There was a sudden panic among the myriad friends and well-wishers of the movie-making maverick Mani Ratnam on Tuesday after he was admitted to the Apollo hospital in Chennai.
Since Mani has a history of heart ailment, the worst was naturally presumed. However, it seems the news from Chennai is heartening and very very encouraging. As luck has it, poetic Gulzar was in Chennai working on a song for Mani Ratnam"s Raavan and composer A R Rahman when Mani"s health scare occurred.
Filmmaker Shaad Ali, who is assisting Mani on Raavan, was also present at the recording on Tuesday in Chennai. Mani was revved up, ignited and energetic as Gulzar Saab and Rahman argued and collaborated over the perfect words for the tune.
Says Gulzar Saab, “Mani complained of uneasiness. We presumed it to be nothing more than creative anxiety. We all get restless and nervous when we are working intensely an a project. We had no clue that it was a health issue."
However, after a while, fidgety and restless Mani sneaked out of the recording and left alone for the Apollo hospital. That, according to Mani"s close friends, is the filmmaker"s style. He never draws attention to himself.
Normally no matter how private a person is, he would immediately ask someone to accompany him to a doctor if there was a health alarm. The super-reclusive Mani actually went all alone to Apollo.
Says Gulzar Saab, “Yes, Mani just left the venue of the recording and quietly got himself admitted to the hospital. Thankfully it was nothing serious. Though I wasn"t allowed to visit him in hospital, Shaad did visit him on Wednesday. Mani was just fine laughing, joking and talking nineteen to the dozen. We"re all very much relieved and happy. And on the top of it all, the song that we were recording when Mani had a health scare has turned out beautifully. It"s a proud moment. To my relief, I"m told Mani is well enough to be out of hospital very soon."
Sources say the next schedule of Raavan, which is supposed to start on 20th April, might be delayed by a few days. But Mani, known for being a workaholic, is expected to be back to the gruelling outdoor schedule in Kerala as soon as the doctors allow him to.
“He"s already talking about keeping his date with his next schedule. But that seems unlikely," says a source from the Raavan crew.