Do you remember your first love?
Do you ..
Well. I think, I do.
The opening paragraph of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's splendidly beautiful novel Love In The Time Of Cholera starts like this ~
It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.
The aroma of not-so-ripened guavas always remind me of my fancy for love during my adolescence. It was a time when fairy tales were real, when innocence ruled the heart and when the clear blue sky blessed you with its beatific smile. My first puppy love was a Teacher in the primary. I was in my fifth grade then. My maiden angel descended from heaven and smiled at me. She had just joined the school. She might have completed her college then and would have been appointed by the strict headmaster to teach the kindergarden. Wearing those playful strands of white jasmine flowers on her long plait, she was spreading an ebullient mirth in the air which was fragrant all around her. She had that mesmeric wheatish complexion, which overwhelmd my infatuation. Calf love can have no bounds for its illusions. I was too sure that she took a liking to me. For there was a glow in her face whenever she glimpsed at me. I believed that her eyes became more expressive and her smile more enlivening at my very sight. All I needed was just an affirmation of my love. During those days, as were their wont, my Gods kept on conspiring against me. Until one day, they finally relented.
It was a fine morning. One such morning when you are happy enough to be born on this Earth. And feel elated for having been gifted with those eyes, which can observe the sun gleaming on the dew drop atop a blade of grass. Morning prayer was routinely going on in the school ground. Standing in their respective queues of classes, with eyes closed, everyone was parroting those lines uttered in feigned solemnity. It was the first and the last time when I had ever prayed at school. That if I open my eyes and look at the Teacher, she should do the same. My heart was pounding and my eyes were hesitantly twitching to open. I gathered my wits and slowly unlocked my eyelids. And looked at her. My Gods answered the call by opening the gates of heaven. She had not only looked at me, but also gave that soulful smile. It was an eternal glimpse that would remain etched in my memory. My first love was thus validated in heaven. But like some of those sad fairy tales, this too ended abruptly. Before any further progress, she stopped coming to school. There was a talk in the school that she was going to get married. Her moronic parents had arranged a dimwit groom and cursed my love into oblivion. My flight of fancy overcame its dismay by consoling itself that afterall it was an arranged marriage forced upon her. For I did not have any iota of doubt that if at all she was given the choice of her love, she would have definitely chosen me!
Apricot is an independant short film directed by Ben Briand. In a short span of about ten minutes, this film transports the viewer into a nostalgic trip of one's personal universe. A chance encounter with a stranger occurs for a girl with a guy. They sit and talk over coffee in a hotel. He feels intuitively connected to her. And wants to know more of her. He probes her about her first love. She prompts him back to tell about his, for which he says he was not able to remember. However, she asks him to recollect and narrate when his turn comes and goes down in her memory lane. A poetic flashback with a reverberating soundtrack follows. The conversation gets a little more personal and a rich tapestry of human emotions get woven to evolve into a relationship between them. This wonderful short film has a fabulous story telling style with the hand-held camera capturing all the myriad hues and colours expressed by two human faces. Apricot is an amazing work of cinematic art made in the genre of short films, which is an interesting domain of experimentation for those who do not want to get compromised with the commercial compulsions of mainstream feature film oriented cinema. The artistic beauty of Apricot lies in the way in which it captures not only how the human mind recreates its past memory but also how it encounters the present much more mysteriously.