Year 2002: Parambrata Chattopadhyay is a lanky lad, all of 20. Rudranil Ghosh is 29. They start out as co-actors in the Alpha Bangla mega Chena Mukher Sari.
Param: I was a fan of Rudra, the actor. When I first saw Rudra on TV I felt, hey he’s like a breath of fresh air!
Rudra: Param and I admired each other because we were both dreaming the same dream — to bring about a change in the industry.
Year 2013: Actor-director Parambrata Chattopadhyay is also the thinking woman’s sex symbol. Rudranil Ghosh has made a name as a quirky actor and has recently taken the directorial plunge with Shunyo.
Param: There’s a vast difference between Rudra and me. I am very urban. Rudra is very raw and direct. We disagree more than we agree. We have a lot of problems because we are like chalk and cheese. I find him very disorganised.... We’ve fallen in love with the same girl at the same time. She told me that she was in love with Rudra but not anymore! So I started dating her. Four days later, Rudra called me and asked what I was doing with the girl he’s in love with?! So we stopped talking to each other for six months! We fight a lot. The way he likes to work, I will never be able to subscribe to that. He is completely methodless, impulsive and spontaneous. For Shunyo, I was supposed to be the creative producer but I backed out because I could not gel with the way he works.
Rudra: Param is very organised and he makes me wonder what’s the point of being so organised?! He has a high-handed attitude. He has his chin up always.
But whatever it is, in an industry where friendship is rare, Param and Rudra have remained 3am friends. “In the next 20 years, whether we work together or not, we will still be friends, that’s for sure,” say both.
In between their mock fights, Tolly’s BFF duo relived their best phases of friendship with t2 at a few of their favourite spots…
Param: The boat and the Ganga is a recurring motif in Hawa Bodol.
Rudra: When we started out we would take a boat ride and fight, so that nobody could hear us!
Param: This is so serene. I have come here with my date. I came and took the boat ride but that’s it, aar kichhu korey otha hoyni, I couldn’t travel the full road! (Laughs)
JUST BEAT IT
Param: For a very long time Rudra and I were a part of Quinine, our band. It was like travelling back in time. (The duo drummed up a beat at a practice pad in Baghajatin where the door had a mattress stuck to it to muffle the sound!)
Rudra: I used to be the singer of the band.
Param: Rudra is a fantastic lyricist. And our other member Ronyda (Rajatava Dutta) wrote funny lyrics.
Rudra: We couldn’t tell him because we were very scared of him! He has big round eyes!
3AM CAB FRIENDS
Rudra: I had a friend who was a cab driver. Every evening while returning at 9.30pm he would pick me up along with other passengers from Nandan and drop me home. Until Param and I found each other!
Param: A couple of years back we didn’t own cars. So after practice late at night, Rudra and I would take a cab back home. I used to stay in Garfa then. There used to be a medical shop just near my home. Every night we would stop the cab, buy cigarettes and chat there till about 3am! The driver would fall asleep but we didn’t stop! Those were the days.....
THE NANDAN NEXUS
Param: I used to primarily come to Nandan looking for Rudra. I knew his Nandan friends through him. I knew I could find Rudra in Nandan any given day, post-evening. I always wondered why Rudra wasted his time in these addas, discussing either politics or films! And yet, I became one of the most frequent visitors there because I would inevitably land up there looking for Rudra.
Rudra: See, I would go there because I didn’t have the money to go to the pubs where others would go for an adda. At that time that was my point of connection with the industry.
DRINK-AND-DRIVE DOWN MEMORY LANE
Rudra: Once we were returning through Salt Lake after a meeting and we were both drunk! Param was driving and all of a sudden the car in front of us stopped. Param was driving at a speed of 100kmph! So we bumped into the car and I crashed my head into the glass!
Param: Nothing happened to me because I had my seat belt on, which Rudra never has! He just refuses...
Rudra: I realised I had hurt my eyebrows and I didn’t have them anymore!
Param: Rudra has been driving for a long time but whenever he drives he is so panic-stricken! He drives in first gear, always. In Hawa Bodol there’s a driving scene and we shot that for three nights all over Calcutta. Rudra freaked out!