Friday, January 16, 2009

A trip down memory lane
"Ghajini" has been one of the year's most awaited films. We deconstruct this psychologial action thriller that promises to give the term 'The stuff memories are made of' a whole new meaning
His performance (in the Tamil original) impressed Aamir Khan enough to reprise the act in Hindi. Surya, named one of the sexiest men in India by People, recollects his "Ghajini" experience in an exclusive conversation with Neha Sarin…

How did you prepare for your role in "Ghajini"? What all did your research constitute?

Initially, I did not commit to this project because of the medical conditions involved. Of course, the flash cuts to the past and the reality was very interesting. It was in the second half of the shooting when I really got into the character – a friend of mine, Dr Keshavan at Apollo Hospital, helped me with access to a library of video files. I got permission to discuss cases with neurosurgeons and they showed me how patients behaved post-operation, from the way they sit to how they reacted to situations.

Did the project ever take you close to a real patient?

Not really, it was all very theoretical for me. I didn’t meet anyone in person. This character I played couldn’t be as slow as an ordinary patient; he was a strong guy and he had revenge on his mind. We wanted to essentially capitalise on the amnesia part of it.

If you were suffering from Anterograde amnesia, do you think revenge would have been on your mind?

It was a little more than just a medical phenomenon in the movie. The protagonist is not a regular-patient type, for we show him as a person who is not weak and who is able to carry on with what he has on his mind. We portray him like he was a very special case to study. So in this film, revenge was possible, but in real life, I guess a lot of bad experiences one goes through can only go away with time. So at times forgetfulness helps.

Sometimes you don’t get a cure; you can’t reason out, you don’t have a solution, and then it so happens that you get your answer only as time passes by. Slowly, you let it go and you don’t want to be reminded of it again!

Any memory or mind themed movie(s) that you have particularly liked or been inspired by?

My all time favourites are "I Am Sam", "Awakenings" and "Rain Man".

How forgetful are you in real life? What is your method of reminding yourself of important occasions or events?
I am very forgetful! My memory doesn’t even stay for 15 seconds (laughs). I simply forget where I left my cell phone or my keys. However, ever since my daughter came along, my reaction time lag has gone down! My daughter has managed to change me...

What do you think is more debilitating – memory loss or physical handicap?

I think memory loss. With physical handicap, you are still in your senses; you can achieve whatever you want to. When your mind says you can and if you have the drive, they say nothing is impossible. There are a lot of examples proving that around the world.

I really feel sad with the idea of memory loss. Actually, I did meet a patient, a software engineer from south, a jet-setting professional who had settled in the US. One day she was getting out of the mall when she was hit by a car at 140 miles/hr…she got multiple fractures in her body and also lost her memory. Her family helped her with notes, photos all over her room; she doesn’t even remember her own husband and her daughter. Sometimes, she becomes a different person and hears the noise of traffic. I met her and gave her the same camera I use in "Ghajini".

Besides, when people get old, the memory is affected; they keep repeating things, and forget that they mentioned it at all… it’s kinda sad… In fact, much of our young generation is impatient with such suffering elders. I think we need to spend good quality time with our parents when they age.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2008
An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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