A childhood memoir that recreates the magic of the ’70s and ’80s
Life of young millennials is defined by the number of followers on social media, the next status update and the number of likes they receive for their posts. While one has many virtual friends, there are few memories created. Just two decades earlier, it was different. Different, because first impressions, particularly childhood memories, lasted forever and that’s what advertising professional Anand Suspi explores in his autobiographical book Half Pants Full Pants.
Published by Paper Boat, with a foreword by filmmaker R Balki, the book essentially showcases the naivety of people from the small town of Shimoga during the ’70s and ’80s, where Anand was born and raised. “There was less of everything back then and yet so much to explore, experiment with and savour. Each day was a new adventure and the joy was immense. Those simple yet surreal years have largely vanished from the face of the earth, thanks to technology,” writes the Delhi-based author in an email interview.
The book, a collection of 38 short tales, brings to the fore memories from Anand’s childhood. From the first black & white television and reading Famous Five novels to spending summer vacations in Bengaluru and learning tunes such as Funky Town by BoneyM, Anand relives the joy through his writing, which though simple, recreates the magic of an era gone by. Perhaps a reason for Balki to compare it to RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days. “It feels humbling but on an objective note, it’s not surprising at all. The milieu, the era and the backdrop of my childhood are very similar to that of Malgudi Days. Though it was written in the 1940s, the world had largely remained unchanged till the 1980s,” shares Anand.
Now that the book is published and is being well received, the author is keen on writing another. But before that, Anand who is the group creative director at Lowe shares, “I do have some thoughts floating around in my head. But I first need to dive back into my regular advertising work to earn my daily sambar rice and curd rice.”
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— Ayesha Tabassum