Write a summary of Poets and Pancakes?

In this lesson, Poet and Pancakes, the author talks about the Gemini Studios situated in the present day Chennai, owned by S.S. Vaasan and worked by over 600 staff. It made movies for Tamil Nadu and other southern Indian states. Pancake was the make up material used by the Gemini Studios.

The makeup department was divided into hierarchy. And the office boy who was acutally a grown up man in the Makeup Department was in charge of the crowd makeup. He applied pancake on their faces with the help of a dipped paint brush. Though his job was quite an easy one, the office boy considered him to be a greatly skilled artist.

The author was one of the staff whose job was to collect information, such as news events from newspapers and magazines and to paste them in files. The other staff considered his job out of place and most of them thought highly of themselves and considered the author free and available for their miscellaneous jobs.

Kothamangalam Subbu was another clerk. He was not as educated, as fortunate and as supported by as the Office Boy, yet he reached the top of the Gemini Studios. He was a genius man many a times able to direct even the directors. He could suggest dozens of ways to shoot a certain scene when the director failed to find one. He acted better than the heroes. He was a literary genius and wrote incredible poems. Besides, he also supported his far and near relatives. But he had only enemies everywhere because he was very much close to the Boss, Vaasan.

The legal advisor worked in the Story Department. He was a lawyer and provided legal advices to the writers yet he was known as the illegal advisor. Once a shooting was under progress. The heroine, a highly emotional girl, got angry with the director and producer. While the whole set stood stunned at this, the legal advisor recorded her voice without her permission and made her listen to the playback, thus resulting the end of a rising actress. This incident gave him the title of illegal advisor. Communism was a new political order that was spreading throughout the world, especially in Asian countries. Communism preached equality of people and abolition of poverty and class divisions while it discouraged private ownership. But Communism won a negative impression due the Capitalist countries, such as America.

MRA or Moral Rearmament Army was an international team of actors and actresses that spread anti Communist feelings throughout the world. The MRA came to Chennai and saw how influential was Gemini Studios in the south of India. The team got permission from Vaasan to stage their plays. Vaasan was only happy to give them permission because he hoped that his staff would get inspiration from the international team. But little did Vaasan know of their intentions. MRA staged their plays with hidden anticommunist messages and went away and it was yet after some time that Vaasan realised that he had been fooled. Anyway, Stephen Spender, who was once a prominent communist editor and poet from England, came to the studio and gave his speech. His lecture was about Communism on one side and about his struggles to establish as a poet on the other. Whatever he spoke was great, exciting and inspiring, but what use, his accent was such terrible one that none of the Gemini staff could clearly understand what Spender had spoken. They fell into shame for not being able to understand the poet and wished not to meet him again.

The chapter ends with two incidents in which the author, met Spender; not face to face, but in two different ways. While attempting to send his short story to England to participate in a contest, Asokamitran happened to read The Encounter, a magazine that had Stephen Spender as its editor. On another occasion he happened to read the book, The God that Failed, an article of which was written by Spender.

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