Controversy
Speaking to TNM, Rekhs says that Lyca has not responded to her calls or emails for several months.

Rajinikanth's 2.0 directed by Shankar, was released on November 29, 2018. However, the person who did the subtitles for the film, Rekhs, a well-known name in the field, has alleged that Lyca Productions is yet to clear her dues for the work done. Rekhs had done the subtitles for 2.0 in two languages – Tamil and Telugu.

Though it's been months since the film released, she claims that not only has Lyca not made the payment to her team, they haven't been responding to her phone calls or emails. Apart from Rekhs, two others from her team also worked on the film, and allegedly none of them has been paid. This is why she took the issue to Twitter on Monday.

Speaking to TNM, Rekhs says, "By and large, small budget films especially are very prompt. They even give me an advance and pay the day I send the work for censor. So, I do not want the outside world to get the wrong image that our industry is like this. I had no other option but to go public, because Lyca was silent. Courtesy demands that you reply, right? I trusted them in good faith.”

Adding that she has worked in the field for 10 long years, with grueling work hours like 6 am to 2 am when subtitling work has to be completed, Rekhs says it's unfair she's being treated this way. Contracts are not normally issued for subtitling work, she says, so what she sent Lyca was a job letter as is usual procedure. The letter was sent on October 5 and the film released nearly two months later.

On Twitter, Rekhs had also alleged that she was not paid for Enthiran (produced by Sun Pictures) either.

"As far as Enthiran goes, my husband and I went to their office and asked them. We had to meet so many people and finally one man came to us and said they'll verify and let us know if what we're saying was true. That really irritated us. Why would we go there and pretend to be people who've done subtitles if we haven't? So we just left it as a bad joke and came away," she says, sounding exhausted. Rekhs is currently working on the subtitling work for Comali, which is due to hit the screens on Thursday.

The availability of subtitles expands a film's reach. Thanks to Rekhs's work, several Indian films have won an international audience. When she tweeted that Lyca had not paid her, support came pouring in from other social media users who pointed out that 2.0 had reached even Gary Whitta, the writer of Star Wars Rogue One and Walking Dead, because of the power of subtitles.

"Subtitles help a film transcend language and latitude, and I believe I have to do my squirrel bit to bridge the gap and show the world out there that we're in no way inferior to Bollywood. It isn't some hobby or job for me. It's my life. I walk, talk and breathe subs!" says Rekhs.

She further notes that she does not want to involve Shankar or Rajinikanth in the issue and that it's only between her and Lyca.

Rekhs says Lyca has not contacted her yet. TNM has reached out to Lyca for a response and this story will be updated if and when they respond.

Also read: When dreams turn to dust: How Kollywood exploits labour