Meeting Mani Sir

Here, on  Rediff, is  an interview I did with Mani Ratnam.

His workplace, Madras Talkies, is quieter than a library governed by  the strictest librarian.  

The day I went to see him, I was ushered in to his office and found him  at his desk,  seated  behind his  MacBook, no music playing, no phones ringing, no chatter.   Everything around him was placid.  

When the interview was over, I asked to take a few photos.   No pressure there, eh?   “But there’s no light!” he said, as it was well past 4pm and the sun had started to fade.   “Perhaps outside on the terrace?” I suggested.   So, he obliged, slipping on his sandals under the desk before getting up and sliding back the glass door.

Photo shoot over, before I left,  I took out a copy of Nayagan that I had bought recently –  the Moser Baer edition, the only one I could find at Landmark – and asked if he would sign it.   He grimaced as he looked at the orange packaging, saying “Oh, look what they’ve done with the colors.”   But, ever graceful, he signed anyway.

4 thoughts on “Meeting Mani Sir

  1. Neelam, no, I haven’t yet seen some of his earlier films, or Thiruda Thiruda (just listening to the soundtrack yesterday on the train home), but I will one day soon hopefully.

    Joseph, thanks for the link. Aiyo – so this is going to become an obsession among Tamil actors too, eh? I saw Surya in Vel last year and thought he looked perfectly delish as is, and actually, the moustache was a boon.

  2. Another movie of his which you must watch is Thiruda Thiruda – an unabashed masala adventure movie with a fantabulous score by Rahman, great cinematography and choreography.

  3. Take a bow Maria! One of the best interviews. Bollywood journos never seem to go beyond the basic questions. They can learn a lesson or two from your interview with Mani!

    Have you seen his Mouna Ragam (Tamil), Unaru (Malayalam), Geetanjali(Telugu), Agni Nakshatram (Tamil) and Dalapati (Tamil)?

    All these movies had excellent musical score by Ilaiyaraaja (great songs and amazing background scores), as did all his movies until Roja, which marked the entry of Rahman, who has scored for all his films since 1992..

    Mani’s very first film was in Kannada titled “Pallavi – Anu Pallavi” and starred Anil Kapoor and Lakshmi (of Julie fame). Trivia: Its hit song “Naguva Nayana” has been copied by Lintas as a popular TV commercial theme music for IDEA Cellular.

    BTW, Rediff didn’t quite publicise your piece on the site (I guess they couldn’t get any controversial stuff)

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