Do it!

I remember many years ago, while still in my teens-I had gone to meet a very sucessful producer regarding a film role at a plush suburban hotel at around 4 pm. He was an out of towner – so was staying in that hotel-so the model co ordinator had told me. They were looking for a new face to launch. These meetings were  something that made me very uncomfortable- but part of the business of breaking into bolllywood I was told so i quelled my nervousness, put on my best smile and went.  

The producer greeted me kindly at the door. He sensed my discomfort.I noticed a large picture of his wife on his table I heaved a sigh of releif -she’ll join us later he assured me. He then asked me many questions about my background etc talking to me like one does to a child glancing at my portfolio pictures with enormous interest and complimenting me. I was used to that-i was already a succesful model by then having done many commercials and endorsements.He then decided to try to get to know me more. After all it was a huge film he was planning and shooting was to be somewhere in the south (hyderabad i think-for almost a month)
“How many brother sisters do you have? Which school did you study in? ”  the questions went on. What does your father do? “hes  a commisioner of Incom tax” i told him ” and mother? housewife? ” No. My mother is Head of the department of history at KC college” blah blah

I was begining to feel comfortable. Sweet uncle i thought. Family type.He asked me who i am closer to- my mother or my father?
“My father” i smiled. “my mother is a little strict.
He nodded understandingly and smiled

“Ok phone your father ” he smiled even broader.
I panicked-because my parents had banned me from becoming an actress -in their eyes it was the most deplorable profession in the world.They wanted me to do an MBA or CA and would be livid if they knew i was taking these film meetings behind their back instead of attending college.
I would be housebound and all the jhagda would start again. So i asked defiantly “why should i phone my father?He’ll be in office-i cant disturb him”

“Relax” he told me smiling, a peculiar look creeping into his eyes. I was too young and innocent to understand the expression
“If you want i will phone him. To tell him to pick you up tomorrow morning from my hotel”

I didnt get the gist of what he was saying and looked at him dumb as a dodo “relax. Just tell your father you are spending the night with me at the hotel and that he should come and pick you up in the morning!!”

I panicked and started to gather my belongings
 “i have to leave”  i belched in terror
” relax” he told me again. “I will speak to your father” 
He was begining to get irritated and impatient but tried to calm me down “your wife?” i squeaked glancing at her photograph. WTF was going on?
“she is a good understanding lady” he told me with great pride.  She will meet you tomorrow”
i dashed to the door
“you want to be an actress you have to do!!” He called after me , still speaking to me as if i was a child
“How do you expect to get anywhere in films if you dont do it??!! there are 1000’s of girls out there who will die to get this break i am offering you”
‘Excuse me sir I am not interested”
i was holding back my tears, my heart thudding. What if the old geyzer pounced on me right there and then

“Listen to me” he sounded annoyed and his voice was now raised as if talking to a disobedient child “I know you are a good girl but If you want to become an actress you have to do it! So and so and so and so-(he named some of the top league actresses of that time)she do it. She do it and even she do it! They are my discovery. Everybody has to do it” 

I ran out crying all the way home. I was too ashamed to tell my parents about what had happened. Everytime i heard the phrase “do it” or “do” or “you have to do ”
bile climbed up my throat. For a long time. For years afterwards

Now So many many years later thank god the phrase has changed its meaning and connotation in my head completely 🙂
Everytime i face a storm or encounter a hurdle or am unnessarily maligned I read this poem called “Do it anyway”
It puts things in perspective and then I just go ahead and do it! 🙂

The original  called the Paradoxical Commandments was written by Dr Kent M Keith
What i am posting below is the modified version often credited to Mother Theresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centred
Forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives
Be kind anyway

If you are successful, you will win friends, some false and some true
Succeed anyway

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you
Be honest and frank anyway

What you spend your life building, someone destroys overnight
Build anyway

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous
Be happy anyway

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow
Do good anyway

Give the world your best anyway

Because, You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God
It was never between you and them anyway

77 thoughts on “Do it!”

  1. Puzzled
    point noted. What you are talking about is the top rung of the ladder. These women -like those you have mentioned come in with qualifcations at par with their male counterparts and then on its a battle of wits and the brain.
    But there is a middle and lower rung too-i guess i was referring to them.

    In bollywood there are no qualifications that one can be jugded on at the initial stages… except beauty contests which have nothing to do with acting talent in the first place. The other inroad if if you are a star kid-if your parents are big shots and enjoy goodwill in the business your road will be much easier

    For the rest to get noticed you just have to wait and hope that someone takes a fancy to you

    And ultimately those who survive are the ones that want it or need it the most. Thats what i i meant

  2. All have heard about it, and now when you narrate this we can be sure that this menace exists for sure.
    But if possible you could actually reveal the name of that producer and do a favour to many new aspirants that do not have to go through this. Casting couch is such a blot not just on our film industry but also on our civilization and sociedy, and such baa****ds who take advantage should be punished in the harshest way possible. Will we ever come to know the name of this baa***d you met??

  3. Shobha De:

    Now this woman is surely a piece of art. Her whole career has revolved around making snide comments about other people. That’s it. She just can’t think beyond belittling others or making nasty, useless comments be it Suchitra or Ash
    Someone should ask her to write a month on some other topic, let’s say something inspiring like Oprah.
    She at her age should grow up from gutter journalism.

    Instead of writing about “POOR” Suchitra and trying to pity her, how about saying something like below:
    ” Well, the blog of Suchitra is a refreshing change where a great deal of honesty and straightforwardness is reflected. It’s nice to see someone write straight from one’s heart and not let frivolous emotions rule the writing. Even I need to learn something from her” That’s what Shobha should have written.
    Love your blog Suchitra, it’s like a fresh morning coffee.

  4. Prachi, I fully agree with you, with the given conditions, any female would have been extremely helpless, because of a strong family background and proper home teachings, she could stand the ground, had it been a loose character woman , then probably she would have played her cards well. However we all know that no matter what great achievement one has, and if you get thru unjust and unfair means it won’t last. .

  5. People here have got animated and can see only one thing… “CASTING COUCH”
    what all i understand frm the story is that she just shared an incident of her’s,its nothing like revealation of casting couch o smthng…
    A revealation wld have been,if she had called up the media,and then she would hv rocked the industry by making allegations to bring her into news…
    everybody shld understand that each one of us goes through different phases in life,and then there r sm sweet n bitter experiences as well,if we share it with ppl its fr the betterment of every1 so that we r cautious of all such things…
    last thing is, we should help ppl upto our abilities only… its nt a movie that ”AAKHIR ME SAB THIK THAK HO JAEGA”
    its easy to blame others fr nt being brave bt just luk into urself ul knw that hw selfish each 1 of us is. all that we cn think is I, ME, MY….
    so many ppl here r talking abt society,n saving 100s of gals,just ask urself hw many ppl u hv helped till nw,even in our day to day schedule we do nt find time fr helping our colleagues, charity starts at ur home…
    we shld do such things in action not in words…
    striving for a better tommorow…
    Regards…

  6. There is a dark side on earth when there is sunshine on the other side. It’s true that decency and indecency co-exist, and it’s natural. I’m happy that you made a choice which many would respect. I do!

  7. This gives a fair picture of Bollywood sleaze. Not that this doesn’t happen in Hollywood but the manner and scale of ‘couch’ here is huge. Resultantly, very few movies that come out of bollywood factory never make it to the all time great/classics list.
    Fortunately, the new wave bollywood holds a lot of promise. People have started gate crashing based on talent rather than sexual favours/kinship with stars etc.

    Keep writing Suchitra

  8. I knew all these things what happening in this attractive world for the cause of name and fame and money only.

    A time is too nearer when there is no place for humanity and morality.

    On the name of development, modernization we are losing many things particularly morality and humanity.

    The God given a valuable position to the women. Without her no world can be imagined. A sacred system he developed for the humanity. Humans should respect.

    In my Islam – a true way to get success here and hereafter, the lady was described as most valuable thing. If she is perfect then the remain society will be perfect. The God given the same value to both women and men. He had given the responsibilities as well as some rights. He guided both of them about their existence, about their nature. According their nature and abilities he given some tasks to fulfill in legal.

    But avoiding all such good morals, human has chosen his own way to destroy him self. He left the divine guidance. By his own hands his own self becoming the victim of the bad or ill effects as well as spreading the same to the Society.

    God suggested some boundaries in which both women and men has to leave i.e. Modesty. Women may be good in her character but the problem from the men side. All men are not equal. Most of the are danger according to law of nature. Fire and Petrol are safe when they are maintaining the distance. If both of them clubbed, a big blast will take place. They can do what they want but under the boundaries of divine guidance. As a creator of human being as well as whole universe, God know better the weaknesses and strengths of the human being as an Engineer can know much about a machine developed by himself. Even if we purchase a thing by our own money, but we have to follow the guidelines of the manufacturer in order to get exact benefits from it. If we used against to it, then we have to face the problems.

    So, on the name of development, women freedom, some danger persons and social evils are calling women to come forward to show their talents by way of beauty, showing physic and sacrificing their life according to their harmful will. Total society collapsing in this regard.

    In this series, I appreciate your efforts what you are sharing your past with others in order to aware the society and the position of the women at present days.

    Now you can see, even a bottle of medicine or soap are not left with the photo of a beautiful women. They are doing business with the women. Women should not be used for this.

  9. While i feel that very bad for those who suffer casting couch..my own analysis is the following.. I guess this casting couch type situation happens more in India, because all our films are predominantly centered around how pretty, sexy and beautiful our actors look. Looks matter more than acting to the audiences and therefore the a*hole producers!! Sometimes, its the only thing that matters. I mean, I’m sure Hollywood has casting couch too..but the point is its probably more out here because everyone needs a pretty face in a movie. To prove my point, think of a movie called Fargo. Go ahead Google it! It has Frances McDormand, who carries the most uninspiring, haggard look throughout the film (no offence to Frances..I think she’s a great actress). But the lady won the Academy award for Best Actress in this movie and its audience liked the movie!..now go ahead and tell me that she is a la Aishwarya Rai in real life, just to kill my point. But lets face it….hindi films are about looks over everything else!!..i wud love for anyone to prove me wrong here…especially if its a producer.

  10. I find this article rather meaningless. Everytihng you have said has been said over and over again for many years. So much so that it is an open secret. Now…thats like saying….I was stopped by traffic police for jumping signal and I had to pay him 50 bucks!!…Well…nothing ne wis it?
    Now what the people expect from an established name like you is to NAME NAMES. Its okay for a struggler to be apprehensive about taking any names since his/her career is at stake. But for a veteran like you to give this half-baked and quite frankly stale story is terribly disappointing.
    If you wrote this because you wanted people to feel sorry for you, I doubt that will happen. And if you wrote this to help solve a rpoblem or bring it up for discussion, then without any names or details, it really doesnt go anywhere. This ‘Top Producer’ and ‘Top Heroins story is utter nonsence and unproductive.
    I hope you find enough guts to give the full story and at least try to bring some shame to the guilty person involved.
    To quote a line from the poem you have mentioned,

    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you
    Be honest and frank anyway

    You have been neither honest nor frank. Only half-honest and half-frank. Talked the talk suchitra…time to walk the walk.

  11. hi,
    If the mentioned incident is true i would like to congrats you even though that wont be enough. Our biggest asset is our character, many people doesn’t realize it. Even a single degrading incident may remain as a black spot in our mind even you have succeeded later in our life.

    I adore girls/woman like you, it seems its difficult to find them in real life,

    Sujith k varghese

  12. True..Suchitra these are activities that are historically understood as stories behind the screen.But good you came forth to surface them.Everybody knows that such things happen including me,but we take it for granted saying ya the field is like that but I/we never thought why it was.Niether the one’s who are suffering with this think why they have do certain things.I came to know about your blog from the post in yahoo home page today.though it was rhetorical in its appeal it does convey a set of facts that were visibly invisible with the dynamics of film industry.However i would like to appreciate the negation you had to this kind of practice.Many people come across such kind of circustances and i know how traumatic it appears to our mind. This is not a consoloble gesture from my side, rather i am hoping that everyone has this attitude then only the things that are taken for granted will change.I hope i made sense in what i spoke..

    Aditya

  13. I admire Suchitra for bringing the Casting Couch topic in the forefront. It’s obvious not only in the movie but other industries as well, and men/women are compelled to be victims due to many circumstances. This saga will go on and men/women will continue to succumb till we are able to bring a difference to our existing weak and corrupt legal system. Legal corruption is fueling impunity and corroding the rule of law across the country and we need more NGOs and TV medias to track these goons.

    Corruption is such a serious problem in our industry and people like Suchitras of the world cannot afford to risk their lives, or pay bribes to cover up the truth. That’s why I don’t blame her for not disclosing the identity of the producer. How is she going to survive by giving out the producers name? Another Gulshan Kumar case?

    Yeh Bollywood hai, yeha sab kuch hasil karna mushkil hai but na moomkin nehi. Those of you asking her to reveal the producers name, would you have given it?
    I don’t think so.

  14. I am proud of what u told of correct picture.

    while u doing film or srial I am also fan of yours

    From my heart you should not come in this field of that time.

    Now a days people are giving more important to Film celebrities like Hero , Herones called them star ,

    What they actually doing in film just showing faces and body thats all

    My Request to Suchitra your story publish in TIMES OF INDIA sorry frequency of Reading very low

    Publish in all Languages so everybody will come to know the real fact

    This is my again and again request Suchitra Madam to Publish in Media Paper

    For that I will saluate you forever

  15. I am very produe of you for told correct story

    I am also your fan while you doing film & Serial

    From my heart you should not come in this field of that time.

    I know this is very dirty field even spot boy also given interview on zee tv while i was watching.

    Nowadays peope giving very important to film celebrities hero, heroines

    what they are doing in film just show face and body and making money afterwards travelling in Car

    My request to you to publish your story in Times of India sorry Less frequency of Reading paper

    Publish in all Languages so people will come to know real fact

    People will come to know why giving important to herones

    If you publish your story in All paper i will saluate you forever

    This is my most Request Request to you

  16. All this is so sweet and nice you did not fall for it good for you.

    I wonder if (hypothetically) you would have succumbed would you still have written about it.

    I mean I have heard so many, saying what ordeal they went but not fell for it. Seems good, is the world really soooooooo good.

    Or damn honesty???

  17. The above mentioned jist of your life was not so surprising since we hear of so many related incidents in news channels, Like the one with a very famous fashion designer who became famous for his not so famous activities. Being a guy I can understand the very desire that we enforce ourselves into experiencing the very creation of nature that binds human evolution in all its integrity with our feelings.

    Thats the reason I beg to disagree that I dont find the desire wrong, But what is incorrect is the way we take somone else for granted to think that what is enjoyment to us is enjoyment to other.

    In your case I strongly feel that the desire of that man should not criticised but the way that desire was expressed is incorrect. I hope you understand..like for example if he would go to a sexworker and ask for favour it is understandable that both have their needs met from each other, money in exchange for lust. If you start to analyse all the relationships that exist be it b/w any gender its always based with physical intimacy and once the secrets are revealed humans are inclined to explore somone else and thanks to the social norms we supress it ..and when these feelings grow stronger..thats when we have cases of forced intimacy….you dont need to post it..thanks..its just my understanding..

    You must watch a tamil movie named “Kaathal Kathai” a Tamil movie by velu prabhakaran..critics might scrap this movie but people who really have the guts to face truth will connect to what is brought out in the movie..about the desires between sexes.

  18. Awesome!!!

    U did a great job..

    It would have been better if u have slapped the Producer then and there with your chappal..

  19. Why were you upset then? We collect every data in our daily life to know what are the things we do not want in life. We take each conditions, surrounding, experiences with us to our kitchen and mix them with our own inredients we have collected from life and cook a recipe which we want. You have become bolder as a result of this experience. Just imagine you are alone in this world and everything that is made visible to you is for you to understand what the life is all about. We tend get involved in the things that we do not want thinking that they have come to our life for engagement. Instead they have come to show us what are the things that I do not want; they have come for us to shoot us our rocket our desires towards something that we really desire. Happy living…

  20. my heart goes out for you guys… the way you survive in this shithole, its really incredible! wish you all the luck!

  21. These kind of people are Like Vultures Preying upon innocent people.Happy that you handled it Bravely,The excerps of Dr Kent M Keith are valid and apt to this day.I am Envisioning a day when there won’t be any fear of being exploited by anybody.Where the Religion melts down and what will be Left are the Core Human Values.Love,Kindness and Dignity of Life will be Valued the Most.

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