From PhalkeFactory

synthesis of Indigo, cathode rays


When you were children, I wanted to make you a stable of five toy horses, Sally Gardner, Occident, and.. . To tell you about a man called Muybridge and his ambition of proving that when a horse runs, at one point all his legs leave the earth, he actually flies. Muyerbridge made a bet once. He said the horse's legs fly. His friend said " Of course not". He looked and looked for money for many years to prove his point. He got twenty four stereoscopic cameras and put them all along 20 feet of the race track that the horse was to run on. Then, he connected strings to the shutters of the camera, and took the strings across the track. The running legs of the horse snapped the strings, the strings released the shutters which flew open, enough to let the image onto the camera plate, before they shut. Like little men with little notebooks making notes along the racecourse. The various movements of the horse, his lifting one leg, now the other, then one hind leg, then faster and then.. all in the air!

were imprinted on the photographic plates.

Baba, what is photography?

Babaraya(struggling to remember)

Saraswati: But the images that were printed were like shadows, because technology was not as advanced as today. Chemicals were not as quicksilver, as transformative, as sharp, as the ones I dip my hands into, when I wash the film today and see it come alive between my hands that let it into that bath.

Dada: The images of the horse were then played in the revolving zoetrope

Mandakini: But did his feet leave the ground?

Dada: Yes, there was a picture of the four legs of the horse up in the air. (pleased at her brightness) Yes, they got a photograph of a udhne vaalaa ghoda. (to Sarasvati) You remember, we had a postcard, with the photo of one of the horses

Sarasvati gets up to go look. She returns with a folder of postcards, letters. Dada looks fondly at old postcards, paintings by Dhurandhar, photographs by..


Chiplunkar's parrot

(A green bird stands, outside his cage, ready to fly away.)


Lytton, angrezi button, tried to stop Indian papers. The passed a law, saying " White men will decide what you Indians can publish, How dare you make cartoons of us?!"

But he could not stop an intelligent man like Chiplunkar. Look, how he told his people, " we will also learn- to fly away from our cages" The English could not even understand. And if they did, what could they do? Could they say, don't draw a parrot? Had he even drawn an Englishman? That is wisdom, to say what you want, but cleverly

Sarasvatibai is nodding thoughtfully. Dada remembers his impatient Kamala.

Mandakini grins:

Lytton, angrezi button

Dada turns to her, as though he is about to tell a story, especially for her:

There was a woman called Bla vat sky like Bha ta va dekar Bla vat sky She was a the o so phist

Meaning, she believed in magic. She was white as doodhi when its cut, but she did not like England She packed up her bags, her cat, her phonograph and said to her English friends "Goodbye, I am going to see the tiger, and work for the Arya Samaj, you can see me off at the harbour!"

They did not understand what she meant, and why she liked India. " At least there are no Christians there!!" She said " I am tired of Christianity, tired of western ways, tired of these corsets. I want to go Eastern"

And she came and she lived in India for ever after.

( A disbelieving silence has fallen over the audience at this improbable, but engaging story)


Did she wear a saree then?

Dada shakes his head.:

Well no, though Annie Besant did. She was a bit mad, hunh, Bla- vat- sky (Mandakini mouths the word after him, sitting on his lap, looking up at the exaggerated expressions he is making for her)

And this is important, she became a medium

She wanted to become the mouth for the language of ghosts. Like we all are, somewhat. And this you will take time to understand, I am only beginning to understand it, how sometimes I hear other people, my parents, their parents, Kamala talking through me. Like I am not alone, many people make me, are within me, making my films with me.

Neelkanth: I will fly like the udhne vaala ghoda


[1] Anglo Afghan War, Lytton sends a siege train

"Lady with Flower is too big for my drawing room. But I would like to have a look at it...not tragic scenes in my house...I have started admiring the pretty faces of your women. So I would like to have paintings of Krishna with Gopis, Coronation of Rama, and Sita Swayamvara... I would like to have a copy of Nair Lady inside the Mosquito Net which you had presented to the Prince of Wales.

Seshayya Sastri,Dewan Regent of Pudukottai, and a well respected native statesman among the British, writes to Ravi Varma.

Hindi Punch, lived on till 1930. started as the Parsi Punch later re christened.

Ravi Varma paints an eponymous portrait of the Duke of Buckingham, who is the Governor of Madras.

Chitrashala Press started by Chiplunkar (1869- ammunition factory shifted from Mumbai to Pune) also Kavyaitehas Sangraha- monthly- Marathi literature and poetry also the Aryabhushan Press next year started a bookshop for inspirational Marathi books the year after- Kesari and Marata collaborator with and influence on Tilak --- Photogravure Karel Klic, artist

in 1874, he had started the periodical Nibandhamala

with his father also translated a Samuel Johnson- Rasselas and an English translation of the Arabian Nights into Marathi

"He that has much to do will do something wrong, and of that wrong must suffer the consequences; and, if it were possible that he should always act rightly, yet when such numbers are to judge of his conduct, the bad will censure and obstruct him by malevolence, and the good sometimes by mistake." s Johnson This period in Marathi literature- influence of english, long sentences with several subordinate clauses the book was a loose narrative about the quest for happiness "We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself."