Ms. En Scene – where Ranjani Krishnakumar concedes that cinema is life. Opinions expressed are those of the contributor, and not those of the company or its employees.
Earlier this week, well past my deadline for this column, I returned from a satisfying vacation. No sooner than I got home, threw the luggage away and fell on the sofa, did it hit me like love-hit Vijay the moment he saw Keerthy Suresh in Bairavaa (2017):
I have returned to the drudgery of everyday life. Where work, chores and people chew greedily into the grand purpose of my existence. If you came of age in the 2000s and are urban, privileged, software industry-paid, regular person, you will understand the unbearable pain of this realisation.
Staring at the fan running in high-speed, I realised I’m just like it — running at high-speed, raising a storm, but staying right there in the same place. Despondent and in pain, I reached for the one solution that has never ever failed to pick me up — a film.
After scrolling through Youtube, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Tamilr******, I landed thud on SunNxt. After much debate between Sura (2010) and Kakki Sattai (2015), I play the latter. Don’t ask me why. I said despondent, not desperate!
It’s a template Sivakarthikeyan film, he’s a police constable — ambitious but incompetent. He’s the butt of all jokes. His superiors think of him as good for nothing, his devout mother resorts to prayer and hallucination to cope with his current state. He is pushed around against his will. The world hurts him and stamps him under its feet, yet he takes it in jest and puts up a strong face.
For some strange reason, I found myself empathising with him. No, in fact, I found myself relating to him. Yes, you read that right. The need to achieve higher purpose, but the pressure of this misunderstanding society on my shoulders….
Finally, I had to address my life’s biggest existential question of my life, “Am I SK?”
I was entertaining that idea and wandering into the jungle of that thought when I heard SK scream into my ear.
“I’m so cool.”
Shook, I waited. Is that right? Did he just say…… Yes! He said, “I’m so cool”.
At that moment, I knew what I needed to turn my life around.
I need the confidence with which Tamil film heroes talk about themselves! That is it. That revelation changed my life. The build-up for a true hero often comes from those around him — think Vedha’s intro in Vikram Vedha (2017). You’ll need to be Vijay Sethupathy for that to happen, eh?
But I’m SK, just poor old SK. And SK showed me the ropes — it doesn’t matter what the world speaks of you, it only matters what you say of yourself.
‘I’m so cool’, I sang aloud and hopped away, seeking stories of self-discovery among Tamil film heroes. In the interest of all my fellow self-loathing entrepreneurs, here are some pick me ups. Go ahead, sing ‘em loud!
When someone tells you that the technology you’re working on is dated and has no future, sing it!
When that client calls you asking for something that is stuck because of his fault, sing it!
When the client calls you on a Sunday and you’re partying, say it!
When a colleague is playing mind-games and hurting your productivity, give it back!
When an interviewer says the redundant ‘tell me about yourself’, sing it!
If you are covering for someone else and have no clue what they were working on, sing it!
When they don’t understand your genius and call you incompetent, scream it!
Channel your inner hero. If they can, you can!
Unmistakable. Meticulous. Predominantly an essayist. Evolved from a marketer. Ranjani Krishnakumar eats Tamil films all day and fruits for breakfast. Roosts with pair in Chennai apartment. Usually found chasing Vitamin-D. Believes “Dei” or “Pch” is the answer to all questions.