Thursday, December 21, 2006

We are growing up

Friends from childhood remain children for ever in one’s memory. Until one sees a picture of the person, all grown up and minus the baby fat. In the cold storage of memory, they are chubby cheeked or awkwardly lean and tall. They have impossibly curly hair and a shrill loud voice. They wore neatly ironed school uniforms or dirtied and torn play-time clothes.

Then one day you run into one of them on the streets. The hair tamed, the voice broken, dressed in the best, on a diet. And you realise -- time has passed, we have grown up, s/he has changed and so have I.

Back then, you shared every little secret, every object of interest was discussed, every minute of the day was spent together. Now, you look into the other’s eyes and see the reflection of a world you are not familiar with, and you realise the other is seeing the same in your eyes too.

No, I did not recently run into anyone from the past. But I would like to. It’s like a refreshing blast of wind. To catch a glimpse of a familiar face in the crowd, to relate it to the impression of a much younger, much smaller face in the mind’s vault, to see the same light of recognition growing on the other’s face, to shake hands, to say "How are you, lovely to have met you", to exchange contact details, to realise how much you yourself have changed, and walk away with the warmth, with the freshly evoked memory of the security of childhood, with a smile that will linger on till a sigh of nostalgia escapes.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A spot of nostalgia

Have you tried catching a spot of sunlight? I have this old fragment of memory -- of dappled sunlight on a verandah on a warm afternoon when I tried desperately to get one spot of sun to stay in my hand.

My memory also has mango trees, like many old Malayalam film songs. I remember having asked my mother long ago why so many Malayalam songs alluded to mango trees when attempting to invoke nostalgia. Her reply was that almost every house used to have a mango tree in the yard. All the houses I stayed in during my childhood had a mango tree. The home -- to which the mind remains anchored to -- now has four. From my room, I could see two. But here, that green shade exists only in my mind.

Friday, December 08, 2006


...says The Hindu. Heheh! Apt, isn't it? Read it here. It seems to be a reaction to this year's IFFI. And he deviates to the north-south debate as well. But felt happy reading it!

First there was the IIFA awards -- International Indian Film Academy Awards. Now comes the GIFA -- Global Indian Film Awards. And what is "Indian Film"? According to these two awards, Bollywood and only Bollywood. Celebrate Bollywood, by all means celebrate the colours, the drama, the glamour that is Bollywood. But why give the world the impression that all of Indian cinema is just Bollywood?

Why why why?? What happens to all the other languages then? What happens to all the other regional film industries? The Assamese and Bengali films? The Malayalam and Tamil films?