I’d first heard about The Bridges of Madison County from Barry Norman who used to review movies for BBC TV. Those days I’d just begun self-education about Hollywood films so I hardly knew who Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep were, but, I remembered the title as I felt it was important by the way Barry spoke about it and time and again mentioned the lead players (though I don’t remember what his opinion of this film was). Robert James Waller novel (from which the film is adapted) is one of the first e-books I read after getting a PC at home in early 2000s and saw the movie after learning to use the torrents and downloading films.
The film has stayed with me ever since. But, the real significance of it came to the fore when I got a camera and started thinking of projects to do with the new gadget. That was the time I started thinking about the bridges on this side of the town (obviously not the oft clicked and filmed Thoppumpady bridge). I talked about the project with my dad, auto wallah and cabbie friends, but it didn’t materialise and they all seemed to say unison “these places have filth flowing under them and the stench will be unbearable.”
Yet my dream of being like Robert Kincaid (the nomadic National Geographic photographer played by Eastwood in the film) did not go away. At last I told about the project to my ‘ever ready to help’ friend Raju, he too warned me about the stench factor, still he was game for the adventure. It was decided that we will cover the Kalvathy area in the first leg. “And, no need for an auto, we’ll reach there in 15-20 minutes walking and you can start clicking pictures on the way itself”, Raju’s wise words.
The fun part happened when we thought we’d covered 90% of the distance, we realised that we were heading towards Cherlai Kadavu instead of Kalvathy. “I’ve seen a bridge ahead and thought it was the same,” Raju said.
“I meant the one near the State Bank.”
“I think that is the other end and I don’t think that we can reach there walking.”
This in a way proved to blessing for us as we discovered an unexplored and virgin part of the town and it proved to be exotic in every sense of the term with bridges to be found at every few steps and life lulling around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
|A petty shop as we approach the bridge|
|From the centre|
|This is where the friends bond|
|Those friends put me on the footpath|
|A mansion across the bridge|
|They aren't amused|
|A place to worship across the bridge|
|Ranjith etta bless me|
|The sight on my Right side|
|What would the world be without The Mother?|
Wannabe Robert Kincaid telling bye until he visits another Bridge.