MY STORIES – Continue. My First visit to a cinema theatre.
There are symptoms of a change of weather in the air. In the morning monsoon, clouds started assembling on the Southwestern horizon. As a boy of 6 years, I am not able to identify east and west. I put my childhood memories here after almost five decades, I use the liberty to write in order address my stories in a suitable way for the present readers of mine. My stories may not have come out to light if I am not blogging it here .My apologies to my beloveds for any illogical writings in my stories. I am sure all of you would excuse me. I think I have a lot to tell the world. But I do not know when my laziness captures my pen and spirit. But I resolve to continue as far as possible. My command over my vocabulary and language is not good enough to express my feelings satisfactorily.
Rains are in the vicinity. Hot days of summer may take a retreat soon. My vacation also nearing to an end. Before retuning to my father’s work place may be, I would like to share a couple of joyful times among my cousins and family. Cousin Sisters and elder cousins decided another rendezvous during one of those days. It was decided that we children should cook some food of our own stealthily. If elders notice it they will not allow, because the place we are going to cook meals is not in the kitchen, it is an old barn house where no body comes in the afternoon, as all of them would be having their siesta.So on the adventure day my eldest cousin sister asked us gentlemen to collect some firewood from the compound. So the brusque activity started some stole rice, some brought vegetable from the kitchen garden. Some were on a mission to steal spices from kitchen. Chilies and salt. Mission control was my youngest uncle who was studying in 10th standard. After storing required rice and vegetables, sisters started lighting the oven Firewood was lit with a little kerosene and the cooking began. Water was boiled to cook rice. It was done with care. In another oven pulse was cooked, spices are ground to a fine paste with onion, grated coconut kernel with coriander and red chilies were also added All these spices add ed together with boiled potatoes, tomato and ladies finger. Salt added along with paste of tamarind. Curry seasoned with curry leaves a piece of red chilly and mustard seeds boiled together and sprinkled on top. We all sat on a line and ate our adventurous meal. It was tasted very well and still I can recollect aromatic taste of it
.taste of self-help is wonderful.
Next, I remember about my first movie that I had seen during my holidays. My Persian uncle was interested in taking us for a movie as the rain is approaching soon. In those days, there were no permanent cinema halls in our village. there used to be a touring cinema theatre in our village. They used to come to Elappulli during every summer and move away to another place where there are no rains. Those touring theatres were called Talkies, because cinema was just stepped up into talking cinemas from its silence. SoThey used to call the halls they conduct cinema shows as Talkies. In those days, Malayalam movies were very rare. Most of the movies that came for exhibition was Tamil movies .I do not see much of a change in the basics of movie. It will have a story line, then some songs, dialogue. Most of them were romantic stories of kings and queens There will be a hero, a heroine and a villain. A climax and lots of melodrama added together was a typical Tamil movie. Even now I do not see much of a change in their Story line. Malayalam movies are considered one of the bests in India now. It is being recognized all around the world for its artistry and directorship. ADOOR GOPALAKRISHNAN. ARAVINDAN. JOHN ABRAHAM, SHAJI KIRAN is some of the names who are being remembered as cream of Malayalam cinema.
The cinema hall was about a kilometer away from our house. In those days, short distances are covered by walking. Moreover, people liked walking. Therefore, we all decided to walk to the talkies, including grandma. My uncle secured first class tickets for all of us. Although, it is first class the seating arrangements are poor, there were a sort of twin wooden sofa’s with out any cushions. It was considered exclusive for the socially high ups of society. Entire family occupied the enclave. The theatre was a long shed roofed with dry coconut palm leaves and hay on top of it. Interior was decorated with white cloth on sealing and coloured gilt paper. There was a cheap chandelier and bare electric bulbs with out any shades as I have not seen a cinema hall before. I thoroughly enjoyed the place. The entire floor was covered by spreading river sand. An old Tamil song was blazing loudly. In the sound, all other sounds were submerged. Close communication was impossible. Altogether, I enjoyed the whole scenario. Movie was quite boring with innumerable classical songs. Only interesting part was a packet full of shelled peanuts for all and occasional tea and roasted millet that my uncle bought for us. We children had a nice sleep occasionally waking us up with bed bug bite that squeezed our blood by the time the movie was over. Movie was over by about 10 pm and we sleep walked all the way back to home. My grandma was very comfortable, and was talking and laughing all the way back holding my little hand. After wards, I had been to this cinema hall several times when I was a student in elementary and high schools in Elappulli. As I had to shift my studies in later part of my life. Those stories may be revealed later when I go further ahead with my stories.
Another week passed with out much memorable activities except that I had an opportunity to visit my aunt’s paddy fields nearby. She is the only auntie who was not at home during my vacation. One day Chami asked me come along as he was going to plough a piece of land in our paddy fields. He was carrying a wooden plough while guiding two bullocks to the field. After reaching the land, he put a yoke on the neck of the cattle while fixing the plough to the earth with a liver to hold. I looked at Chami with wonder while appreciating the swiftness in leading the cattle to plough. Far ahead, some of the paddy fields were already covered in green silky paddy sprouts, a sea of green plants were making waves continuously as breeze passes by. An occasional jumping and flutter of wings of cranes made the scenery so beautiful that words are not enough to describe the feeling I got while I was sitting on the ridge.
On my way back home Chami did not, talk much as he seemed tired. On reaching home discouraging news draw my attention, which we are planning to leave in a couple of day to my father’s work place. There was bit of news to rejoice too. My father’s aunty will accompany us to Mananthawadi. As she has no body to look after her since her husband had died very early when she was young. I was glad to see her with us and started calling her grandma. I hope to continue my stories in the next installments.