"You know what! The whole world is soon going to acknowledgethe brilliance of the Kashmiri people. The Americans have just had a taste ofit!" my friend informed me in an excited tone, "Didn't I tell you Kashmiris aregeniuses!" This friend of mine, I might as well inform you, is a great believerin the theory that Kashmir is inhabited by the most intelligent race on earth.
"Oh! Really?" I said trying to match his enthusiasm, "How doyou say that?"
"Have you seen any horror movies? You must have!" instead ofresponding to my query he asked a question and supplied the answer to it aswell, "Well you know in these horror movies there are dilapidated houses that look like they are about tocrumble…and sometimes these do start falling apart as the movie progresses?"
"Yes I am sure I have seen many dilapidated haunted housesin movies," I said trying to recall scenes from my favourite horror movies.
"Well it was about that only," he said with a triumphantsmile.
"I don't understand?"
"You see lots of money is spent on these buildings or ratherthe movie sets and it takes all sorts of experts to make them. Like forinstance if you are depicting a scene in an ancient palace, you would requirean expert who has a fair knowledge about the architecture of the representedtimes and also an ability to imagine how it all must have looked. Only then hecan recreate a realistic or at least a plausible scene."
"I know! I know!" I interrupted him irritably for he hasthis habit of going into endless detail and with him one often loses track ofthe original topic, "But what does all this have to do with showcasing Kashmirigenius?"
"I am coming to that!" he said with an infuriating smile,"There is this Hollywood film director who specializes in horror movies. He ismaking a movie about a house that is possessed by an evil spirit…"
"You mean haunted?" I corrected him.
"No! Possessed! And that's how this movie is different anddifficult to make as well! It is the house itself in this movie that's amonster as it is possessed by an evil spirit. Now there are scenes in thismovie in which the house goes into a sort of auto-destruct mode…you knowcrumbling ceilings and suddenly collapsing walls…," he again started his longwinded explaining.
"I get that! So what's difficult about that? I don't thinkthat it is such a big deal. The film directors know how to create these'special effects'. What does it take to collapse a wall or cause the ceiling tocrumble! A small explosive charge here and there…"
"You are right but you don't know these Hollywood directors. Some of them are such perfectionists and sticklers for detail. Like this particular director. As you said they did use small charges which were detonated to cause a wall to collapse or a ceiling to crumble but the director apparently was not satisfied.
He kept saying that the crumbling and collapses lacked spontaneity. So much so that the technicians gave up in despair and even though he kept changing his special effects guys nobody could come up with a satisfactory solution. The director had shelved the movie and then…"
"Then what? And I don't see any Kashmir connection here," Isaid rather peevishly because what all he was saying made no sense to me.
"Have patience!" he again smiled his infuriating smile, "Doyou remember last year there was this government building somewhere in Kashmirwhich had developed cracks and the ceiling too had collapsed even though thebuilding had been recently constructed."
"Yes I do remember. There was even a picture of an officersitting in her office with bits and pieces of collapsed ceiling around her." Irecalled the news item which had gone viral.
"Exactly! The Hollywood director I was talking about read this news on the net and also saw the pictures of the hapless officer sitting surrounded by debris of the ceiling.
He immediately contacted the engineers and the contractor who had been involved in the construction of this building and signed a contract with them to construct a spontaneously collapsible set for his movie."
"Really? And were they able to come up to the expectationsof the Hollywood director?"
"Of course! After all this was just a routine job for these engineers and contractors and required no special effort on their part. They constructed a perfectly self-destructing building which everybody found amazing.
You see you just had to cough gently and some portion of the building would collapse to rubble! A sneeze and a portion of the ceiling would fall! The Hollywood guys were really impressed with the unsung genius of these engineers and contractors.
Not only did they land multiple contracts but the American Association of Horror movie producers also announced an award for them! So what do you say now about the Kashmiri…" he said indicating his temple with a finger.
"When is the movie being released? Or has it already beenreleased?" I asked.
"Well…No it hasn't been released and isn't likely to be released either. Actually the movie about the self-destructing building turned out to be so realistic (Naturally!) and scary that it had the potential of harming the psyche of the American people.
Specialists said that that the scenes of the self-destructing building will create such a fear psychosis that no American will dare to sit inside any building after seeing this movie. So it has been kept in the archives and will be screened only for academic purposes for students studying film making and special effects in movies!"
"I don't know about this…" I said in response to my friend'searlier gesture pointing towards my temple, "but I am mighty impressed with thecourage of the average Kashmiri for even visiting such buildings!"
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored!Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce(iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, email@example.com)