NCERT Textbook - Poets And Pancakes Class 12 Notes | EduRev

English Flamingo Class 12

Class 12 : NCERT Textbook - Poets And Pancakes Class 12 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Poets and Pancakes/57
Poets and Pancakes
About the author
Asokamitran (1931), a Tamil writer, recounts his years
at Gemini Studios in his book My Years with Boss which
talks of the influence of movies on every aspect of life in
India. The Gemini Studios, located in Chennai, was set
up in 1940. It was one of the most influential film-
producing organisations of India in the early days of
Indian film-making. Its founder was S.S. Vasan. The
duty of Asokamitran in Gemini Studios was to cut out
newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects and
store them in files. Many of these had to be written out
by hand. Although he performed an insignificant
function he was the most well-informed of all the
members of the Gemini family. The following is an
excerpt from his book My Years with Boss.
Notice these words and expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
— blew over — was struck dumb
— catapulted into — a coat of mail
— played into their hands — the favourite haunt
— heard a bell ringing
Pancake was the brand name of the make-up material that
Gemini Studios bought in truck-loads. Greta Garbo
1
 must
have used it, Miss Gohar must have used it, Vyjayantimala
2
must also have used it but Rati Agnihotri may not have
even heard of it. The make-up department of the Gemini
Studios was in the upstairs of a building that was believed
to have been Robert Clive’s stables. A dozen other buildings
6 6 6 6 6
1. A Swedish actress, in 1954 she received an Honorary Oscar for her unforgettable screen
performances. The Guinness Book of World Records named her the most beautiful woman
who ever lived. She was also voted Best Silent Actress of the country.
2. An Indian actress whose performance was widely appreciated in Bimal Roy’s Devdas. She
won three Best Actress awards for her acting. She is now an active politician.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 2


Poets and Pancakes/57
Poets and Pancakes
About the author
Asokamitran (1931), a Tamil writer, recounts his years
at Gemini Studios in his book My Years with Boss which
talks of the influence of movies on every aspect of life in
India. The Gemini Studios, located in Chennai, was set
up in 1940. It was one of the most influential film-
producing organisations of India in the early days of
Indian film-making. Its founder was S.S. Vasan. The
duty of Asokamitran in Gemini Studios was to cut out
newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects and
store them in files. Many of these had to be written out
by hand. Although he performed an insignificant
function he was the most well-informed of all the
members of the Gemini family. The following is an
excerpt from his book My Years with Boss.
Notice these words and expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
— blew over — was struck dumb
— catapulted into — a coat of mail
— played into their hands — the favourite haunt
— heard a bell ringing
Pancake was the brand name of the make-up material that
Gemini Studios bought in truck-loads. Greta Garbo
1
 must
have used it, Miss Gohar must have used it, Vyjayantimala
2
must also have used it but Rati Agnihotri may not have
even heard of it. The make-up department of the Gemini
Studios was in the upstairs of a building that was believed
to have been Robert Clive’s stables. A dozen other buildings
6 6 6 6 6
1. A Swedish actress, in 1954 she received an Honorary Oscar for her unforgettable screen
performances. The Guinness Book of World Records named her the most beautiful woman
who ever lived. She was also voted Best Silent Actress of the country.
2. An Indian actress whose performance was widely appreciated in Bimal Roy’s Devdas. She
won three Best Actress awards for her acting. She is now an active politician.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
58/FLAMINGO
in the city are said to have been his residence. For his
brief life and an even briefer stay in Madras, Robert Clive
seems to have done a lot of moving, besides fighting some
impossible battles in remote corners of India and marrying
a maiden in St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in
Madras.
The make-up room had the look of a hair-cutting salon
with lights at all angles around half a dozen large mirrors.
They were all incandescent lights, so you can imagine the
fiery misery of those subjected to make-up. The make-up
department was first headed by a Bengali who became too
big for a studio and left. He was succeeded by a
Maharashtrian who was assisted by a Dharwar Kannadiga,
an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo-Burmese
and the usual local Tamils. All this shows that there was a
great deal of national integration long before A.I.R. and
Doordarshan began broadcasting programmes on national
integration. This gang of nationally integrated make-up men
could turn any decent-looking person into a hideous crimson
hued monster with the help of truck-loads of pancake and a
number of other locally made potions and lotions. Those
were the days of mainly indoor shooting, and only five
per cent of the film was shot outdoors. I suppose the sets
and studio lights needed the girls and boys to be made to
look ugly in order to look presentable in the movie. A strict
hierarchy was maintained in the
make-up department. The chief
make-up man made the chief actors
and actresses ugly, his senior
assistant the ‘second’ hero and
heroine, the junior assistant the
main comedian, and so forth. The
players who played the crowd were
the responsibility of the office boy.
(Even the make-up department of the
Gemini Studio had an ‘office boy’!)
On the days when there was a crowd-
shooting, you could see him mixing
his paint in a giant vessel and
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 3


Poets and Pancakes/57
Poets and Pancakes
About the author
Asokamitran (1931), a Tamil writer, recounts his years
at Gemini Studios in his book My Years with Boss which
talks of the influence of movies on every aspect of life in
India. The Gemini Studios, located in Chennai, was set
up in 1940. It was one of the most influential film-
producing organisations of India in the early days of
Indian film-making. Its founder was S.S. Vasan. The
duty of Asokamitran in Gemini Studios was to cut out
newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects and
store them in files. Many of these had to be written out
by hand. Although he performed an insignificant
function he was the most well-informed of all the
members of the Gemini family. The following is an
excerpt from his book My Years with Boss.
Notice these words and expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
— blew over — was struck dumb
— catapulted into — a coat of mail
— played into their hands — the favourite haunt
— heard a bell ringing
Pancake was the brand name of the make-up material that
Gemini Studios bought in truck-loads. Greta Garbo
1
 must
have used it, Miss Gohar must have used it, Vyjayantimala
2
must also have used it but Rati Agnihotri may not have
even heard of it. The make-up department of the Gemini
Studios was in the upstairs of a building that was believed
to have been Robert Clive’s stables. A dozen other buildings
6 6 6 6 6
1. A Swedish actress, in 1954 she received an Honorary Oscar for her unforgettable screen
performances. The Guinness Book of World Records named her the most beautiful woman
who ever lived. She was also voted Best Silent Actress of the country.
2. An Indian actress whose performance was widely appreciated in Bimal Roy’s Devdas. She
won three Best Actress awards for her acting. She is now an active politician.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
58/FLAMINGO
in the city are said to have been his residence. For his
brief life and an even briefer stay in Madras, Robert Clive
seems to have done a lot of moving, besides fighting some
impossible battles in remote corners of India and marrying
a maiden in St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in
Madras.
The make-up room had the look of a hair-cutting salon
with lights at all angles around half a dozen large mirrors.
They were all incandescent lights, so you can imagine the
fiery misery of those subjected to make-up. The make-up
department was first headed by a Bengali who became too
big for a studio and left. He was succeeded by a
Maharashtrian who was assisted by a Dharwar Kannadiga,
an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo-Burmese
and the usual local Tamils. All this shows that there was a
great deal of national integration long before A.I.R. and
Doordarshan began broadcasting programmes on national
integration. This gang of nationally integrated make-up men
could turn any decent-looking person into a hideous crimson
hued monster with the help of truck-loads of pancake and a
number of other locally made potions and lotions. Those
were the days of mainly indoor shooting, and only five
per cent of the film was shot outdoors. I suppose the sets
and studio lights needed the girls and boys to be made to
look ugly in order to look presentable in the movie. A strict
hierarchy was maintained in the
make-up department. The chief
make-up man made the chief actors
and actresses ugly, his senior
assistant the ‘second’ hero and
heroine, the junior assistant the
main comedian, and so forth. The
players who played the crowd were
the responsibility of the office boy.
(Even the make-up department of the
Gemini Studio had an ‘office boy’!)
On the days when there was a crowd-
shooting, you could see him mixing
his paint in a giant vessel and
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Poets and Pancakes/59
slapping it on the crowd players. The idea was to close every
pore on the surface of the face in the process of applying
make-up. He wasn’t exactly a ‘boy’; he was in his early forties,
having entered the studios years ago in the hope of becoming
a star actor or a top screen writer,
director or lyrics writer. He was a
bit of a poet.
In those days I worked in a
cubicle, two whole sides of which
were French windows. (I didn’t
know at that time they were called
French windows.) Seeing me
sitting at my desk tearing up
newspapers day in and day out,
most people thought I was doing
next to nothing. It is likely that
the Boss thought likewise too. So
anyone who felt I should be given
some occupation would barge into
my cubicle and deliver an extended lecture. The ‘boy’ in the
make-up department had decided I should be enlightened
on how great literary talent was being allowed to go waste
in a department fit only for barbers and perverts. Soon I
was praying for crowd-shooting all the time. Nothing short
of it could save me from his epics.
In all instances of frustration, you will always find
the anger directed towards a single person openly or covertly
and this man of the make-up department was convinced
that all his woes, ignominy and neglect were due to
Kothamangalam Subbu. Subbu was the No. 2 at Gemini
Studios. He couldn’t have had a more encouraging opening
in films than our grown-up make-up boy had. On the
contrary he must have had to face more uncertain and
difficult times, for when he began his career, there were
no firmly established film producing companies or studios.
Even in the matter of education, specially formal education,
Subbu couldn’t have had an appreciable lead over our boy.
But by virtue of being born a Brahmin — a virtue, indeed!
— he must have had exposure to more affluent situations
1 1 1 1 1. What does the writer mean by
‘the fiery misery’ of those
subjected to make-up’?
2 2 2 2 2. What is the example of
national integration that the
author refers to?
3 3 3 3 3. What work did the ‘office boy’
do in the Gemini Studios? Why
did he join the studios? Why
was he disappointed?
4 4 4 4 4. Why did the author appear to
be doing nothing  at the
studios?
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 4


Poets and Pancakes/57
Poets and Pancakes
About the author
Asokamitran (1931), a Tamil writer, recounts his years
at Gemini Studios in his book My Years with Boss which
talks of the influence of movies on every aspect of life in
India. The Gemini Studios, located in Chennai, was set
up in 1940. It was one of the most influential film-
producing organisations of India in the early days of
Indian film-making. Its founder was S.S. Vasan. The
duty of Asokamitran in Gemini Studios was to cut out
newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects and
store them in files. Many of these had to be written out
by hand. Although he performed an insignificant
function he was the most well-informed of all the
members of the Gemini family. The following is an
excerpt from his book My Years with Boss.
Notice these words and expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
— blew over — was struck dumb
— catapulted into — a coat of mail
— played into their hands — the favourite haunt
— heard a bell ringing
Pancake was the brand name of the make-up material that
Gemini Studios bought in truck-loads. Greta Garbo
1
 must
have used it, Miss Gohar must have used it, Vyjayantimala
2
must also have used it but Rati Agnihotri may not have
even heard of it. The make-up department of the Gemini
Studios was in the upstairs of a building that was believed
to have been Robert Clive’s stables. A dozen other buildings
6 6 6 6 6
1. A Swedish actress, in 1954 she received an Honorary Oscar for her unforgettable screen
performances. The Guinness Book of World Records named her the most beautiful woman
who ever lived. She was also voted Best Silent Actress of the country.
2. An Indian actress whose performance was widely appreciated in Bimal Roy’s Devdas. She
won three Best Actress awards for her acting. She is now an active politician.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
58/FLAMINGO
in the city are said to have been his residence. For his
brief life and an even briefer stay in Madras, Robert Clive
seems to have done a lot of moving, besides fighting some
impossible battles in remote corners of India and marrying
a maiden in St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in
Madras.
The make-up room had the look of a hair-cutting salon
with lights at all angles around half a dozen large mirrors.
They were all incandescent lights, so you can imagine the
fiery misery of those subjected to make-up. The make-up
department was first headed by a Bengali who became too
big for a studio and left. He was succeeded by a
Maharashtrian who was assisted by a Dharwar Kannadiga,
an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo-Burmese
and the usual local Tamils. All this shows that there was a
great deal of national integration long before A.I.R. and
Doordarshan began broadcasting programmes on national
integration. This gang of nationally integrated make-up men
could turn any decent-looking person into a hideous crimson
hued monster with the help of truck-loads of pancake and a
number of other locally made potions and lotions. Those
were the days of mainly indoor shooting, and only five
per cent of the film was shot outdoors. I suppose the sets
and studio lights needed the girls and boys to be made to
look ugly in order to look presentable in the movie. A strict
hierarchy was maintained in the
make-up department. The chief
make-up man made the chief actors
and actresses ugly, his senior
assistant the ‘second’ hero and
heroine, the junior assistant the
main comedian, and so forth. The
players who played the crowd were
the responsibility of the office boy.
(Even the make-up department of the
Gemini Studio had an ‘office boy’!)
On the days when there was a crowd-
shooting, you could see him mixing
his paint in a giant vessel and
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Poets and Pancakes/59
slapping it on the crowd players. The idea was to close every
pore on the surface of the face in the process of applying
make-up. He wasn’t exactly a ‘boy’; he was in his early forties,
having entered the studios years ago in the hope of becoming
a star actor or a top screen writer,
director or lyrics writer. He was a
bit of a poet.
In those days I worked in a
cubicle, two whole sides of which
were French windows. (I didn’t
know at that time they were called
French windows.) Seeing me
sitting at my desk tearing up
newspapers day in and day out,
most people thought I was doing
next to nothing. It is likely that
the Boss thought likewise too. So
anyone who felt I should be given
some occupation would barge into
my cubicle and deliver an extended lecture. The ‘boy’ in the
make-up department had decided I should be enlightened
on how great literary talent was being allowed to go waste
in a department fit only for barbers and perverts. Soon I
was praying for crowd-shooting all the time. Nothing short
of it could save me from his epics.
In all instances of frustration, you will always find
the anger directed towards a single person openly or covertly
and this man of the make-up department was convinced
that all his woes, ignominy and neglect were due to
Kothamangalam Subbu. Subbu was the No. 2 at Gemini
Studios. He couldn’t have had a more encouraging opening
in films than our grown-up make-up boy had. On the
contrary he must have had to face more uncertain and
difficult times, for when he began his career, there were
no firmly established film producing companies or studios.
Even in the matter of education, specially formal education,
Subbu couldn’t have had an appreciable lead over our boy.
But by virtue of being born a Brahmin — a virtue, indeed!
— he must have had exposure to more affluent situations
1 1 1 1 1. What does the writer mean by
‘the fiery misery’ of those
subjected to make-up’?
2 2 2 2 2. What is the example of
national integration that the
author refers to?
3 3 3 3 3. What work did the ‘office boy’
do in the Gemini Studios? Why
did he join the studios? Why
was he disappointed?
4 4 4 4 4. Why did the author appear to
be doing nothing  at the
studios?
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
60/FLAMINGO
and people. He had the ability to look cheerful at all times
even after having had a hand in a flop film. He always had
work for somebody — he could never do things on his own
— but his sense of loyalty made him identify himself with
his principal completely and turn his entire creativity to
his principal’s advantage. He was tailor-made for films.
Here was a man who could be inspired when commanded.
“The rat fights the tigress underwater and kills her but
takes pity on the cubs and tends them lovingly — I don’t
know how to do the scene,” the producer would say and
Subbu would come out with four ways of the rat pouring
affection on its victim’s offspring. “Good, but I am not sure
it is effective enough,” the producer would say and in a
minute Subbu would come out with fourteen more
alternatives. Film-making must have been and was so easy
with a man like Subbu around and if ever there was a man
who gave direction and definition to Gemini Studios during
its golden years, it was Subbu. Subbu had a separate
identity as a poet and though he was certainly capable of
more complex and higher forms, he deliberately chose to
address his poetry to the masses. His success in films
overshadowed and dwarfed his literary achievements — or
so his critics felt. He composed several truly original ‘story
poems’ in folk refrain and diction and also wrote a sprawling
novel Thillana Mohanambal with dozens of very deftly etched
characters. He quite successfully recreated the mood and
manner of the Devadasis of the early 20th century. He
was an amazing actor — he never aspired to the lead roles
— but whatever subsidiary role he played in any of the
films, he performed better than the supposed main players.
He had a genuine love for anyone he came across and his
house was a permanent residence for dozens of near and
far relations and acquaintances. It seemed against Subbu’s
nature to be even conscious that he was feeding and
supporting so many of them. Such a charitable and
improvident man, and yet he had enemies! Was it because
he seemed so close and intimate with The Boss? Or was it
his general demeanour that resembled a sycophant’s? Or
his readiness to say nice things about everything? In any
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 5


Poets and Pancakes/57
Poets and Pancakes
About the author
Asokamitran (1931), a Tamil writer, recounts his years
at Gemini Studios in his book My Years with Boss which
talks of the influence of movies on every aspect of life in
India. The Gemini Studios, located in Chennai, was set
up in 1940. It was one of the most influential film-
producing organisations of India in the early days of
Indian film-making. Its founder was S.S. Vasan. The
duty of Asokamitran in Gemini Studios was to cut out
newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects and
store them in files. Many of these had to be written out
by hand. Although he performed an insignificant
function he was the most well-informed of all the
members of the Gemini family. The following is an
excerpt from his book My Years with Boss.
Notice these words and expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
— blew over — was struck dumb
— catapulted into — a coat of mail
— played into their hands — the favourite haunt
— heard a bell ringing
Pancake was the brand name of the make-up material that
Gemini Studios bought in truck-loads. Greta Garbo
1
 must
have used it, Miss Gohar must have used it, Vyjayantimala
2
must also have used it but Rati Agnihotri may not have
even heard of it. The make-up department of the Gemini
Studios was in the upstairs of a building that was believed
to have been Robert Clive’s stables. A dozen other buildings
6 6 6 6 6
1. A Swedish actress, in 1954 she received an Honorary Oscar for her unforgettable screen
performances. The Guinness Book of World Records named her the most beautiful woman
who ever lived. She was also voted Best Silent Actress of the country.
2. An Indian actress whose performance was widely appreciated in Bimal Roy’s Devdas. She
won three Best Actress awards for her acting. She is now an active politician.
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
58/FLAMINGO
in the city are said to have been his residence. For his
brief life and an even briefer stay in Madras, Robert Clive
seems to have done a lot of moving, besides fighting some
impossible battles in remote corners of India and marrying
a maiden in St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George in
Madras.
The make-up room had the look of a hair-cutting salon
with lights at all angles around half a dozen large mirrors.
They were all incandescent lights, so you can imagine the
fiery misery of those subjected to make-up. The make-up
department was first headed by a Bengali who became too
big for a studio and left. He was succeeded by a
Maharashtrian who was assisted by a Dharwar Kannadiga,
an Andhra, a Madras Indian Christian, an Anglo-Burmese
and the usual local Tamils. All this shows that there was a
great deal of national integration long before A.I.R. and
Doordarshan began broadcasting programmes on national
integration. This gang of nationally integrated make-up men
could turn any decent-looking person into a hideous crimson
hued monster with the help of truck-loads of pancake and a
number of other locally made potions and lotions. Those
were the days of mainly indoor shooting, and only five
per cent of the film was shot outdoors. I suppose the sets
and studio lights needed the girls and boys to be made to
look ugly in order to look presentable in the movie. A strict
hierarchy was maintained in the
make-up department. The chief
make-up man made the chief actors
and actresses ugly, his senior
assistant the ‘second’ hero and
heroine, the junior assistant the
main comedian, and so forth. The
players who played the crowd were
the responsibility of the office boy.
(Even the make-up department of the
Gemini Studio had an ‘office boy’!)
On the days when there was a crowd-
shooting, you could see him mixing
his paint in a giant vessel and
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Poets and Pancakes/59
slapping it on the crowd players. The idea was to close every
pore on the surface of the face in the process of applying
make-up. He wasn’t exactly a ‘boy’; he was in his early forties,
having entered the studios years ago in the hope of becoming
a star actor or a top screen writer,
director or lyrics writer. He was a
bit of a poet.
In those days I worked in a
cubicle, two whole sides of which
were French windows. (I didn’t
know at that time they were called
French windows.) Seeing me
sitting at my desk tearing up
newspapers day in and day out,
most people thought I was doing
next to nothing. It is likely that
the Boss thought likewise too. So
anyone who felt I should be given
some occupation would barge into
my cubicle and deliver an extended lecture. The ‘boy’ in the
make-up department had decided I should be enlightened
on how great literary talent was being allowed to go waste
in a department fit only for barbers and perverts. Soon I
was praying for crowd-shooting all the time. Nothing short
of it could save me from his epics.
In all instances of frustration, you will always find
the anger directed towards a single person openly or covertly
and this man of the make-up department was convinced
that all his woes, ignominy and neglect were due to
Kothamangalam Subbu. Subbu was the No. 2 at Gemini
Studios. He couldn’t have had a more encouraging opening
in films than our grown-up make-up boy had. On the
contrary he must have had to face more uncertain and
difficult times, for when he began his career, there were
no firmly established film producing companies or studios.
Even in the matter of education, specially formal education,
Subbu couldn’t have had an appreciable lead over our boy.
But by virtue of being born a Brahmin — a virtue, indeed!
— he must have had exposure to more affluent situations
1 1 1 1 1. What does the writer mean by
‘the fiery misery’ of those
subjected to make-up’?
2 2 2 2 2. What is the example of
national integration that the
author refers to?
3 3 3 3 3. What work did the ‘office boy’
do in the Gemini Studios? Why
did he join the studios? Why
was he disappointed?
4 4 4 4 4. Why did the author appear to
be doing nothing  at the
studios?
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
60/FLAMINGO
and people. He had the ability to look cheerful at all times
even after having had a hand in a flop film. He always had
work for somebody — he could never do things on his own
— but his sense of loyalty made him identify himself with
his principal completely and turn his entire creativity to
his principal’s advantage. He was tailor-made for films.
Here was a man who could be inspired when commanded.
“The rat fights the tigress underwater and kills her but
takes pity on the cubs and tends them lovingly — I don’t
know how to do the scene,” the producer would say and
Subbu would come out with four ways of the rat pouring
affection on its victim’s offspring. “Good, but I am not sure
it is effective enough,” the producer would say and in a
minute Subbu would come out with fourteen more
alternatives. Film-making must have been and was so easy
with a man like Subbu around and if ever there was a man
who gave direction and definition to Gemini Studios during
its golden years, it was Subbu. Subbu had a separate
identity as a poet and though he was certainly capable of
more complex and higher forms, he deliberately chose to
address his poetry to the masses. His success in films
overshadowed and dwarfed his literary achievements — or
so his critics felt. He composed several truly original ‘story
poems’ in folk refrain and diction and also wrote a sprawling
novel Thillana Mohanambal with dozens of very deftly etched
characters. He quite successfully recreated the mood and
manner of the Devadasis of the early 20th century. He
was an amazing actor — he never aspired to the lead roles
— but whatever subsidiary role he played in any of the
films, he performed better than the supposed main players.
He had a genuine love for anyone he came across and his
house was a permanent residence for dozens of near and
far relations and acquaintances. It seemed against Subbu’s
nature to be even conscious that he was feeding and
supporting so many of them. Such a charitable and
improvident man, and yet he had enemies! Was it because
he seemed so close and intimate with The Boss? Or was it
his general demeanour that resembled a sycophant’s? Or
his readiness to say nice things about everything? In any
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Poets and Pancakes/61
case, there was this man in the make-up department who
would wish the direst things for Subbu.
You saw Subbu always with The Boss but in the
attendance rolls, he was grouped under a department called
the Story Department comprising a lawyer and an assembly
of writers and poets. The lawyer was also officially known
as the legal adviser, but everybody referred to him as the
opposite. An extremely talented actress, who was also
extremely temperamental, once blew over on the sets. While
everyone stood stunned, the lawyer quietly switched on
the recording equipment. When the actress paused for
breath, the lawyer said to her, “One minute, please,” and
played back the recording. There was nothing incriminating
or unmentionably foul about the actress’s tirade against
the producer. But when she heard her voice again through
the sound equipment, she was struck dumb. A girl from
the countryside, she hadn’t gone through all the stages of
worldly experience that generally precede a position of
importance and sophistication that she had found herself
catapulted into. She never quite recovered from the terror
she felt that day. That was the end of a brief and brilliant
acting career — the legal adviser,
who was also a member of the
Story Department, had
unwittingly brought about that
sad end. While every other
member of the Department wore
a kind of uniform — khadi dhoti
with a slightly oversized and
clumsily tailored white khadi
shirt — the legal adviser wore
pants and a tie and sometimes a
coat that looked like a coat of
mail. Often he looked alone and
helpless — a man of cold logic in
a crowd of dreamers — a neutral
man in an assembly of Gandhiites
and khadiites. Like so many of those who were close to
The Boss, he was allowed to produce a film and though a
1 1 1 1 1. Why was the office boy
frustrated? Who did he show
his anger on?
2 2 2 2 2. Who was Subbu’s principal?
3 3 3 3 3. Subbu is described as a
many-sided genius. List four of
his special abilities.
4 4 4 4 4. Why was the legal adviser
referred to as the opposite by
others?
5 5 5 5 5. What made the lawyer stand
out from the others at Gemini
Studios?
2020-21
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