The Old Man and his Memory Box

My grandfather and his forty year old projector box

My grandfather (my mother’s father) is one of my biggest role models in life. He was born into a very poor and low-caste family, but went on to become one of the city’s best and most respected pediatric surgeons. He is now eighty three years old, and retired.

In the year of 1970, my grandfather went to London for further studies (I think he went to King’s College, although I’m not too sure), and then on a trip to some other countries in Europe. He brought back home, of all things, a small projector and a box of slides. My mother told me how my grandfather would switch off all the lights at night, and switch on the projector, and show them pictures of London and Barcelona and all the other beautiful places he’d been to. The cathedrals of sunny Barcelona and the old, Victorian-style buildings at King’s, they saw it all, large as life, right on the very wall of their living room. It was quite magical.

In this day and age, we have much better technology, and way better projectors, of course, but something about the little old box really fascinated me. Now although I’m not all that very tech-savvy, I do appreciate the marvels of modern day technology. We’ve advanced to a period in time when nothing seems impossible, and everything just a flick of a finger or a click of a button away. But there was something about that small metal box, that lit up inside and showed us the world, that was quite enchanting. Seeing my usually calm and quiet grandfather fuss over this little metal box showed me the kind of memories it held.

My mother happened to mention it today (as she had come down to visit me), and he realized he’d forgotten about his old projector, and made it a point to get it out. He fussed over it and scolded my baby cousin when she came too close to it (he never scolds her- or anybody for that matter), and asked me to draw the curtains so the room would get just a bit darker (it was 12 in the afternoon). He switched on the projector and a yellow light blinked to life inside it, and it positively heated up with the amount of memories that were imprisoned within, waiting to be let out. He tweaked this and adjusted that, and took out the box of slides.

It was a 35 mm H&G slide projector, Made In Japan. I don’t know anything about projectors, but this was what was written on it. I don’t even know if it is supposed to be a high-end model or not. Whatever it is, it worked even after so many, many years, and that’s pretty cool, I think. It must be about forty or so years old. Almost half a century old.

 

The pictures were not all that clear – and also, the room was not dark enough, but it was a delight to see them anyway. I kept hovering about, clicking pictures, which made my grandfather get quite irritated with me (he has no idea that pictures of him and his beloved projector are up here), but I clicked away anyway. We saw some of the slides of London and Barcelona and Thailand and also some childhood photos of my mother and her siblings, after much adjusting to get a somewhat sharp picture.

One of the many boxes of slides

Some of the slides all laid out

So that was how I spent my afternoon today, and I thought it’d make for a very nice blog post, and so here it is. A post about my grandfather, and his magical little box full of memories. 🙂

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Play – A Poem

“Let me play with you.” he said,

She looked at him and smiled.

“Why yes, of course, I’ll get my dolls-“

You are my beautiful little doll,”

he said, and wound his hands

around her in an iron grip.

“But what are we playing, at this time?”

Playing without playthings.

But he is looking, looking – at his

plaything.

And then he began to play with her

a game she didn’t know,

So she tried to smile, she tried to laugh

But she didn’t understand why anyone

would ever treat their doll this way.

On television she’d seen

the grown ups play like this

And so she asked him if

this was a game he and Grandma played?

“Because if it is, I’d rather you played with her instead-“

But he told her not to feel too bad,

because it was a normal game to play,

He told her it was because he loved her

that he played with her this way.

“But stop, I don’t wan’t to play,” she said

He stopped, he smiled, then said,

“I’m too old to play with you anyway.”

A letter to our dog.

Dear HM,

You’re a cute little doggie-foo, so I don’t think you’ll ever understand any of this. But I’m writing this anyway, and this is for you. I’m sorry you had to go through a lot, I’m sorry that your previous owners left you behind when they moved to a new house. That was really mean of them, because they knew you weren’t adapted to living alone and by yourself because you weren’t a street dog or a mongrel – you were one of those expensive, high maintenance terriers (I still don’t know what you are exactly). You must think that they’re going to come back for you – because you haven’t left your house, but I have to tell you this – they’re never coming back. But. I’m glad that my aunt and uncle and cousins moved into your house, and now that I’m staying with them too, you’ll get the love and company you need.

HM. <3

HM. ❤

At first, everyone misunderstood you to be dangerous and “mad”, but that was all wrong. When you come jumping and bounding towards us in the driveway – it’s your way of welcoming us home. And this is something we’ve learned, and now – it’s something we’ve started to look forward to. No matter how terrible my day is, when you come running to welcome me home the moment you hear the sound of my footsteps on the driveway, I smile, and I feel warm inside.

And – I don’t know how to break this to you – but that other stray dog you so vehemently bark and growl at when you see me watching? Yeah, I know you and him are friends. I’ve seen you sit around with him when you think I’m not watching. So yeah, if you think you’re “protecting” me from the big bad stray dog – well, I know it’s all just show, and that the other guy could kick your fluffy little butt any day, but he won’t because he’s your friend. But I’m flattered that you love me and want to protect me, because not many people have done that for me before – and it’s the thought that counts, right? And when ever I’m locked out, and I wait for my sister to come home with the key, you always wait with me. And for that, and many other things, I love you.

Locked out and waiting for the key.

Locked out and waiting for the key.

You are totally filthy and you really smell – but you’re a ray of sunshine in our lives. Even though sometimes you’re naughty, and you do some bad things, and then get yelled at by us – we can’t stay angry with you for too long. Because (despite your dirty-ness) you are SO CUTE. We come down and open the kitchen door every morning just so we can see your face and wish you good morning and baby talk to you and well, just make sure you’re still there. And you always are.

At the kitchen door: What's for breakfast?

At the kitchen door: What’s for breakfast?

You are the most loving, and caring little thing I have ever met. You are also dirty and stinky, and in desperate need of a wash and shave and nail clipping, but we love you nevertheless. My aunt and uncle are not really dog-people (like my dad and me), but you’re always around, and so you’ve kind of grown on them. We are all still in the process of finding someone to come and get you all cleaned up and vaccinated, so we can take you along with us when we move. We’re sorry that we’ve not been able to find anyone yet.

I hope life gets better for you, and that we get to keep you for real, and actually pet you and give you belly rubs. You really brighten up my day, and I love you very much.

Love,

Harini

A Post for Queen B.

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“I felt like it was time to set up my future, so I set a goal. My goal was independence.”– Beyonce Knowles Carter

This post is dedicated to my idol – the one and only, Beyonce Knowles Carter.

There was once this time in my life, when I was experiencing a new kind of sadness – one that I wasn’t prepared for, and one that I didn’t know how to get over. I remember lying in bed, night after night, thinking, remembering, and sometimes crying myself to sleep, with my headphones on and my Ipod on shuffle. I remember how, one night, through my headphones, it was as if Beyonce was talking to me, telling me exactly what I was feeling and how I’d actually just dodged a bullet, and how I should be so through with all that happened to me. This woman, whom I’d never even seen in real life, whom I’d never even met, not only understood EXACTLY how I was feeling, but also gave me a push to pick myself up and become the best person I could be. I was a huge fan of Beyonce way before that, but that night was when I truly came to love and respect her.

She’s officially my BIGGEST INSPIRATION. She’s the most fierce, beautiful, hard-working, and humble woman I’ve ever seen. The thing I love about her the most is her strength. Her strength of character, her strength of will and her strength in standing up for the things she believes in. I respect her for the fierceness with which she displays her feminity, her bold expression of what she stands for, and her undying belief in strong, independent women.

People may not like her, some people may even hate on her, but that’s their problem really. I’m not saying that she is a perfect person, but she is perfect to me. She is extremely hard-working, and yet makes it all seem so effortless She had her dreams and goals, and she achieved them, and for that, she will forever be an inspiration to me. Beyonce is a diva, a powerful and independent woman, who has achieved her million dollar dream, and who will never cease to inspire me, ever. I’m really awe-struck by the amount she achieved as an individual and I strive everyday to inculcate the same ideals in my life. She pushed me to become a stronger person, and continue becoming stronger everyday. She helped me out through some very tough times, and told me that I should never give up on my dreams. She empowers people, and that’s amazing.

One of my greatest desires in life is to watch her live, go for her concert (she’s so effing amazing on stage!) and I hope and pray that one day I will get to.

So here’s wishing Queen B a very Happy Birthday. She’s turning thirty three today! Happy Birthday B, and wish you all the happiness in the world. I love you so much!

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