Monday, September 08, 2008

Anne comes back

The last post about Anne Frank brought back memories of the other Annes in my life. Well, they were never part of my life and neither will they ever be, but they did take up a lot of time in my growing-up years, occupying a large enough RAM in my brain to deserve a mention in my blog today.

The first was Anne Frank, whose 13-year old photo was of the most beautiful girl I could ever imagine. As a 10 year old boy, I couldn't fall for anybody else at that time. Anne Frank, the girl who, if cryogenically preserved and brought back to life today, will be my girlfriend forever. I will make sure she never gets to shed a tear. I will make sure she never runs out of food. And many of you out there must have fallen for Anne like I did. It wasn't unnatural. Many of my friends were in love with her too. We were of course in love with little Priyanka Gandhi at the same time, because she was the most beautiful Indian girl we had seen, but then, Anne was dead and gone, and indelible from our memories, whereas Priyanka was probably still wetting her bed on troubled nights.

And another collective crush was on Nazia Hassan, who brought disco to India. Everybody I knew was in love with her. All the girls were in love with her brother, and their LP Disco Diwane was a must have in all homes, save the ones of the proletariat, who shunned these American influences on their carefully preserved culture. They welcomed Allen Ginsberg with open arms and Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong were revered, but The Beatles? Trash, I tell you. That's gonna ruin your culture.

I agree with the Bengali proletariat. Poor guys. But anyway, Nazia's LP was coveted as much for her picture on the cover as for the songs.

Meanwhile, most of Enid Blyton's characters had made a rather boisterous entry into the collective psyche of the school students. Sometimes to such an extent that the girls chose either to become the tomboyish Georgina (George) or to become Anne, the perfect British blond schoolgirl. We heard of sausages and bacon and made our parents run to Janata Variety Store in Benachitty to find out what these things meant. That man had canned food: the food of the whites! Every time we passed by, we looked at the Russian, German, and British engineers and their wives buying their monthly provisions. We were certain that they read Enid Blyton too and got the idea of having sausages from her stories.

I was in love with Anne of Famous Five. With the character, believe me! She was small, sweet, a little foolish at times, scared of darkness, and needed protection. Can't really explain to you here how she appealed to me. And to add to my wonder, they started telecasting the Famous Five series produced by BBC at more or less the same time. No, maybe I am wrong... maybe I had moved to Alistair Macleans by then, but I was in my early teenage years when they showed Anne on TV. We had a portable, b/w TV and the transmission wasn't clear, so it was difficult for me to get her name from the credits. Sometimes the credits move too fast, don't you think? I think I got her real name and also the address of the BBC, but don't know if I could finally muster the courage to write to them about her address. Maybe I did. I do remember that I never got an answer.

Many such crushes followed: Suchitra Sen in the movie Shaar-e Chuattor (Seventy Four and a Half), Meg Ryan, and later Helen Hunt. I would watch their movies and stay mesmerized for days, but all of this faded after a few days. There was also Carrie-Anne Moss in that list but I hadn't noticed the Anne in her name until recently. I was growing up, feeling responsible enough for my age, happy with the Anne I married (she too is afraid of the dark and needs a lot of protection) until another Ana arrived in the scene.

And this is Ana de la Reguera. She looks too beautiful for someone who can fall for Jack Black, but the beautiful sister in Nacho Libre looks like someone you can keep on the altar and worship all your life. A google search of her images will yield better results, am sure (if you want to see her posing in the nude), but I like her in her nun's habit, thank you. I guess she has never looked prettier in anything else, or rather, anything less. However, I saw her last night and already her memory is fading.

But I doubt if anyone can ever take my Anne Frank away from me.

18 comments:

Mampi said...

Blessed be Anne Frank !!!
At last...

Gargi said...

interesting insight into your perception of a woman... i was always right wasn't i? :)

Oreen said...

ABSOLUTELY, gee...
you are ALWAYS right...love you, man...

Oreen said...

oye mampi thank you oyeee...

nowheregirl said...

hmmm... interesting...

Puzzled Private said...

What's goin on here.. who's this frank person? Was this the family that promoted the famous Frankies? I loved them when I was in Mumbai (cause that was the only edible junk anyway).

And what about the pro-le(ft)-tariat in Bengal? They are equally frank about their preferences. They don't like Mamata's face.. maybe she doesn't look as good as the frankies...

But honestly.. I would fall (and even break my leg) for that Ana de la Reguera(heavily rear-guarded, whatever) woman.. she's every inch an oopmh... I thought she was good for Nach Baliye.. is your Nacho Libero an equivalent of that in some outlandish language?

On a more serious note (to do justice to the previous post and all the education imparted by Dr. Ghosh) I watched a tear-jerking docu about Anne Frank and her last days - right from the time the family holed up in an attic room. Violence is nameless & purposeless, no matter who is at the sharp edge of the knife.

Drifter said...

Hmm...I remembered the famous five girl (not George) and Nazia but Priyanka was a favourite of mine then. I sat through the Indira funeral from start to the end because of her.
Many years later the crush persisted. I was sure to vote for Congress if Priyanka was there. (What? what is there to be so disgusted about me voting for a pretty face, what else do u see worth voting for in Indian politicians?).
By the way my recent crush is the NDTV news anchor "Sunetra Choudhury". And I recently searched and found she is a bong....yaaayyy!.

Oreen said...

Sunetra Chowdhury? Oh cool, lemme check her out...

Lazyani said...

Hmmn. Very very interesting!!!Lot's of comments, rather memories cloud my thought. KP for one and I do not mean Kevin Pietersen.

Oreen said...

thanks for bringing KP (Kakali Patra) in the picture . . . i guess she looked rather caucasian herself

Puzzled Private said...

did you mean Carcass-ian? Was that misspelt !!

My sincere apologies KP, whoever that be..

Pinku said...

its such a lovely post...and am sure your anne is just as beautiful as the others you never really got to meet...maybe prettier..

gunj said...

wow, dat was quite a nice read!

Indian Home Maker said...

LOL Enjoyed this list, you should do a tag on this, and you will find most of the girls in those days had crushes on Julian (Famous Five) Cliff Richard was also a fav and we had found out he was half Indian, born in Lucknow, a Libran, he took vitamins...we were so silly!
In those we also liked Prince Charles. And yes, Anne Frank was pretty, so was (is) Priyanka Gandhi Vadera.

PARRY said...

What bout ur real life crushes who were so within ur reach? ;)
Nice post.

roop rai said...

this was a gorgeous post. in every sense. ;) i loved anne in famous five too!! :) ah good ol' days ... and suchitra sen is gorgeous o my o my gorgeous!!

dunno about priyanka gandhi tho .. .looks more like a man doesnt she? :/

Aurora Sky said...

what abt scarlett johansson? is ur crush on her over yet? btw man, i bought the cd of LIT. will watch it again over the weekend..

Rupa said...

apurbo