Tuesday, 6 September 2016

episode 55 a cut and three pearls

while watching and thinking of 55, i found my mind wandering off to what originally showed us winds have words in them, pearls scattering mean so many things, the very air sings when you're near.

hindi films.

sorry, can't call it bollywood, it's too original a thing to have even a hint of me too in its naam. even ripping off good english movies and music around the world was done with such elan, such uniqueness, :) . but really, the whole body of work, which once was considered too "low", too mass, no classical element in it, nothing valuable really, gosh how much of me it makes.

the cultural notes, the richness of language of it is now become fashion to discuss, to chat about, to study in colleges... but not in the days when these mad dreamers of the indian film industry were devising, daring, doing the craziest of things:
to create a whole new language of communication, one that would touch and thrill every part of our being. among them some fine poets, singers, dancers, actors, even a group of highly social minded, left leaning people of fascinating talent (kaifi azmi, sahir ludhianvi, majrooh sultanpuri, munshi premchand to name a few).

india as we know her was just being born those days, and they had to think of imagery that wouldn't be stumped by the language barrier... everyone did not speak hindi, the newly chosen national language, but ask older people from any part of the country if they saw the old hindi films, rarely will you get a "what the" from a wizened face. i remember one of my great aunts, a very basic hindi speaker, being into shammi kapoor, oh he was hot hot, and going all smiley at the mention of the man. (aww, sweet shezdi, too many memories with her.)

hindi films found a language perhaps that went beyond the spoken word. its imagery, allusions, little devices, and sign language, came of delving into emotions and universal human things and finding meaningful translations understood by all.

and somewhere along the way, we grew to understand that running around trees singing songs is a feeling, you don't have to do it in real life. and watching a gorgeous "hero" do it, didn't make you laugh your guts out. (shashi kapoor singing "khilte hain gul yahan," has me palpitating in no time even now ha ha). and many other such things. often one didn't fathom the higher, finer elements of urdu in many of the songs, but it never mattered, they conveyed richness... of feelings, thoughts, the moment, everything.

somewhere along the way we "knew" to hear rabba vey when someone's thought, being, or even name came near was not at all loony (well it was, but what the, that's exactly what happens when you're in lau, isn't it).
i feel lucky that the man who created rabba vey, raju singh, learned with one of the masters of the hindi film music world, r d burman. he has the same innovative, unafraid, experimental streak in his work. no matter how many times i hear it, i am entranced. just like you know who.

a cut still fresh in the heart, and a few pearls still scattering in a mind brought about a torrent of words in an unlikely place, and an unfamiliar reticence in another. one said things out loud in her way, but didn't say the real thing at all. the other just spoke them in his mind as was his wont.

"yeh dard toh kissi aur ka diya hua hai...  aur waise bhi, uss chot ka kya jo dikhai nahin deti..." this pain is given by someone else, and what about the hurt that no one can see?

what did khushi mean? what hurt? had he cut her somewhere deeper than the eye can see, where only the heart can feel? but how, why? she never spoke of it. why khushi, why, you who speaks so much why aren't you saying anything today... about that "chot"? i feel like asking her the way he'd asked that day on the bridge.

of course, her final conclusion: everything is that man's fault, i've said what i had to... all our miseries are because of him.,.. that rakshas.

"yeh sab uss arnav singh raizada ke vajah se ho raha hai... bol diya toh bol diya yeh sab uss rakshas ki galati hai."

his soliloquy was touching. "arnav singh raizada is not so weak that he cannot get rid of the thoughts of one girl from his head... she's draped like a shadow over my mind... again and again her thoughts... her face only... as though she's challenging me... no, i'm not one to accept defeat... emotions, feelings, there's no place in my life for such things... and nor will i ever let there be any place for them... you are part of my yesterday which is past... and now... khushi kumari gupta is nothing more to me than just a name."

"itna kamzor nahin hai arnav singh raizada ki ek ladki ke khayal ko apne dimaag se na nikal sake... ek saye ki tarah chha gayi hai mere dimaag mein... baar baar ussi ka khayal... ussika chehra...  jaise mujhe challenge kar rahi ho... nahin, main haar manne walo mein se nahin hoon... emotions, ahsaas in sabki meri zindagi mein koi jagah nahi hai... aur na main kabhi banne doonga... tum mere uss kal ka hissa ho jo beet chuka hai... aur ab... khushi kumari gupta ek naam se zyada mere liye kuch nahin hai."

wow, the silent one really talks, while the talker keeps mum. and what's this chot, this challenge? aren't they both sensing more than what was intended. or maybe they're not? he did mean to teach her a lesson again and again, for getting under his skin... and what was that "hum ja rahe hain hamesha ke liye,"  i am going away forever... followed by a long searching look, if not a challenge to the one who is mattering to her when someone of his ilk really shouldn't. mustn't.

oh fantastic lovely writing. and acting.

i felt really bad for nani today. again the result of good writing and jayshree t's beautiful becoming of nani ji. she, who i've seen dancing the typical hindi movie cabaret in many a film, who'd have thought there was such a sensitive actor in her. in itself, to get all tizzied over a bathing ritual and stalking off after roundly ticking off a guest in the house can seem pretty bizarre. but nani ji managed to communicate her true feelings, her deep hurt really well. and something so elegant, old time, gracious, about her language, always measured, cultured and well chosen,

"sachchai aur shraddha chehre par nahi, man ma howat hai ms kassyap, man ma."
truth and devotion are not worn on the face, they are in the "man" mind/heart, ms kassyap.
if this is how you've been raised, and these are you ways, then forgive me, not only am i upset, i am ashamed too (as a woman, who holds the place and duties of a woman pretty high). "toh maaf kijiye, hum naraaz hi nahi, sharminda bhi hai..." of course, naraaz and sharminda have a sense difficult to translate.

poor nani ji, who'd been through much and done all her duties. to find herself in this situation at this age, gah must be tough tough tough. yet she too was trying to deal with it, placing conditions but not threatening terrible things. all for the love of her grandson, chip off the old block he.

khushi was all khushi, rushing from shop to shop trying to find business. oh, madam had also worked out a slogan... a copywriter in there somewhere? poor payal, always sweet, supportive, trusting, of her dear younger one. the little girl who came home all torn, tattered, and sweetest ever at the tender age of eight and became the older girl's principal fan, her toy even maybe, finally part of her heart. i can feel payal's absolute doting on younger sis. "hum theek toh kar rahein hain na?" we're doing the right thing, aren't we?... she'd asked the mercurial one in their first scene... never bossy, always believing in this crazy girl. payal was wise beyond her years and brave too.

one big grouse against creatives. did the loveliest shots of khushi have to come as a result of the obsession of aaargh shyam? that loving rove over her features on tender music, with the married lustful cretin looking on. why, creatives, why? but oh she looked fab, the camera seemed to be making love.

love is the last thing someone wants to think of, and busy he gets planning di's anniversary bash replete with real lucknow sweets...

(oh loads of hindi fillum ishtyle symbolism in those three words; she that lucknow delicacy, he the diabeic that just can't have enough of her, hmmm).

but run away from love he can't... his own live in girl friend makes him remember. poor man. and by the time he's done with this:

and some more thoughts of strings breaking, pearls scattering, bikhar gaya, a girl looking at him with eyes brimming with tears and accusation, he is just drained.

mama ji on an aside, tells akash the wisest of things: don't marry, and if you must, make sure, it's not a lub marraigewa. mami ji seeks food in her worry and frustration, shyam continues with his lascivious pursuits, anjali looks at him indulgently, la is happy that at long last something that she can deal with is about to happen... no, not another puja... a party. bet la will have no problems about bathing in perfumed vapours and more for that. her rituals are for her places of prayer, i don't blame the girl.

and before i leave to dress up for the big do, just one thing, have you ever seen anyone turn around and walk toward camera quite so sexily? rabba vey...



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