What an accosting in a public toilet can lead to

Trip Start Jul 2003
Trip End May 2005

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Saturday, February 7, 2004

Number 13: MGR Film City, Madras (26th February 2004)
Now here's a funny tale for you.

As I (Will) was departing the gent's lavatories in a large shopping centre in Madras the other day, I was approached by three smart, young men claiming to be from a film agency, 'Dream Factury'. Now Madras is only second to Bombay in terms of film production and after some chat I was given their card and a brief description of what would be required of me, "Was I free in a couple of days?" As it happens I was, and after giving a very vague description of the hovel (once resplendent) we were residing in I assured them that I would call the director the next day.

The next day passed and on returning to our garret we found, to our surprise, that the agency had tracked me down and were insistent we called them: I cracked and gave them a buzz. Within hours they returned to our lodgings and after a long chat we agreed to be picked up by a car the following morning at 7:30am (no limo but there was a TV) and off we went to the studios.

The next 16 hours dissolved into the following:
* a huge breakfast (excellent) with about 10 'multi-national potential stars' from countries such a Sudan, Bhutan and Oman
* 'relevant costume' selection
* photo after photo in various combinations of shaking hands and happiness at our apparent recent purchase of 'CRI' and 'Akash' water pumps
* taxis to the studios in the huge 'MGR Film City'
* take after take after take of big-film-camera action shots of us saying things like, "Akash pump. It gives you more water. Everytime", whilst surrounded by so many make-up artist, directors, technicians and very hot massive lights in a vast film studio
* a very large lunch (excellent)
* more filming and snacks
* a great big supper (excellent)
* taxis to the audio studios
* hours of standing in dubbing booths repeating the same phrases over and over again whilst computers somehow replaced our earlier attempts
* and finally, cars to return us to our accommodation in the early hours of the morning.

And am I now a star of the future? Well if the proof of success involves following an all-day shoot with scrubbing clothes clean in a broken bucket of cold water, before evicting rats and emptying cockroaches from our blankets before finally crawling into bed as the sun comes up, then maybe.

But we did learn that the companies CRI and Akash export their water pumps to 42 countries, and satellite channels and magazines will screen the successful advertising results worldwide: the amusement of me grinning from a enormous city centre billboard somewhere will greatly out-trump the great food we received on our Bollywood day out.


Bollywood Wives Special!
Life as a Bollywood wife sees me rudely awakened at 6am by an excited Will hopping about the room trying to smarten himself up with a blunt razor and a broken tap. As celeb manager for the day, I loaded up with loo paper, biscuits and of course, 'A Brief History of Time'.

One of the funniest parts of the day was Will being continually 'powder puffed' and sat in front of a mirror. I only hope he doesn't start wearing more makeup than I do (not difficult).

My usual past time of being sat in front of a TV whilst eating was reenacted for hours, but with the entertainment of Will huffing and puffing, Russell Crowe style.
On the brink of exhaustion I was perked back to like by giggling at Will punching the air whilst yelling, "Akash pump", like a backpacking George Michael.

My managerial role was concluded at the end of the day by being handed 5000 rupees for all of Will's hard work! Lucky me. Shall I tell him?

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