GloMag GloMagMarch2019 - Page 76

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 bedridden. “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 trace. 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. 76