Press Esc to close
Friday 29 April 2016
News updated at 11:19 PM IST
Weather
Max: 36.7°C
Min : 24.5°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Soundar Rajan turns English tutor for Life of Pi cast

Sreekantswamy B, Mysore, Feb 27, 2013, DHNS :

Mysore’s Prof Higgins

N S Soundar Rajan with Ang Lee, director of the movie  Life of Pi. DH Photo

If the 1956 Hollywood musical My Fair Lady’s Cockney-accented flower girl Eliza Doolittle had Prof Henry Higgins to make her a pucca English Lady, putting the ensemble cast of Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s 2012 film, Life of Pi, through their paces for perfecting English with that typical Tamil twang was Mysore’s very own Prof Higgins. 

Answering to N S Soundar Rajan, this former Electronics & Radar Establishment (LRDE) staffer, who has made teaching English to the uninitiated a fine art, though not his professional calling, ensured that Lee’s cast got their Tamgalish accents (Tamil English) right in the film. 

How this proud Pratham Apartments resident of V V Mohalla, Mysore, got to don the role of a Tamil dialect coach is in itself celluloid dream saga whose script of a lifetime was written by none other than son Abhishek, working with a software firm as vice-president in Gurgaon.

For Soundar Rajan, who has tutored Chinese students to speak the Queen’s language at the University of Mysore, and runs a syndicate as English facilitator, the call from his son in the August of 2010 could not have been more fortuitous. What more could the father ask for when his son a la Colonel Hugh Pickering (of My Fair Lady fame) posing him the question: Do you want to teach English to Hollywood crew?

That Abhishek’s pal — actor Thilothama, auditioned for role but not making the cut, was catalyst for Soundar Rajan realising his dream date with Taiwan’s acclaimed auteur of cinematic gems like Sense & Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Brokeback Mountain — the magical and masterly Ang Lee, his charismatic crew, and Hollywood, is another story in itself.

Producers 20th Century Fox taking him on board, Soundar Rajan’s surreal journey like the film’s very own protagonist — Piscine Molitor Patel aka Pi began in Taiwan from December 2010 to March 2011, when handed the dialogue sheets. With Life of Pi set in Puducherry and its collegium of cast having Tamil background, Soundar Rajan was one busy man for whom his TGI method, short for transformation guided imagery, came in handy. In short, Soundar Rajan translated dialogues into Tamil with the help of Google. 

It was no wonder then that when Life of Pi was nominated for Oscars, and Lee eventually went on to bag the coveted Best Director, Mysore’s own Prof Higgins was glued to television and went into ecstatic raptures of jubiliation and joy when the Hollywood blockbuster clinched not just one, but four awards.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Cricketer Virat Kohli during inauguration of a store in Hyderabad on Friday...

Cricketer Virat Kohli during inauguration of a store in Hyderabad on Friday...

Boys cool themselves in a pond on a hot summer afternoon at a village near Balurghat in South...

Boys cool themselves in a pond on a hot summer afternoon at a village near Balurghat in South...

A duck quenches its thirst at a zoo during hot summer day in Surat on Friday...

A duck quenches its thirst at a zoo during hot summer day in Surat on Friday...

A pair of tigers at a zoo during hot summer day in Surat on Friday...

A pair of tigers at a zoo during hot summer day in Surat on Friday...

Devotees take holy dip in the Kshipra river during Simhasth Kumbha Mela in Ujjain...

Devotees take holy dip in the Kshipra river during Simhasth Kumbha Mela in Ujjain...

Farmers bathe their cattle in a stream during hot summer day in Kasara, Thane...

Farmers bathe their cattle in a stream during hot summer day in Kasara, Thane...

Actors Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu during their mehndi Ceremony in Mumbai...

Actors Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu during their mehndi Ceremony in Mumbai...

Villagers gather to collect water from a well that was filled by a tanker in Kasara, Thane...

Villagers gather to collect water from a well that was filled by a tanker in Kasara, Thane...

Protesters throw stones on security personnel during clashes in Srinagar...

Protesters throw stones on security personnel during clashes in Srinagar...

Muslim children paying obeisance at the Golden Temple on the occasion of 463rd Birth Anniversary...

Muslim children paying obeisance at the Golden Temple on the occasion of 463rd Birth Anniversary...