Pages from a music score of silent melodies.
Updated: Jul 4, 2021
Consonance and dissonance
Suresh Pattali, a film and theatre activist, or as Paul Zacharia, the Editor of Economic Times and his former colleague rightly stated," a film buff and libertarian"; worked as a producer in Asianet when I met him.
Suresh assisted the renowned Indian filmmaker Muzaffar Ali in making classic movies like 'Gaman' and 'Umrao Jaan' and has worked with noted singer Kishore Kumar and Popular music director Salil Choudhury. He was too humble a human being to read one's character and get close within no time.
I met him first, in 2000, at his office in the Asianet Studio complex at Puliyarakonam in Trivandrum. He was very eager to listen to my album 'Simple Truth' and knew it was in the final stage of completion. He was too busy in the studio that I waited from 4 pm to about 6 pm as he occasionally makes an appearance and apologizes for making me wait and leaves after making sure that I am comfortable. Someone would want him when he joins me, and as I was not in any hurry, I asked him to take his time. When he hastily joined me at about 6 pm, I told him that I have a rough copy of 'Simple Truth' in my car. The moment he heard that he just walked out of the studio with his hand on my shoulder. He sat beside me in the car, we closed the doors, and I played the tape.
Before the music started, he asked, "What about a ride?". I nodded, and we drove out to the nearly desolate roads in the suburbs of Trivandrum. When the music started, I noticed that he is gazing at my face. With a smile, when I turned and looked at him, he asked," You did this ?". I said "Yes", and his astonished expression is the first and best compliment I ever received. I drove aimlessly while he keenly and mutely listened to all the 12 songs in the album. Later I dropped him at his house, which is just about a kilometre away from his workplace.
The very next day, I received a call from him inviting me to his house, and I visited him sometime in the afternoon. His interest in music and his memory amazed me as he started describing how he visualized one of the songs that he heard the previous day. It was late afternoon, and he was yet to have his lunch. I understood he's drunk, but he appeared perfect and very much in his senses. I told him that I would wait until he has his lunch. Within a few minutes, he returned with an egg omelette for me. I didn't refuse as I knew he prepared it just for me. It was too salty to consume, and when I was struggling with it, he joined me munching his omelette and said, "Too much salt, right? I don't have any more eggs left, else I would have made fresh ones". After spending some time discussing the script, I left following his assurance to contact me soon. The next day he called me for further talks, and we fixed a local club for the next meeting the same evening.