It is an afternoon, with a lull in business. Many of my blog posts have been written here clandestinely and then e-mailed to myself and thence to blog. I wonder what to write about; this blogging has become an addiction. Soon, will I get tired of it?
Reading my posts, the common pattern I see is that I have always tried to link an incident in my life to a universal fact, so that readers can identify themselves with the situation I have described and gain their own insights.
In 1978, one year after graduation, I wrote the entrance test for FTII, Pune. I had become a serious movie buff; wherever there is a film show, I would be there. I was a member of all the film societies in
I saw life in a series of frames.
The FTII entrance test was the first ever test other than academic that I wrote. I was a naïve young boy; I thought passing the test meant an entry to FTII. I was wrong; there was a 3-day series of tests and interview to get through. At the interview, the head of the interview board was the famous film director, Hrishikesh Mukherjee. He asked me if I had any godfather in the film industry. “Then how do you expect to survive here”, he asked to my answer, “No”.
I couldn’t have done well in the tests, but I saw others who did worse get admission effortlessly. That was when the bubble burst. Undaunted, I went on to
My sister and family stayed in one of the tall apartments in the BARC complex. On the first day evening of my arrival, Mr N, my brother-in-law’s colleague and his wife came to visit. Introducing me to him, my brother-in –law said – “ Vimala’s youngest brother” – then, curling his thick lips he added contemptuously in his Palakkadan accent – “ His only achievement in life is that he passed a test to Pune FTII; flunked in the interview, of course!” Mr. N and his wife looked embarrassed and changed the subject. I stood there, immobile, crushed, cringing, my heart split like a rotten log. I remember looking at my brother-in-law who overrode my wish to study English literature and forced my mother to make me accept Physics, which I hated. With father no more to guide or to decide, my mother had left such matters to her eldest son-in-law, the brilliant chemical engineer, who knew things.
Later in the night, I went up to the roof of the 20- floor apartment. Far away, I could see the blinking lights of airplanes circling to land at
Ever since, whenever I look down from great heights, cliff edges in the Himalayas or Western Ghats, I have this eerily calm thought in my mind – of falling through the air – and I smile to myself realizing how thin, narrow, how sharp like a razor’s edge is the bridge between life and death. I realize that how so much I may value my life, a vagrant wind can topple me down the chasm.
********* Balachandran V,