We grew up with Bond, James Bond. Actually, lived with him.
Yes, that was my brother Nagesh in the house. A die-hard Sean Connery fan, Nag could (and still can) rattle off bits and pieces from the movies in typical Connery style. Coming to think of it, so could the rest of us at home. To really feel the part, he had a blazer, complete with that Bond-ish bow tie. And as he drank the Thumbs Up, poured into a glass, he would imagine it was Vodka-Martini, shaken, not stirred. He drove Dad’s Ambassador as if it was an Ashton Martin. To top it all, he slept with a Walther PPK replica under his pillow.
When we entered Nag’s room, we were greeted by a huge cut-out of Sean Connery masquerading as King Arthur. It was used as a backdrop for a college fest. The room was full of pictures of Bond, and there were some movie release posters that he chanced upon by befriending some people of influence in the local theatres.
By the early 1990s, we had built a collection of every Bond movie made till then, on VHS. The most reassuring thing about watching a 007 movie (unlike the Westerns that also featured violence) was the pre-knowledge that Bond would never die. The theme songs of the movies blasted out onto the street, along with the Bee Gees, entertaining the neighbours, irrespective of whether they wanted it or not. We also had all of Ian Fleming’s books and one of the prized possessions was a hardbound ‘The man with the golden gun’, with a golden gun embossed on the cover. The gadgets fascinated us and Nag would try to mimic them using bits and pieces of waste material found here and there. One of the first things he did when he got money of his own, was join the James Bond Fan Club in the UK.
All this paraphernalia still finds pride of place, in his home and office space, and there are definitely lots of new things that I probably haven’t seen. For his 40th birthday, I made James Bond Cap Magnets with seven Bonds, him included. A big addition I have seen is an autographed photograph of “The 007” that one of his good friends gifted him.
Quite obviously, Sean Connery, through 007 and the roles he played in other movies, had a huge influence on our lives. It probably reflected in Nagesh’s acting roles in college plays (he did win best actor award) and most likely finds its way into his professional advertising work too.
Post his death, I know there’s been some talk about his views/actions on violence against women, and recordings of his interviews have been doing the rounds on social media. This would surely be one of the blemishes on his life, which was otherwise also, not really free from controversy.
The other video that has been circulating is Pierce Brosnan’s speech in 2005, that you can watch below.
Though not in the public eye in recent years, the fact that Sean Connery is not physically present in this world any more, will make us miss him. Farewell!