Yesterday I was called for the last day of the shooting of 'Golconda High School'. A few shots needed to be taken and I happily joined the crew. All the kids were around, Mohana Krishna, Senthil, Sumanth, Prasad and most of the crew as well and it was fun catching up, playing cricket, pulling one another's legs. The final shot was taken at about 4 in the evening with just about seven feet of negative left which made it all so perfect. A cheer went up all round and a round of hugs and hand shakes as well as a jubilant Mohana Krishna looked expectedly happy at the way things turned out on the last day as well.
All the kids were made to announce the 'It's a wrap!' on the mike and they went to town on it, adding some of their own 'Go GHS' slogans to it. A huge round of photographs of almost everyone with the two young and brilliant technicians who sweated it out for the movie in sun and rain - Mohana Krishna and Senthil, group pics with the young kids. And then the producers of Art Beat, Ram (still bothered a bit by the conjunctivitis) and Dinesh came for the gummadikaya puja. It was a solemn occasion as they completed the ceremony with all of us standing around in a circle and the aarti and puja were completed with the breaking of the gummadikaya. A cup of coffee as we caught up a bit and promised to meet again soon and the kids were so keen to play a match that I did not have the heart to refuse them. Gautam in particular ran all over with Sreeraj and organised balls and the look on his face was so close to panic that we might not play the game, that despite all the tiredness, we got down to a game. And then, just as they had apparently played a game of 'Ashta Chamma' after the wrap up of that movie, we played a 5 over game of cricket. I batted after a long time and got a couple of hits in and we finally ended the game in a draw in the midst of a lot of arguing etc as usual in the bad light. Swati came, very sportingly, from her other shoot for the occassion.
And thus concluded for me what was the first ever movie that I was part of. It leaves me as it is with mixed feelings, of wanting the moments to linger on, of wanting to meet the eager and enthusiastic bunch, of wanting to savour the energy of this young team and they about creating a wonderful work. I have learned so much in this period, made so many new friends none more important than all the kids who have grown visibly since six months ago and who now call me and say 'sir, we need a picture with you' and I am surprised at how much they have grown. In a few years they will all have moved on to the call of life and I am sure they will all be better men for this experience. Through the movie experience I also got in touch with so many of my old friends as well. I will certainly miss going to the Don Bosco school ground for the shoots and will always pass that school by with a wistful thought of these days.
But now, to see the completion of the movie and all that lies on the other side of it. I will post a few pics the moment i get them of course in a separate blog, as and when I get them.