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When I Lost Face – by Manoj Kumar


My Most Embarrasing Moment

It was the day “Kanch Ki Gudiya” was being released in Delhi and the very first show. In the vacant balcony class, there were only three persons: Mr. Rawail, the Delhi distributor of the picture and myself. Naturally, I was a little nervous. It was my first appearance as a hero. Mr. Rawail sat confidently. He was a veteran.

The distributor sat talking critically. He seemed to have liked the picture, but he was worried about the poor public response. He expressed his satisfaction about the direction, story and theme. Photography and production values were excellent, according to him.

“But, if the picture fails at the box-office, it would be only because of the hero,” he said, and added, “You should have cast someone already known.” I felt the darkness around me deepening. I waited for Mr. Rawail’s reply. Would he agree?

Mr. Rawail spoke quietly and clearly: “I know what I have done. And I have no regrets.” Just then the hero’s face flashed across the screen—with a smile, while the real Manoj sat recovering from his moment of embarrassment.

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