How many more retakes had he intended to take? It was very tiring. Well, I cannot blame him entirely because he wouldn't have asked for any retakes if I had played my role the way he wanted it. After all, he's one of the best directors who never compromise for anything and wouldn't accept anything lesser than what's on his mind...not even for the not-so-important scenes.
All I had to do was to look into my co-actor's eyes and tell her that I loved her. It should have been easy because I had done it plenty of times with the same actor but I wonder what was so different today. Why weren't my expressions up to the mark according to the director? Yuri is a fine actor and a friend since my starting days as an actor, hence we share a very good chemistry. So, what was the problem? I couldn't figure out.
Unlike many unfortunates who do anything for living, I got the opportunity to do something that I enjoy doing. I agree that I did crave for fame and recognition at the beginning of my career but it did not take very long for me to recognize that I enjoyed my work better when I did not think about getting appreciated for the same.
Thankfully, the director understood that something was bothering me and gave me a break so that I could settle my uneasiness, while he shot another scene without me. My manager suggested that I should eat something because I had skipped breakfast. No, I wasn't on diet. It's just that I had an argument with my girl friend yesterday and that had left me in no mood to do anything, not even the shoot.
There was a restaurant not far from the shooting place and somebody on the set told me that they served the tastiest Ramen. Since, there were not many people around, I decided to walk to the restaurant, alone. It had been long since I'd walked the streets carefree-ly. Hoping that I won't attract crowd, I took my time to reach the restaurant. It wasn't a huge place but it still looked spacious because there was hardly anyone there.
There were few old guys who occupied the rear corner of the restaurant, then a teenage couple on another corner, a man reading newspaper was sitting at the table near the billing counter and a foreigner lady near the window. I could say that she was a South Asian or an African because of her complexion. Whoever she was, what captured my attention was that she was staring at her bowl and smiling to herself, and suddenly, I found myself curious about the lady and the source of her amusement.
As I sipped the tea from my cup, I waited for her to do something but she continued starting at her bowl. After a while, she raised her eyebrows as if to warn the bowl that was challenging her to do something. She picked up her chopsticks and instead of attacking the food in front of her, started playing with the chopsticks.
After sighing in defeat, she started eating. Well, she at least tried eating but couldn't because she seemed to not know how to eat using the chopsticks. The food slipped away between not her fingers but the chopsticks. She looked around to check whether anyone was watching her and before she could spot me looking at her, I pretended to be unaware of my surroundings and played with my empty cup. She tried and tried again but failed greatly. I couldn't help but smile at her comical attempts to eat. It was so cute to watch her struggle with the chopsticks that it did not occur to me that I should help her. Later, I did offer my help that she refused.
I borrowed a fork from the waiter and went to her table. She greeted me with a smile...might be she knew already that I had been watching her eat. Seeing the fork in my hand, she said, "I'm trying to learn to eat using these" and waved the chopsticks at me.
For the first time, I enjoyed my meal like never before because of her company. I learnt that she was an Indian and was visiting her brother who worked for a Japanese company. She was so intrigued when I told her that I was an actor. She asked lot of questions about everything and anything. I'm sure people who knew me would have been surprised if they had seen me answer all her questions without getting annoyed. To be honest, even I was quite surprised.
After what seemed hours, I realized that the director might be waiting for my return from the small break that he had given me. It was late already, still I decided to return to the set, instead of calling off because I had already trespassed on his kindness, enough.
The shoot went alright and my manager was happy to see me in a happy mood. On our way back home, he asked, "You seem to be in a very good mood. Did you talk to her?"
It took me awhile to realize that "her" in his question was my girl friend. I said, "No and I intend not to talk. We had enough arguments and fights. It's time for me to move on".
I understood what he was asking but pretended not to. "Who's 'she' now?"
He said, "I know that you're a good actor but sometimes even you fail. By the way, it's written all over your face that you're in love". I couldn't have possibly fallen in love with that Indian girl but I found her quite interesting. For truth to be said, I did like her.
"I have her number but is it alright if I call her. When should I call? Tonight? Tomorrow?" I wondered as the manager drove us home.