It was on a normal day that I stumbled upon a new discovery. An alternative to anesthetic medicines. I have had two bone fractures in my life, both happened while playing football. The first one happened in India when I was still in school and that was a fracture on the right wrist. The second one was in London where I was playing with work-colleagues when I broke my left wrist. The first one was more serious and I was hospitalised for fixing the same and for plastering. As I was being taken to the operation theatre, I was given an anesthetic after which I only remember waking up in the hospital bed. That was my first experience of anesthesia.
Yesterday I again went into anesthesia. No this time I didnt break any of my super-heavy, muscularly protected, extra muscularly padded bones. This happened when I came home after work. My parents are visiting us in UK and for their entertainment, I have subscribed to all available asian channels at home. In addition to that we hire movies from southall, which appa and amma can watch as and when they feel bored. Normally these movies are malayalam, but this time we hired all different tamil movies. Yesterday I entered home as usual and found my parents glued to the teevee box. I also decided to watch whatever movie they were playing, when i heard puratchi kalaingar vijayakanth’s voice… Simha… Narrasimha.
That was all I remember, The next conscious memory I have is of my wife fuming at me, the whole tamil film industry, malayalam film industry, all the male chauvinist boars (she informed me later that pigs are female and boars are male, and hence it can be male chauvinist boars, not pigs), all the male species of the world, the monkey who decided to walk in two legs instead of four, the fish who wanted to come on land and the big bang. I gazed at her wondering what might have caused it. I didnt have a clue. Did the all powerful demi-god vijayakanth provoke her fury? The last memory I had if you remember correctly was vijayakanth’s voice telling me… simha… Narasimha…
It was while I was driving when we were headed for Shrek 2 movie few hours later, that I got some flash-back memories. I have not been a film buff from my childhood. During my schooldays, while we had TV at home during that period there was only 1 channel available and that was doordarshan. A few of the great programs that come to my mind is Krishi-darshan and rukavat ke liye khed hai. I used to hate sunday evenings when there used to be a hindi movie on tv, which for me were always senseless. As it would be already dark outside, there was no chance to go outside to the ground to play with friends. My mom would watch the torturous hindi movie, eventhough she still wont be able to speak properly constructed three sentences in that language.
My parents were born in kerala but since ancestrally we were from tamilnadu we speak tamil at home. The first movies that we watched I vaguely remember were tamil mythological movies. My maternal grandfather used to take us to his friends theatre close by home where these would be screening. Later my grandfathers friend sold the theatre, after which no tamil mythological movies were screened there. Later during my school days my father bought a TV, and used to rent out video player as well as malayalam and tamil movies.
The movie heroes that my parents liked were Shivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, MGR, NTR (not the fast food… thats MTR), Prem Naseer, Adoor Bhasi etc. The heroines that I remember from their conversations were ragini, padmini, vyjayantimala, sheela, jayabharati and so on. If you havent heard any of their names, either you are not from south india or you must have watched a rajnikanth movie, which has a side effect of partial amnesia. I remember Shivaji Ganeshan clearly from those movies. He was powerful actor, and I still wonder how he managed his face from exploding while doing those emotional scenes. The actresses that I remember well are sheela and jayabharathi who had a really good screen presence. During the emotional screens, one could see that they breathed heavily and made sure that their deep-breathing chests filled the screen and took the viewers attention. I apologise if I sound sexist, but that was the fact.
While I was remembering these came the real memory. The memory from the time I first heard… simha… narrasimha… It was not anesthesia, I realised, it was just temporary memory loss that I had, but the memories were now coming back. As I made comfortable in the futon and turned my eyes to the telly, it was then I heard those divine incantation. The movie had already begun and the demi-god, kalaignar vijayakant was fighting a whole load (must be around 30-40 of them) of black cats single handedly.. well to be precise with two hands (bi-handedly?) and a few guns. What was to come was even more unbelievable fight sequences. Vijayakant defying the laws of physics was jumping from very high place and landing on his feet without even bending down. Only demi-gods like Vijayakant and Rajanikant could do such stuff.
In the movie our hero is an assassin, who kills persons in Bombay, Calcutta, Kerala, infact all over india… (no, its true… I did see that part of the movie and attest to that fact) and the military and the police cannot even touch him. He does everything single handedly (or bihandedly as the case maybe). Meanwhile our heroine, who is a tamil from singapore and is told by an astrologer that she will meet her soulmate fall on her from sky. And by the power of stars, that happens! Our heroine, who obviously is having a cloth shortage is climbing a fire engine ladder, when our hero jumps from top of the building to save her from bomb explosion. While he jumps, he grabs the heroine and then the heroine makes herself comfortable in a kamasutra position. Incidentally a lorry full of marigold flowers park under the exploding building and the hero and heroine fall in the marigold and roll… I think a song started just after that point with heroine teaching us a lesson in leading a frugal life, particularly how to be frugal with clothes.
Well I took advantage of that time and changed into something comfortable myself, and made a point that I ignored the heroine’s philosophy and clothed myself properly. Let me bring it to your notice that all these while my wife was not watching the movie, and only now she came down to make coffee for me. As I fit myself into futon again, the astrologer was telling the heroine that she will meet our hero under water, and by the time my wife brought coffee, there the heroine was again clad in minimal clothes underwater with our hero. Indeed our hero who is already underwater rescues our heroine. Now the heroine is unconscious and our hero tries to bring her to life. For this he presses her revelaed tummy area erotically, for which she responds by spitting a mouthful of water. To give her warmth our hero then rubs her thighs and then to resuscitate her kisses her (mouth to mouth resuscitation is not needed if its vijayakanth.. only kiss is required). Our heroine suddenly become conscious and she makes kissing gesture and licks her lips as if she just had it! It was that moment there was an explosion… No not in the movie, the explosion happened just by my side.
I awoke with a start, so did the neighbour who was nearly tempted to call 999. Then we realized, It was my better half who caused the explosion as she was so upset by the portrayal of the female character of the movie. It was cheap, third grade and dirty movie she cried. How could people make movies for masses like this and expect them to be normal. I sat gaping at her, and could not do anything. I knew she was right, but I had grown immune to such movies after watching a few hindi and tamil movies. The next thing I remembered was looking for an escape route and found every route blocked. A few hours later while driving to watch Shrek 2 movie, the atmosphere in the car was still volatile. Appa, amma, radhu and myself all keeping quiet. Indeed the idea came to me that such movies could be used as anesthetia, but the drawback being that it will work only with some people, others it may cause side effects.
The climate changed soon after Shrek 2 movie. Shrek 2 movie was fun, but while driving back from the cinema, I argued with my wife that it was not even comparable to the narasimha movie that appa and amma were watching earlier. Appa happily joined in teasing her. I argued that the cry “simha… Narasimha…” itself surpassed several levels of cinematic brilliance. The efforts taken by pleasantly plump vijayakant to look young and mobile also required appreciation. It was only later when we reached home that I realised my folly of teasing. I entered the home, looked at her and told as in the movie, simha… narasimha, when she moved her fists threateningly and muttered… vaa.. nee mele vaa. (come.. you just come upstairs).