What the F*$#?: LOVE IS A 4 LETTER WORD!

And now you’re thinking, poor Anand, he’s really been working too hard. Or he’s just been in this cockamamie business way too long and now it’s time for the gents in white coats to come and take him away and put him in a nice quiet room with padded walls, some extraordinarily long length of chain and maybe a steady diet of 240V of electricity won’t be such a bad idea…

After all take away love and what’s left in the movies? You may call a movie Bodyguard, but it’s really just a love story between a girl and a bodyguard. And you may have assumed Rock Star was about an Indian Morrison or Cobain, all about rage against the system and artistic angst but well it was just a love story between a girl and a rock star. And TV’s no different – a show could be about a dacoit or about vampires or even dictatorial didis but ultimately all these species, male, female, human, inhuman do fall in love and that’s what the show’s about.

Put simply on screen love is the one thing you can’t do without. So what the hell am I blathering about? Well let me remind you this column focuses primarily on what happens off screen in the process of creating the on screen stuff. And I assure you, off screen love is the one thing all producers, directors, creative directors, channel people can completely do without. In fact Pachaas pachaas kos door jab koi film/tv waala bahut oonchi udaan udta hai toh Big Boss (as in God) kehta hai –zameen pe aa jaa champoo, varna hero heroine ke beech mein love karwa doonga.

Now I’m sure, the question you’re dying to ask is – what’s so bad if two actors fall in love. And the answer is –


On a film/TV set, time is money. Every second that’s not spent in actual shooting involves the producer haemorrhaging lakhs of rupees. Trouble is when an actor and actress fall in love, the last thing they want to do is enact pretend love scenes in front of the camera. They would rather spend hours locked up in the make up room/vanity van/hotel room doing these scenes for real…

Well it is possible that they’re just getting into character, building up the romance and passion so that it shows up powerfully on screen but then it is also possible that there were actually WMDs in Iraq and it’s just that no one has found them yet, it is possible that Raja, Kani, Kalmadi are just innocent bystanders and it definitely is possible that pink elephants exist and can fly!


This without question is a film crew’s second worst nightmare - Actor and actress fall in love off-screen. But on screen they’re not playing lovers. Trouble is most actors haven’t mastered switch on, switch off. So on screen Actor A is telling Actress B – Tu meri sister jaisi hai. But their looks are saying Bistar kidhar hai?. And God forbid, they’re actually playing brother-sister or father-daughter or… forget it, this is just getting totally sickening…

And let’s not forget the jealousy factor – Actor C who is actually paired opposite Actress B, hugs the latter a tad too tight. At least Actor A who’s B’s off screen beau thinks so. Bas, mahabharats shuru.

A v/s C for overstepping his limits. Then A v/s B for two-timing him. Then A or B or A and B v/s writer and director for having a hugging scene in the first place… 


The biggest screw up with a couple is that by definition, a couple wants to be together, to do things together, it’s two for the price of one. But a couple on a shoot is twice the price and twice the traas. Say heroine finishes her shooting by 6 and wants to go partying. Only trouble is who’s she gonna go out with if not her boyfriend. But said gent still has to shoot for at least a couple more hours. Ghanta. He’s going to call off shoot and head off with his lady love. They’ll be painting the town red while producer will be banging his head.

Or suppose the producer/director/another actor has had a tiff with the hero. Suddenly two people are giving them stress about dates, wanting the script and lines changed, refusing to do scenes with the other actor – everything is now in Dolby stereo... It’s fully Toone kiya panga toh main bhi karoongi danga…



This of course being the shooting crew’s number one worst nightmare!!!

If you thought a couple in love were bad news, wait till they fall out of love. Now she doesn’t want to even look at him, forget hugging or kissing him – and that passionate bedroom scene – well guess what – this picture is no longer in danger of getting an A rating. Hurrah! It’s also in severe danger of not getting completed…

Cause now when he says - Darling, his look is saying Daayan. Her lips are saying – Tum kitne achche ho. Her eyes are howling –Tum kitne tuchche ho.

And then the real games begin. “I think this scene should be just on me, we don’t really need her.” “I think instead of that love song, we should have an item number picturised just on me.” “I’ll give you 5 more dates but put in an item song which has me and that sexy Brazilian model whom I’m trying to patao.”

Put simply when the actor and actress on a film or TV project have a break up, the crew has a collective nervous breakdown. And sometimes the entire project has a shut down. Remember Milenge Milenge – the film released 5 years after the lead couple broke up…

But I must confess an actor and actress getting involved with each other is not the worst fate that can befall a shooting crew. That distinction is reserved for the situation where a producer/director is involved with an actor/actress…

‘Nuff said.

Anand Sivakumaran


  1. hats off to your writing style... i m so loving it. :)

  2. LOL you haven't failed in causing a total outburst of a carefree laughter yet. Keep it up!!! Totally love this column!!!


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