Monday, August 23, 2010

A Robert Adams Screenplay

[30th August 2010. The link to the Scribd file that appears after the first paragraph no longer works since the author, Matthew Browne, has removed it after receiving a request to do so by Nicole Adams, Robert Adams' widow. It seems she was unhappy with the way that the events of Robert's life had been portrayed there.

Apparently, Nicole Adams is in the process of writing her autobiography. I hope she includes all the incidents that Robert told her about his time at Sri Ramanasramam and the association he had with Bhagavan.]

A couple of weeks ago I was sent an early draft of a screenplay about Robert Adams’ life. It had been written by Matthew Browne at the suggestion of Edward Muzika, a long-time student of Robert Adams. I went through it and suggested a few changes to make the events that took place at Ramanasramam more realistic. Matthew incorporated most of my suggestions. The scenes that take place at Ramanasramam are mostly reconstructed from anecdotes that Robert told in later life. However, a few of the incidents (such as the series of people coming for advice and succour, and the argument between the pandits) were invented by the author to show how Bhagavan usually dealt with people who approached him. The revised script has been posted at:

Two common abbreviations used are V.O. (Voice-over) and O.S. (Off-screen) If you have any comments, you can post them here or under the original Scribd posting.

The screenplay was not commissioned by anyone who has the power to turn it into into a film, so it is unlikely to appear in a cinema in the near future. There is only one cinematic recreation of Bhagavan and Ramanasramam that I know of, and that is the scene in The Razor's Edge where Larry Darrel, played by Tyrone Power, meets Bhagavan for the first time. For those who are unfamiliar with the background to this meeting, there is an account of it on my site at:

A clip of Larry Darrel's meeting with the Hollywood Bhagavan can now be found on Youtube:

The film was made in Hollywood in the 1940s and probably reflects a Hollywood fantasy of what an Indian ashram looks like. 'Arunachala' has a snowy peak; there is an open-air dining area where devotes sit on benches at trestle tables; Bhagavan has a long white beard and speaks to his attendant in Hindi. The one speech that Bhagavan gets to make is full of generic platitudes, although it does have echoes of his teachings towards the end.

Going slightly off-topic, Papaji's son Surendra told me many years ago that he and Papaji were recruited as extras for a Hindi film (Ahimsa) that was made in Lucknow in the early 1950s. Papaji's brother was trying to become a film actor at the time, so he brought along various members of his family to watch and take part. There was apparently a brief filmed scene in which Papaji and Surendra walk into a shop in Lucknow. Surendra misbehaves in some way, and Papaji swats him on the ear to make him stop. If there are any Hindi film buffs out there who know where a copy of this scene could be located, I would love to see it. It would be far and away the oldest film footage of Papaji in existence.