Roman holiday and other stories

I don’t know why but i really really like these old English romantic movies. Ok my sample size isn’t too large. First it was Casablanca and now this. But they’re awesome. Extremely well made. Amazing storyline, and an excellent way of telling it all. And unlike in the Hindi movies, in which a happy ending is usually guaranteed, there is no such guarantee here (in fact, both these have a kinda sad ending – by Bollywood standards), which makes the suspense more meaningful.

It’s also relevant (to me) that the parting scene (the effective parting scene, don’t count the press conference) happens to be in a car. When he is dropping her off. And it all ends with a long conversation in a parked car. And a hug. And then she runs away. What I write here is the true (as the orbit white ad puts it). I’m writing two conversations here (what I remember of them). The first has been translated from Kannada. The second was originally in English.

Let me write it as if I’m writing the screenplay for some movie. Rather, I don’t know how a screenplay is written. This is what I’d give my director. To direct. This is the first scene of the movie.

A small car is parked on a wide deserted road. There is the odd streetlight around. Lots of trees lining the road. And there is a nice wind blowing, like it does in Bangalore on late summer evenings. Our hero is at the wheel. Cigarette in one hand. Cellphone in the other. He dials slowly.

“Hi dad”
“Hi son. How did it go?”
“Ah, no. I don’t think it’s going to work out”
“Good. So it’s the end of the story is it?”
“Yes. It’s all over”
“Excellent stuff. Congrats. Here, your mother wants to speak to you”
“Hello mom”
“So i guess it’s not happening? Congrats. Good you finished it off without much fuss. Where are you now?”
“I’m in front of her house right now. I’ll meet you for dinner at the Adigas in 8th block. 9 o’clock. Bye”
“Bye. And congrats once again”.

He slowly moves down his phone book. Pauses at each entry for a minute. Looks wistfully at each name for ten seconds. And moves on. When the entry says “Neha”, he hits the call button. He’s trembling, but lets it ring.

“Hi Neha”.
“Hi Karthik! How did it go?”?
“Ummm no. it’s not happening. We decided to call it off”
“Oh! It’s ok. Never mind. I always had some kind of a creepy feeling about this one. It’s ok. All that happens happens for the good. I’ve to rush now. I’ll call you tomorrow. Take care. Bye”

He keeps going down the phone book. This time he pauses longer at each entry. And then there is a particular? entry he can’t take his eyes off. He looks at it for two minutes. And then hits the delete button. For courtesy sake he goes through the rest of the phone book also. And for courtesy sake pauses at each entry for a moment. And then he starts the car and slowly drives on.

Ok I don’t know how to write a screenplay but this is the general idea. This is perhaps going to be the first scene in my movie. Oh wait, that residency road thing is also there. This will be the scene before the opening credits. And that residency road scene will be the first after. Nice

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