Gemini Studios was one of India’s pioneer movie factories. Situated in the present day Chennai, owned by S.S Vaasan and worked by over 600 staff, the GS made movies for Tamilnadu and other southern Indian states. Pancake[TM] was the makeup material used by the GS.
Asokamitran was one of the staff whose job was to collect information such as news events from newspapers and magazines and to paste them in files. The other staff considered his job out of place and most of them thought so high of themselves. Here are some of the interesting staffs of GS.
Office Boy was a grown up man in the Makeup Department of the GS. He was in charge of the crowd makeup. He applied pancake on their faces with the help of a dipped paint brush. Though his job was quite an easy one, the office boy considered him to be a greatly skilled artist.
Kothamangalam Subbu was another clerk. He was not as educated, as fortunate and as supported by as the Office Boy, yet he reached the top of the GS. He was a man of amazing genius. He was able to direct the directors. He suggested dozens of ways to shoot a certain scene when the director failed to find one. He acted better than the heroes. He wrote incredible poems. Though he was able to write more complicated ones that could raise him to the status of a great poet, Subbu preferred writing them in simple Tamil to enlighten the majority of Tamil people. Besides, he supported his far and near relatives. But he had only enemies everywhere because he was very much close to the boss, Vaasan.
The legal advisor worked in the Story Department. He was a lawyer and provided legal advices to the writers yet he was known as the illegal advisor. The following incident is one reason that gave him that name. Once a shooting was under progress. The heroine, a highly emotional girl, got angry with the director and producer. While the whole set stood stunned at this, the legal advisor recorded her voice without her permission and made her listen to the playback, thus resulting the end of a rising actress.
Poets and writers
Gemini Studios had some great poets like Harindranath Chatopadhyaya and a few others. Most of the insignificant poets considered so great of themselves. They had no great talent, no great creativity, no political views yet they assumed the airs of the greatest poets, wasting Vaasan’s money and time. They believed Gandhiji to be the last word of politics and had developed an aversion to Communism.
Communism and anti-communism
Communism was a new political order that was spreading throughout the world, especially in Asian countries. Communism preached equality of people and abolition of poverty and class divisions while it discouraged private ownership. But Communism won a negative impression due the Capitalist countries such as America.
MRA or Moral Rearmament Army was an international team of actors and actresses that spread anti communist feelings throughout the world. The MRA came to Chennai and saw how influential was Gemini Studios in the south of India. The team got permission from Vaasan to stage their plays. Vaasan was only happy to give them permission because he hoped that his staff would get inspiration from the international team. But little did Vaasan know of their intentions. MRA staged their plays with hidden anticommunist messages and went away and it was yet after some time that Vaasan realized that he had been fooled.
Why should Vaasan be fooled if an organization spread anti communist messages in Chennai? It appears that Vaasan himself was a Communist! Or, he too had an experience of a disillusioned abandoning of Communism. The author has not given us a hint about this and therefore we have to different opinions:
Vasan as a Communist: If so, Vasan felt terribly bad for being played into the hands of the MRA that left a deep anticommunist impression upon his staff. He...