Sunday, November 21, 2004


Naocha has the garlic heads ready. Dave had brought them by earlier. Why? He asks. Just wait, I say, Sphinx-like.

There are about 15 men and women in our living room. The stairs is their balcony, they say. The mats ion the front is Gandhi-class, I say.

Amrik Singh calls. He is 5 minutes away. I tell him I will wait for him and promptly forget. I start the film without him. But he misses only the credits.

Les burns the garlic over the charcoal brazier. He has it brushed with oil and lightly salted. I hear hungry groans during the roast pork sequence. Manipuris are such carnivores, despite their puritan Vaishnavite exterior. They love the sausage making part too. The phallic or excretory symbolism plays a part too no doubt.

Why the garlic? one asks. I want to go beyond the two dimensions of cinema, Les replies. Also it is fun, he adds.

How would you make a film on fermented fish? Another asks. Much laughter. The ingredient is a good-natured national embarrassment food. Les replies, all earnest, serious filmmaker. Nice.

We run off with Devadutta to Michelle’s for dinner. The filmmakers stay on to watch Les’ film on Lightnin’ Hopkins. He had given a copy to Dave, who was thrilled at the gift.

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