Till around late afternoon, the 21st day of December 2006 had nothing special to offer. But by early evening, my wife called and told she had won a prize in a contest conducted by Radio City. I was really thrilled to hear that.
After reaching home, myself, son and wife got ready and left for Radio City Studio, where we had to collect a ‘Pass’ in order to have a special dinner with renowned Film Directors. In the studio, my son was passed around from one RJ’s hands to another. RJs Mallika and Sunayana seemed really happy cuddling him. He got a few balloons for X-mas. Pictures were taken.
We collected the pass and went to Hotel Chancery, right next to the studio. The party was yet to begin. My son was happy walking in the pool-side and Cafeteria. He got a few chocolates and cakes for speaking to the Chefs. We were really enjoying the chill weather. The first to arrive was noted film director Girish Kasaravalli, followed by Playwright Girish Karnad. Need I say that both were dressed in an ethnic looking kurtha- pyjama. Then actress Jayamala, wearing a ‘bottle green’ traditional silk saree made the entry. (For a second my mind was transported to Sabarimala.) She had a young chap, whom she kept referring to as her hubby. (I couldn’t stop thinking about Tiger Prabhakar.) Actress Hema Chaudhari and Producer Vijayalakshmi Singh (Director SV Rajendra Singh Babu’s sister) accompanied by actor husband Jai Jagadhish, dressed in a coffee brown suit came later. Jai looked his usual smart self.
The cameramen clicked pictures as and when there were any new additions to the party. The drinks started trickling in. Most guests had a glass in hand. Director Shyam Benegal and actor Dattatreya joined later. My son was asleep with the evening getting colder by the minute. We started having an assortment of salads and the main course. Mid way, we were joined by RJs ‘Tunta’ Nanda, Bala and Saggy, who spoke to us for a long time. My son woke up after hearing a Rajkumar song playing in the background.
The menu had mostly South-Indian delicacies like Nimbehannu Chitranna, Utthappa, Anna-Saaru, Eerulli-Aalugadde Palya. Hot Jamoons were top class. The food was really delicious. There were a few North Indian and Non-Veg dishes which we ignored.
There was a senior person, dressed in a grey suit, who caught my eye. He was busy eating Jamoon with Ice cream. And I didn’t want to disturb him. What stood out in him was the Gandhi-topi that he was wearing with the suit.
Another person stood out in the crowd. He looked like a Japanese but was wearing a waist coat on a kurtha-pyjama. I learnt today morning after seeing his picture in The Hindu that he was the Canadian Film Director, Hunt Hoe.
It was quite late when we left the party. My son slept on the way home. Me and my wife were feeling nice after meeting and having dinner with some popular faces. Got to see most of the faces behind those wonderful voices which we hear on Radio City. To go back in time, it was on the 21st day of December 2000 that my wife, then my girlfriend, asked me, “Do you see me as your wife?” Thanks to her, the memorable evening was a welcome change for all three of us.