Chandan Roy Sanyal: The story of my bell bottoms in school

Here’s how Chandan drew attention from the girls by aping Shatrughan Sinha

Fashion and movies go hand in hand like camphor on fire in a festive celebration adorning every nook and corner in our motherland. By the way, ‘motherland’ reminds me of Bharat Kumar aka Mr Manoj Kumar, the eternal sunshine of the spotless Indian patriot.

Cinema, again. I related Mr Kumar to Mr Michel Gondry, who makes no sense in this context. but here I am correlating two different eras of filmmakers and how Salvador Dali’s picture would command a certain dose or surrealism. It’s the same with this frame of reference here.

But what is the frame of reference here?

Let me explain.

In physics we have commonly two frames of reference: x axis and y axis.

Now if we put Gondry on one reference and Mr Kumar on the other, what do we get?

Where is the point of intersection?

Answer: cinema.

That’s what I love about cinema – that it has dissipating boundaries like the Hubble’s law of astronomy, where the universe is growing from all directions. So no one stops no one from running parallels in cinema.

My whole childhood went in worshipping Mithun Chakraborty specially – he was a Bengali actor and ooh! his hairstyle! –  till my loyalties shifted to Mr Anil Kapoor after he came out with his Ram Lakhan and I unapologetically shifted my loyalties to Mr Kapoor.

Now with all this absurd bullshit I would like to bring your attention to fashion and cinema in our lives.

I wore bell bottoms in school and like Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen I like my previous age always. Hence Mr Shatrughan Sinha‘s bell bottoms and dog collars were my point of inspiration in the 90’s and when I saw Woody’s Midnight… I thought I did that in school when I dressed up like Shatru and walked around in pants tight around my crotch, garnering enough attention from the girl folks who wore petticoats (skirts that came till the feet). So, yes, I came from a traditional Bengali school where Bengali girl’s were beautiful, yet too covered for my adolescent taste.

I preferred the girls from St Thomas school nearby which was an all-girls school and the girls wore beautiful green skirts circled right above knees and that made them look like Mumtaz from my films and I preferred them to the Leela Chitnis’ from my school.

So like I said, everything revolved around fashion in cinema. By the way, I was called Chandni in school and my friends still call me that. I was very stylish in my small budget and my lower middle class family upbringing. My bell bottoms were borrowed from my uncle, who was my eldest aunt’s husband.

The story of bell bottoms continues …

Chandan Roy Sanyal

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