25 April 2007

Real life, real people

The greatest knowledge is the one which tells you the difference between right and wrong - Socrates

Warning: All or some the characters in the following article are real. While I have NOT asked their permission to include their name, it is with good faith I have done that. Any injustice to their personality is not intentional and the only person who needs to be blamed for such an error is myself.
- RL

Sometimes I wonder, what these movie directors think of themselves. You need to completely shut down your logical part of the brain to understand some of the contemporary movies.

I am tired of the lead actors who eat only GAJAR KA HALWA and actresses becoming pregnant the first time they have sex (believe me this is NOT humanly possible, chances of winning TWO consecutive KARNATAKA STATE LOTTERIES are more!).

Let’s consider the “police chase”, a common scene in many of the movies. Mostly this scene will happen at an airport or a railway station. In our movie, Jitendra (Police Inspector) is chasing Shakti Kapoor in a crowded station. Suddenly Jitendra fires two shots in the air, shouts “down, down everybody on the ground!”. Hundreds of people without delaying obey the order. Now, except for Jitendra and Shakti Kapoor everybody is on the ground.

Jitendra takes aim and fires six shots (Somehow director has forgotten that our hero has already fired two shots in air at the beginning) at Shakti Kapoor and each one of them hits the villain around the heart at a radius of 2 inches, a feat impossible to achieve even for Olympics shooting gold medalist, Sheikh Ahmed Hasher Al Maktoum, when the target is moving!

In an utopian condition it may be possible to hit a moving target six times at the same spot, but what amuses me is the synchronization of the general public. I am skeptic about people falling to ground upon hearing the warning or gun shots! Hundreds of people synchronously following the orders, is not only interesting but also amazing. Is this possible in real life?

Let’s simulate the whole thing in Kinnigoli and analyze how people respond in a similar circumstance. Since we don’t have an airport or a railway station in Kinnigoli we will have the whole setup around Kinnigoli bust stand.

In our scene a thief is chased by a police inspector from Kapikaad. Our villain takes a turn to Kinnigoli bus stand and tries to make away from Golijaara. This is the scene, while our characters are at different positions in the bust stand.

Our first character Vally is at the auto stand far end of bus stand with his three kids entering an auto. All the three kids want to sit at the window seat. He is in a dilemma! His wife is not talking to him since yesterday night, because yesterday was her birthday for which he had given her a blue sari. But she was expecting a sky-blue sari. She is sad because, according to her, he is not able to understand her even after so many years of marriage!

Bitlee (not his real name) has just arrived from Dubai two days back for marriage. He just had a 4RS tea at Swagath , paid the bill with a 10RS note and asked the waiter to keep the change. More than 100% tip, a feature common only in Dubai return guys. While he is coming out of Swagath, he is bit concerned with his receding hairline, growing tummy which is causing the reduction of females from the marriage pool.

Ever green MAPU has finally decided to marry and he is in deep romantic conversation with his fiancĂ©e at the telephone booth just outside Swagath. He is recovering from the recent two wheeler accident. Inside he is very happy because his Kinnigoli Anthem poem is a hit on Kinnigoli site. It is not only one of the most viewed page, it is “THE“ most viewed page on the site!

Conductor Rajanna is tremendously angry and looking ferocious because the Maroli Travels which is supposed to depart Kinnigoli bus stand at 17:45:32 is still in the bus stand at 17:45:54.

Leena Bai is bargaining for Jasmine flowers with the florist at a ridiculously low price. Eventually she will not buy the flowers at any rate, she just wants to kill some time.

Now let’s start the scene. Our police inspector is chasing the thief from Kapikaad. The thief has taken a left turn at Kirmuda triangle in which he was about to fall, but somehow escaped, entered the bus stand area. When the thief is at Swagath, our police at Durga Daya fires two shots in air and shouts “ Down down, everybody on the ground!”

Not a single person lies down to the ground. In stead they look at each other, confused with the strange noise.

Some good-for-nothing guys actually heard what was said but they simply give an angry stare to the inspector as if they want to say “who the F@#$ you are, to order us?”

Leena bai asks the florist – “saibere enhina avond undu?”
“Bayamma Picture shooting avond undu..eer onchuru saidege bale..! “

Mean while some school kids run towards the police shouting “Pataki, Pataki”, technically a wrong move.

Leena bai is still skeptic - “eende saibere CAMERA olu unduye?”
“Enk tojundu CAMERA, post office da mitth kontud dengaad deethere pandeth, ORIGINALITY barod athe picured?”

Even though Vally heard the gun shot his mind has not registered it. He is cursing himself, for not remembering his wife’s favorite color as sky blue, NOT dark blue!

Bitlee has seen the thief running towards him but he is more worried on whether to reject or select the girl which he had seen as alliance yesterday. He is not sure whether he will get a better girl if he rejects this one.

Inspector aims and fires the first shot. Instead of hitting the 2 inch area on the thief’s chest, it hits a stray dog who gives a WHY-ME look at the inspector and dies.

Rajanna hears the shot and thinks it is a tire burst “Stepny deppule bega – dumbe must late aathedn mool!”

Inspector fires the second shot which misses again and hits Bitlee on the shoulder. Normally this falling-to-the-ground will be a black and white scene. And it will be in slow motion. Lots of flash-back memories like bunking school, bunking Sunday mass to see Mahabaratha, his first love dumping him for the ugliest guy in engineering etc come in front of his eyes just before loosing conscious.

Now the guys in Swagath, Naveen bar, Star video realize that this is not a movie and the whole thing is real! They are more afraid of the police than the thief.

Inspector is in a moral dilemma, he thinks is it worth capturing a petty thief at the cost of shooting innocent bystanders. He stops shooting and about to catch the thief with bare hands when the same good-for-nothing guys surround the inspector with a kind request - “ sir..sir nimma cinema.. alli...namgoo ondu chance kodi sir....”

Mean while our thief escapes via Golijara!

The only person who was not aware of this incident, and was told about it later is MAPU who was romantically glued to the telephone.

Human beings react in bizarre ways when they meet a new situation. It is the new circumstances in real life which stun you and stops you from responding, how ever trivial they are. We act in strange way because the situation is not NORMAL for us.

When there is a fire, people act in extremely strange ways. There will be all kind of confusion, all kind of noises and chaos. People run everywhere except for the EXIT door. Some run for the lift which is a wrong thing to do when the whole place is on fire. Unless we are conditioned for these situations we respond in poor ways.

This is the main reason why we have a fire drill at our office. Once in a while fire alarm honks in a loud noise and everyone is supposed to run for the EXIT door. The moment you hear this alarm, you have to start running, you can not stop to finish the pending work, you can not stop to switch off the PC, just run, because the fire spreads at unbelievable speed. Once you are out you are supposed to be at a fire assembly point, where our fire warden gives a small speech on FIRE!

All this was very exciting for me because the drill was a welcome break from work. Initially I was the first person to run for the exit door when ever I heard this alarm. I used to race with my colleagues to reach the fire assembly point. But over the period I observed that this thing is only a drill, there was no real fire. I was bit discouraged, in spite of practicing for so many times there was NOT a single incident of real fire!

Gradually I lost interest in the whole thing and stopped getting anxious upon hearing the alarm. So when the other people were running for the door, I used to finish my breakfast, switch off the computer, lock the drawer and was the last to reach the assembly point. One or twice I was warned by the warden.

Once I was in the toilet (i.e. Fresh room, if you are a sophisticated non resident Kinnigolian), when the alarm started honking. I didn’t know whether it was a real fire or just a drill. So I called a friend from my cell just to make sure.

“Ravi this seems to be real this time. Where are you?”

“I am in a difficult situation. You don’t want to know!”

When I came out of the building first person I met was my fire warden, who was extremely angry. Before he could say anything I blurted out – “Sir this time I can explain”

“Your reason better be good Ravi. Don’t think I am an old fool who believes in cheap tricks. Don’t tell me you were in the toilet!”

“In fact, I was …..”

“Cut the crap, stop it right there “

Of course I could not convince him, but over the period got convinced about the necessity of this activity. The main purpose of the above activity is that , you will be prepared when there is a real fire, you know exactly what to do and what not to do. When you repeat things, gradually you become conditioned.

But the down part is, when you repeat things over and over you take the things for granted. You lose the importance of the activity. Have you not seen people on the counters who say “good morning” without even looking at you? People who don’t say THANK YOU, when you open the door for them (Because they assume it is your duty to do that). People who say, “Frankly speaking….” (That indicates, the person was NOT speaking frankly so far!). Have you not seen emails with THANKS AND REGARDS in the signature as default?

Most people repeat things as a part of their daily working life so many times, they look hollow and artificial.

One of the most artificial people I have seen are the teenagers who work in fast food restaurants. Surprisingly they start and end each sentence with “Sir”. When you want to know how long it will take for your order, they will say 8 minutes or 17 minutes as if your order for burger is a NASA space launch program where minutes and seconds are of utmost importance!

You just want a simple burger, but you will be provided with the choice between extremely unrealistic funny names like “Big J combo” or “Mac xxx real meal” (Try to order “Mac xxx real meal” in Rama restaurant!). You don’t know the difference between the two, but don’t want to look out of date, so you smartly say “I will have the first one”

“Sir with cheese or without sir? “ This kind of questionnaire continues for some time and finally you end up paying more than what is displayed on the menu!

Since I work in a bank I have my salary account in the same bank like most of the employees. We have a considerable amount of employees, most of the time people who stand in queue and avail services are employees! Management somehow thought that this is causing hindrance to their regular customers and came with a rule that employees will be served only after 4PM. This reduced the queues at the counters during morning hours and non employee customers really got benefited. Once I was passing by the counter and found that the whole area is empty. Incidentally I needed a bank statement and asked the person on the counter about the same thing. I was promptly told that I will be served only after 4PM (since I am an employee and it was only 3.30PM) .The person on the other side refused any kind of cooperation even though there were no customers!

This is the problem with conditioning. You forget the real purpose. People act like machines and try to blindly follow the rules with out responding to need of the hour.

Once upon a time there was a guru in an ashram with a pet cat. He loved his cat like anything. Cat in turn loved the Guru, but it was mischievous. It used to disturb him during the pooja, so he started tying the cat to a near by tree just before the pooja. One day he died and after some time cat also died. Ashram guys chose a new Guru. The day came when the new guru needs to do a pooja in front of all the disciples but he will not start the pooja. On enquiry he simply said- “ where is the cat? Without tying the cat to the tree how can I start the pooja? Go fetch a new cat for me!”


Once I got an interview call from TCS. It is such a big organization, joining itself is a dream come true. Even in my wildest dreams I have never dreamt of getting a call from TCS. I was so anxious that I was the first person to reach the venue. It was early, even the doors were not open, so I was waiting outside.

Some time later, I saw a guy getting down from the taxi came straight to me and asked for 500 Rs. change. I don’t know what I would have done in other circumstances, but that day somehow realized that if I don’t give him the change, may be he will not get it because it was very early and shops were still not open. I gave him the change and forgot him.

Technical interview was good, only thing pending was the management interview, just one step from success. When I entered the interview room, there were three people in the panel. I didn’t want to make anything wrong at that stage, the first question asked was – “Are you not the guy, who gave me the change for 500 Rs?”.

Suddenly I realized, even God will find it difficult to fail me that day. Sometimes the simple acts of kindness create such a big ripple, your life will not be same there after.


  1. Yet some shooting scenes do seem realistic. Especially the one where villain Shakti Kapoor shoots Sridevi in the movie Guru(1989). There she gets shot in her chest, rolls eyes bites her lower lip and sways, still clutching her wound she leaps onto the villain and kills him with a mighty hand granade explosion.