TV Channels have been playing a lot of my movies lately. Oftentimes, when I watch a scene or a song from my film, I think of events associated with it. The other day, I was watching my film ‘Bell Bottom’ and I recalled this gut-wrenching incident that took place while shooting for a song sequence at Jog Falls. As we were packing up, my Mom said she was not comfortable and wanted to leave. I was having some snacks and thought we could go back to the hotel after a while.
Later, she was noticeably irritable. When I asked her what was wrong, she finally told me that she was finding it difficult to breathe. Without further ado, I made arrangements to take her to a hospital. I called up a few hospitals in Sagara. The staff at one hospital told me that the doctor would be leaving at 7:30 PM. It would take us approximately an hour to reach Sagara. We rushed to that hospital, only to find out that the doctor hadn’t come yet. I was furious at the hospital staff for giving us false information! They told me to calm down and said that the doctor would be coming in a few minutes. The doctor finally arrived and performed a checkup.
For the record, my mom had asthma back when we were kids and I figured the cold weather in Jog Falls must’ve triggered it. The doctor first gave her nebulizer and then oxygen but this did not help her feel better. My heart sunk. My Mom means the world to me and I couldn’t bear to watch her suffer. I felt helpless at that moment. I did not know what to do to save her. The doctor suggested that we shift her to Shivamogga city in an ambulance where there are better hospitals with better equipments. That would mean another 1-2 hours of journey!!
I consulted my family doctor who also suggested that we take her to Shivamogga. Still, I did not want to take her in an ambulance. The ambulance siren scares me. Whenever an ambulance passes by, I always pray for the health and well-being of whoever’s in it, and taking my own mother in an ambulance is something I never thought I’d do. I had it to do it for my Mom. Thankfully, the ambulance looked more like a car than a traditional ambulance. When we started from Shivamogga, it started raining heavily and the roads looked like they were in the midst of a forest. There were no street lights too. My staff followed the ambulance in my car. Just then, I received a call from my team about costume trails for the next day, and I told them about my whereabouts. The producers were shocked and immediately arranged a doctor and sent a few of their friends to receive us in Shivamogga.
We reached Shivamogga, Mom was admitted to the hospital. Once treatment started, her breathing had begun to normalise, my mom miraculously started feeling better. Thank God! Inspite of heavy rain and hours of journey, the producers Santosh and Sandeep had come to the hospital. Thanks to the producers, his friends and the doctor for taking good care of us. My brother arrived ASAP. The hardest part of all this was that I had to leave my mom and go for the shoot which I had never done before. My Mom wanted me to go to the shoot and give it my best shot. She noted that it would be a loss for the producers if I didn’t go. I left her in the care of my brother and went to the shoot despite not having enough sleep. I remember I cried all the way through.
People who watch the song “Yethake” from Bell Bottom wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what I was going through. It is a romantic song and I’m seen smiling throughout the entire video. As actors, our profession demands us to fake our emotions on camera and we do this even when our personal life isn’t at its best. We take it in stride and continue to give it our best no matter what situation we are in. Sometimes, the beautiful things we see have painful memories behind them.