What reminds me when I see Sonakshi Sinha, is that one dialogue from Dabangg - “Thappad Se Nahin Saab, Pyar Se Darr Lagtha Hai” I have always wanted to know why people hurl a Thappad. I think I should start by asking my Mom and Dad, but alas, I have always doubted right from my childhood that I was not their son and was adopted from some orphanage, so it’s fine. Chronologically, the next generation of people who slapped me were my teachers, and I don’t have a list because that requires counting more than 20. And as a middle-class student, I only had (and have!) 10 fingers & 10 toes! On the top of this list comes my Tuition Master, a guy from some village who landed in Hyderabad (considering that Vanasthapuram was then assumed to be part of Hyderabad) and was looking for a job. So my Head Tuition master saw an opportunity in him, and threw him on our face (Mine and 5 other girls’). I don’t know why I cannot remember the names of those girls or that of the tuition master’s. I can still recall that PRIYA ARORA was the heroine of ‘Footpath’, the movie starring Ajay Devgan… but NOT the names of those girls! I still remember that I had the audio cassette in my desk and I used to play “Tha Tha Tha , Dunya Ki Tha Tha Tha” but not the names of those 5 girls and my tuition master! My Mom and Dad were from a decent background, but made it look like we came from a very financially ‘backward ka backward’ class, so understandably with the food, there were always snacks that were laid on my cheek known as slaps, and it was an everyday routine! There were about 20 people at home at any given point of time, 10-12 permanent members, and the rest were a flying squad who used to use my dad’s house as a pit-stop in Hyderabad. Initially, it was very painful to get slapped in front of any and everyone… but slowly it became normal. Some days it was agonizing that no one were slapping me at home, neither mom nor dad, only to realize that they were out to attend some function or village or death (all seemed same for me!!!). This was the time that I was growing, and so was Tollywood. From movies like Challenge, we were moving to movies like Shiva, Phool Aur Kaante etc. and I came to know that there could be a ‘Phool’ for this Kaanta, and so I started mingling with the girls in school and college. All the frustration that I used to suppress at home and in front of my relatives, I used to vent it out by being a ‘Shaana’ at school with batchmates, as well as tuition mates! One day, this tuition master slapped me smack on the face, for making some mistake as usual. I have absolutely no idea about the mistake I made, but I still remember how many times the background music went “ah aaaahhh” like in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun! Back to the scene - 5 girls with whom I was just building my reputation with, were staring at me, shocked. I started imagining these 5 girls joining the existing group at home i.e. 12 permanent members and the 8 odd floating ones, plus these 5. Every fraction of a second that passed was like 1 year for me, what to do?!!! Calculations – If I hit him back and save my pride, he will literally unhinge my body parts. He was in his late 20s and I was not even 10 and I hadn’t seen “Ram Jaane” by then; actually it was not even made. But I had to come back; I HAD TO, was a do-or-die situation and I said “Sir why did you hit me soooo softly, if you have some power hit me harder”, and the girls spilt into laughter and I did a good job. Even the ugly tuition master was laughing, not smiling but laughing. Cut to my recent years, where my saala i.e. my sister in law’s brother was slapping my niece in some petty issue, and she also was slapping him back. I did not stop them, as I saw the power of the slaps of some 6 year old kids. Not punches but slaps! And now I wanted the answer, and I asked my Saala saying “arey, why do you slap when angry, why not something else like twisting hand, punching the face or stomach, but why only slap?”And he answered, “slaps come automatically without any planning in a situation where you are right, and the other person is wrong but still trying to lie or overpower you.” It’s not a Parent’s property. It’s not a Kids thing. It’s not Girlish or feminine. IT’S AN INSTINCT. A slap is an instinct, and now I understand why the SI slaps JD Chakravarthy 42 odd minutes into the movie. A movie that redefined violence in amusing silence and has become an opulence also had a slap. Why is a SLAP so indispensable? Because it is and will always be an instinct and most of the times, it’s used by someone who is powerful, instinctive and right on people who are most probably wrong and necessarily weak, (if not physically then at least in other parameters) which suits my and their or someone’s ego. Last night I got a call from an employee in Mumbai, that a colleague shouted on the floor saying “this is a fraud company and makes wrong promises to employees” when freshers were present on the floor. Now that did not get my interest at all. I asked, so what’s your problem to which she said, “How can he say that Sir, when he is working for so many months in the organization and takes money every month and still abuses the company.” For some reason, I felt I should slap THIS person who was telling me all this, not the guy who actually was accused of yelling on the floor. But for the first time in my life, I wanted to slap all the people who were listening to this; I have a logic to get angry like my Saala did but decided not to use the super and universal power of a SLAP. Have you ever heard anyone saying “I want to be like Rajiv Gandhi”, or some girl saying “I want to be like Sonia Gandhi?” Forget about saying this… does anyone ever think I should be like Abdul Kalam or Narsing Rao? But how many of you grew up watching Sarkaar, Company, Shiva or Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, and thought themselves to be Subash Nagre, Mallik Bhai or Shiva? In fact, a lot of people I know wanted and liked and nurtured themselves as Bhavani from Shiva, do you know why?
RASHID - Mera matlab…
SARKAR - (cutting him short) Matlab samjhaane ki koshish bhi mat karna. Main jaanta hoon kya maal aa raha hai, aur kyun aa raha hai. (gives him a cold stare) Main nahin karoonga.
Sarkar continues that cold stare at Rashid as he stays put for some time. Still staring at Sarkar, Rashid drinks up his coffee and gets up. Without a word of greeting, he turns away to leave. But as he turns away, we hear Sarkar’s voice calling at him off-camera:
SARKAR ’S VOICE - Aur suno…
Rashid turns around.
SARKAR - Main tumhe bhi karne nahin doonga.The last line from Sarkar is called the Slap AKA “Tamaacha.” For intelligent people, it’s called instinct, and it’s just that instinct which makes them larger than life and makes other leaders with bigger stature look like minnows. No doubt Rajiv Gandhi or Narsing Rao could have done or said more powerful things than Subhash Nagre, but it was not captured, and that’s the power of cinema! Now when it comes to the power of a Slap… in many situations in life, we have people carrying info to us about how someone somewhere b*tch*d about us or our project or company, etc. And think/expect us to go and slap them but that is not the formula of a slap. A slap has to instantaneous like Batman’s Justice (or in local language –“Shehenshaa’s Justice”) So goddammit SLAP the MESSENGER, not the source!!!!