I have always started writing blogs…started and then I find that I run out of ideas sooner than I forget the passwords to my multiple online personas. It won’t work this way I guess. I need to find a firm footage; my midlife crisis is the lack of a constant crush, a meticulous muse, an instant inspiration. I need to stop sleeping around, find my soul mate rumination and get married to it…the till death do us part thing…and so it shall be. So, what is it that interests me…so good that it sticks long enough? What is it that I love doing that I love to remember and remember not to forget? Who would I like to come back at the end of the day to find solace and comfort?
Well, coming straight to the point, what can inspire an idiot more than the idiot box? My first memories of the tube is when I was five years old and my father had to pull me away from my newly wed neighbour’s television set because the jingle before the evening news was much too captivating for me to look away. People have more interesting things to do than watch a wide mouthed kid gaping at rolling credits of the 9o’clock news, my dad had to say. They sure did, the result of their particularly interesting escapades was a toddler, before the end of the year, with an unusually powerful larynx which would break the dead silence of many a peaceful night. Oh, but moving on from how if my father had let me be, I could have saved his ear drums a few thrashes (because timing is everything really;). I never let any major dampening of spirits when television was concerned; I always came back to its arms and charms. We were like star crossed lovers. Fate had destined us to meet. And at the end of every story we had to come together.
There was more of the pulling away …my mom pulling me away on Sundays for the classical dance class, in which I turned out to be quite the classic failure. But I had my eyes stuck on TV in the room next to the class with Chaplin sashaying down with his lady love, her impossible to forge pout, with black lipstick that looked so thanks to the gray scale pictures. We now know it’s also a 62 bit colour possibility thanks to Lady Gaga who does it all the time. Then came school and exams and the whole rigmarole, that weighed most others down, it doubled my determination to dedicate the same old routine for the box.
Of course giving credit where it’s due, it’s impossible to take the early first steps without a supportive family. Dad quite became the role model for the trivia spitting sequence. There was nothing like watching the Godfather series with him with the Italians spewing slurs and bullets, the point of both which quite escaped me. Then all major inflictions that we incurred and gave us the well deserved respite from school, were turned into reasons for vacationing into the unreal world that the reel unfolded before us.
And then when we came down so did other greats. When my sister had her bout of diarrhoea the legendary showman of Hindi cinema Raj Kapoor passed away and Indian television dedicated a whole week to his movies and we quite proactively participated in the tribute, of course with my sis taking the much needed bathroom breaks. And when I was down with chicken pox, Satyajit Ray took leave of the scene and the legacy he left came up everyday on the screen. While during the day, I would scratch like a dog with a serious flea attack, in the evening I’d turn into a content puppy quite taken in with Apu’s miseries to pay attention to my own. If I have any less pox scars I have the cinematic genius of Ray to thank.
We all have cinematic histories that are different, it’s like a culture. Sometimes it’s like coming from another country, sometimes another planet. Ours was very much what my dad gave us. We watched Brando, Scorsese, Ray, Hopkins and Naseeruddin Shah, all a part of the growing up collective. Then we watched a whole lot of run of the mill things with friends and trends and enjoyed every bit of that. Aamir Khan was the favourite drop dead gorgeous and so when I was 18 and the tour guide pointed out the bush where Pehla Nasha was shot I gave the bush the bear hug I’d been saving all the years for the cute Khan. Then in college was this great roulette called the film festival. The long list of schedules, films watched religiously ticked off the list, determined not to miss anything but classes, that the tiring seven week day would have some of us dozing in the dark. Even that was good, sleeping to the flicker from the screen and the sweet lull of the background music of a Spanish movie coming from far off.
Our cinematic experience was like that, oddball, unusual and offbeat. This is the only way I would have had it, if we had to grow up all over again this is one thing I am positive I would not want to change. I mean my family too...first..gosh my sister is going to read this!
So what was the point of all that? In case you’re still on the boat and not bored. The point is the blog, the motion pictures, the music, and the things we all might have laughed at together even when far apart. That we might have nothing else in common except, the movies we saw, the songs we loved, the sitcoms we laughed with, our cinematic circumstance.