Its a cold wet day outside. Looking out of the window with my morning coffee in hand the rain gently beats against the window panes , snugly ensconed on my sofa watching the patterns the water makes as it trickles down I am overcome with sense of deja vu , this could be my ancestral home in Badulla on a tiny island , then called Ceylon thousands of miles away from Melbourne. The countries may have changed but the tendency to let the mind wander and imagination reign unbridled while enjoying mother nature in her gentler moments is still the same.
It was on days like this that we as kids left to our own devices had to use our imagination to come up with ways to keep ourselves occupied. The idiot box hadn’t invaded our living rooms as yet and the cinema was a treat reserved for a outing with Dad who fortunately was a movie buff and as a result we I suspect viewed films that we were never meant to see in our formative years , mild in comparison to some of the images that flash across the screens in our living rooms but nevertheless quite daring for Ceylon in the 70’s.
This enforced idleness unleashed our creativity and to some extent our commercial instincts upon our immediate families and the various aunts and uncles who used to be around.
Theatre and variety entertainment was put on for a fee , the lounge area in the house had a long row of windows with a broad ledge and curtains across , this naturally served as our stage and was quite a success. Unfortunately this came to a end when one of the cousins singing a particularly upbeat song decided to take a dramatic step back and dissappeared through one of the windows , unhurt physically but her dignity having taken a rather bigger dive than the fall , she raised her voice and gave unbridled reign to her feelings , which heralded the end of our theatrical productions.
Our next venture came from the Books of Knowledge , a set of encyclopedias that was our last recourse to keep ourselves entertained when all else failed. Within its pages was a section titled “Things to Do” and led to many experiments on our part. One of this was the creation of a slide viewer aided by a light bulb , magnifying glass and the purchase of Kodak Slides of the latest cinematic releases from the pavement hawker down the road. This proved to be quite a success and we began to add our own slides , commentaries and little dramatic music off a spool tape player “borrowed” from a Uncle who wasn’t quite aware that he had lent it.
Little did I realize that fate was setting the stage for my future and the flights of imagination which I was then busy translating to reality would continue to become a company , that audiences would go from assorted family in a lounge to people filling a rugby ground , a stadium or theatre.But fortunately or unfortunately nothing seems to have changed , a rainy day still has me gazing into nothingness , dreaming away oblivious to all the annoying responsibilties that being a adult brings.