Wednesday, 12 November 2014

There are films that impress you and there are movies that move you. I prefer the latter. Some emotions are so deeply embedded in you that when you see even a pale interpretation of them on screen, they push you into the throes of nostalgia.

The butterflies have gone, writes Niranjan Iyengar

When I was invited for the preview of Tapaal (Post), a Marathi film, the jaded film technician in me was not at all prepared for the ride into memories of childhood and adolescence, lost amidst the buzz of my professional life. It wasn't so much about the story or the narrative of Tapaal as much as it was about what it evoked in me – a deep sense of longing!

How many times have we, through our adolescence, heard the words, "Grow up!" or "Stop behaving like a child"! And they never made sense then. But despite being annoying, the words gave a strange comfort that `growing up' perhaps had all the answers to our questions. And then the years pass and it just dawns on you that there are no answers… just more questions!

Tapaal is set in a small village in the 80s and explores an unusual friendship between a childless couple and a young boy going through growing up pangs. As the film ended I couldn't stop crying. Even as I was expressing my thoughts to writer Mangesh Hadawale and director Laxman Utekar, I was suppressing the tears that threatened to spring into my eyes. They did look surprised and may have thought of it as an over-reaction, but something in me had been stirred. I laughed off my response as some `age-related' reaction till it dawned on me this morning that it wasn't so.

I was actually reliving the emotions of my teenage years that now seem so far away. And while I prayed through all those years to grow up, today, I miss them. I miss those precocious, heart wrenching, laughter filled, warm moments, where even when you were making friends or enemies there was no pressure to keep the decision permanent, where you were allowed to change your mind, trespass boundaries and even hurt people without being judged.

Adolescence is about confusion, anxiety, anger, lust, love… It's like the first rain of the monsoon and no matter how much it pours after that, the fragrance is never really the same. Each of us has a different notion of what growing up is but for me, it lies in a deep sense of regret that no matter how much or how hard I try, I will never feel the way I did when I was 15, 16 or 19…

I still remember the butterflies in my stomach the first time I was going to confess my love and it's sad that with passing years, the butterflies keep reducing till they cease to exist. That's the saddest part of growing up. You lose the butterflies!

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