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Voicing Silence 7

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I ask, you write 7

Thanks for all your wonderful stories. Some really amazing responses (Chockalingam's from the previous lot was a gem). Onto the next question.

I don't have to tell you what you already know about Chakkrapani. So do you think he should have done what he did at the restaurant the other day?

As ever, please keep your stories short and post them in the comment section.


A4ISMS said...

Yes, yes, we both know Chakkrapani…I have known him from the days he used to run errands for me after dropping out of school. Didn’t I keep him with me for four years? Did he ever give me any reason to complain? Not once. Thangamaana payyan! Still, Srinivasa, when you begged me to find a loyal man to help you out with your business, half-heartedly I handed him over to you….
Adellaam sheridaa, Subbu… aanaalum avan appadi pannalaama?
May be not! But you must try to think from his angle…. As far as he is concerned, he must have had a good reason for having done that. Weren’t you a bit too harsh on him? Throwing him out like that? You should have at least intimated me about what he did before sending him back to the village, poor Chakkrapani!
Poor Chakkrapani…poor Chakkrapani! What about poor Srinivasan? Why aren’tyou concerned about me? The idiot has with all his good intentions, jeopardized my very good name in the industry…In the last two days, I have had hosts of Food Inspectors eating for free and taking take-aways for free….The amount I had to shell out to appease those money-hungry inspectors! Do you know with what difficulty I have set up a good reputation and built up my restaurant? Easynnu nenachayaa? As it is we have to compete with all these Pizza Huts and Mac Donalds ! Thanks to old customers like Gopala Chetty I am managing modestly.
But, what did Chakkrapani do? He is such a loyal person….
Yes, yes, loyal…. Very loyal…. That idiot found a dead cockroach in the thayir wadai tray…. And do you know what he did, he scooped it out and threw it and served the dish to the guests….. Madayan! At least he should have taken it back to the kitchen and done it…. No…half hidden behind the partition near the wash- stand he has done it not knowing that Gopala Chetty’s wife and daughter in law were washing their hands there!! When they asked him, the idiot said, ‘Ayyo, paavum modalali…. Avarukku nashtam varakkoodadullayaa?

Take 2

I know, Chakkrapaani wants to learn English. Ever since Kuttan Nair joined the restaurant, he is learning to read and write English…. Fancies that if he learns to read and write English, he will get a job abroad….. But that doesn’t mean that when you are making Jangiri for Diwali you make batches and batches of cat and rat and mat instead of the traditional shape….!! Pity, I agreed when he said he will work overtime at night and finish the jangiris. What will I do with 1000 cats 1000 rats and 1000 mats in saffron colour???? I had to throw him out! Learning indeed!

Shyam said...

When he wasn’t working as a waiter at the local hotel-cum-sweetshop, Chakkrapani was forever practicing his over-arm bowling action to keep up his position as the fast bowler of the Narayanan Street cricket team. He couldn’t even walk down the road without making run-ups and bowling with an imaginary ball.

Opinion was divided as to his talent – some thought his bowling action somewhat dubious, and inevitably his detractors’ nickname for him was “’Chuck’rapani”. Chakkrapani always hotly denied any accusations of questionable bowling, even if he in his heart of hearts knew better.

One slow evening at the hotel, Chakkrapani was practising his bowling on the spot at the counter, since there was not enough space for run-ups. He actually had a “ball” this time – a large boondi laddoo that was acting as understudy for the real thing.

When one of the other waiters indicated for Chakkrapani to toss him a pen, he was so far gone in his fantasy of bowling to Javed Miandad that he automatically let the laddoo fly, flinging it as hard as he could…

That was the day Chakkrapani’s nickname was set in stone for fans and foes alike.

Annon said...

I know Chakkrapani shouldn’t have done it. But what to do, it was difficult to resist. Even I might have done it.

We were in a small Bengali restaurant in Behala, and food was almost over, when the stupid manager decided to show some card tricks to impress the girls. Since we didn’t have any cards, he caught hold of the waiter, flashed a fifty rupee note and said, Can you get me a pack of playing cards? The waiter looked bewildered, and the manager grew more agitated.

This is when Chakkrapani stepped in and said, 52 playing cards? Pack of 52? In what he thought was a bengali accent, and tried to save the situation.

I admit, when fifteen minutes later, the two waiters came up with 52 plain curds, chakkrapani shouldn’t have laughed so much, as he was the one who started it all. From the look on the manager´s face, his promotion is in doubt.

S said...

shyam....superb! loved it!

Anonymous said...


But then, numerology is such an addiction.. once you go to the extent of changing your birth name when you are in your fifties, throwing a tantrum that you wont enter a restaurant named 'Hotel Saravanaas'... you know, because that extra 'a' will kill the benefits of the extra 'k'...

It is all expected. I don't blame him at all.


Shyam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shyam said...

Nice one, Anonymous! :)

Chockalingam said...

At the funeral speech, Rama Rao got all teary eyed. But he proceeded nevertheless -

I don't have to tell you what you already know about Chakkrapani. Every child in Telugu Desam knows what I am going to say. When I first met him on that set of Shavukaru, he took one look at me and declared - You will be my Satyam!

Just like that. No discussion, no second thoughts.So much confidence! Arrogance, even. But in our field, it is necessary to be alpha male. Otherwise how can you be a star maker ?

Patala Bhairavi.

Pelli Chesi Choodu.


3 silver jubilees. I was the hero in each and every one.

But when he was adamant, he was totally adamant. No! he said. You are not right for the part! Give me the role, I demanded. I am AK Raju! Look at me. Don't you see AK Raju? I am AK Raju! AK Raju is me!

But he refused. I begged him so much. I went down on my knees. Please, I said. I will do it for free. Atleast don't give it to Nagesh. Anybody but him. I was in tears.

Ha ha! So much jealousy! To this day, I will be frank with you, even though he was my best friend and even though he has died today, I still hold that grudge in my mind for giving AKRaju's part to Nageshwara Rao.

You have all written that Missiamma was the biggest hit in the history of Telugu cinema because of my role as MT Rao. But I never wanted to be MT Rao. I only wanted to be AK Raju. But Chakrapani decided otherwise. He knew what will work with the public. He knew! He always knew!

So saying, Rama Rao wiped his tears and continued...

Maya Bazaar.

Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu.

Rechukka Pragatichukka.

Gundamma Katha.

All 4 golden jubilees. All 4 I was the hero. He never let me down.

But everything has a price. Even success. Around that time only, the Hindi people started coming...

Chakkrapani bhai, Telgu main kya rakhkha hai ? Aap Bombay aa jao! Life ban jayegi! They seduced him with wine and women, power and fame . I knew, after exactly one flop he will come back running to Andhra with tail between legs. That was the one thing Chakkrapani could never tolerate - a flop. I was a just hoping for that one flop. Just one flop.

But it never happened. Instead, Ram and Shyam happened.

Then Julie.

Julie! There was never anything like it on Indian cinema. Lakshmi was simmering with erotic energy in every frame! Even the Europeans were shocked with the exposing. I am too ashamed to tell you, but at my age, even I could not resist her. When I came out of the theatre, my underwear was just as sticky as every 18 year old boys'.

Julie took every single award in 1975. That time itself I knew. I knew because that is the nature of our film field. You cannot be at the top all the time. What goes up must come down.

But Chakrapani did not know.

Sitting in that resturant across me sipping coffee, he challenged me. Rama, he said. I can make a movie out of anything, and it will become a superhit. Anything! You tell me, I will make it.

How could I resist that challenge ? He was so drunk with his new-found power. My blood began to boil.

No you cannot, I screamed.

Yes I can. Let us make a bet. I will bet you 20 crore I can make a superhit out of any topic you name. Do you have the guts ?

Ok! I said. It was a question of my prestige. My status. My telugu pride. Ok! I accept your challenge. You should make a movie about whatever I say. And if it becomes a hit, I will give you 20 crore. If not, you give me 20 crore.

Ok, he replied, all flush and giddy. Go ahead! Name your topic. Go on.

I thought long and hard. But I couldn't think of anything. Make a movie about this restaurant, I said finally.

Last week, Shri Rajeshwari Vilas Coffee Club was released. And today he is dead......Rama Rao burst into a volley of tears.

monu said...

Chockalingam rocks!!!!!

Jade said...

Poor Chuckie boy. Always such a misfit. Brilliant, yeah, but he never really fit in, you know? We tried to get him to hang out with us, nobody can say we didn't, but he was kinda shy. He hated it when we started calling him Chuck, but honestly man, I couldn't get my tongue around his name, you know?

Was I surprised? Was I ever! You never expect someone to just stand up in the middle of a sit-down dinner and do coin tricks. Though he did them well, by the way. Never would have taken him for a presti-whatchumaycallit. But then he started singing in the middle of it, some kind of wierd language, and it was all downhill from there.

So he's on the plane back home now, huh? Good for him. Never really fit in, like I said.

ammani said...

It all started a year or so after Chakra moved there. He was on his weekly phone call to me when he mentioned something about a faucet. A what?, I asked. A fau...a tap, I mean, he explained. I let it pass as a harmless slip of the tongue. But from then on, I started to pay more attention to his language. And sure enough, the following week he told me about an incident in the 'elevator' in his 'apartment'. And another time, he asked me something about world cup 'soccer'. There was no doubt in my mind. Chakra was changing. He was not the same man I had seen off two summers ago. He would come back with a blond girl in his arm and complain about the dust and heat here. I was all set to confront him as I gathered myself and set off to the airport to receive him last week. He arrived much the same. The tiredness around his eyes spoke of a much harder time than he had confided in me. We went for a coffee afterwards. He ordered a dosai. I waited for him to pick up his fork and knife. But he tore the dosai with his fingers and as he dipped it into the chutney, he wondered aloud, what are you looking at me like that for, Chandru?

Ravi said...

What’s the big deal? And don’t tell me you didn't see it coming. If its any ones fault its Felix’s and in a way we all had a part in it. He was the one who brought up the whole conversation about Dil Chatha hai and how he thought it was cool the way Aamir proposes to Priety on their first encounter. Well charka being who he is - wanting to be always "cool” just went ahead and re-enacted the whole damn scene for real. Thinking of it, actually it was the bet that really made him go and do it. Can you believe these guys - betting cheat codes of some video game? No way in hell Felix will give him that, he would just say it was just a stupid bet...I can't believe these guys are so obsessed with video games. Well, only if you had disapproved of the whole idea, he wouldn’t have done it. Hey don't look at me like that; you know chakra always listens to you. Every one else knows ;-) Anyway I thought it was total fun and being little drunk, I really didn’t care what was happening. I think if the manager hadn’t come and warned us at the end of it you wouldn’t be so bitter about this. On the other hand the girl was surprisingly calm about the whole incident. She was such a sport! I couldn't believe. I mean, she hasn’t seen DCH for godsake. Its a diff thing to play along when you know where its coming from. Even then not every one can be such a sport. I spoke to her later when you guys went across the street to the ATM after we came out. They cam out too at the same time. She thought it was probably MTV’s bkahra and cyrus would jump out from under one of the tables anytime. She said the funny thing was, if he hadn’t gone down on one knee, she wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on because for the most part she couldn't make out what chakra was saying. I can imagine - Chakra doesn’t know a word of Hindi, and he was reading out Hindi words written in English with a thick Tamil accent. God that would have been hilarious; I wish I could have heard what he said. Did you notice the two girls who were with her, they looked embarrassed the whole time? Probably prudes, like you ;-)

Sachin R K said...

I don't have to tell you what you already know about Chakkrapani. So do you think he should have done what he did at the restaurant the other day?

Of course not. I know the waiter kept him waiting and at last brought the wrong order, but raising his mundu/dhothi at the waiter was simply not on.