20 Jul 2011

7 Bunglows

Making the slap, stick! Part 2
Mayur Puri

Mayur Puri, who grew up in the late 70s and 80s in Kalol, north of Ahmedabad in a small industrial town, shares the movie going experience most of us who grew up in that period have gone through.

Many of us had parents who used to take us to movies every weekend and sometimes on weekdays. Work used to wind up before the sun went down, those days. The television wasn't around or was too new for them. And they could watch several movies over a weekend. They would even keep the children awake during the day so that they will sleep through the movie or an late night show.

In short, he belongs to a generation that grew up just before television and VCR/VCPs opened up a different movie watching experience. Or before TV killed the movie going experience.

Mayur belongs to a generation that owes its movie madness to their parents.

They could travel even many kilometers just to see movies. Like Mayur's parents, who took him to Ahmedabad, a couple of hours away, by train. And once in Ahmedabad, they would watch movies back to back and then come back home... Paisa vasool. He got hooked.

Mayur must have been a troublesome kid because he says that he was a good liar. As defence he uses the example of Lord Krishna, the butter thief, who used to lie when he was caught stealing.

Lying also helped Mayur get rewards like sweets and escape occasional beatings. Lies that willgo on to help him become a story teller. In school, he realised that he could use his lying-turned- storytelling habit to entertan others. In High School he was writing and directing plays and talking about how differently he would shoot those movies they just saw and his friends would laugh at him.

They won't be laughing anymore now. Because after years of writing, directing and acting in plays and for Doordarshan in Ahmedabad, he moved to Mumbai to write stories, dialogues and lyrics for Hindi Movies. The zenith would be writing the fun scenes in Om Shanti Om for Shahrukh.

This is where his script changes.

Mayur went on to direct a movie with Hema Malini which ended bitterly. He was lost and along with his wife, did a through soul search. The result was a unique space called Story Circus. It's a small room with a tiny stage and lots of puppets in Aaram Nagar, Andheri (W), the Bollywood Central. Here, every weekend, he narrates stories to children. Each story is 10 minutes long. They are drawn from all kinds of old fables and what he writes himself. But never more than 10 minutes long.

Parents say stories to put a child to sleep he says. He says stories that will make them sit up and listen. And they are lapping it up. Mayur's says that the film going audience is like a child. It only takes a word out of place to divert their attention. A useful tips for any story teller.

I was wondering, if Mayur's parents would've had the chance to choose between watching a movie and taking him to a place like Story Circus, where would they have gone?

For more dope on Bollywood's comedy writers, read: Tehelka article by Sunaina Kumar on Bollywood comedy writers .


Harsha said...

Shot on film?
Loved the second pic, of the girl with balloons..

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

No. Played around with lightroom for a change.

Thanks man :)

Michelle said...

lovely pic of the girl and the balloons! you've captured her eyelashes as well, if i'm not mistaken

Anonymous said...

Lyk it

Bhumi said...


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