Saturday, April 14, 2012

Every Journey is an Experience to Relish

In a recent interview Veeru Devgan (a former technician in Hindi film industry) said that he came to Mumbai to become an actor but ended up being an action director. He was happy for his son Ajay Devgan who could become a successful actor. That reminds me of my father (professionally a driver) who once told me that he wanted a desk job which would require him to do some paper work. And then, when he came to know about computers, he changed his mind and told me that doing something with computers in an air conditioned office would be a great job. It was too late for him to get that opportunity and further, he was no more till the time I started doing such a job.

Many-a-times, we think we have done something that our previous generations couldn’t. This thought process can also take the reverse direction. We hear our previous generation telling us things that they did and we would never get to do. I am not talking about technology revolution, which has changed things and will keep changing things time and again. And of course, we would definitely not like to go back to the letter press age from digital printing. But I wish some things could continue. Something, very ethnic!

One such example that tops my wish-list of revisiting is something my late grandmother had expertise, my mother knows moderately, and I or my wife won’t be required to learn. I was very fascinated to observe the way my grandmother used to separate husk from rice with a winnow. It might be sounding easy, but one would take months to learn that art and still might not perfect it. Even my mother is able to do that. But every time I asked her to do in a different style, she would disappoint me saying that it was something my grandmother could do. I would also like to mention that my notion is same for some old recipes.

In Oriya calender, there is a month called “Margasira”. Women out there worship Goddess Lakshmi on all the Thursdays in that month. So, on every Wednesday, someone would produce a white paste by rubbing a white stone against a rock. The paste would be used to create a piece of art on a red-colored circle or square – a mixture of red soil and water produces the red color. It’s a fine art piece on the floor, which is made of two earthen elements – stone and soil. Now-a-days, we get some models and some powder. The powder is sprinkled on the model and the rangoli is ready.

When I was in my hometown, I used to visit all the theaters on my bicycle on Thursday evenings. Theaters would get new hand-painted postures and put a garland on the bigger star’s image. I also used to run behind the auto-rickshaws that carried the large size images and an announcer sitting inside the rickshaw used to describe some information about the movie and timings of exhibition. At that time, the announcer’s job was my favorite. He was someone people used to run after. Anyway, it was fun to try to recognize the stars from the postures. Lately I removed this appointment from my calendar when I started finding the digital postures at every nook and corner of the city and also there in the theaters.   

Once I got a chance to cook some dish on a firewood oven. I was required to blow air through an iron pipe to intensify the fire. Though I initially thought it was a very easy act, I failed miserably. Instead of intensifying the fire, I contributed to extinguishing it. I will hardly get any more opportunity to do it the right way. These days, I just press and turn a knob to intensify the fire for cooking.     

These are just the few things I wanted to mention of my experience. There are many more like this which you might have loved to perform or observe while being performed. It will be stupid to say that the practices should have continued. However, I would definitely like to say that the journey through these practices was a wonderful experience. I feel nostalgic whenever I revisit the memories and will relish it throughout my life.