Saturday, 29 March 2008

The Sunday Movie

KK was the one who took me around the narrow alleys near VT Station and the busy side-streets that branch off from Phiroze Shah Mehta Road, pointing out all the good eating joints in the area. KK is no more now, but I can still see him, puffing and panting from the exertion, hauling his overweight form with its prominent pot-belly, negotiating the narrow and crowded streets with youthful aplomb. Thus I came to know that Modern Lunch Home in Gunbow Street served a mouth-watering Chicken Curry and Mocambo was the place to go for Fish Pulav. For Sookha Mutton, it was Bharat and for authentic Karela-Pyaaj, the Sher-e-Punjab. It was important education and invaluable during the fifteen years I spent in Bombay.

KK was my uncle and lived with his family in Chembur. At that time he was a journalist with The Times of India and worked out of the imposing Times building opposite VT station. It was no wonder that KK knew the area like the back of his hand.

At least couple of Sundays in a month, I will unfailingly take a bus from Vile Parle to Chembur in time to be in KK’s flat by 5.30 pm. The attraction was the Sunday movie. KK owned a black and white EC TV which found pride of place in his living room. The whole family were ardent TV viewers, and during week days watched everything from Krishi Darshan at 5.30 pm when transmission started, the Marathi News at 7.30 pm, the English News at 9 pm and all the programmes in between. Those early days of television seem so innocent and wondrous to me now. Only the major metro-s had television of course, so for a country bumpkin like me, coming as I did from faraway Kerala, the television was an object of intense fascination.

The Sunday movie was a serious affair. My aunt would have finished most of the cooking before the start of the movie, save minor chores like garnishing the main dish or making a salad which she would quickly complete during the 20 minutes break for the Marathi News. The entire living room will be made viewer-friendly, with fluffed up pillows on the sofas, comfortable dhurries on the floor, lights dimmed and windows shut to cut out external noise. A few invited neighbours troop in along with their children. The kamwali and her daughter have also stayed back for the special occasion. There is friendly banter all round.

The movie begins. One need not be worried about an unexpected visitor dropping by and spoiling the festivities.

Entire Bombay is watching the Sunday movie.

Photo Courtesy: Novella’s Public Gallery, Picasa Web Albums.

1 comment:

ravi nair said...

The old Bombay is gone and the new one is a horror. However when you wrote about my dad, it did bring some joy and sadness. This is a beautiful blog

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