Updated: Oct 19, 2021
As kids, me and my sister had less access to the TV, than we had to libraries. Video games were non-existent in our house, and the only phones that were available during the 90s were the landlines. As a family, our sources of entertainment were scanty. Part of it was of course lack of money, and the rest was just my parents being Indian. The black and white television was only switched on during the half an hour dinner session, and depending on my father’s mood, a few Sunday mornings. In all my school years, as a family we went out for movies only twice; once when I was six, and then when I was eight. If the Homework was done on time, then my father would occasionally reward me and my sister with an extra half hour of TV during the cartoon shows. Perhaps that’s why I grew up reading more books than watching any of the soaps or movies during my school days. It wasn’t until I started pursuing my degree, that I finally had access to cinema halls without having to seek my parent’s permission. And oh boy, did I not take full advantage of that! I bunked classes and went for movies, bought pirated CDs and watched them when the house was empty, even had a huge Daniel Radcliffe poster hung (briefly) on one of the walls of my shared room.
As I stepped into adulthood, quality of the Indian cinema didn’t appeal to me as much as my old friends of books did. My relationship with books gradually became biased, and I kind of lost interest in movies, until I found out about Torrentz (was a site to download movies for free) from this guy I started seeing. I started downloading different genres of movies from all over the world, and watched movie marathons with comfort food and old monk for months (I was working of course too). A whole new world of imagination and story telling lay in front of me, and I dipped myself in it regularly, religiously. And then Netflix happened! It became like the library for me, but with access to movies, and stories, animations, stand up, abstract, non-mainstream content from all over the fucking world. A plethora of original, mind-blowing, mind bending, forced to think and contemplate kind of content was flooded to my mind and my eyes. For the first time in my life, I kind of, was able to comprehend what an art cinematography is. Watching creations like Black Mirror, Pre-Destination, Joker, Annihilation, Breaking Bad, Parasite, Interstellar, Into the Wild, Her, Sacred Games, Ghoul, Rick and Morty, to name just a few fragments of the bigger universe, made me see a whole different world of film making and creativity. Like great authors, great film makers are inspirational. I dive into the imaginative space of a good book as much as I indulge in understanding the creativity of a good film making. A good book is no greater than a good movie. I will have both, please.
The dynamics of creating a film and writing a novel are completely different, much like the North and the South Pole. And now is the right time to take all my prejudices back from every movie that I have watched that was based on a novel. I love you both, equally.