Played a bakra on someone after ages. The last good one was on my buddy Abhishek (the guy in the middle if you can see the pic) . That masterpiece of a bakra remains the best we’ve played considering that it was on his budday and also special because he’s my partner in crime (pulling up really fast ones on people).
Thought I’ll blog about this
a. Cuz the last few posts have been very serious, and how can Suderman’s blog be sober?
b. Cuz its holiday season, it’s raining outside and it’s just the perfect time to read/write long posts.
This one happened cuz of the guy at the right Raj who came from Hyderabad for the weekend. After we pulled a brief one on him, he wanted us to play a more elaborate prank on his IITian friend K, supposed to be an incredibly sweet innocent girl who is crazy about Mani Ratnam.
And so it all started at Main Street, Residency Towers.
First, I save Abhishek’s number as Mani Sir. Raj asks his friends back at IIT to ensure that K joins them for the late night dinner at Dhabba Express inside the campus.
Then we set off to IIT. Raj is supposed to gimme a CD of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
“You think she’ll believe that Mani will speak to her at 1.30 in the night,” I ask Raj.
“She will. Trust me she will,” he says.
1.20 a.m. Raj introduces me to the gang at Dhabba Express, six of them including K, before he goes to the room to get the CD.
They ask me to join them for dinner.
I go: “Oh, no way. I just finished dinner. Been eating for two hours, especially with a one hour phone conversation with Mani about his new project.”
Me: “Mani Ratnam. He’s doing a musical. I did a coupla stories for him, he liked it so he wants me to take care of documentation and the making of the musical.”
“Wow… K is a huge fan of Mani… Can you introduce her?”
Me: “Of course, take his number.”
“Mani Ratnam’s number??”
Me: “98402 18328. And don’t give it to anyone. You can tell him I gave you the number.”
K promptly saves it on her phone and mine too. She’s very happy already. And we hadn’t even started with our prank. I message Abhi asking him to call me from his phone.
Me: “But don’t expect him to be sweet and all. These celebs they hardly care for people like you or me. They call only when they need something.”
Phone starts ringing. I look at it with surprise.
Oh no problem sir…
Do you want it right away sir?
No, problem… I think… I have the notes with me…
[flipping notes from my scribbling pad…]
Can I call you back Sir…
I’ll call you in 10 minutes Sir..”
I cut the phone. And bitch some more. I’m pretty irritated.
Me: “I can’t believe it. He wants the minutes of the meeting now. Do you believe it, he wants the minutes of a telephonic conversation I had with him over dinner. And he expects me to have taken down notes.”
I nervously run through the scribbling pad… go to the section where I had jotted down notes of the real meeting. [I had gone to cover the making of Netru Indru Nalai, the musical for real, a coupla months ago… All I had to do was to flip to that section of the notes]
They curiously lean and sneak a peek at the notes. They can’t understand it either.
Me: “How am I supposed to make sense of this at 1.40 in the morning?? Gimme ten minutes guys.”
I then go and sit at another table and start writing down notes. I think, I then refer to the old notes, I act pretty irritated and then start writing… after a while I scratch it off.
In ten minutes, Raj comes back with the CD and sits next to me and asks: Did she speak to him yet?
“No not yet. We have to make them believe it was really Mani Ratnam. Will take some more time. I have to call him now.”
Then I call “Mani Sir”. Making use of the advantage that others cannot hear what he says, “Mani Sir” decides to have fun.
Me: “Yes Sir… I have the notes with me Sir.”
He: “And how’s the chick?”
Me: “It’s alright Sir.”
He: “What do you mean alright? Is she good looking?”
Me: “Pretty Workable Sir”
He: “Workable? For who?”
Me: “We can work it out Sir.”
He: “What do you mean WE can work it out? I can work it out or you can work it out?”
Me: “I can give it you Sir.”
He: “OK. Go on…”
Me: “Sir, the first part of the programme is the one we decided to call BnW, short for black and white… yes Sir, the Pesum Padam sequence… the silent era bit… Yes Sir… Status: Rajeev has done light testing for it and its been sent for programming. Number Two: Flashback Sephia or something Sir.. we are yet to think of a name. And Status: Sabu Cyril has to source a car that belongs to the sixties era for the Viswanathan Velai vendum song.
He: If you had to do all the talking, why call at all… (laughs)
Me: No Sir… it’s all worked out…
He: This is konjam over…
Me: Yes Sir, it is. Number Three: Enter the Eighties Sir… Revathy has got preliminary costume design ready. And we’re supposed to remind Rohini tomorrow about the colours we need. Number Four is the Rahmania Sequence. You weren’t happy with the choice and order of songs. The last part… I think this is what we should do…
He: Aha… You are gonna tell Mani what to do?
Me: Yes sir, I think we should keep it a surprise Sir… No one should know that Vivek Oberoi and Shilpa Shetty are gonna do Chaiyya chaiyya. So we have to leave their names out of the cast in the brochure. Even Abhishek’s (Bachchan) name we have to skip.
He: Why, whats wrong with Abhishek. My name is Abhishek
Me: (cant control not laughing) (smile)… Yes Sir… you had said you wanted it to be a surprise.
He: Okay, let’s not mess it up.. We have do a good bakra.
Me: No Sir, you didn’t disturb me. I’m just out with friends. I have a huge fan of yours sitting next to me Sir…
He: Is she hawt?
Me: (still smiling, half laughing) Yes Sir, like you’re going to come to IIT even if I invite you… okay Sir, we’ll catch up tomorrow… Bye..
He: He he! Bye
I let out a sigh of relief.
“Finally done. Imagine. Having to give him the minutes at 2 in the morning. And he’s not even my boss. I wonder how he’ll feel if someone calls him at 2 to ask doubts.”
Raj: You told him about K?
Me: (turning towards K) I did tell him about you… But I don’t remember if I said you name and that you’ll call him… did I?
Raj: No, you didn’t tell her name.
Me: Oh, how about calling him now and giving a quick intro. He seemed to be in a good mood and was pretending to be my best friend. He was saying I didn’t invite him to dinner with friends… Like he’s gonna come…You see what I mean… these celebs are just your friends when they need something. So now that we need them, we can take liberties like friends do… You want to talk to him now K?
K: You will call him now?
Me: Of course… (start dialing) Sir, sorry to bother you but this friend of mine will kill me if I don’t introduce her to you… I’m giving her the phone sir…
K: (totally clueless on how to start) Hello Sir… Naan unga biggest fan.
K: I’ve seen all your films Sir… (super excited)
K: I’ve been wanting to meet you for a long time. It is my dream to work with you Sir… (schoolgirlish excitement)
K: Can I just meet you once Sir… Anytime sir… (fumbling)
He: I’m shooting from Wednesday but I’m sure you can meet me before that. You can check with Sudhish tomorrow.
K: Thank you sooo much Sir. Thank you… It’s great to talk to you sir…(ecstatic)
He: Give it to Sudhish
K:Yes Sir… (totally thrilled, euphoric… utopia!)
Me: Yes Sir …
He: Fix up a date with the chick, some nice place and ask her to meet me…
Me: Sure Sir.
Me: Thank you, Sir… Sorry to bother you again Sir..
K feels like she’s on top of the world. She can’t believe it. She can’t contain her happiness. She’s a picture of joy. I just didn’t have the heart to tell her. And that moment, I really wished it were true indeed.
I bid them bye and as Raj walks me out, I tell Raj: Let’s break it to her right away.
Raj: No, let her go meet him and find out…
He: Look at her… she’s soo happy. We need to tell her right away.
Raj: Yeah… I guess… okay..
So we go back to the table.
Me: Ok, K… And… Cut. End of scene….
The guy you spoke to… was my friend Abhishek.
She could’ve killed me with that look. The whole gang couldn’t believe it. They had all bought it.
“You mean that last call was not Mani Ratnam.”
“No call was Mani Ratnam. I’ve nt met him in two months.”
“It was all made up. Yes, it was all Raj’s idea.”
She didn’t talk to Raj for a bit. After all, she had called her Dad while he was walking me out… She had called her Dad at 2.20 in the morning to tell him she spoke to Mani Ratnam.
What heartless jokers we were!
But as a filmmaker, I was mighty pleased with myself. The satisfaction a filmmaker gets when people buy the world he’s created cannot be described in words… The smile on the face of the maker is the best testimony to that.
On Monday, I’m telling Sonima (name changed ;): You know, we played a prank on a girl on Saturday night… (and then it occurs to me that I can do it on her too…)
Anyways, guess who my latest celeb friend is?
Sonima: Vivek? Abhishek?
(Ha ha ha ha! Of course, Abhishek… not Bachchan though, but I cudn’t have said Yes to that right?)
Sonima: Tell me, tell me… how did you meet him?
Me: (as I message Abhishek… Can you please call me, John Abraham, Your biggest fan Shonali wants to speak to you. And save his number as John Abraham) I met him last weekend at a friend’s party. We were at Suresh Menon’s place when John dropped in cuz he’s doing a guest appearance in Priyadarshan’s film.
Sonima: Oh wow… so you spoke to him?
Me: Of course, now I’m on first name basis with John.
Sonima: Sooo cool…
A colleague then intervenes to tell her about her new car…
As Sonima gets up to leave, the phone rings, and I’m a picture of total surprise… I show my phone to Sonima… She reads: John Abraham…
She’s like: Wow!
Me: Hey… what a surprise… You still in town?? Whats up?
Sonima leaves the room.
Five minutes later, I go across to her cabin and ask: “You want to come for a party tonight.”
Sonima: What party?
Me: John’s party.
Sonima: What John’s party?
Me: It’s the launch of Priyadarshan’s latest film at Taj Coromandel. And John just called to invite.
Sonima: How can I come? I don’t want to gatecrash.
Me: He said I could bring my friends along.
Sonima: You sure? Can I do an interview for Metro?
Me: I could check…
Sonima: Call him… Ask him if I can do an interview.
Me: Sure… (dial John) Hi John… well, my colleague here just wanted to know if she can do an interview with you this evening at the party.
He: How about a telephonic?
Me: Ummm… telephonic is it? Let me check… Sonima, you want to do a telephonic?
Sonima: I’d prefer a one on one…
Me: John, why don’t you just talk to my friend, she wants to fix up. Besides, she doesn’t want to gatecrash into the party… She wants you to invite her.
Sonima cringes quite embarrassed as she gets up to leave. I thrust the phone into her hand. And she takes the phone and runs out so that she can have a private conversation.
Sonima: Hi John, this is me.
He: (in a very polished accent): And who is me?
Sonima: (fumbling) I’m Sonima. I was just asking him how can I just gate crash without being invited.
He: That’s okay.
Sonima: So I was wondering if I can do an interview?
He: Can we do it now over phone?
Sonima: Can I meet you in the evening?
He: Yes, you can. But I have a few other interviews lined up. Why don’t we just finish this.
Sonima: Okay, shall I just call you from my phone then?
Sonima: Thanks. Bye.
And then Sonima turns to me: I can’t believe I spoke to John.
Me: (smiling) Yes…
She: He sounds sooo cool.
Me: (more smiling) Yes, of course.
She: I just hope Metro lets me do the interview.
Me: (more smiling) Ha ha
She: That was John, wasn’t it?
I just take the phone out and show it to her… It says Dialled John Abraham.
That’s enough to satisfy her. We’ve played a million pranks on her and she still falls for each single one of them. “I’m not gullible. I’m plain trusting,” as she often says. The best part about this prank was that she knows Abhishek and has spoken to him over phone before.
She: Now, I just have to get it cleared. I hope they let me do it ya.
He: (still smiling)
She: You aren’t pulling a fast one on me, are you?
He: Of course I am. You think John Abraham will talk to you?? That was Abhishek.
She: What??? What??? Call him… I’m gonna kill him…
Ha ha ha ha!
My tummy still hurts.