Friday, March 14, 2014

Reel of Life : The Bioscope Man at India Gate

I have always wanted to experience India Gate in night.. Since both my son and husband were with me in New Delhi yesterday, I thought a visit might just be fun... People flock there for candle light vigils against injustice or sometimes, just to have an ice-cream and to breathe in the hallowed air of official majesty. Few know the fact that India Gate was constructed as a memorial for the 90,000 soldiers who laid down their lives during WWI and Second Afghan War in 1919. Fewer know the piognant significance of the inverted rifle and the helmet which symbolizes the memorial to the immortal soldier that stands under the arch.. But no one is to be blamed, we, as a nation promptly react with emotion and swiftly tend to forget.. As soon as I parked my car and got out, somebody offered to sell some hot coffee.. Ah! Just what I wanted I thought admist glares from my dear husband as I sipped the second cup of the evening..As I walked towards the arch, I realized that the place had a totally different aura altogether in the night! Much different from what I imagined! Melodious tune of " Jo Vaada kiya woh nibhaana padega" was in the air, and my eyes began to search the origin of such beautiful music.. I admit Iam not a huge fan of old Hindi numbers, but this one was too addictive not to hear! There came Abdul Hussain the Bioscope wallah asking my little son to peek into that little machine called Bioscope that looked like a modified wheel barrow.. Bioscope is a handdriven projector, As the handle turns, the reel begins to move. A low watt bulb is placed behind the reel which showcases great people, monuments, and even Hritik Roshan! The songs are played separately in the background. Bioscope once the yesteryear's entertainer, when TV was still a rarity, has now very little takers,except the occasional child like my son, at India Gate who is curious to see what is inside the little machine. Abdul Hussain tells us that he is a gardener in Lodhi Gardens, by the day and a bioscope wallah by the night. He parks his Bioscope in the nursery during the day and manages to earn a little pocket money in the night. As i walked back to my car,I felt the Bioscope was so right in its place at India Gate, it so represented the spirit of our Nation..

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