Tuesday, the 5th, the second round of radiation starts at Kokilaben Hospital. The new Edge machine is nice and shiny, by the time it has finished with me, I would have had had twelve Chemotherapy cycles, and fifty-five of Radiation, if, to that, you add four full-body PET scans, and, two CT scans, this Christmas instead of a Christmas Tree, I could drop in, stand in a corner and light up your home for you. I could go to Malls, stand in the open spaces, light up, and people could sing carols around me.
It’s 5 pm, I’m in the basement, all radiation is conducted in the deep depths of hospitals, below street level, and I have been thinking of Shashi Kapoor. Sometime Monday evening he passed away in the hospital above me, and today morning he was taken from Kokilaben to his residence in Juhu, and on to the crematorium in Santa Cruz. It’s a cool, grey, drizzly day, Cyclone Ockhi brought rain to Bombay since Monday evening, and it’s been a lovely wet day. Mussoorie monsoon weather and I go to the hill station, as I have decided to think on Shashi Kapoor instead of reciting poetry in my head, while the Edge radiates me.
Aa Gale Lag Jaa was a bit hit in Mussoorie and if you visited the hill station’s roller skating rinks you would often hear songs from the movie blaring out, really loud, while people danced on skates. For the regulars there, and the young instructors, it was a fairy tale film, in which the poverty-stricken young skater gets the glamorous girl, Sharmila Tagore, who visits a hill station; he is united with his son, and wins the day. That made me think of Jennifer Kendal, the founder of Prithvi Theatres, and how she and her family traveled around India doing Shakespeare plays, like in the film Shakespeare Wallah. She did a lot of costume design and was probably the reason her husband was the best-dressed man in the Indian film industry. Slim, trim, and dashing, always with a trademark kind of sideways swagger. And her son, big time model in Bombay Dying ads. She had cancer too, but as the Edge moved around me, I just couldn’t remember what kind of cancer.
I remembered Nanda, he kept doing films with her in the 60s, which we saw in Mussoorie’s many cinema halls, I remember they both said they were each other’s, favourite actors… “Mere Paas Maa Hai”, Siddhartha, on his knees in front of Simi Grewal… Bombay Talkie, Heat, and Dust… John Master’s The Deceivers… Trishul… the youngest in Waqt… Footsteps. And they start removing the clamps on my mask… One down, nineteen to go
Roy Daniels is famous in the world of media and is loved and admired for his work. He has written and directed over 200 short films and is a writer and strategist who has worked in communications for over 25 years.