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Friday, March 25, 2011

A Spot Boy’s Account of His First ‘Rape Scene’

Here's an article I had written a long time ago for a friend's site. Didn't really rake in the moolah but sure did get the attention of one editor looking for writers for a lifestyle magazine. Nothing happened. And to borrow from Douglas Adams, after all these months, nothing continues to happen.

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A Spot Boy’s Account of His First ‘Rape Scene’

A Rape in Three Acts

For 3 generations now, our family has produced eminent spot boys. My grandfather held spot (as the industry calls it) for Nargis when she was in a white and wet saree. My father held spot for Sridevi when she was in a whiter and wetter saree and today I entered Bollywood to do some spotting myself. Waking up and seeing Deepika Padukone’s picture the first thing in the morning brought me a lot of luck. I would advise all spot boys to start the day with her poster. Lucky, because on the first day I got to hold spot for a rape scene. In my world, this is the equivalent of getting a first ball wicket. Ask Nilesh Kulkarni if you don’t believe me!! Now, to describe the exciting day I had.

Act 1:
The scene started with the villain entering the heroine’s sister’s room. I didn’t have to wait for action. Within a few seconds they were exchanging heated words before his eyes landed on her hot body. In spite of his size he quickly jumped over the double-cot towards her. Because of her size, she reacted quickly, reducing the 40V bulb in the table lamp to small pieces, with a deft flick to his head. Very romantic I thought. Those 5 stitches would slow him down. Clearly, all articles in the room were bought on a discount sale. She continued to throw each one at him with a decent accuracy while he continued to chase her with indecency. There reached a point where only the double-cot, the cupboard and the handy ceramic sink were left. Any of them being thrown would have been fatal to him. But alas! The director turned out to be a nice guy. “Cut!” he shouted loudly. She didn’t cut anymore of the villain.

Act 2:
Some of the broken articles were replaced with dignity by me. The heroine’s sister was replaced with much less dignity by a “double” as the director called her. Looking at her, it was clear why he thought she was double – must have been from the Southern parts of the country where weight has weightage I hear. Villain Sir continued to be the athlete he was and soon pinned the double to the double-cot. By now, I was asked to spot only the villain. The glee on his face reminded me of one who had received a chicken biryani in spite of voting for the opposition. In the meanwhile, the “double” exercised her vocal chords like it was time to return it to the creator tomorrow. The entire studio could feel her urge to use a pointed reference to the villain’s mother, sister and immediate family. But she held back with dignity. At this point I heard the director yell “cut” for the second time in the day. The excitement in me was superseded only by the lights I held.

Act 3:
The director and cameraman were very clear on what they wanted me to spot on this time. They said I had to be fast with the spotting. Villain Sir continued to mud-wrestle with the double, while the camera focused on the rest of the room. Quickly the cameraman and I focused on the bangles of the double and the watch of the villain. A second later, I was spotting the table lamp in the corner which had escaped being broken, quickly followed by the table lamp on the floor, which tried getting away in the earlier throwing spree, but couldn’t. The mirror on the cupboard was our next target with the reflection of the characters’ legs being our focus. What creativity from the director I thought to myself. All the while the double continued to call out to the gods, her sister, her sister’s fiancée and anyone who cared to listen. I only wish she knew my name too.

The scene quickly came to an end, as she let out her loudest shriek in sync with the villain’s loudest, lousiest laughter. With a last attack of creativity, the director instructed, that the camera focused on the ceiling fan, the speed of which was quickly being reduced from 3… to 2… to 1… and then turned off completely. Silence prevailed. The director for the last time cried out “Cut”!! The entire crew cheered on a rape well done. With awe, I looked at the director walk away. He had opened my eyes to the one truth of great Bollywood cinema making – Every Bollywood movie needs a brilliant rape. I picked up the broken table lamps with this wisdom in my head.

Tomorrow was going to be a wet saree dance day. I couldn’t wait.
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