Sunday, January 13, 2008


The film was screened at Alliance France for Madras Day Celebration '09', organized by Mylapore Times.

Room No: 169,
Bishop Heber Hall,
Madras Christian College,
Tambaram,
Chennai,
India.

Nothing special about this address, except for the fact that my heart and my soul still live there. With Heber chapel at the door side and the ground at the window side, 169 still remains my paradise on earth. Many nights I had spend sitting at the open space near the window staring the stars. It was never been closed for an entire year and five months. An owl nested at the tree near by was the only one curious about my lone little world. Didn’t you have any shame sweet heart? Anyways she is the only woman who had seen me truely, both my mind and my body nude…So I've a special love for her!!! In fact I was equally curious about her world trying to videograph her. During those days there were many who doubted that the department’s Hi-8 Handy cam is yet another organ on my body. Oh, now I remember those other cute neighbors of mine who posed neatly for my cam. That includes two cute parrots, I caught -kissing and romancing -sitting on top of the chapel bell tower. I needn’t mention about all other romances that bloomed in and out the mighty chapel.



About the bell tower I have yet another interesting story for which I myself been the protagonist, but of course not a romantic tale. It was a Sunday morning. I got up hearing some noise from chapel side and I could clearly see my junior friend Ginsu standing there surprised at his strength on pulling the gong out of the bell. That was never been his intention but to ring the bell for Sunday mass. Luckily it didn’t fall on his head. All were confused as it takes hardly half an hour more for the mass to start. If I remember it correctly I was the one who climbed on top of the bell tower and married the gong back to the bell.

Another nature’s actor was a woodpecker who found luxury on the tree stood in between my room and the chapel. But twice I had to miss having the cam for shooting deers came visiting me. Once it was a huge male wounded deer sheltered at the corner of chapel and the nearby room. At night I had jumped through the window (this I did many times luckily not falling the prey to roaming securities) and went near the deer. But I couldn’t reach him worried about its mood. Then as always I climbed back to the room through the wire mesh near the chapel side. One of my biggest fantasies was to jump though the window from my first floor room and go and lie on the lone ground at mid night gazing the stars. Another was walking out to the main gate at 4 o’clock in the morning waking up the securities and then having a tea from the shop outside.

Generally we speak about “nav-rasas” or the nine moods of man. But Heberians have a million other moods that can be explained only by a Heberian.

If you come to Tambaram darling
Come to Heber Hall……..
Heber is a Paradise
Fish pond and all…….

For the lucky men "The Gentlemen" , this is the song on which their heart beats.

Me and friends Deepu, Benji (Benjamin) and PJ (P.J. George) had never thought that we are thereby setting a new trend in Madras Christian College when we screened a documentary titled “Forever Heber” about our beloved home Bishop Heber Hall on the hall day 2005, as its been followed since then by almost all the Halls in MCC. I am proud-in fact, terribly thrilled – even after three years of me leaving Heber, I’m still getting calls from Heber as well as the brother halls Thomas and Selaiyur on suggestions and review of the short films by the young minds of MCC for the respective hall days.

For me it was first a craze to shoot the age old traditions and customs followed by the residents of Heber. I videographed almost every possible event in Heber from my first year (2003) of stay including anything and everything from General Body meeting to Octavia. And hence the film is a mixture of year 2003 to 2005 in Heber. Slowly the craze became an idea of making the documentary my M. A. Communication documentary film project. As it went on the craze and the idea became a mission for the future. And finally thus the film
“Forever Heber”.

Fantastic script of narration written by P.J George to fabulous narration by Benjamin, it just brought out the best in all of us. My love was always been the moods of Heber with its immense simplicity, whether it be the green from the nature to the grey and blue from the minds of Heberians. The rain fell from the roof had music in it and the tone of Church bell had the right attitude.

The day of screening is memorable in many ways. I was running around holding my breath coz of many techinical problems. Thanks to my sweet little friend Cris who was my hall day guest. She kept saying "Don't worry Arun, it will work". And it so happened - with the lights off, in the sweetness of that dark, for the first time a film of mine got screened and tat too in front of my own family, the Heber family. Later Cris just smiled at me and said "Are u happy now"... Oh, yea....I said this in mind...

Heber for ever......Ever for Heber...Forever Heber….

Read about Heber: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_Heber_Hall

14 comments:

Pointblank said...

OMG! That was such a lovely, romantic piece! u brot back all those memories I was so badly trying to forget. Cuz clinging on to those moments makes it harder to move on in life! the sheer joy of being a resident!

And bose, can u pls upload tat Heber video on orkut or smthg. I dont have it wit me. I had requested u once. Pls pls pls!

And reading ur post, i wish I never knew it was ur blog. there is a certain smthg bout anonymity!!!

Pointblank said...

hey.. I just went back n read ur post on God and Karma. good one! I have ben wanting to write smthg similar lines... yet very diff from wot u have written.. something more personal cuz I dont.. err... read much.. heheh

Cockroach said...

Hi Neetu,

I remember u asking for the Hall docu. A lot of ppl asked for then same. So yesterday I uploaded it in youtube. In fact I did this write-up as a supporting document for the uploaded video. Will share the link with u soon.

As you said the Hall memory is for a life time. Definitly not for the escapism in you to shelter back in that shell but as an energizer for you to face the real challenging world. Now I think I learnt that from Heber by all those adventures.

Cockroach

Cockroach said...

And about your comment on Karma. It is hard time since we should restructure the social identities based on religion. Don't u think that every human invention has to be updated with time. And hence the social religios structure too coz thatz again a human invention.

Cockroach

Enigma said...

arun
u have written a beautiful piece there....love ur writing now dear cockroach..hehe..well MCC does bring bac so many sweet memories and its alwyas and will always remain my best yrs in life with the best set of friends...cheers...

Cockroach said...

Kel no doubt in that

Cockroach

levin said...

awesome writing Mr.Cockroach.
Mcc Rocks....
Heber forever, ever for heber forever heber...

Macabreday said...

neat video dude..!! well done..!!

heber forever
ever for heber
forever heber

sansmerci said...

you will make an awesome filmmaker although its already known i jus realised you can visualize like anything.. its so picturisque i felt like watching a video reading your post!

Cockroach said...

Thanks a lot Levin/ Mcabreday.

Swarna, thanks de. But u know u r better in writing skill. I'm more a visualizer.

Mataxe said...

Great Video.
It has been posted on Facebook on the MCC Groups page.

Cockroach said...

Thanks a lot Mathews.

Anonymous said...

Brings back a lot of memories, this surely does. And some things never change - Heberians still cannot sing to tune. Incidentally, I lived in room 169 in 1977-78.

Sam Varghese, Meboourne, Australia

Cockroach said...

It's so nice to hear from you Sam. I support your statement on not singing to the tune :). In the VIVA examiner asked me why did i place the song in the end in an unconventional way...and I said though it is customary to sing the hall standing in attention, i have seen the residents humming it all the time on any day at any point of time. but then it reflected how much the song has gone into the minds. :) Up up Heber

Warm regards.