The question is how to link the country where I spent all those summers as a kid (in the same neighborhood that was/is home to Neil Jordan, Phil Lynott and Gerry Ryan) to films from another one of Her Majesty’s former colonies? Hmmm….
The two countries have so much in common (beyond the colonial past): green, white and orange tricolors, a love of story-telling, a history of people leaving home and settling thousands of miles away, a certain conservatism and insularity followed by the liberalism and social upheaval that accompanied an economic boom, and just see if the architecture in Belfast doesn’t remind you of Bombay (or vice versa). We know who we both have to thank for that…
But filmi Ireland….. Well, let’s see. In ’06 the Trib carried a story about a concerted effort that Ireland was making to court the Indian film industry and entice people away from the ubiquitous Old Blighty to greener shores for those song picturizations when a phoren location is required.
(To date, some seven or so films have touched down in Eire.)
On the non-filmi front, Madras-native-now-settled-in-Kildare Cauvery Madhavan has penned a novel several years back that told the tale of an Indian med school student doing his residency in Ireland.
The last I heard from her, she was working on a book about the Indo-Irish link, from the time period when the men of Erin touched down on Indian shores, boat tickets courtesy of HRH.
On a day like today, most people think of Ireland, and picture an image like the one at the top of this post (Yeats’ beloved Ben Bulben, in County Sligo), but the ones I have from home are more urban (and still make me as sentimental as the Irish tourism ads on TV):
But, oh, how far the country’s come since I went to see Maureen Potter in the panto and ate Choc Ices with my little playmates….while listening recently to a podcast of morning drivetime personality Gerry Ryan, I was amazed to hear him compare notes about Indian food with a man who called in to rave about a meal he just had in Cavan, of all places! As the conversation progressed, I came to learn that Ryan’s place of residence, the Dublin suburb famous for the Good Friday battle between the Vikings and Brian Boru’s men, now was home to, not one, but two Indian restaurants. Holy cow. We didn’t even have Chinese food when I was growing up there, only the chipper on Vernon Avenue.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.