Monday, November 5, 2012

VIDYARTHIKALE ITHILE ITHILE - Part 2 - John Abraham gets Arrested

After a long train journey from Poona, Kasturi Murthy and I returned to our flat at Madras Mahalingapuram and were getting ready for a refreshing bath. I was standing on the balcony and some one beckoned me from the road, who claimed to be a policeman. Since he was not in uniform,I signed him to come up to my flat and explain what he wants. The man came up and showed his identity card and said that our Director John Abraham had been arrested for being drunk and is being held in the lock up at the Nungambakkam police station. ( those were the days when Prohibition was in force in Tamil Nadu). Suddenly he noticed two empty XXX Rum bottles lying near our baggage and started questioning us about it. We convinced  him that we had just arrived from Poona and those bottles were filled with water for use during  our long  train journey and as proof we showed him our train tickets too. In those days when packaged drinking water was not in vogue, empty glass bottles were used by most of the passengers to fill up water from wayside stations.

The policeman then told us arrange for bail to get John released from the Police station. I immediately telephoned our producer Mr.Minnal and informed him and soon he went to the station and  obtained bail for John and they both arrived at our flat. Then John explained to us how it all happened.

Producer Minnal

Under the Kodambakkam railway over bridge there were a few illicit country liquor dens catering to die hard addicts during Prohibition days.That afternoon John went there to have a few drinks and was returning back to our flat. In 1971, Mahalingapuram  was a vast open space littered with a few building here and there.That day even at noon it was a really deserted place except for a young girl walking ahead of John. He  was shabbily dressed  with  unkempt long hair, beard and mustache and was walking with faltering steps. His very appearance created fear in the girl's mind and  she started walking faster. On seeing this, just for fun John also increased his pace a little more. As she increased her speed of walking , John also increased his speed. This continued for some time till the girl started to run and just like that, John also ran after her. She ran into a slum adjoining the railway tracks and shouted for help and people started coming out of the huts. Meanwhile someone telephoned the police and in a few minutes police came and arrested him before he was beaten up. Thus a small innocent act for fun ended in John being put behind the bars in police lock up.

The next day  he was produced in the Saidapet Magistrate's court and one by one  cases were being heard and disposed off quickly  as most of them were Prohibition cases. It went on  like this:

Magistrate:  What is your name ?
Accused :   Kuppusami
Magistrate:  Did you drink?
Accused : Yes Sir.
Magistrate:  What's your Job ?
Accused : Carpenter
 Magistrate: Fined Rs.5..
The next person comes...

Magistrate:  What is your name ?
Accused :    Muthu
Magistrate:  Did you drink?
Accused :    Yes Sir.
Magistrate:  What's your Job ?
Accused :     Rickshaw puller..
 Magistrate: Fined Rs.5..

Now it was the turn of John

Magistrate:  What is your name ?
John :          John Abraham
 Magistrate:  Did you drink?
John :           Yes
 Magistrate:  What's your Job ?
John :           I am a FILM DIRECTOR !
Magistrate:  Twenty Five Rupees !

Afterwards the Producer was jokingly lamenting that had John told the Magistrate that he was employed in some petty  other job, he would have saved Twenty Rupees!


jaggu said...

Really funny :)
looking for more yester year's movie related incidents like these :)

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