I watched Rockford a day after I turned 14 and loved it. It was cheesy, it had hammy acting and dialogue delivery, the lead protagonist seems foolhardy now that I think of it, and Nagesh Kukunoor was a jerk teacher who I’d now never let near a tween. And the drama in that hostel there dwarfs all the drama I have in my life right now. The movie doesn’t age well.
Still, it was one of the many coming-of-age dramas we watched, and it was refreshing to see Nandita Das in a vaguely glam role, given that all she did before that was Art cinema. [Imagine, this movie’s most glam component was Nandita Das]. It felt good to see kids on screen your age and having crushes on people twice and thrice their age. You knew people like that, you thought it was cute in a stupid way. And at that age, I was blissfully unaware of the more-suitable-for-adults disgusting bits in the movie, so it thankfully wasn’t where I ‘grew up’ out of disgust.
The girls in the movie were totally nothing compared to the ‘hottie’ kinds from Bishop Cottons and Frank Anthony and Sophia’s who your male classmates drooled over at Paulfest, SEEK, Manav and the other zillion fests you attended (while you passed snide remarks to them and teased them to no end while you and your group of girls sneakily checked out the college-age fest organizers) that you didn’t believe someone’d buy a rose off them, and you wondered where Nagesh Kukunoor had picked them. Surely it can’t have been for their acting abilities… they hammed their way through the few lines they had, and their expressions were as convincing as a Congressman.
Anyway I looked up the girl who played Malathi in the movie. Her name is Ulrika Krishnamurthy and she seems to have a lot more about her on the Net now, including model-looking pics… just goes on to show ‘beauty’ is something made, not what you’re born with.
But heck, I’ve not been able to find anything about the two boys who played the leads – Rohan Dey who played Rajesh Naidu, and Kailash Atmanathan who played Selva. Their names are not as unique as Ulrika’s, and Google’s results for them are swamped with ‘actor profiles’ for them on various websites which don’t have anything apart from their names. There seems no tangible results for them on social networking sites either. No news articles, neither from back then nor recent ones where they’ve done something like, say, act in a play and the reporter covering the event points to them as ‘that kid who acted in Rockford‘. What, did they just disappear?
So, um, any idea what happened to these lads? Did they get busy with JEE prep soon after the movie and become Industrial Engineers? Or, like Josh Saviano who played Paul Pfeiffer in The Wonder Years was rumoured to have grown up to be Marilyn Manson, did they lead wild crazy lives which for some weird reason escaped media scrutiny? Did they go into pure sciences due to which they don’t have and don’t need LinkedIn profiles? Or was there a mistake in their 10th standard CBSE admit cards due to which they are now known by different names? [True story, happened to someone a friend of mine knows]. Or did they get famous under a different name now?
If you who are reading this are Rohan Dey or Kailash Atmanathan or someone who knows them, please please leave a comment… I’m really curious and interested to know what’s up with them!