27 September, 2008
Pagaar : Tenure at a Start-Up- A Cockeyed Movie Script
"The author wishes to re-iterate that all the characters in the story below are real and there is very little fiction. It is a single person's interpretation of an event. The intent is to simply capture a very vibrant period in the careers of the people involved. Any kind of discrepancies in the sequence may have happened because of the authors late entry into the event but due diligence is followed to ensure that no major event on record is missed. Feedback may be given though not welcome. This tale would have little relevance to anybody who was not a part of it. The style employed is called an allusion and hence no real names or periods are mentioned. There should however be no mistake, about the characters or events talked about here. The author would be glad to give clarifications if any on the same. He may charge you for the consultancy thus provided hence, be warned. This tale is characterized by its complete faithfulness to facts and no emotions are displayed here. The intellectual property rights for the borrowed format have been reimbursed to Mr. Gowariker. Even then, if you feel the urge to suppress a smile, do not ever do it. Laugh out loud. This is the only part which may be unintentional.
Period and Location:
These events happened once upon a time in the history of West of this Desh, somewhere between the period of the Peshwas and the new breed of Bajaj's who came in after Rahul. Of course it did not happen in that setup but in a setup that was known for fostering intrapreneurship within. Henceforth referred to as (Our Village - or Apna Gaon) simply Gaon.The Gaon was a sprightly village founded by its leader who had long ago passed away into the realm of the unknown. His spirit still led and resided in the gaon often guiding the elders to take decisions. But things were different in the gaon since he passed away. A few elders left the village not happy with the culture; to form their own gaon's in pastures beyond. The remaining elders had somewhere ceased taking decisions or stopped taking divine guidance from the spirit of the headman. Some even went to the extent of blaming their mistakes on the guidance received from the headman's spirit.But offshoots of the gaon had not felt these disturbances as starkly as the epicenter was still in the gaon. The spirit of the headman was still untainted in the offshoots which lived his mission and continued to strongly grow the Gaon and its culture in lands far beyond. There the villagers often lived a free life challenging the forces of nature to hunt and procure food and provisions for the whole village.
One such character was Bhuvan.
Bhuvan was a carefree lad who had grown up to become a man in the Gaon. After cutting his teeth every where, he was asked to come to the gaon to carry out a special task. This was a task he would have to carry out to qualify being called an elder in the village. He was to work with an elder by the name of “Udhardekhpancchi" who hunted in the jungles with his durbeen and could predict the weather by the way the birds flew and nested. Their task was to change the way the gaon and the desh used fuel. The Gaon had a panel of elders who thought that Firewood, Coal and Tel were the best sources for cooking. Now Udhardekhpancchi was a radical and he had an idea. "Hum aag ek vayu se jalayenge. Iske liye Videsh se ek machine mangwayenge. Usko saarey desh main bechenge. Yeh bechke jo munaafa hoga ussey gaon ka bhala karenge."
Noble thoughts, even Galileo was laughed at when he said that the world is round. Udhardekhpancchi and Bhuvan got to the task despite all odds. The foreigners were late and the machine came late, when it came it became too expensive. The laws of other Gaon's did not allow the machine to be brought there and sold. Undeterred Udhardekhpancchi and Bhuvan took it to the neighboring Desh and sold it there. Lots of sale happened but munaafa did not. Udhardekhpancchi's model was a conceptual success but the elders blocked him every way. Many of them did not listen to his suggestions. They left him with too little resources to fight an un-winnable battle Frustrated "Udhardekhpancchi" like the birds he watched, spread his wings and flew away from the Gaon.
Our story begins here.
Cast Of Characters:
A) The Team:
§ Bhuvan (Captain): The Inspired revolutionary Captain of the Team. Born in the central provinces but who had grown up in the Gaon; he had traded in the capital of the country, to the concrete jungles of a seaside port. He had even been to an old nagari called "Bopporiya nagari" and sold his wares to the textile merchants there. With Udhardekhpancchi he had learnt a few things and he had a fresh game-plan working in his mind. The beginning of a humdinger of a tournament to be organized by the Gaon. To play the game he required to know the game, choose a team, teach the game, then play it and win a match. Poor Bhuvan did not even have the services of an Elizabeth, though he had an assorted poultry farm of his own, discussed in detail later.
§ Devaa (Vice Captain): He was a six footer whose presence in the team was an inspiration. His dedication and hard work were samples of leading by example. He had only one chink in his armour. He could travel from gaon to gaon but not from one Desh to another. Devaa, the Vice-Captain was also spiritually wise as he imbibed enough spirits for the entire team. It was the Gaon ka rivaaj to remain spirited enough, and Devaa believed in keeping the traditions.
§ Ishwar Kaka /Panditji (not to be confused with the first PM): He was the village statistician who increased his knowledge in the manners of personal finance and cricket, a game on which this work is based. Without his explanation the finer nuances of the game would never have been understood by the author to compose this work. Panditji was a thinker with deeply hidden talents. He had a family tradition of experimenting with all kinds of herbs, roots and leaves and converting them into delicious edible chutneys. He was addicted to rice his major failing.
§ Lakha (The Romeo): He was a strange traveler, Born in the gaon, moved to the rice eating capital of the country, then to the concrete jungles and then recalled back to the gaon to be in the captains team. Lakha was swift of thought and deliberate (not exactly fast) of action. He was the designate opener of the team. His ability to score runs at a swift rate would determine the success of the team. His weak point, well well well. A Gaon ki Gori (Don’t go by the name, looks sure can be deceptive, this one was more kaali than Gori) who was keen to entice him into the bushes of Chandni chowk or the dancing spots of the area.
§ Salim (The Jester): He was born and brought up in the jungles. He is the author of this tale. His fondness for the Kebabs and Biryanis would lead him to explore all nooks and corners of the area. He used a comical mode of transport. Had his name not been associated to the minority community (somebody's has to, we want to maintain communal harmony here too: so what if this is only a tale), he would have been called Lord Ganesha, the elephant god who traveled on a mouse. Not for his divinity but primarily for the dimensional similarity to him and his vehicle.
§ Bhagat: He was from a wild province somewhere in the north central parts where they shot first and asked questions later. Bhagat was a wily and street smart kid. He made life interesting for the team with his tales of his native land, and his friends that he had in plenty. Tales of abduction, absurdity and pure valor. Tall tales where in the Bhagat was always the long suffering hero who came to the rescue of all these unfortunate souls and did the best he could.
§ Goli: He was the quiet dedicated one, the baby of the team. He was growing up fast in the team and had loads of potential as a middle order defensive batsman. The pride of Goli was his recently acquired double saddle horse. His ambitions in life, to have some lovely Gaon ki Gori sit on the second seat while he rides into the wind.
§ Our Tale has no heroine, the author feels sad for Bhuvan, as fate in this tale had decreed that Bhuvan should not be a bachelor. The team had one female member though who was also married or spoken for or should we say taken. Hey we can't call a Lady who was expanding proportions daily while the match was on as, "Taken" can we? The national language of the period was Brijbhaasha so we translate "Taken" to Brijbhaasha and let's call her Liya. This is the name we have given to taken.
B) The Elders:
§ Rajkumar (Again not to be confused with the actor):Our story has no Raja. It only has a prince. He was the boyish, handsome elder who was a lending, helping hand to Bhuvan and team. He was famous in all lands for his love of various types of Chariots he owned and came in.
§ Chhatrapati (He was the Captain of the other team):He was not an inheritor but a conqueror that had won over the kingdom through steady and slow strategies. The venture of Bhuvan's team was not amongst his favorite responsibilities.
§ Mukhiyaji: He was a Dashing Naagar Brahmin, endowed with a lot of personal charisma who could make you feel "as if the Sun rose out of your backside when he spoke to you". Such was his feel good oratory skills. He was Bhuvan's mentor and though this game of Bhuvan was not fully understood by him, he was willing to back the team and its play.
C) The Character Artistes (Not because they had a lot of character. In fact in a few names here under it was conspicuous by its absence. Let’s just say that we have decided to be kind and give character to some of these artistes) The extras in Bhuvan's team were nearly all women. Interesting poultry farm he ran.
§ Foremost amongst among them was a Blustering sly hen whose job was to keep the teams human relations in shipshape condition. In this bargain let's not discuss her shape though it closely resembled a ship (and not a well designed one at that). Now this was a Desi Chicken and it only interacted with Bhuvan and Mukhiyaji (Thank lord for this). It would chirp a few inanities as strategy, proudly puffing out its feathers looking all around for applause.
§ Following this was another Broiler Chicken (a completely white hen) who may have been a "toast of the coop" in her hey days, but those days had long gone by and somebody forgot to tell her this. This Hen looked after the teams finances and accounting. She carried about her a vague air and the only time her red beak split open distantly resembling a smile was when Bhuvan would pass by strutting his stuff.
§ Then there was a Legal hen, which would take Bhuvan's work and strategies and peck at them till Bhuvan would run away screaming. Thankfully Bhuvan did not allow this Hen to ever interact with the team.
§ Then there was a Junior Broiler, well fed but myopic, quite a dainty hen in the Desi Hens team. She would visit the team to make eyes at the Vice-Captain. Chuckle and cluck-cluck away cheerfully. But the day she found that the VC was spoken for she left the gaon for a distant land completely heartbroken.
§ In junior broilers place came a Junior Cockerel, now this one was from the land of Bhagat. This cockerel was a good one but he had a miserable weakness, he wrote poems and fell for a peahen in the Desi Hens coop.
§ There were fringe extras that would take care of Bhuvan and teams travel arrangements. The inclusion of a sultry smoke-spouting peahen became the talk of the gaon. These characters made life interesting for the team in the locker rooms.
§ Then there were the team's kit makers and kit repairers and the most exasperating one amongst them were TatyaKeskr. He firmly was of the opinion that the team's equipment was purely domestic and not meant for use in the official gaon. Bhuvan almost put a Case on him. In the ancient land of west that’s where his name must have originated Case Kar.
§ An interesting Character who certainly deserves a mention here is the Shylock .He could have been the Mark Mascarenhas for the team led by Bhuvan. A Dashing man of indeterminate age. He portrayed himself as the James Bond of new expeditions. And like Bond, he would only be referred by the acronym 70X500.
§ There were many other characters that laid the foundation for the grand finale but space and patience constraints prevent the author from including their names here.(These characters are being introduced here as they had no part to directly play in the tale ahead, but they need a mention hence let us get it over with. The tale would only feature Bhuvan and his team and a few fringe elders of the gaon)
A germ of an idea had been planted in Bhuvan's mind in his work with Udhardekhpancchi. He badly wanted to bring this idea to full reality. It would not be easy considering the response given to the earlier venture. Bhuvan shrewdly decided to take the soft path, a path the elders in the village were not aware of. He wanted to avoid Udhardekhpancchi's mistake of staying on a path that the elders were familiar with.
The Wager: Udhardekh had flown away, his team disbanded. Bhuvan became the Phoenix who literally rose from the ashes of Udhardekpanchhi's venture. The idea was crystallizing fast and he needed to make his play. He convinced the Rajkumar to back his play. The village elders had not bargained on Rajkumar wanting to take his place in the running of the village. Who would ever say no to Rajkumar? The monarch during this period was a progressive minded king who welcomed change with gusto. Bhuvan was on his way. Bhuvan had to fulfill a condition though, if he succeeded then he and his team would be free from the Pagaar of this gaon and they would be free to decide their own Pagaar-TeenGuna Pagaar. If he failed then he would be an ordinary villager in the old gaon and not an elder also the gaon would not be bound to take him or his team within the boundary walls. Pride was at stake, a better life was beckoning and a huge sacrifice was required to achieve it.The first thing he had to do was to get his act together and now there was no looking back. He had a tiger by the tail.
The elders reluctantly gave their okay to Bhuvan's expedition as the monarch and the Rajkumar backed it.After having convinced the elders, they had agreed to put some of the treasury gold at his disposal to begin his expedition. Now Bhuvan need to sell his idea to others that would be his team. Like minded, bold men who would be excited with his vision enough, to want to be a part of it.
He started looking around for an able deputy that would put his own ideas into action and luckily along came Devaa. Devaa had a run in with a sandal making elder (in the gaon this form of footwear was colloquially called Chappals) and was ready to leave the village. This elder had a "Toad on a lotus leaf” like manner. He would gaze at everyone with beady eyes, make guttural sounds in his throat and shoot out a tongue to devour his victim. Devaa refused to work in an atmosphere like sandal maker's murky pond. He was wanting out. Bhuvan convinced him to be a part of the new expedition. He would not even have to be in the murky pond. Devaa said yes and Bhuvan had his first member.
Now they needed someone who had a detailed working knowledge of nature and its secrets. Some one, who could understand the laws of nature, also is able to decipher the herbs and roots and repair the vehicle as it chugged along. In the earlier venture of Udhardekhpancchi, for a similar job a Pandit named Ishwar Kaka was recruited to make the charts. Bhuvan invited him on board. He too agreed but not before asking a few critical questions like long-term career prospects etc.
This became the core team and they charted out the road map, Bhuvan leading the course, Devaa guiding the mission on Bhuvan's direction and the Pandit charting the maps. A core kernel of the idea was created. This event was ably recorded and the names of the three as co-creators carved out on a stone tablet kept in a record room in Videsh.
Bhuvan now needed a lot of calligraphers and tablet makers to compile information to execute the kernel. He picked up two of the people from the earlier team who would actually do this. Bhagat and Goli joined in. Slowly and surely Bhuvan's idea was taking shape and the product to be manufactured was getting designed. He decided not to do the whole thing within his team but to give the major work to experienced calligraphic teams from a Gaon nearby who were very skilled at doing so. The idea became a plan and of the plan and base work was emerging a product. The team was building up and work was increasing and proceeding at a fast clip.
For the expedition they needed a guide who would take care of the inventory building up and the provisions required for the long journey. Salim was called over. Salim had been watching the act from the sidelines for a long time. He had also in the company of Bhuvan a year before, met the Desi Chicken. She asked him to fill out a recipe. This would be her basis for his selection. He had not passed her test then. The Desi Chicken found Salim's recipe a wee bit too radical. Incidentally, Salim also found the Desi Chicken quite unpalatable and was not regretful, because one cant make a good biryani with bad chicken. This time Bhuvan and Devaa met Salim with a junior broiler and he was asked to resubmit a recipe. It went through and Salim was on board. The ingredients were immensely better this time. The seemingly scruffy unwashed Desi had given way to a well-fed clean white junior broiler. This one was chirping quite merrily at Devaa's feet and giving him moony expressions. This set the tone for Salim’s entry.
Along with Salim from the concrete jungle was recruited a smart canny operator who had fixed large expeditions. Lakha was a smooth operator and he was also looking for trips to the foreign lands as the journey promised. A few changes had occurred during this time in the leadership of the gaon. The monarch was ousted. A new Chhatrapati was crowned. Lakha had risen up the ladder as a foot soldier that had fought in the ranks of the Chhatrapati. Bhuvan assumed that this would stand him in good stead with the new elder-ship in the gaon, and Lakha ensured that this impression of Bhuvan's remains. Lakha was in the rank and file of the gaon equal to Bhuvan, but Bhuvan was the leader here.Technically the team was required to be larger but Bhuvan wanted to curtail expenses.
Cut: Situation for a song:
" Baar Baar …Bolo Yaar…Haan, Apni jeet hoooooo…unki haar haan….The team sings this songs as it runs up the cold interiors of a marble lined mountain to reach a queer circular formation of dugouts and caves which would be the teams shrine of work. Bhuvan's team was the only team on this mountain that was bubbling with enthusiasm watched skeptically by the other whining villagers residing on this mountain. In the gloomy atmosphere of the other societies in the gaon they felt why should one particular set of people be so happy and charged up? The team kept on singing, dancing and working away.
The team was in place. Bhuvan and Devaa created a superbly harmonious work environment, here working and slaving became fun. Families often got forgotten in the far away lands that they remained, till they reminded you that they existed.Every day was a fresh challenge and new ideas and the enthusiasm of the team never flagged. Monumental work got done. A pace and system was getting established. Bhuvan continued his forays into the distant land looking for new oceans to cross and new lands to conquer. Devaa kept the ship on course then. Salim managed the systems and was finding his legs in his new work. When the work entered the stage of creating new manuals and flags for the ship, he was in his element. Bhagat and Goli were churning out mammoth kinds of information and were cataloguing them well too. Bhagat entertained, Goli slaved on, and the Pandit often came out with gloomy predictions through the various charts he made. But Devaa would brush them away till even the Pandit started looking cheerful. This was achieved by the interesting interactions between Bhagat who would rib the Pandit continuously as the Pandit bossed him around. Goli would insert a comment here and there. Salim had a fairly cool head and normally nothing bothered him much as long as he was well fed. There was a one legged Pirate who supplied the team with the food and occasionally he was the one who would bear the lash of Salim's tongue if it was not up to the mark.
From the sidelines the Rajkumar was watching and was generally happy with Bhuvan and his team. The Chhatrapati was drawing up his battle lines as he struggled to understand the team and activity of Bhuvan that he was ultimately in charge of. Finally he started urging Bhuvan to step up the speed and give him the bearings on what goes. Bhuvan in a small expedition made a couple of forays into the new lands and gave some numbers. Then comes a bombshell of a bloomer. Devaa lost his divine right to travel and was grounded. Devaa urged the elders to bail him out. Few of them knew how and even fewer tried. Though without fail everyone advised him on what should he have done? Advice is cheap and if not worthwhile is always given away freely. This forced Bhuvan to look for an alternative within the team who could replace Devaa. There was Panditji but he had a supportive role to enact in his journey, hence Lakha was chosen.
It was a contingency plan and Lakha was not prepared or into the groove as Devaa was, however the team had no choice. This was a setback and had to be faced.Lakha accompanied Bhuvan to the distant lands to familiarize himself with the ports there. Lakha had nearly hundred questions too many than Bhuvan would want to answer. But he kept asking them anyway; it was his nature "deliberate of action". He drove everybody up the wall till some exasperated team members told him "Why don’t you try the journey first, instead of simply sitting in the gaon and presupposing what kind of creatures you gonna encounter there? You did not have any questions for the gaon ki kaali when she came peddling her wares." Lakha would blush deeply then. The team prepared well. Lakha's journey happened. In great trepidation did he embark on it? Countless questions still teeming in his mind were now set aside, as it was a call for action. He struggled to understand the laws of the new desh, but staying and moving in the new desh was expensive and planning beforehand did not precede his hours of countless questions. Huge amounts of confusion happened, Panditji was also called over and somehow the concepts of Bhuvan's were taken ahead.Bhuvan was struggling to make a break-through though he was making slow progress. Then a few Videshi wise men and institutions agreed to give him a platform to air his views. He jumped on it and asked the team at home to work on arranging for shows outside. The team was delivering; beautiful banners and gifts in the form of coated discs were made for the event. Bhuvan manfully fought alone on the front.
It was a three-legged race. Bhuvan and Lakha's speeds of thought and operation were inherently different. Lakha was used to three-legged races now that he had practiced in the wilds of Chandni chowk. But Bhuvan here had no Gori to practice with; Lakha was the one who had Gori (read kaali) in this script.Bhuvan was also facing stiff opposition from elders within the gaon and was committing all to ensure that the supply of gold doesn’t stop. It is incredible that Bhuvan did not allow these pressures to affect the team morale. Sometimes he would vent it out with Devaa. But it remained just there.
The Flicker of Hope:
Good news happened when one trader from Videsh was sold on Bhuvan's idea and was willing to commit his gold to it. He had a condition though that Bhuvan would successfully demonstrate the same in that desh. Once done then Bhuvan had his gold. This news came by carrier pigeon in the twilight hours. The pigeon flew in through a window in a room that was locked. The message could not be seen. No one was prepared to wait, as it was the culmination of many months of hard work. Goli was dispatched to retrieve the message onto the pigeon's legs and read it aloud outside. When he did, there was a roar of jubilation; Devaa in his usual high-spirited way called for spirits. The team had earned it, though now they had to stand up to the faith shown in them. Today though, it was party time. Their hopes of success took a quantum leap.
Cut: Situation for a song:
"Phatela jeb sil jayegaaaaa, Jo chahega Mil jayegaaaa, tere bhi din ayenge chotey …Life main chaltey rehney ka…Bheja kyon sarkaney ka? Sahi Bolta Sahi Bolta (Chorus) Tension kaheko leneka…. Sahi Bolta Sahi Bolta (Chorus).The team sings this song in high spirits.In their high spirits the author also forgot that the particular song did not belong to this script. But what the heck ..Does it fit? Yo...to tension kaheko lene ka? Sahi boltai Sahi boltai.
Bhuvan's team was immensely hopeful now of achieving the target of Teen Guna Pagaar.They celebrated for a few hours and then retired to fight back the next day.
The match that did not happen:
Lots of things took place thereafter. They had not heard about a Wise man by the name of Murphy, hence they could not attribute the happenings to his laws. “When things have to go wrong they will". The concept being created was not becoming error proof and small insects (bugs) kept infesting it. Despite intense efforts by the Team here and the experts from outside something kept cropping up. Second the Elders were breathing down Bhuvan's neck. Third their rivals attacked the desh that had given its okay to Bhuvan and they told Bhuvan to wait till war situation got tided over. The elders stopped the gold. Time had run out for Bhuvan and his team. The rug had been pulled out from under their feet.
The End and a Fresh Start:
The elders had a meeting with Bhuvan and his team and they who had observed the kind of effort put in opened out the village doors for them. Disappointment flickered but these were gamblers who knew the score and it was time to move on. Lakha was the first of the appointees. He was sent to Videsh as the ambassador-in-residence. The same desh whose ways he could not master during the voyage. Goli and Bhagat were taken back in the gaon, while Salim decided that he would be back in the concrete jungle to work with an apricot faced elder. Devaa was the first one to decide that he would leave the Gaon. It was too small for him now. To everyone he waved a cheery greeting “Well Honey, TaTa "and waltzed away. The Mukhiya took the Pandit in his camp and that left Bhuvan. The Chhatrapati was wooing him to become his Sardar of a new Jaagir being created. Bhuvan may have been frustrated and angry but he would ensure that all the members who accompanied him on the voyage were rescued safely. The Captain leaves the ship last, ably demonstrated. Then to the surprise of most elders, he emulated Udhardekhpancchi and flew away high. For the others in the gaon the return steps were mere stopgaps. They too were destined to fly away; only their time had not come yet.
The Team may not have had a lot going for them when they began but each of them came in with a lot of Heart.This was an opportunity created out of nothing by Bhuvan and the author acknowledges this trait with the utmost respect. The elders also should be credited for their patience and fortitude in seeding the idea. Only they were not skilled farmers and never knew how long does it take for a crop to ripen fully. A little more patience may have helped. As for the rest of the team the author salutes them, as it was a pleasure and privilege to work with them.The elders thought that the team would be delighted to come back into the folds of the old gaon but did they read the members right?Situations, challenges and adversity mould men. It builds character.They came with nothing but had given it their all, sacrificing their time with their families, never ever looking at what position the sun was in the sky, simply putting their minds and hearts into the mission. The tale is a testimony to this spirit of adventure that makes for higher learning.The Pagaar did not rise then as the venture was abandoned. Hence do we say that the team lost the match? Not exactly.
What the team and the elders did not realize then was that, that year, they had all played a part in something great. This would change their lives forever irreversibly because GREATNESS in its own measure stays with the man.
Salim's Biryani:(A recipe of the above tale)
6 - Hours
21 - Samosas (8 Punjabi, 3 Patti and 10 Kheema)
1 - Inspired writer
1 - Laptop computer
Add a little bit of soul searching and humor to taste.
Mix all the ingredients well and marinate to let the juices seep in. Spread it out to dry and ripen over a period of three days. Cook over an oiled pan for 15 minutes. Garnish well with humor and a sharp bite of a lemon.Serve piping hot. But it tastes best when eaten after a year or two as the bitterness has faded away completely and all that then remains is a wonderful meal and its fond memory.