Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Other John Abraham

Everyone knows John Abraham the film star and handsome hunk, the heartthrob of the millions, but the world has forgotten John Abraham the film director who was trained by Ritwik Ghatak, worked with Mani Kaul on Uski Roti and produced such marvelous Avant Garde films such as:

* Vidyarthikale Ithile Ithile (Malayalam)
* Agraharthil Kazhuthai (Tamil)
* Amma Ariyan (Malayalam)
* Cheriachente Krurakrithyangal (Malayalam)

John's lore (of which there are plenty, according to mutual friend Ajith Pillai, now Senior Editor of Outlook) has it that for a preview of one of his film he had invited the press to a screening in Bombay. Now conventional directors know how scribes like to drink. To satisfy this craving, they organise scotch and expensive canapes and starters.

But charismatic John (Being John) did things differently. He had a drum filled with the local hootch kept at the entrance. The journalists were given plastic mugs which they were supposed to fill with the hootch and sit down to watch the film. Guess the journos liked this unique twist in the Avant Garde saga of John.

Today I read this article by Adoor Gopalakrishnan eulogising the life and work of this unique film director who had made sterling contribution to Indian cinema and who was snatched away at a very early age. It is said that his body lay unclaimed in a Kozhikode mortuary for six days after he fell off a building and died. He was nomad, a loner, and an alcoholic. John Abraham R.I.P.

3 comments:

Sapna Anu B.George said...

I have not been privilaged enough to know this great director,but he was a friend of my Dad and class mate.I have seen my dad travelling miles and miles to theaters to see a film of John Abraham.I am sure he was worth all the trouble thought the end of his life was very tragic. May be genius have pathetic end.Great to meet you here and i have added myself into your facebook as well. Hope to run/read through your writings and Novels and take suggestion on how to write and get it published as book with out, leaning down much,in front of a publisher.

John said...

Hi Sapna,

thanks for the comment. Indeed, John was a great director whose talent has remained obscure except among a few of his admirers, of which I am one.

Do keep in touch with this blog and come back and comment!

j

John said...

Hi Sapna,

thanks for the comment. Indeed, John was a great director whose talent has remained obscure except among a few of his admirers, of which I am one.

Do keep in touch with this blog and come back and comment!

j