Dear @PrAtEiK1986 - How I Met Your Mother (In 1982)

Ranjit Rodricks , 17 Oct 2011
(Photo Courtesy | filmimpressions.com)
(Photo Courtesy | filmimpressions.com)
Prateik's Birthday wishes for his mother on Twitter
Prateik's Birthday wishes for his mother on Twitter

Dear Prateik,

I have never met you – except for a brief hello at Razzberry Rhinoceros (in Mumbai) years ago when you were not an actor but a waif-like boy with a ponytail tied up on your head. But I have had the good fortune to meet your mother – back in 1982 – and I was only Eight-Years-Old at that time.

So when I saw your message, wishing her a happy birthday on Twitter, it brought back memories of the time I met her in person.

The opportunity to meet your mom was because a friend of my mother’s had invited us to see the shooting of a film called Ardh Satya which was happening at a bungalow near ours in Juhu. Of course, I was too young to know what a “film-shoot” was all about and I distinctly remember being irritated because we had to keep “silence” every time Govind Nihalani shouted “action”.

Which 8-year-old kid can keep silence, pray tell?

Simta Patil and Prateik
Simta Patil and Prateik

Within no time, a number of neighborhood kids had also gathered at the bungalow where the shoot as going on and my mother shooed us off to go and play with them. After the shot had been canned, the actors (your lovely mother and Om Puri) took a break and that’s when all the children descended on them to sign autographs. Frankly, I didn’t even know what an autograph was and seeing all the kids thrust scraps of paper at them, I took a page and shoved it in to your mother’s hand. Like all eight-year-old kids, I didn’t want to be left out.

A few moments later, after asking my name, she gave it back to me with a smile and a pat on my head. I distinctly remember that because I felt a sense of warmth flow through me. Till today, when I go through that memory in my head, I can feel the same warmth emanating from her hand.

Smita Patil's autograph to me
Smita Patil's autograph to me

Four years later, in 1986 when we read in the papers that she had passed away, my mother and I both felt more than just a tinge of sadness. I wanted to watch Ardh Satya but my mother wouldn’t allow it because it was an “Adult’s movie!” And honestly, till this day I have not watched the film.

Prateik, today on her birthday, I wish your mother a very blessed birthday (along with all of us at Team MissMalini) and we pray that she’s as much of a path-breaker in the Beyond as she was here while still among us.)

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