I get a lot of calls to enquire about the chocolate making classes that I conduct…averaging about 12 per weekday and double on the weekend, I have difficulty in placing people when they begin a conversation with “hi I am mallika, remember I called you 5 days ago about the chocolate making class??” so in this state of mind and a perfectly rehearsed script like fashion, I spoke to someone who claimed to be a TV journalist and asked if she can come to my class….i said yes….turned around and told K that I think some crank caller called….so imagine my surprise and slight panic attack, when I get a call at 10.15 a.m on Saturday from a person who began the conversation as mentioned above and simply added “we want directions from so and so point, I and my team are coming to cover your event for our entertainment and local events section …..” my session was to begin at 10.30 a.m
TV is’nt new to me…as part of my “jill of all trades” resume, I have had my share of time under the arc lights as an anchor for film based programs on local TV….. I spent some forgettable months mugging my Telugu lines written in English at a time when I couldn’t speak my mother tongue in the “acceptable” accent…..i also like every other person imagine I am the heroine each time I see chiffon, flower fields, beautiful hair and make up and the whole nine yards….I’ve harbored celluloid fantasies as much as I dare to admit and think and I am not ashamed to admit that I luuurve hindi films!! Okay now that I have admitted as much….. as much as it began, TV ended for me with an entrance into a prestigious college for a much more bankable degree in business administration……yeah I have digressed, but I know that already…..
So having said all that I have, the panic attack was because I wondered what the reactions from those who’d registered for the class would be like….i mean I myself have shied away and requested not to be photographed at public places when the press has been around….for the simple fact that I am shy….. and being told something like this at such short notice …… I wondered if they’d be angry….or worse…. I need not have worried…despite one person telling me quite dramatically “oh I am not at all camera friendly” I must say they put up quite a show!!
The 3 member team from the Telugu Channel TV 9 arrived and set up shop….filming most of the class and all the while I was worried that the chocolate would melt under the hot lights….long shot, close up shots, funny twisting shots of the class at work, me talking and explaining and the stuff we were doing…..it was funny to see people huddling to a spot where they’d get good coverage and chirpily asking ‘intelligent’ questions!! My family, mom, adoptive mother in law, K, adoptive brother in law and his wife……stood around….watching from behind the camera…smiling, rolling eyes and giving me a thumbs up or a wink once in a while….this drama went on for the full duration of the class…….when I entered the kitchen at some point during the session, K accosted me and said I was doing a good job….i asked why they hadn’t left yet….he said that they wanted to do an exclusive with me!! My first thought was…oh gosh….i am really tired….(3 hours of non stop chocolate making can sap you of your life’s blood) and my mouth is dry and I haven’t had breakfast and was really looking forward to lunch at Nanking’s……he glared at me and asked me to shut up…..so we finished the session on time….and I must say this batch as all the others…wasn’t ready to leave!! By the time they did, I had to get to work again…….
Face washed and powdered, some lipstick and a brush through my hair….i did a demonstration of two kinds of chocolate for the camera….i must say I was trying my best not to grin cos I was living a childhood fantasy….of cooking for the camera a la sanjeev kapoor …. I’d do the “adha kata hua pyaz, thodi si haldi aur namak swad anusar” when I began helping in the kitchen as a young adult……. After the demonstration, they did a 10 minute interview with me…how I got into this and when I started etc….. I wrapped up and gift packed the chocolates I made for the camera and gave it to the team…thanked them and they left telling me they’d let me know when it would be telecast….. not before they asked me to inform them if I was starting any other kinds of classes….though I was tired, I was happy….amma said I was very natural an spoke well in telugu…. (natural!! Yeah didn’t I tell you I wanted to be an actress??) and all my years as a trainer has made me overcome the fear of standing in front of people you don’t know, and talking, training and expressing an opinion…..
We then went to Nanking and had a late but sumptuous lunch…..later while K and D got back home to watch the cricket match, the four of us women went to General bazaar to do some essential shopping…with the chocolate making classes, I need to make a trip once a month to stock up on my supplies…..i needed all four of us to carry my bags as a result!! By the time we got back home, I was sufficiently drained out and rather happy at the day’s outcome….