Sunday, 9 March 2008

Bisque the Collector

Bisque has been a collector all his life.

In college, Bisque for no apparent reason, decided to collect newspapers from various countries. He wrote to all the foreign embassies in New Delhi beseeching them to send him old newspapers in their local language. I guess the housekeeping sections of the various embassies were only too happy to get rid of the junk. Very soon, the packets started arriving: Newspapers in different languages, sizes and shapes filled up his room, which started resembling a ruddiwala’s shop.

Soon, his normally stoic mother became totally fed up with her son’s crazy behavior and when Bisque was out with his friends, sold off the entire sorry lot of old newspapers to a hawker for 46 rupees and that was the end of that story.

But nothing can deter Bisque. He continues to collect with a vengeance. Only the object of his collection changes from time to time. Once it was old Hindi film songs. Then it became old Tamil film songs of the 1940s. Last time I went to his house, there were twenty videotapes of song sequences from Hindi movies of the 1960s acquiring dust and cobwebs, never mind the video recorder conked off three years ago.

But guess what Bisque is collecting these days?

World Cinema.

He started with Hollywood few years ago, with the Clint Eastwood collection, the Paul Newman collection, the Julia Roberts collection and so on. Very soon, he started cross-referencing and started collecting genre-wise: Romance, Action, Thriller, Horror, Comedy etc. Now the crazy coot has awesome looking ring binders with partitions for individual movies where he carefully records details of the main cast and crew, plot summaries downloaded from the net and a unique numbering system that helps him track the movie from the shelves.

Now Bisque is on a spree collecting film classics from all over the world, including Korean, Japanese and Chinese movies. When I last talked to him, including Hollywood movies, he had a collection of over 600 movies!

Bisque is a generous soul. Being a close friend, he allows me to borrow a few movies whenever I visit him. He will carefully note the names of the borrowed titles in his little black book, promptly crossing them off when I return them. Any undue delay in returning the movies and Bisque will start calling and dropping not-so-subtle hints, till you get the message.

I am not complaining.

4 comments:

sasikumar said...

thanks rads

aandthirtyeights said...

Wish I had a friend like that!

Gypsy said...

aaah! tell me about collecting junk! i collect glass bangles- have over a thousand bangles in every colour ever dreamed up. and they're all too big for me :) but i still get such a high from just sitting there with my haul spread out around me :) i know ekjactly what Bisque must be feeling!

Rada said...

Thanks, Gypsy!

But then, gypsies are natural collectors of junk, aren't they?

:-)

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.