as they huddled in serious thought at a corner...suddenly asked us if we would be interested in doing the 70's Ullasapoothiri song...we jumped at that idea as it wud be a demo-song and we wouldnt have to dance much. I sulked as Kevin and I were told our services werent required anymore...we were left with just 3 dancers now, Arun, Viswan and Shan and except for Arun, Viswan wuz so comic and Shan wuz so slow on the uptake we were sure to flop. But then we started thinking always...we had to make sure of pooling all our talents to make this work...we had come too far to give up...we created a setting of a bar, arun, shan and viswan wud be dancers with arun as the evergreen action-hero of malayalam filmdom, the late Jayan, Kiran and Shinoj were made two smugglers, Kevin wud play a barman serving drinks and I wud do a singer and lip-sync over the mic.

It wuz meant to be comic all the way and we had to win the crowd...we rented 70's garishly colored, multi-pocketed tight shirts, bell bottoms and huge belts, we collected huge-rimmed sun-glasses from the 80's, we redid our hairstyles and got wigs for huge moustaches and sideburns. When the curtain opens, kevin stand behind the bar, as the singer...I would enter the stage when the music started with a guitar, dancing in a wild-70's disco way. I couldnt do it the way they wanted me to but everyone agreed the comic-effect of wht i tried to do wuz great. Then the dancers wud come in, followed by the smugglers, who were told to improvise on the stage, fake having a few drinks, converse briefly, exchange briefcases and at the end our Jayan(Arun) wud shoot them down with two pistols he stuck into his already tight pants!!

And so the big day arrived. The moment the music started, the cheering began thankfully, our adrenalin raced, I made my wild entry into the stage, our dancers were charged...Arun, a superb dancer and great mimic had perfected Jayan's mannerisms to impossibly sublime heights, Viswan and Shan finally got their steps and synced up well on stage though Shan wuz found jumping up and down in agony after the dance as Viswan accidentally kicked him while dancing, our smugglers and barman were perfect, we had won the crowd and they danced and sung with us all the way. Not a single rotten egg or tomato came our way, and at the end of the dance, our classmates, seniors, juniors and the abvp guys who hated our very sight came over to congratulate us. We did have a shock though...a bottle placed on the bar that we planned to celebrate with after the dance and which the barman wuz supposed to only fake in pouring to our smugglers, wuz served out by our "kannilunni" kevin to an overjoyed kiran and shinoj...but it didnt matter anymore as we were still taking in the euphoria of the moment. For one person, however it didnt last long...the Footloozers where hot on Viswans heels to settle their choreography dues for almost a month giving him a hard time...Viswan vowed never to crusade for a cause henceforth...and we heaved a sigh of relief. Well almost, because a month later he had started planning for Dishaa, our inter-collegiate technical fest, which countless batches of seniors broke their backs trying to organize!!!

P.S - I have suddenly started to feel like an old man...all the ribs abt silver jubilees and quarter centuries seems to have gotten to me...i think this post shud serve to remind me of a carefree jabban-of-a-long-time-back and his fun-loving comrade-in-arms who lived life to the fullest...whenever the boring, predictable side of Mr.Kattakayam threatens to engulf me.


joseph said...

Jabba !!! That was the times... Ullasapoothiri was the best among the public demos we gave !!!!! Too bad we were not able to get it on video.. Anyway ur way of narration is more than enough.

Remember the rasputin proj that got shelved bcos of fear of motta eru :))

silverine said...

This hilarious!!!! LOL
Absolute rib tickling account. The very thought of Jayan cracks me up so you can imagine that I was ROFL reading this post.

Please do write more often about your school and college escapades. I would suggest that you collect these accounts and compile them for a readymade book that you could actually publish later on.

An ROFL post :))

Anonymous said... sure was fund readins this!!..pheww those were the days..

actually viswan didnt hit me during the dance, it was the opposite... I and viswan had gone in carrying huge sticks remember?? My stick was damn long and while i was turning it hit viswan on the back of his head..ouchh..I personally could feel the intensity of that hit
.. glad that the dance was a success else viswan would have murdered me..

Anonymous said...

Just visualizing this itself ws so damn funny!!!Mebbe u have some snaps of the same..
Alas I wsnt in Kerala or in college during the Jayan tharangam. i collected all possible Jayan pjs later.
Good tht u keep posting so regularly.....To paraphrase Jayan:
Ithu pole post cheyyaan pattiyirunnenkillll......... oru "postman" aakamaayirunnuuuuuu :-)))

(btw Remembering his english dialogue and adapting the same here....)

Beggersssss??? we may be labourers , poor people but wee arrr not beggerssss (maybe we are bloggers)

Arun said...

Poor viswan, the guy had some initiative! I was slow in believing this project could succeed, but as time went on, I knew this would work.
Jabba, you stole this post from me (had been planning to write this for some time), but no regrets- it is as good an account that can be. But still, I will give a mini-post here...

Some additional trivia to the story:

- Jiby had a guitar while lip syncing to the song. The lyrics were tongue twisters, and jiby would singalong with the song all day ...something like "nee...anupama sruthilaya madhumitha surabhila nimishamitheeyyy...".

- The costumes were limited. We had around 3-4 pairs. Red shirts with yellow pockets and huge collars. Green pants with orange back pockets, and bell bottoms that could cover an entire room! We tried fitting into our costumes, and there was this tiny costume (meant for a kid), and only jiby could fit into that. But the costume had one problem- no zipper, it had free frontal air flow :)) Initially jiby refused to wear it, but then we convinced him that it was imperative for the theme. The only solution was the guitar. We asked Jiby to hold the guitar close to his body at the level of the 'opening'. And being the sport that he is, obliged. Not a soul in the audience knew.

- Kevin was not there for any of the practice sessions, so he had no clue of the story, theme etc. He walked in the day of the programme. We told him to play a bartender. Just be natural, pour out drinks to the smugglers (shinoj and chakka) and chill out. To my surprise, during the dance, I observed kevin was having a ball of a time. he was chatting with the smugglers, pouring out drinks, drinnking some himself, and generally dancing(swaying) to the tune from behind the bar counter. The magic of the whole thing was that it all fit in perfectly to a hilarious scene.

- Jiby, the gun was not with me during the dance. The pants were so tight, I couldnt fit a coin into my pocket if I wanted to! There was this music sequence without lyrics, and thats when the dancers went off stage, and the smugglers enacted their drama: exchanging codes (lighting cigarettes), and exchanging briefcases covertly. I had asked harikrishnan to be at back stage with the gun. I ran around the stage, thankfully he was there, quickly tucked the gun in the back and rushed back onto stage in time for the next step (I had about 10 secs to do the whole thing!).

- Shinoj wanted to drink real liquor on stage. He said, it is one of my lifetime dreams to drink on stage, in front of the entire college, professors, faculty, principal. Strange kicks he got from such things! :-)

-Viswan settled the footloosers with a can of imported beer. The trainer was a guy called kannan, who was a helper at power gym, and thats how viswan met him.

Its a very sad thing that we dont have any snaps/videos of this great day in our lives ;-)

silverine said...

Well Aruns account is the icing on the cake LOL .... I haven't had a good laugh in months as I did reading your post and Aruns addendum :))

Jiby said...

eda jofu, do u have any snaps of the wud have been nice to post one here!

shan, ooh i remember the sticks now! sorry abt the factual inconsistencies...cant believe 4 years have passed!!!

naveen,we dont know where the snaps from the dance are...i wud have surely posted them here...yup...u missed the jayan tharangam...we had a few guys who cud excellently mimic him too! lol...the "buggers" dialogue is unforgettable!

arun, i am feeling guilty da...i think i shud have let you write this. i thought u had left this one to me...i kept reminding u to write it....after reading ur comments i realized there is so much i missed. laughed so much abt the zipper and how low i had to wear that pant, covering up with the guitar and finally the bloody lyrics...kiran, shinoj and kevin's antics on stage, shan's battle witht the stick and viswan settling the footloosers dues. but ultimately your dance and the take on jayan wuz the highlight....too good man. i wonder wht it wud be like to perform that dance, 10-20 years from now at a reunion!!!

anjali, am glad i cud make u laugh a bit too in return for all ur hilarious posts...and i know arun's comments helped my cause too! when i run out of topics to blog it has become really convenient to post these funny incidents from school and college.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I had a pic of this somewhere in my house... Will go on a one week mega search to get hold of it..

Unknown said...

Mammootty strut with pride...

That must be pretty bad! But, I'm sure you guys must've been a rage with the Jayan Tharangam then and all!

@flashgordon- I remember that one. Jayan says the 'beggars' dialogue to Sheela, I suppose. She falls for him instantly, and goes to woo him with a tiffin-box next day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jiby

Hehe so u found the snap!!!! Funny one !! Not too clear tho'..And not much can be seen of u tho (prob tht was the intention of the strategically placed guitar, right? ;-)))

@btw neil , ive only heard the mimicry guys mouthin the Beggarrrrs dialogue; would like to hear it again

btw here's a link to the ultimate Jayan site; quotes, cartoons n all...remembr goin ther loong ago ; now dug it up via google
enjoy !!

till then kavilammmme shakti tharoooooooooooo...


Unknown said...

One off topic question what is "216" number. the blog as well as home page holds the number. even ur bithday doesnt look nearer to it.any other emotional bond???;)

joseph said...

Nagu, Always used to hear a Proxy Call for Roll 216.

Jiby said...

haa haa haa....very funny jofu...ninne njan edutholam!!!

nagaraj, 16 wuz my roll number in Plus-2 and 216 in college...6 years of using that number made it part of my identity!

Unknown said...

thats quite funny.i thought its ur girl friends birthday ;)

Sujith said...

hmm.. those were the best days!!

Alexis Leon said...

Jilby, I have to agree with Silverine. This is one of the funniest post that I have read.

mathew said...

terrific post ..having lot of fun reading ur archives..