Readers Write In #39: Kadhal 2 Kalyanam

Posted on April 30, 2018

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How hard is it to make a rom-com ?

Though every tamil cinema that hits our screen has an obligatory love story, with duets, stalker glorifying songs, why can’t they make a full blown love story without boring the life out of people.

All love stories are clichéd , they all have happy endings, people have adorable dads like Mouli, moms like Saranya Ponvannan, things are hunky-dory, nobody dies, the heroine cries , and we all walk out with beaming faces.

I have no qualms in accepting that I secretly like rom-coms, heck I even watched Sex and the City ( the first movie) when nobody was around, 27 Dresses, Wedding Crashers… and the list goes on.

Closer home, I adore ‘Kanda Naal Mudhal’, ‘Alaipayuthey’, heck, I will even take a couple of movies made by the cinematographer/director Jeeva, with Harris Jayaraj softening the edges. Why don’t people make such movies anymore.

That is when promos of a new rom-com started airing way back in 2009/10, Kadhal2Kalyanam.

The movie seemed to have a stellar cast(in no particular order) Divya Spandana, Kasthuri, Mouli, S.N Lakshmi, Nagendra Prasad,John Vijay ( yeah, John Vijay !) , with possibly the weakest link in the chain being the hero.

It was directed by Milind ( who I came to know was Mani Ratnam’s assistance, this was all years before he made that horror movie) and of course Baradwaj Rangan associated with the writing.

With an astounding soundtrack, there was nothing that could have possibly gone wrong with this movie. Just listen to this minimalistic version of ‘Idhu kadhalai irundhidumo…’(‘Is this love ?’), just Yuvan and his off-key singing, chords and a basic rhythm loop on his keyboard.

My personal connection to this movie was sometime during the summer of 2010, when I was sitting on the sandy stretch of Besant Nagar beach with my childhood friend of many years, listening to Radio Mirchi, sharing  earphones, one end plugged into my ear, and the other into hers.

That’s when this song from Kadhal2Kalyanam, ‘Natpin Kadhaigalai neengalum koncham kelunga’(‘Listen to the amusing tales of our camaraderie !’)  caught our attention, being produced by Mirchi Movies, the songs from this particular movie got a lot of airtime back then on Radio Mirchi. Listening to it, we were like , ‘Wow, who wrote that, looks like a song about us !’

We also made a point to watch out for this movie when it hits the cinema halls, quite intrigued with the subsequent posters, trailers and above all, we both were suckers a for a nice feel good rom-com, where you come out of the cinema hall with a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart, insulated from the brutal realities of the world.

Just like the protagonists of the song, we were friends since childhood, and somehow managed to maintain a platonic relationship, despite surging hormones.

A relationship based on rock-solid friendship, clichéd enough to complete each other’s sentences. Though many people assumed we were a couple, all it managed to evoke in us was a guffaw, chuckling that people even contemplated such a thing.

Days rolled into months, and on a walk during a full moon night, with our footwear held precariously by our fingertips, the warm soothing sand of Besant Nagar beach , a natural carpet which no Kashmiri rug  can replicate when it comes to pampering your feet. An innocent stumble from her led to us to a position where our lips were precariously close to each other. It was almost brushing, separated by a nanometer.

Confused, not knowing what I was doing, I proceeded to kiss her, and there was shockingly no resistance. Soon she pushed me away, and we awkwardly started walking back towards  the road ,  with a million thoughts swirling through our minds.

Not wanting to give up her tradition , she plonked behind me on my bike, and in her usual gesture took our one earphones and roughly shoveled it into my ear. This time it was not Radio Mirchi, but a bloody mp3 of the song ‘Idhu Kadhalai irunthidumo…..’(Is this love ?)

Now months rolled into years, and when it was  time for marriage, things were not proceeding as expected, I was also simultaneously monitoring the progress of the film’s release and astonishingly, it seemed to mirror our fate.

I am not sure if Mr.Rangan noticed a pattern, but I seemed to be the only one over the years who would ask questions about Kadhal2Kalyanam, innocently inquiring if the movie ever had a chance to see the light of the day.One day, Mr.Rangan confirmed that Mirchi Movies wrote it off as a loss, and were prohibited to release it in any format. Well, well, you do not need Benedict Cumberbatch from ‘Sherlock’ to figure out what happened to my story as well !

It is also mildly tragic  that S.N Lakshmi who  berates the driver asking him to start the bus before she leaves the mortal world( a scene in the theatrical trailer), would no longer be around to watch the movie/bus sputter to life.

A week ago, the dastardly YouTube algorithm fetched a song from this movie into my video feed for no obvious reason, there was nothing I could have possibly done for Google to have picked up this quiver in my video browsing  pattern. The song opened a floodgate, an avalanche of memories hitting me.

Though it is highly unlikely that she will ever get to read this blog,  one day when the YouTube algorithm throws up the same random link that I stumbled upon on her playlist.

She will smile wistfully, when the strains of  ‘Nee ketadhal sonnen ketkadhadhai….’(I blurted out only because  you asked for it !) Floats through the air. With her hands still smeared with dosa batter, she will push back the strand of hair that keeps falling across her forehead and continue battling against time , the lunchbox needs to be packed before the school bus honks outside the door. The screaming kids and the television do not make things easier.

The author Rakesh Venkataraman, who also wrote Readers Write In #10 (see here), is willing to  shamelessly plug that old post here , in case you liked this one.