February 2009. My birthday is laying ahead. I have made my wish to receive as many postcards as possible as my birthday present. Suddenly, I get the idea that my wonderful friend Peggy might be equally happy to receive a unique birthday surprise. After all, she is just two days younger than me.
I am excited. For long I dream of painting an empty bailey’s bottle, which I found some time ago in the dirt along one of Varkala’s roads. The bottle is clean and ready to be painted now. Thus, I grab pinsel and acrylic paint and let my inspiration flow. The only thing prior in mind is that there must be a hand on it, somehow. The violet grounding on the bottle is dry, and since I get no better idea in order to bring a well-sized hand onto the glass, I start applying orange paint right on my hands and press those right onto the bottle. A few more lines here and there, some birthday salutes, glasses full of wine toasting to each other, and yet it looks gorgeous.
Initally, I thought to take a just photo of this beauty of a collection, which I would then send to Peggy. Sending the bottle (filled by the way with Varkala’s beach sand would be slightly impractical, thus I primarily search a virtual way of delivering it. While painting my mind turns busy, developing the idea of making a birthday movie. Yeah! That is it! A birthday movie!
As unplanned as can be, everything evolves just on the spot. I love that! Improvisation is probably the most creative activity I can imagine, and I dive into this ocean of free expression joyously. I collect whatever I find: some balloons dangling above our table, two smiley-balls, Augustas’ colorful blanket, an empty condensed milk can, some leaves, a bucket, our beautiful rainbow umbrella…and ready I am to venture into our backyard.
I arrange the set up, fix the video camera, and following spend two hours in Varkala’s midday sun recording the scenes with video and photo camera. Everything that counts is fixing this artistic piece of a bottle and it’s pretty set-up on film.
Tired and fried from the sun, I state my progress to Augustas. After taking a professional look at the scenes recorded, he inspires me anew to re-do some of the scenes together. Now he is filming and directing me, especially on the part where I am laying “hidden” under his colorful blanket behind the basket, which I need to turn manually (Phew! What a heat down there!). This way we finally manage to hide my legs properly, which previously had lurked out at the end and gave a pretty funny arrangement.
During another two hours of hightened creativity, we choose the scenes, cut the film, write the birthday wishes, get the right song, find the perfect speed, and decide on the best form of presentation of our warm words. Finally, we have got it in the box – or however you wanna call it.
Luck is on our side when we upload the video to the web with our rather unstable Indian Internet connection, which at times disappears at all for hours. We are on time. It’s February 20th, and I must admit that from my perspective the movie really mirrors how much I feel for my marvellous, gorgeous, humorous, and above all LOVELY friend Peggy.
Here you can watch Bumble Bee‘s birthday surprise:
PS: Now, 10 months later, I still get chills and wet eyes when watching the movie. It brings up so many beautiful emotions and thoughts, which show me how special a being she is to me, my little Miss Bumble Bee (BB) ;D