Let the digital revolution be. We are more interested in Manipur’s preparation to receive it. The revolution is a boon in many different ways. For instance, it has made movie making accessible to many more, having phenomenally slashed down the cost of film making, as well as simplified its production. In many ways, the MFDC building is a fitting symbol for the arrival of the new age film making. It is, by Manipur standards grand, but perhaps the grandeur is a little in excess. As for instance, the spanking new, glittering and still incomplete building has a massive main convention hall which probably would be able to seat nearly 1000. How many times in a year would the film crowd in the state find an occasion that can fill up the hall? For most of the year, it can be predicted, this hall will remain unused. Instead, constructing four or five relatively small but state-of-the-art digital theatres within the complex would have been more to the purpose. There are also some small but all the same telling architectural flaws. As for instance, on the 1st floor of the building, there are two washrooms, one for ladies towards the north end and another for men towards the south end. The well-constructed, marble tiled, modern washroom for men has altogether 10 pissoirs. At least one or two of them should have been a foot lower for the convenience of children. This oversight exposes the architects conceived the building as an adult facility only and not a family recreation centre. This is unfortunate and perhaps reflects a deeply entrenched social bias. We hope they can still make amends, as the building is still incomplete.
But there is another oversight which much more rudely betrays the invasion of an unfeeling materialism in life in general, or call it flawed notion of modernity. Look out of the men’s shit room window as you relieve yourself and be shocked to find the sombre, silent and melancholy Thangal Temple immediately below. Can anything be a more inconsiderate and irreverent act than this? Was this rude compromise of a sacred historical space of the society necessary? What would have been so terribly wrong to have the entire washrooms complex, housing facilities for men and ladies in separate rooms, on the southern side of the building to avoid this defilation? Must modernity and the alibi of space constraint always mean the decimation of the traditional and sacred?