A villain remembered

The year was 1996. It had been around 2 months since I had entered high school, when I received a letter from my 'alma mater' asking me to attend that year's Independence Day celebrations in our locality as I would be receiving an award for being the school topper in the Class VII examinations. I knew there would be some big names at the event as it had been the practice of the organisers to invite prominent personalities from various fields to the function. Naturally I was excited at the prospect of being 'feted' by some big shot :-). However I was a tad disappointed to learn that the award would be given by Vajramuni, one of the most popular villains in the Kannada film industry. The appropriateness of inviting a 'bad guy' to give away an award for 'academic excellence' to impressionable youngsters was lost on me at that time. August 15th arrived and I went to the venue along with my parents & my kid brother. Now, Vajramuni had a characteristic style of demonstrating villainy - while plotting the downfall of the hero (usually Rajkumar) his eyes would narrow down to slits, his anger would be theatrical to the core, the typical sneer would be present most of the times. It was rather strange to see the same man looking serious in a dignified way and actually smiling kindly. In the end, he presented me with a cup & also garlanded my dad. I still have two photographs of the award ceremony.

This man who had been jailed, beaten & killed innumerable times on the silver screen, expired for the last time on January 5, 2006. I learnt about this the next day when I glanced at the front page of the newspaper before leaving for office. All through my journey to the office, a sense of sadness prevailed. Though I had met the man for a few fleeting moments, his presence that day had impressed upon me the distinction between reel & real life.

May his soul rest in peace.

Tags : Bangalore, Blogger Days, Life, Movies

Posted by Rajat @ 10:58 PM   |  Comments

A Landmark Evening

Yesterday evening I went along with my brother to Landmark at The Forum Mall, to utilize a gift voucher won by him for being part of the 2nd Best School Team in last year's Landmark Quiz held in Bangalore on November 1.

Forum was crowded as usual. In Landmark, the hordes seemed all eager to grab their copy of the "contemporary classic" ON@TCC by Chetan Bhagat (the website claims that he is the author of two contemporary classics; needless to say, a barrel of salt would be handy here. Aadisht has written a nice review of the book). I happened to eavesdrop upon (unintentionally, of course) an exchange between two "software types" :-

A : (lifting up a copy of Malgudi Days) "Hey, I have heard about this book somewhere before."
B : "That's by R K Narayan. Brother of cartoonist R K Laxman ...".

I didn't catch the rest of the conversation as I hurried away in the opposite direction. However, A's words left me awash with a feeling of incredulity which soon gave way to pity for the poor soul - after all, he didn't know what he was missing. The Chetan Bhagats of the world seem to have driven out the Narayans from the minds of the masses. A lamentable reflection of our commercialized times.

Before I sign off, here's what we bought :-

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet, Blogger Days, Quizzing

Posted by Rajat @ 10:54 PM   |  Comments

Redemption, at last!

On December 4th 2005, we (SI, TD & myself) conducted the Ganesh Nayak Memorial Open Quiz under the aegis of the KQA. For our efforts, we received book coupons from the Premier Book Shop. After more than a month of procrastinating, I finally set out today to redeem the coupon for what it was worth. I left for the place at around 12 P.M and managed to catch a bus at around 12.30 P.M. Route No. 201 being the circuitous route that it is, took more than an hour to reach Residency Road. A ten minute walk from there & I found myself facing the book shop. Alas! The doors were locked & a sign dangling from the door plainly reminded me that the shop closes for lunch at 1.30 P.M and wouldn't open till 3 P.M. Resignedly I loafed around M G Road, went to Higginbothams, saw John Batelle's The Search there (currently toying with the idea of buying it), ..., well, never mind.

Anyway, I came back to the shop at 2.45, & thankfully Mr.Shanbhag had opened the shop early. So dashed in & after much searching, many enquiries and some quick mental arithmetic, I settled for Volume 1 of The Complete Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray and Sir Thomas More's Utopia.

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet, Blogger Days, Quizzing

Posted by Rajat @ 9:00 PM   |  Comments