The gate of ages and ageing

From PhalkeFactory

M: Here a woman might meet her mother as a woman younger than her, and watch her walk past, living her life.

There are ages to live through and parenthood is merely one piece of our parents.. parenthood is not their only sky, as we, their children imagine it to be: maybe we cannot look otherwise, except with some bitterness. Similarly there are parents, like Dhundiraj, who too often forget that that is what children necessarily think.. that parents will be the sky to them. Prabhakar, as an old man, with dark glasses, frail, in bed, remembering Japanese phrases, might look at his father's face and still see a large space where birds might take wing.

( M sitting and writing in his hotel room in the night. The hotel is an older haveli converted, with plaster walls and a new piece of painting up)

M: Writing itself has ages, and you look back at earlier pages and hear a young voice.

The Darwinian drawing is a straight line, of progress. The older systems of circles, cycles, were they not richer for the circular circus tent of life? that as the ferris wheel of age goes up, you progress, over spring into the fullness of summer and the wet rains and somewhere, hidden in the turn when the wheel tries to turn again, old age, whenever that might be. If it is a fractal of wheels within wheels, we age all the time, and make so many saawans and shraavans. So to a eight year old, the faculties of the child of two are lost..and to the two year old? persists the stain of a loss, the beginnings of memory.

We meet an Urvashi here, the one who controls the heart. A fine funny young fellow, who would not, I think looking at her, comply with such subject positions being cast on her. Avid science student, going to college now, with glasses, wants to be work with computers, not sure quite how she wants to do it. I tried to play with her my name game- Ur- vashi. She smiled in a simple open way- a little shyly, accepting the wish of her parents for their child. The eyes of the very young, like fresh leaves, are a gift outside of anyone they are ('You poet of the bourgeois! N would exclaim.)

I told her the Puranic story. This time she laughed a little nervously. " When Phalke was an old man", I told her, because she lived in the city named after him "when he was older and poor, and not confident of his film making faculties, he was invited by the Raja of Kolhapur, to make a film there. The old craftsman went to the palace of the king and walked through corridors of grand marvels. There was Urvashi, from the Ravi Varma painting, but mechanised, leaving the arms of Purvuras, and returning again and flying away again and returning again."

"like a gif" nods the young computer expert.

I sit later and wonder at the analysis of one teller who had mixed up his name with phalke's a bit like water with dough.. he writes that this was a caste war- the king of kolhapur who was reformist invited the old brahman, Phalke, partly, to - rag him.. There were fine craftsmen in that city, some who might had craft in their bones over generations, all who had inherited traditions of labour, working with their hands. Not like Phalke, who had inherited merely a mind, albiet a story telling one. Baburao Painter Damle Fattelal V Shantaram

Phalke, children. Babaraya, 1907, Mahadev, 1909, Mandakini, 1912, Neelkanth, 1914, Prabhakar, 1916, Shrikrishna, 1918, Malati, 1923, Suresh, 1925, Deodutt, 1926.

Atpatesvar, 1951, says he has met some of them. Must see his film. Numbers.. to start with, learn them by rote, chant them everyday. The branch after 1923, seems weak, less connected to the life of the father. The numbers group themselves. 7,9; 12,14,16,18;( period of fecundity?), 23,2526 met that unusual man again. He has a tome on Phalke, a scrapbook that jumps off its pages like an emily dickinson poem, only the voice is his own. lyric, staccato, pre internet, your eye jumps from collaged image to imagearound the text giving factual details of Phalke's life. What is his objective? He says he is a film maker, but this work is action. Or does not seem to be aiming to be live action at all. Unless, through the alternating current kind of shocks that these image sequences give, he is hallucinating an image, like a hologram, but less constant, alive, between these words and from parsing these words, these images, from some juggernautery of these images and words, a sensation, that could be a brief moment of Phalke walking the earth again. It is a magicians book.

PHALKE STORIES Kamal ( Hindi / English)

He has an acolyte, a middle aged woman, really, whose work he kept pushing at my face. She lives here too. Seems nice enough, smiles much too often, just a nervous character, maybe. He enthusiastically tells me she has done a lot of work on Phalke's children, on numbers, on, if one was to believe him, pretty much everything. He made her show her work to me, like you might get a child to recite a poem, and at first glance at least, it seems a bit- wordy, nowhere as flightful as his. I looked at the old man and his smiling companion a bit suspiciously, but well- whatever. I hope I find some use of her book that he kind of forced me to buy.

BOOK 1- 1919 Hansa


disorderly ageing

a painting card on my table