In this industry of ideas which means the world to us, who knows what is right and what is wrong? Who knows what works and what doesn't? All we know is that the one which squeezes its way into existence might be appreciated or else will be trashed. And, everybody who has one, believes it is 'the' one. At the end it is that faith which has a hope of making it.
But there is yet more to it than what meets the eye!
A writer came to me with a script today and his own story to me was more interesting than the one he had written. I might have offended him by spending far more time listening to him about his own search for recognition than listening to the reams of material on his laptop he tried to engage me with.
This young boy was signed up to write a screenplay based on a story he had written for a film, and was payed ten thousand bucks by a producer.
A few days later the producer called him and asked him to narrate the story to a Kanada Actress who was apparently in town for a week.
When the writer told the Actress the story, she loved it and the producer, now over excited, told her that he wanted to sign her right there and then and pay her an amount of one lakh rupees.
Then Mr. Producer realized that he had left his cheque book at his office and asked the writer if he was carrying his, which unfortunately, the boy was.
The producer asked the writer to sign a cheque in the girls name and give it to her and promised him that he would transffer the funds into his account the very next day, taking note of the writers bank account number there and then.
In the evening, the producer texted the writer and told him that he has transffered the funds and the writer, the poor young boy, was happy, now that the film he was writing, his first, had a lead actor as well, and she was nice.
A few days later, roughly two, the writer got a call from the bank to inform him that the cheque he had issued of one lakh rupees had shown up for clearing but the funds in his account were not sufficient. The writer in panic, called the producer but the producer's phone was not available.
Then he sent the producer a text message which kept waiting in his outbox and eventually he had to request the bank to return the cheque as he had no other choice.
Thereafter, he kept calling the producer but the producers' phone remained switched off and that was it.
The cheque got represented once again and was finally bounced. The writer was now worried as the producer had dissapeared.
The writer realized that the producer did not live in the house that he had shown him as his, nor could be traced at the coffee shops in Lokhandwala Complex which he would be usually hanging out at practically every evening.
Then came the Kanada actress one day.
She first called the writer and asked him why he had swiped her money, and then she turned up at his doorstep with her parents, abusing him for having taken away the funds that the producer had deposited for her in the writers bank account.
Eventually both the writer and the actress discovered that they had been conned.
The writer had been hired for a paltry sum to convince the actress that the producer was actually making a film and the actress had then been exploited by the producer and his friends for a couple of days before they had all dissapeared into thin air.
Now the actress threatens to sue the writer under Section 138 and the writer hangs around at the coffee shop where he had first met the producer, hoping to catch him one day and beat him up.
What a story?
And one without a closure, no end.
Then I heard about an admissions racket that spreads far and wide into the system which otherwise has no way of providing most of its' citizens a livelihood with dignity.
I chanced upon an actress who is auditioning for roles in films and television and who has come from Madhya Pradesh along with her mother to become a star.
Her father is no more and her elder sister who was married, passed away a couple of years ago, which the actress told me, was most certainly a dowry death.
However, the actresses sisters' 6 year old son lives with the actress and her mother in Mumbai as well.
I asked the actress how she manages her life while she is waiting for roles to come her way, because I thought, if they had enough money, then her sister would not have been done away for dowry. (I often wonder why I get into peoples lives like this, but I guess, that is where I find my stories and that is how I understand how difficult life is for average Indians if they are not to succumb to illegal practices).
The actress told me that she helps students get admissions in various medical and engineering colleges for which she get paid pretty well. She achieves a few admissions every year, and that keeps them going, other than which they also keep paying guests in the appartment which they have taken on rent in Mumbai.
Then she told me that if I know of any students wanting admissions then I should pass them on to her and she will share her monies with me.
I asked her who it is that she does this work for and she said that she doesn't know.
She fills forms for the aspirants and passes then on to a friend, who passes them further to another friend and so on... but admissions get done and none of them really know who gets them done and how it is that they get them done.
But, she clarified with me, admissions are guaranteed and money promised to them gets delivered in cash.