Thursday, 17 December 2009
When you are a kid, a lot of things remain unexplained and you are just left with lots of questions in your mind. You try to make sense of them on your own. Some mysteries get solved, when a older sibling obliges you with their vast intelligence (at that age, you think everyone is a genius). Other mysteries get solved as you grow older and some linger on till you forget about them.
As a kid, TV became the biggest source of unexplained things. Ads and movies sometimes were not what they seemed. Let me explain it to you at length.
1) Condom Ads: I came to know of, what a condom is, much later in life compared to today's generation of kids. Hey! now forget the picture of 'Condom' in your head and now picture a scene where a family is sitting down to watch 'Hum Log' , baccha company an all and suddenly a 'Nirodh' ad comes on TV, the reactions of all members should be noted carefully. My family excepting me, suddenly used to become busy with what-nots. My father used to dive behind the newspaper as if his life depended on it, my mother suddenly used to become engrossed in cleaning beans, my eldest sister would join my mother and my elder sis was left as clueless as I was. Everybody evaded my eyes, lest I raise a curious question. There was an uncomfortable silence which made me wonder about the ad.
2) Pointy Boobs : Most of the actresses of Hindi movies in the sixties had a set attire. A big bird's nest on the head, a tight sari, bloodless lips and pointy boobs. Though I saw these movies much later, I always wondered about their bust line. They looked pointy enough to pierce the hero in the chest. Normal women had normal boobs so why theirs looked unreal. My eldest sister always cracked jokes about them. I pretended to understand and laugh along but was clueless till I had left puberty around a corner.
3) Mysterious Barfing: In today's movies there are no mysteries left for imagination. But there was time when things were subtle. The hero and heroine fall in love. They dance around trees, then they kiss, which was always portrayed by two flowers coming close or the director gave you a shot of bright blue skies. After a few days inevitably the heroine goes on a puking spree and then the evil vamp who is usually her stepmom starts spewing 'Kulakshini','Kulta' 'Kahan mooh kala karke aayi hai? I could not understand ,why she said that. The heroines face seemed all right to me. Maybe a stomach upset had caused all that barfing.
4) Neem Trees: I knew what Neem trees were, don't think of me as a slow kid. There were assorted tales of ghosts and demons that put the mystery in Neem Trees. I always had a penchant for ghoulish tales and still do. I used to lap them up like butter. Most of the so called ghost stories, started in a cemetery and ended with the ghost vanishing in the Neem or Banyan tree.
My childhood home has a soaring Neem tree in its front yard. When I was a child, my whole family slept out on the terrace on summer nights, the swaying tree always made me shit scared. I always used to wonder why all the ghosts prefer uncomfortable places as their homes like cemeteries and trees.
Though, all the Huh!! quotient has evaporated from these things now, I spent a better part of my childhood and adolescent life mulling about such inane stuff. I still do, about unexplained facts like UFO'S, U.S. banking industry and honest politicians.