Thursday, July 14, 2016

Playing A TV Journalist


Ramesh Pisharody talks about his experiences in the films, ‘Amar Akbar Antony’, ‘Nasrani’ and ‘Aadupuliyattam’ 

Photos by Ratheesh Sundaram

By Shevlin Sebastian
In the film, ‘Amar Akbar Antony’ (2015), where mimicry artist Ramesh Pisharody has a small role, the shooting was at debut director Nadir Shah’s native place of Eloor, Kochi. “Nadir Shah wanted to impress his neighbours,” says Ramesh. On the set, there were stars like Jayasurya and Indrajith. Nadir Shah wore the director’s cap.
Usually, the director says ‘Roll’ and ‘Action’, and the camera starts to roll,” says Ramesh. “For a couple of times, Nadir Shah said, ‘Roll’ loudly and for various reasons, the camera did not roll.”
A lot of people were watching the shoot. After a while, an elderly man told a relative of Nadir Shah, “There is a shoot taking place in Eloor. And Nadir Shah is begging loudly for a role in films.”
But Ramesh got a role easily. One day, while he was in Thiruvananthapuram, he got a call from production controller Nandakumar Poduval, who told him he had to play a big scene for the film, ‘Nasrani’. Mammooty played the hero while Joshy was the director.
So Ramesh took a night bus and arrived at the location of Kalamassery. There were 300 junior artistes and 15 police jeeps. It was a scene of a riot. Ramesh was given a three page script and told to memorise it. It consisted of the names of people who were critically injured or died in a hospital. He was playing a television reporter Biju Cherian who would tell all these names following a call from the news desk. The shoot was concluded in half a day. “Later, when I was called to do the dubbing, I felt that this was a big scene,” says Ramesh. So, when the film was released, Ramesh eagerly went and saw it at the Saritha cinema.
There is a scene where Mammooty is sitting in a bar with some friends,” says Ramesh. “Suddenly, all the details of the victims can be heard on a speaker. I was puzzled. My voice can be heard, but I cannot be seen. Suddenly the camera pans to a TV on the wall. And what was when my face was shown. I wanted to tell people that from TV I had reached films, but, in the film, I was back on the TV.”   
In ‘Aadupuliyattam’ (2016), in which Jayaram plays the hero, the shooting was at Tenkassi. It was a place which abounded in monkeys. One day, Ramesh, who plays the character of Sunny, had parked his car near a temple which was having a festival.  Because of the bursting of firecrackers, a frightened monkey took shelter under the car.
No matter what we did, shouting and poking it with a stick, the monkey would not move,” says Ramesh. “Somebody suggested placing a banana away from the car. We did so. But the monkey remained unmoved. Then, water was aimed through a hose. Still nothing happened.”
So the car was moved forward slowly. But the monkey also started moving along with it. “If we pressed the accelerator, the monkey would have died,” says Ramesh. “Finally, somebody suggested that we should burst a cracker. So we got one from the temple, lit it, and threw it under the car. The cracker burst, the monkey ran away, but the only problem was that I had to spend Rs 16,000 to repair the underside of the car.” 

(Published in The New Indian Express, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode)   

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