Wednesday, 26 May 2010

How grey was my valley?

Tapen Chattopadhyay, who played the character of Goopy in Satyajit Ray's Goopy Bagha series passed away a few days back.

The Goopy Bagha films defined children's films in a country where there weren't many. Films you could grow up with as you kept discovering layer after layer each time you saw them. For many of us they were the rare home grown super heroes cum rock stars. Though more in the Asterix quirky, double meaning, genre. This post is not about Goopy Bagha. You can check this excellent post by the Great Bong to get an idea of the phenomenon that was Goopy Bagha if you want to know more.

I first heard about Tapen Chattopadhay's death from a college friend on Facebook. Soon status updates from others of my vintage began to pop up. Culminating with the above blog post which was linked by many including me.

I guess the mid thirties is a strange period. This is when the icons you have grown up with begin to leave you. Bagha, or Robi Ghosh, was long gone. Goopy now joined him to rock the heavens. Michael Jackson thrilled and then shocked and then went away. Others faded away. George Michael was not really a Lady Killer. Aggasi probably not as cherubic. The judo and disco legends disappeared as Mithun and the eighties became a real time spoof. Gavaskar was left peddling DLF Maximums and MRF Blimps after breaking Bradman's records. Kapil Dev sulks in a corner. The mighty Windies is barely ahead of Bangladesh in rankings. Azza went from one murky world to an even murkier one. Becker and grass are both part of history books. For the cows as Lendl said. Maradona is rounder than the ball he fisted in. Bachchan keeps re-iventing himself. Kishore is remixed.

So who fills up the gaps. Do we search for new icons? Where? Amongst those a decade younger than us? Or do we live in reruns?

But then there is always Anil Kapoor who ek do teen'd his way onto the Oscar Stage. 


Scarlett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scarlett said...

It's really sad how every icon, every shining star fades away with time. Some into glory, others into oblivion. Makes you realize how everything in life is ephemeral.

Do we search for new icons in the generation after ours? I'd say, mostly no. We prefer to live in nostalgia, we hang on to what was. We may like a few achievers from the next generation, admire them even. But I don't think we can idolize them or make them our icons.

What prevents us from making them our icons? Generation gap, maybe. The generation gap may be closing in as the decades roll by, but there'll always be a certain level of disconnect between our generation & the next. The world's moving way too fast!

Do I make sense?

PS: Removed the last comment b/c there were too many typos in it.

The knife said...

@Ash: typos on comments/ chats are the bane of my existence. I think Mozarella (Mozilla) gives at automatic spell check which helps a bit.

Carrying the discussion further, pinning up posters Sonam Kapoor, remote as the chances are, would be quite Lamhe'ish

I guess sports is slightly better. At least in cricket I moved from Gavaskar to Ganguli to Gony, sorry Dhoni