Ideas and Opinions

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Continued from Part I ...

The summer holidays of the same year, I got interested in a new hobby, a chance to learn something ....

I was introduced to a cool new toy by my friend during that summer – a lens. He showed me how you can burn paper, match and all sort of stuff by focussing the sunlight on it. I was amazed by that and got my own lens from a general stores. As i was playing with it my father watched that and he asked me to come inside and he wanted to show me another cool thing. He placed a mirror on the kitchen floor where we got sunlight from the window and projected it on the wall. He then cut a piece of polythene paper from Aavin milk packet and put on the path of the light. Next, he put the lens on the path after the polythene piece and I just witnessed a phenomenon – a magnified image of the Aavin writings looking just like the slides they show in theatres. I just learnt how to project a movie and how a lens works to do that. The next thing i did was I ran to the roadside shop across the main road and bought a pack of movie films and rushed back. I did the same thing my father did but with the films that i bought and enjoyed watching my new source entertainment for a long time. I learnt how i have to position the film inverted so that i get the correct projection after the lens magnifies and focusses the image.

The next step, I needed some improvements to do to my new toy. First thing was the lens was not so clear since it was of low quality and small focal length. The picture size had to be small for getting a clear magnification, So i asked my father if he can get me a better lens and guess what i got a fine quality magnifying lens with steel rim and handle. I ran a trial with that and the picture came out amazing. The magnification was as big as HDTV and picture was clear and sharp. I then started assembling everything so it would look like a still projector. I took off some notebook covers and cut a rectangular hole on two of them. I made one with a slot to hold the film and on the other I stuck the lens using a tape so i don't have to hold it by hand. I closed the door and shut the windows and put a blanket on top and darkened the entire room. I got a clean white veshti from the godrej bero and hung it on the wall to form a screen. Then finally i projected the film on the clean white screen and voila it was my first still projector at work. It was a great feeling to do something like this and after that i kept improvising my new devices. I had a box to hold all the films and i had to simply place the films in front of the lens to get the picture. I was enjoying it to my fullest. I run my own show to my dad and mom and i would just keep projecting the films one by one. I was also improving my film collection by getting the ones which has titles(which i show first) and then i have a good mix of films with song, action sequences etc.

I loved to do this and showed it to all my friends. But something was still not right because, i can only do this in the afternoons when i get the sunlight in our kitchen. Well, I got curious if movies are projected the same way where do they get the light from if it is an evening show or a night show. My Father answered this question and he said i would need atleast a thousand watts white bulb for this. I hesitated to ask because it would be too costly in those days to get such a bulb, so i just restricted myself to that particular time everyday. I had so much fun with this i didn't want to do anything else. I thought of more improvements to my toy. I wanted to project an actual movie, atleast a piece from a scene. So i learnt from my uncle about how a movie projector works and then i tried to create a roll film holder using a spindle. It didn't come out very well because i was only able to get a small roll of the film and my frames per second was not very controlled so i was getting only a clip for few seconds which flickered ununiformly. I tried it several times and my toy was technically not very strong to handle it. The summer vacation was almost getting over and i started realising that i cannot do this everyday. I will have a lot of school stuff to do and i will only get to do this on weekends when i am at home and when i get enough sunlight in my kitchen. I just reluctantly asked my father if he can buy me a buld which can be bright enough to project a movie. He told me that there are actually mini projectors which you can use at home. I was so thrilled at that and i never knew my father would be willing to buy me one. He said he could buy me one on the next saturday when he comes back from work. I eagerly waited for that saturday evening ... but my father came empty handed. He actually came with my uncle and explained that the shop only had the last item and it was kind of broken so he didnt want to buy me that. I agreed and let it go. The next few weeks i kept asking my father and he only said there was no new stock of those items yet. I just lost interest and gave myself away to other forms of entertainment and that was about the time I learnt to play cricket from my cousin. All my projector stuff vanished in few weeks, my lens, films everything went to the attic and I completely forgot about that.
It was cricket from then on ...


  • one, da...felt like reading feynman's experiments with his radio and stuff...u been a real enthu guy da..

    waiting for more, da...keep them cming..

    By Blogger The Constant Variable, at 3:57 AM  

  • Hi...
    This one took me back to those golden days in pacharisikara thoppu..wasn't that amazing...thanks for reminding me of the great past.

    By Blogger viky, at 11:55 AM  

  • @maduraiarian .. Thanks

    @Viky ... I am planning to write more of my memories in this series - BACK TO THE PAST. Keep visiting for more on this.

    By Blogger Dinesh babu, at 11:57 AM  

  • here we go...autobiography in the making. good post dinu.

    By Blogger crsathish, at 11:04 AM  

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