It is not hard for me to comprehend the impact that films, television and books have had on me. They have been my companions, partners and friends for the longest time. I do not know what brought it on but I am glad that it did.
My earliest memory of films was in the 80’s. My brothers used to hire out a VCR for a day and rent the VHS tapes, which dad and mum obviously paid for. I don’t remember how often that day came, but we made the most of it. 24 glorious hours of Cowboy movies, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, Hitchcock flicks, Malayalam, Tamil, etc.
We all had our pick. A couple of cartoons were thrown in to make me happy, but I loved the movies. From 9am to 9am we watched, lived, ate and slept movies. I loved those days. It was magic and it lasted a long time.
Television sent out it’s weekly magic with Gul, Gulshan, Gulfaam (1987)-my 1st view of house boats, Malgudi Days (1986)- Swaaaaaamyyyyyy, Buniyaad (1986), Humlog (1984), Subaah (1987), Tamas (1987), Nukkad (1986-87-loved khopdi-the drunk), DD’s comedy show (1989), Karamchand (1985-89), Chitrahaar, World of sport, Escape From Sobibor (1987-true story of a death-camp in Poland) and many more. I doubt any of us dared to miss even one of these, they were priceless and still are. A treat of television at its best. If I had a time machine, I would go Back to the Future, another favourite film.
With Books, I lapped up everything that the school library could offer-Hardy Boys, Smurfs, Noddy, Famous Five and even Nancy Drew. We were allocated 1 book a week. I used to finish it in a day or 2 and then exchange for another with a classmate. Till one day, in 1986-87 or maybe 88, at the school’s annual book sale, I came across the unabridged version of ‘The Last of the Mohicans.’
I picked it up noticing the red indians on the cover.I was infatuated with Red Indians, who wasn’t at that age? Best part is-I still am. The boy in me lives and breathes a well told story. I was awestruck and fell in love with it. The day I completed reading it, I remember thinking to myself that someone should make a movie based on this book, I wanted the images in my head to come to life. Finally, in 1992, the movie was out.
I didn’t watch the movie till around 2003-05. Don’t know why but when I did, I was 9 again! Lying in bed, the visuals running through my head, it played out it was exactly how I remembered reading it. The 1st book I loved. Probably till date the only, that had such an impact. Needless to say, I eventually did go for a inspired haircut and it was a Mohawk!
I believe that as a child I suffered from a learning disorder (with education, not entertainment 😉 ). Relating to pictures was a lot easier than words, that disorder too has been a constant companion till date. It may well be the reason that drew me to work in a visual medium.
Films are Inspiring, moving and compelling. They draw me in so much so, that I react to instances in the film. I love being involved with it. I feel movies teach me a lot, it shows me places I have never been to and when I do go there, I compare. It prepares me for the unknown. I live and breathe films. They are my release, my fantasy, my joy, my laughter and very well my life. I can watch films non-stop for days.
It has been difficult to watch a good movie and not be the central character-I have been William Wallace (Mel Gibson-Braveheart), Renton (Ewan McGregor-Trainspotting), Hawkeye/Nathaniel Poe (Daniel Day Lewis-The Last of The Mohicans) and god knows how many countless more. I was never Luke Skywalker. Guess I love the realness of the characters.
Films effect my mood and my outlook. This June 2012, being in a particular mood, I finally watched The Kings Speech and am I awed or what? Tonight, I was Bertie/Your Majesty/Albert/King George VI (has to be the name!!!). Tomorrow, I shall speak with a stutter!
I have my favourite dialogues, the cry of “They can take our lives, but they can never take our FREEDOM” gives me goosebumps each time I watch it. The shortest dialogue I love, is from The Gladiator “Not yet… Not yet.” Dont ask me why, I think it is about the moment it is used at, I’ve used it a lot.
So with arms wide open, I invite you to write in about your favourite movies, dialogues, books, excerpts, television series that will help continue my journey here.
🙂 Cheers! 🙂
While I share my work and personal experiences here, accounts of my travel experiences are shared on Matador Network on my personal blog
Screenshot credit: ‘Malgudi Days’ by PADAMRAG TV International