Saturday, May 05, 2007

Seminal imagery.

There’s one seminal image, in black and white yet, eked from the Hindi movies of the late fifties and early sixties, that’s embedded deep on my mental landscape. It’s Vyjayanthimala standing in a field, shading her doe eyes from the harsh midday sun and scanning the horizon for her boy friend, most likely Dilip Kumar in Ganga Jamuna or Madhumati (remember “Aajaa Re Pardesi”?). I’m intrigued that I should call it ‘seminal’ which according to my Collins English Dictionary, 3rd Edition (p. 1407) means either “1. potentially capable of development”, “2. highly original, influential and important”, “3. rudimentary or unformed”, “4. of or relating to semen; seminal fluid” or the Biology-centric use of “5. of or relating to seed”. While I would not rule out the relevance of #4 entirely in that a screen image is dreamlike and fraught with Freudian possibilities, I would imagine I had sense #2 in mind most probably. This image is “2. highly original, influential and important” to me because in real life it is I who has stood waiting for others. The gender issue aside, Vyjayanthimala qua me, you’ll agree, would be a “highly original” casting coup because I for one thing cannot dance to save my life. (This rules out Hema Malini qua me in Sholay as well.) Coming to the “influential and important” part of the definition, the unforgettable image ought to teach me a very important life lesson. Never, never believe the other person will be as punctual as I am. Especially given the Mumbai traffic situation as also how seriously people take their own word.

No comments: