Thursday, June 26, 2008

Film - Story looking for a script - The Painting

As they head out for an outstation audit, a young couple Mahesh and Priya, both chartered accountants, say goodbye to their daughter Sneha and son Rohan, who are one and three years old respectively, On the way, they meet with an accident. Priya falls out of the car on to the road and the Mahesh tumbles down the ravine to the riverbed. They both survive. Some fisher folks rescue Mahesh and a passing truck driver rushes Priya to the hospital. They lose all their identity papers in the burnt up wreckage.

Mahesh and Priya recover but with one problem. They have no memory of who they are, where they come from, and people that they have known from the past. However, their basic faculty in financial auditing is intact. With their recovery, they once again get involved in the profession assisting someone else, as they themselves have no way to prove their professional achievements.

Time passes... Mahesh and Priya regain their professional status. They find themselves in the same city at an auction, bidding for a painting of a girl and boy. They cannot quite put their finger on what attracts them to that particular painting. The painting happened to be of their two children (of which they have no recollection) painted by Mahesh's mother.

Mahesh and Priya bid against each other...taking the bidding to a level where both can hardly afford to buy the painting…but both persist. The auctioneer realizes that finally neither party will be able to buy it and the bid will fall through. He suspends the bids and calls both of them to his chamber. He suggests that they come to some settlement. Mahesh and Priya are hell bent on owning the painting…but they also find themselves attracted to each other.

The auctioneer suggests that they own it jointly and each pay one-half of the bid price and rotate it between them every alternate month. The suggestion appeals to both of them. They ask about the background to the painting and the auctioneer relates what happened.

According to the auctioneer, on hearing the news of the accident, Mahesh's mother suffers a stroke and succumbs to it. To provide for the children's education all the household articles and property is disposed with the painting picked up by the auction house. With the proceeds of the sale, the children, he tells them have been given in the care of an international school.

The story brings tears to the Mahesh and Priya's eyes, but of course, they do not relate it to their own lives. Mahesh and Priya leave with the painting. Priya requests for the painting for the first month and Mahesh consents. Mahesh drops Priya to her home where she lives alone and is fascinated by so much that seems a bit like déjà vu – her choice of furniture and colors of the walls - but he brushes it aside.

Each time the painting moves from one home to another Mahesh and Priya meet and get to know each other better. Meanwhile, Sunil Arora, the boss of Priya's firm gets infatuated with her and finds opportunities to spend time with her on joint assignments. Sunil is good looking, rich and a nice guy. However, Priya is not able to respond to his overtures.

She begins to confide the situation to Mahesh her newfound friend, who himself seems quite unsure of his feelings toward Priya. He encourages her saying that given she is growing old and the guy seems like a good fellow that she should seriously consider marrying him, if he were to propose.

Three of them over time become good friends and Mahesh is introduced to the Sunil's sister Anu who takes to him. They begin to go around as a foursome. Even as a foursome Mahesh and Priya share some intimate glances almost suggestive of why aren't they getting married to each other. It is the eternal dilemma of friends of opposite sex wanting to save a good friendship by not crossing the Lakshman Rekha of probity sake.

Finally, Sunil proposes to Priya and she says she needs to think it over. Meanwhile, the international school invites two CA firms for their annual audits and the two firms happened to be the Mahesh and Priya's respective firms. The firms depute Mahesh and Priya to do the audit at the school, which is at a hill-station. Mahesh and Priya decide to take the painting along with them, as they are likely to be at the school for quite sometime.

They travel together and actually pass the site of the accident and stop at the nearby Dhaba. At the Dhaba, the truck driver, Michael, who rushed Priya to the hospital but afterwards could not do much - recognizes her. Michael cannot sum up enough courage to approach her and tell her that he was the one who saved her life. He suspects that she might misunderstand and suspect his intentions. While he is thinking about this, Mahesh and Priya leave for the general direction of the school.

At the school, they are put up in the residential complex. On the way to the school campus, they pass by the playground where a cricket match is on. At that very moment their son Rohan, who is now around 13 years old, hits the ball so hard that it goes beyond the field and hits Mahesh, who blacks out. He is rushed to the hospital. Surgery is performed but Mahesh stands to lose his sight. Meanwhile Sneha their daughter (unknown to them of course) also joins Mahesh her father around the hospital bed.

The incident simply flips Priya's mind and she is not able to take to the children. Rohan is filled with guilt and feels hurt by Priya's indifference towards him. Sneha tries to make amends by being at Mahesh's bedside but has to leave moment the Priya drops in after work. Priya is unwilling to make amends with Sneha moment she learns that she is Rohan's sister.

Mahesh is discharged from the hospital and is brought home. He is looked after by Rohan and Sneha. The children split time between them through day and night. It is one such occasion that Mahesh gets talking to the kids and they tell their story. Something about their childhood connects with him and he asks them to pull out the painting that is still in the trunk. The kids have a look at it and confirm that it could well be them. Mahesh requests that they call the Priya and relate the story. Priya breaks down on learning about their story and apologizes for her conduct. Mahesh and Priya still do not relate the whole story to their lives.

By then, Michael, the truck driver picks up enough courage to venture to the school and speaks to Priya and tells her about the accident and how he found her in a coma and rushed her to the hospital. Suddenly, everything starts falling into place including her failed memory. She now recognizes Mahesh as her husband.

She rushes to Mahesh who is still in blind-fold and embraces him and her children. The revelation has a cathartic effect on Mahesh and he too recovers his memory. Mahesh is filled with the desire to see the children who he has only spoken to. The whole family now comes together to pray for Mahesh' sight.

Meanwhile, Sunil and Anu decide to pay a surprise visit to the school to meet Mahesh and Priya. They spot Mahesh and Priya sitting hand-in-hand on a park bench in the school. They are obviously crushed to see them together but decide not to make a fuss. They turn around and head back to their car.

Just then, Priya spots them and calls out. Mahesh and Priya share their story, which appears incredulous at first, but when the children join them it all becomes clear. They too stay back for the day that the bandage over Mahesh' eyes will be opened.

The day comes and Mahesh opens his eyes and sees the grown up children for the first time. He sees Priya as his wife after so many years…and remembers the two lives they have shared…and now starting with the third. He also sees Sunil and Anu and is afraid to think what a blow fate would have dealt them if Priya had agreed to Sunil's proposal.

Seeing the family so united, Michael, eases himself out without anyone knowing happy in the knowledge that he not only saved Priya's life but gave her original family back to her.

Mathew Anthony


Copyright with Mathew Anthony

1 comment:

meenal said...

wow , i liked it