When school and studies were a priority in my life, I used to feel guilty whenever I stole time from my study schedule to watch a movie, catch a TV serial or just plainly do some mindless couch surfing. And since I had always set the schedule such that there was no time for any sort of recreation other than reading a library story book; the blame and guilt game began and ended with me.
A little voice used to keep nagging inside my head, telling me that every minute I spent in front of the TV translated to one mark that my competitors in school/ college would score ahead of me and then I would regret this minute that I wasted on fruitless audio-visual gimmickry (sounds so ludicrous now…but was a scary proposition then). I would fight against it arguing that I deserved a break from back breaking, marathon study regime and needed to relax just once in a while. I even went to the extent of justifying really hopeless serials and advertisements as being informative and educational with ridiculous arguments, just to silence that voice in my head. In fact I began to look for needle-length good in the heap of garbage that we are generally subjected to on TV, so as to support my arguments conclusively.
These defense appeals used to silence the little voice but just for five minutes. Then the nagging was resumed with full vigor. So you see I used to have these miniscule 5-min hiatus between ‘Conscience Court’ trails in which I grabbed as many visuals as possible and tried to remember them, lest I didn’t get an opportunity to see them again for a long time. The more I remembered, the more fascinated I became with each visual. I began to break it down to every miniscule detail that I could recollect about it and kept seeing it in my mindscreen over and over again. I guess this is how the whole obsession with the visual media began. And this obsession quietly grew so much that I had to give up my ‘stable, secure’ job and let it take me where it thought I belonged.
Now things are so very different. I don’t have to give excuses or make up silly arguments to watch movies or catch some crap on TV. The little voice in my head is quite silent these days. Since cinematography (and ultimately direction) is a career choice for me now, I need as much exposure to visual grammar as is possible. If it is a bad visual, I learn that I should not do that and if it is good, then I know that I can’t do that since it has already been done. Anyways the point of the tale is that my self-imposed trials for alleged misuse of my own time are over now. And I don’t have to plead “not guilty” anymore. I can’t even begin to describe what a relief it is…