Tanglish Talks: “Charlie”

Posted on April 4, 2021


I keep writing scenes and other random stuff. Thought they’d make for fun blog posts, titled ‘Tanglish Talks’. Do read, share, mock, comment, ring the bell icon, whatever 🙂 !

About this installment: In 2017, Dhilip said he wanted to remake ‘Charlie’ and asked me to take a shot at the screenplay. I saw the film as a sort of magical fantasy, but as I kept writing, Dhilip said he was seeing it differently. (The film was finally written by Bipin and Dhilip, and was released this year as ‘Maara’). Anyway, here’s my opening scene. As always, I’d write it differently today. But then, a lot of writing is looking back at what you wrote and cringing, no? 🙂


It’s night. A man is asleep. On the bedside table is a quarter-full glass of rum. In the next room, a 20-year-old is on a stool, reaching for a bag on top of a cupboard. He puts it on his bed and starts throwing in T-shirts and trousers. On the walls of his room are posters of PC Sorcar etc.

Suddenly, he hears thunder. He goes to the window. It begins to rain. He puts a hand out through the grill and feels the water. He looks up and grins. His face is illuminated for a moment by lightning.

He turns and faces his room. He lifts his bag and turns it upside down, emptying its contents. He rummages through the stuff, extracting currency notes from nooks and corners, from between clothes, from a side zipper… When he finishes, he looks at the cash in his hand. It’s a minor amount. He stuffs it into his pocket. He returns the bag to its original place, on top of the cupboard. He goes to the door, and then returns to the bed. He picks out one T-shirt that says: MAGIC. He bundles it into a ball and stuff it behind his trousers.

He goes quietly to his father’s room and looks at the sleeping man. There’s sadness in his eyes. His eyes the travel to a shelf that has a wedding photo of his parents. He slides the photo out of its frame and pockets it. He takes a turn to leave the room and knocks over a stool. The father wakes up?

He asks, “என்ன டா?”

The son says, “ஒண்ணும் இல்ல பா.”

Father is annoyed. “ஏதாவது பணம்-கிணம் திருட வந்தியா?”

Son is stung, hurt. He leaves the room without a reply. The father gets up and checks his wallet. It has money. He hears a banging noise.

He goes to the door and sees the main door of the house is half-open, and his son is standing beyond it, looking at him. The half-door shuts lazily from the wind. The son goes out of view. It opens lazily again and we see the son. It shuts again. This time, when it opens again, the son has vanished.


A sunny day in the Tessa household.

Posted in: Tanglish Talks