Asin's Dil Se...
The years mellow a person, but Joseph has always seen the value in being a quiet man in the sometimes burly world of films. There is lot of grace and solemn dignity in the man behind the actress. It is indeed difficult to profile this father who just not handles his daughter's career but constantly watches her manners and movements. He's gifted Asin just not an impeccable upbringing but a second life. I have no words to extol the gallantry of Joseph who swam against the tide and pulled out a few unit people from the jaws of death. The shooting spot in Sri Lanka bears testimony to the seventeen people who emerged unscathed from the dark and deep waters that saw many hours of high and a very real drama. It's over two years now and Asin takes pride and recollects the heroic deeds of her father. Asin says she is truly blessed and thanks god for giving such a wonderful family and couldn't have asked for more....
Y. Sunita Chowdhary
My Father the Hero
The place was 200km away from Colombo and we were to shoot for the "Andagada Andagada" song in Gharshana, a remake of the tamil Kakka Kakka. The only way we could get to the house was through the lake or through the dense forest which was infested by leeches. The boat was too small for our group but we all got into it. We sat there, my father was on the opposite side while it rained like sharp arrows. It was late evening and the darkness took our sight and we could barely see the shore. I was enjoying the strange, serene and picturesque place and was smiling when tragedy struck.
We were in the middle of the water when I noticed a small stream gushing into the boat and within seconds I sank. The people who noticed the water flooding the boat jumped on the other side but my dad dived where I went missing. I was down under holding my breath, I came up twice but before I sank again I could feel someone clutching my collar and lifting me up. It was my father. He helped me climb on to the capsized boat. Director Goutham Menon who couldn't swim screamed for help and was gasping for breath.
Dad bought him out and again went down to fetch Rajshekar (RS), the cameraman who went missing. The water was cold, freezing and there was a canal underneath from which the water was diverted to. If you are not careful you could get sucked by the current. We waited with bated breath and saw two legs coming out. RS's shirt apparently got stuck in the wooden plank when he drowned and his stomach was loaded with water and dad found it difficult to lift him. Finally when RS was brought to the surface, he was unconscious and pale. We could partially pump the water out but weren't sure of his condition.
Meanwhile our 'Titanic', this boat on which we all were hanging onto could sink at any moment. Luckily we saw a small motor boat heading towards our direction. Dad insisted on RS getting immediate medical help. A few of us were taken aboard the speed boat and headed towards the shore. I was one amongst them. All the people there asked me to go and recover but I said I wouldn't budge till my dad came back. He was the last one to reach the shore. Lot of things got lost, mobile, laptop, passports etc. Back in the room I just hugged my dad. He just didn't save me but so many families. He has won a battle that we thought we were going to die in. The feeling of honour, pride, and respect for my dad is something I can't express.
I rushed to the hospital to see RS. He had gained consciousness but was still in a state of shock and had refused to utter a single word till then. But the moment he saw me yelled "Asin, you are alive!" Actually RS had seen me go down before he was in danger and he thought I was gone for good. That was the time Soundarya passed away and RS had thought another actress has been lost. For the next few days he puked diesel, (fuel had leaked into the water) and his wife was inconsolable.
The boatman who had fallen with us into the chill waters, on reaching the shore tried to warm himself by putting his hands around a campfire, but he immediately caught fire (because of the diesel mixed water into which he had fallen) and he ran "Muthalvan" style back into the lake! After all this we had to go back to the same spot a couple of days after the incident to complete the shoot. Well that is cinema!
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