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Meeting Madhavan

About Ashan S. Samuel

Ashan Samuel is an Australia based film maker director, producer, Creative Head at AVD films & entertainment and former investment banker.

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I have lots of friends in Indian film fraternity. Some of them I have known for many years. But as everyone has a “favourite” in his heart, I am no exception. Whether you are a young person or young at heart, you will always remember the feeling of seeing your favourite celebrity in person or live on stage. We all have lived dreamy, endearing moments, when, after watching a movie we’ve whispered to ourselves, “I wish I could meet this person for once!”

This little story is about one such moment. It is about meeting my friend, my brother Mr. R. Madhavan (Maddy) for the very first time. I remember we were talking over the phone, exchanging emails, conversing through texts messages, for months. We were trying to crack some business in Australia, which happens to be the country where I reside. You can say, it’s a part of my job to make ends meet. I get potential deals to receive their partners. In the same capacity, I was introduced to Madhavan. But I never actually got the chance to meet him in person.

One morning, I received an email that Maddy was coming to Melbourne to attend an event as the Chief Guest. My day suddenly started looking brighter.

After weeks of waiting, the day finally arrived but like all the good movies, there was a twist in the tale in real life too.

Early in the morning, I pulled up my best appearance and drove off to hotel Novotel, Melbourne. With great excitement and pride, I informed the reception that their esteemed guest has got a visitor. The lady at the reception frowned, checked the logs, managed to pronounce “Madhavan” with great difficulty, and finally communicated as bluntly as she could, “No Madhavan at Novotel, Melbourne!” Thoroughly confused, a hundred thousand things crossed my mind.

The mail from him was a silly dream…his plans changed at the last moment and I wasn’t informed…Madhavan decided to stay somewhere else…the event is supposed to be held in Sydney and I mistook it for Melbourne…Madhavan may have checked in as Maddy…

In one fraction of a second every kind of weird possibility raised its head inside my brain. But beyond fantasy, there was the receptionist in front looking at me suspiciously and my family was standing red-eyed behind.

I took out my phone to check the details, and laughed. In my excitement, I had reached the wrong hotel. My correct destination was Sofitel Melbourne, a few kilometers away.

Finally, we reached Sofitel. I called Maddy on his phone to say, “I’m here in the lobby.”  In another two minutes he came down to the main lobby in his smart casuals, as handsome and cute as ever. He hugged me, greeted my wife and daughter and took us to another private lounge of the hotel. I thought it was a magical moment for us as we sat on the couch and shared our stories, talking about almost everything that crossed our minds.  From weather to geography of Australia, from Indian commercials to Hindi movies, and from being a tourist to conducting business, it was great fun talking to this intelligent, well-read person.

Maddy is a lovely, charismatic human being. He cares about his people.  I found in him a Great Friend forever. I wish Maddy a very Happy Birthday. May God bless him and his family in abundance, and fill them with love, care and mercy along with happy, healthy lives.

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