Last week when we were walking down the Boat Jetty lane in Cochin we saw this larger than life size cut out of one of the popular Malayalam movie hero in police uniform and wifey said “see now we too have huge cutouts like in Tamil Nadu”
Even though I always carry my camera, I did not click as I did not attach much importance to these cutouts.
Now see how things work out. When I got into the train (on my way back to Pune) one hefty tall guy sat opposite me. His face looked familiar. So I went out on the platform and called wifey and asked her who the guy was in the cutout. She said it was Suresh Gopi. Then I checked the reservation chart pasted on the side of the train and it was Suresh Gopi. I told wifey and she went all ga ga and asked me to ask him the recipe that he showed on TV about the Payasam !! I said that I am not going to do any such thing. (asking for an autograph is OK but recipe ?)
The first thing that he did was take out his cigarette packet and lighter and keep it out. Now this was asking for trouble as I am a person who will not allow anyone to smoke in front of me, star or no star. So I was mentally preparing myself for the showdown.
But he took the pack and went out. So that saved him (or me, from the dishum dishum that was to follow)
Once he was back and the train moved, I found that we were the only two in the coupe (2nd AC) where there were supposed to be four. Now that made me brave (about the recipe)
I asked him where he was planning to get down so that I would be aware when other passengers get in. (I am vary about people walking away with my luggage when I am sleeping)
Then I blurted out the truth. “sorry I don’t see much Malayalam films so did not know exactly who you are but your face looked familiar like the larger than life cut outs so I went out and asked my wife who was the person on the cutout. . . . checked the reservation chart etc etc and she also wanted to know the recipe” (all in one breath)
It would have been adding insult to injury if I told him that the only Malayalam heroes that I know were Mohanlal, Mamooty, Sreenivasan and Innocent. (in that order)
He was good enough to explain it to me. “Adine entha, athu valare simple ane. Nammal ada payasam ondakathille, athinupakaram cheriya unni appam ondakuka ennitte payasam ellarkum kodukumbol athu athinakthu choodayittu iduka” When he saw my blank look he first started explaining in detail how
But there are two things that I observed about this actor Gopi . One, he has no airs about being a star. The second being that he is very passionate about cooking and having good food.
The end result was that we were chatting till about 12.30 in the night till we hit the bed (berth)
The funny thing is that I never took any photos with him, no autographs no phone nos. Yes I asked him about his e mail add. He laughed and said “Ee computer enuparanga sadanavum ayitu inike adukan pattunnila” (I don't get along well with this thing known as computer)
He was doing most of the talking and I was doing all the listening. Maybe he could talk freely because I was not star struck or maybe it was only the two of us there.
Some of the excerpts:
Sureshne cooking valiya ishtamane alle ? (Suresh, you are very fond of cooking?)
Athu nalla aharm kazhikan ishtamane, appol athilkude cooking inum thalparium aye. (its like this, I like to have good food, so took an interest in cooking)
His father used to do most of the “special” cooking. “Aa idli thatinakathu kedennu ingana thelakumbol, vevunathinu mumbe edukanam. . . . . . . . . . .” that was part of some thing that he was explaining.
When I told him that my parents are from Alleppey, he said that he too was born in Alleppey. He did mention the exact spot but when I looked blankly at him, he said its in Kuttanad.
His schooling was in Kollam.
We did mention a bit about films. I particularly told him that our Indian films lack in continuity of shots whereas
He says his role in police uniform has become a curse as all the new offers he is getting is for police officers. He is booked till the end of Nov.
He enquired about my family in Pune, how many kids? what they are doing?
When he knew that I was in Tata Motors he wanted to how and where the Nano will be manufactured now with the present Singur problem?
He told me a recipe of Drumstick with Appam.
This he had televised some where in the Gulf and he said that he is still getting feedback for it. This was specially meant for Veg. people.
Just scrape out the inside pulp of the Drumstick and mix it with curd (or it will be bitter) after sometime drain out the curd and slightly cook it. Once it becomes semisolid roll it into small balls. Make curry separately as you make motta (egg) curry and instead of motta use these drumstick balls. So veggies can use this with Appam instead of motta curry.
I chipped in my knowledge of Drumstick leaves and flowers for making subji. He said yes but care has to be taken to pinch out the stalk of each leaf “allengi kaikum” (otherwise it will be bitter) He said its tedious as you put in a lot of effort and finally you hardly get enough for 2 people to eat.
His favourite is Chaala ( Sardines ) When he was in the States they wanted to please him and asked him what he would like to eat. He said he preferred Chaala. They were taken aback and apologetically said “we do get chaala but we buy it for the dogs”
He said “so what , I like it, and if you have it then I would like to have that”
While talking about fish he said to avoid Aila (Bangda - Mackerels ) as it had lots of sebaceous glands and that was bad for us (that’s knowledge for me)
He said there is a way for eating too. “Now if we eat only the meen peera (fish made with grated coconut) for some time it will sting our tongue and we will loose interest in it, so we taste a little achar, then some mezuku puratiyathe and then come back to meen peera and it will taste delicious”
While we were talking there were some small roaches roaming around in the bogie. He said this is a perennial nuisance in the AC bogies. Earlier long back while trying to swat a cockroach he hit his own nose and got hurt and asked for the complaint book in which he registered the complaint. “Pashe enthu gunam. They nadakunne kandille” (but what is the use. . . .see they are still roaming around)
He was traveling till Canoor as he had an early morning shoot there. He did make a point to say bye to me in the morning when he saw that I was awake.
Of course there were intermittent calls on his mobile and I could not help overhearing things but that’s his private life so mum is the word.
The next day while having lunch I was reminded of him as there were two Gopis... .. I mean two chaalas looking at me from my lunch pack which Marie had packed for me.
So now it is:
(in that order)
PS: The attached pic was taken by Marie's cousin and later send to me.