plates and ate. In the next one, they piled the plates in the
sink and settled down on the couch just in time. In two
decades, grandmother had grown emaciated, fragile and
“He used to live behind your school,” said grandmother,
looking at the screen.
‘He’ was MGR. The celluloid demigod turned Chief Minister.
The memory of MGR alive was distant yet vivid. In the small
town, at the foothills of the Shervaroyan hills, movie
making became an industry for the first time. Movies were
churned out like an assembly line by a man called TRS. A
crop of illustrious actors, writers and technicians had begun
their careers in the town, residing around the studio and its
other complexes for monthly wages, like in a spinning mill.
An era had passed. TRS had passed and so had MGR. The
studio had turned into a residential complex without a
Nostalgia: grandmother dipped in it once in a while to tell
stories of her childhood. But she narrated only select happy
stories. The granddaughter wanted to ask her the recipes of
their favourite dishes, olan and avial. She began with “How
do you make” but quickly changed to “How did you learn to
read when you were not allowed to go to school?”
Grandmother touched her hand and smiled.