I have always been enchanted by black-and-white, late 70s Kamal-Rajni movies! There is something very charming about the characterisation, the language, dialogue delivery, the ambience in the shots, and of course the music! Each character spoke with a hidden meaning (very mysterious and intelligent sounding)! Some such movies are Avargal, Aval Appadithaan, Moonru Mudichu, Aval Oru Thodarkadhai...
I moved in to a rented house with two other friends yesterday. This will be my home for the next thirty days atleast. This house can be best described as a glorified matchbox (boy, I'm glad for once I'm a matchstick!). Having to live on a needlestring budget, this shack is the most I can afford.
The moment I opened the creaky, rusting gate, I was transported to the black-and-white 70s era! A thin staircase leading to an equally thin, dark corridor. Windows and doors suitably fashioned to add to the "retro feel".
Balcony for smokers to smoke and singers to sing "Kamban Aemaandhaan"!
Views to watch people washing clothes, mothers pointing to the moon to feed babies, and couples meeting secretly (unaware of higher altitudes that are witness to their rendezvous!). Terrace to sit on windy evenings amidst a network of shirts and banians on frail clothes lines! Neighbouring houses filled with lower middle class aspirations. Lanes and bylanes filled with potholes and strewn with garbage neglected by the local corporation, dogs and cows co-existing with humans.
There was rain last night, and I sat in my tiny room, looking outside the window, clutching my wallet (that has photos of dear ones) close to my heart. I wondered if there was rain at home as well, the mannvaasanai (smell of wet earth) being so different from that of home. I loved the rain feebly spraying on my face that was almost pasted between the window grills! Eyes gently closed, the kisses and hugs of loved ones slowly filling the mind and enveloping the heart with a lullaby warmth!
The pain of being physically so far away from loved ones, blissfully forgotten...
There is more baggage in my new little house than there are people. Last night, I tried to sleep on the floor on a straw mat, amidst atleast ten different noises, the prominent ones being a squabbling couple, ten male dogs fighting over a female dog, cricket commentary (supplemented by TV spectators' commentary), songs of three different languages, and on top of all, the squeaky ceiling fan past its prime and having forgotten the basics of air circulation.
But sleep came soon... surprisingly soon! Reminded of the Pesum Padam (Pushpak) Kamal character who gets into the habit of being able to sleep only with noise around, so much that when he moves to a different location, plays a tape of recorded noises in order to sleep!
I am living in my favourite era! If perspectives are glasses we wear, I like black and white ones (maybe a little Eastman colour)! The only missing aspect in this 70s movie picture perfection is a beautiful girl next door who reads Jayakanthan novels and enjoys Tamil poetry! Maybe I will find her when I sing "Ilaya Nila Pozhigiradhu" tonight! :-)