Saturday, September 12, 2009

Professor Higgins

I was 10 or so when I first saw My Fair Lady (film). I was immediately fascinated by the whole ambience. At that time, video recorders and video tapes were not widely available. So I bought the sound tracks in the LP format and listened to them. It was my first lessons in the English language.

The character of Professor Higgins, played by Rex Harrison, captured my imagination from the beginning. I do not know what was so significant. His manner of getting to the point with the speed of lightening, his devotion to the study of speech, the accompanying and inevitable dropping of all considerations of material and domestic needs, was an inspiration.

When I traveled to U.K. and had a chance to have interactions with the English academics, I found that the Higgins type is not rare. Higgins are everywhere. They have their peculiarities, quick wits. The eyes are cast at nowhere, their minds apparently occupied by unearthly things.

The speech and actions of Professor Higgins is a music in itself. It was so beautifully portrayed by the late Rex Harrison that the world owes a heritage to him. I, for one, owe a youthful inspiration which probably helped my scooting towards the fanciful worlds of intelligent endeavors.

Professor Higgins (Rex Harrison) offering chocolates to Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn).


(ma)gog said...

Coincidentally, I was singing the numbers from My Fair Lady last night while driving alone through the darkning fields because my old car is not capable of producing any more sound from its radio, and I wanted to feel cheerful as there was no car around me. I like coping Eliza's cockney accent, then suddenly change it to the "correct" rain in Spain, then start feeling like soaring into the sky with joy, catching Eliza's soul who could have danced all night! And Professor Higgins...Oh, I miss him so.

(ma)gog said...

Sorry, I misspelled "copying".

Kz said...

Thank you for reminding the good inspiration from the film "My fair Lady". I had forgotten the inspiration of teaching and learning correct English how beautiful it was.