Friday, December 17, 2010

Nalacharitham in Kathakali

Today, I found my way to Charukesi's blog

I was reminded of the time I had posted the story of Nala Damayanthi as presented in Kathakali long ago on sulekha blogs. It took me some time to hunt those pages, and then I thought why not repost them here. And so here it is:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Magic of Mumbai

(First of all let me say that Mumbai to me is always Bombay, but I wrote Mumbai in the title simply because it alliterates with Magic! )

Long long ago, I belonged to Bombay and Bombay belonged to me. We left Bombay in ' 77, but the sense of belonging remains. Whenever I've visited Bombay afterwards, I realised that I still relate to the city as mine. However to the current generation I might seem like an outsider or at the most a mere visitor. 

I've also felt that when Bombayites- when they meet outside Mumbai- the sense of bonding they display makes the rest of the junta feel alienated. Don't know if all this is just a distorted perception of an over working mind.

However, I must admit that I'm not sure if I would be able to match the pace of Mumbai living anymore. 

My memories of Bombay is remote but distinct- during the 70's- our Building society, our neighbours from all states, our celebrations of Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami. The VT station, the little shop which sold Amar Chithra Kathas for just 2 Rs!  

Our flat was situated in some interior area of Ghatkopar, and I remember taxi walas would hesitate to ply to our place. The road from the highway, to our building was kuchha and on either side were jhoppadpattis/ slums. People would be attending to calls of nature on the roadside, and the stink was awful. Once I reached the beginning of this road, I would refuse to budge an inch and Achhan was compelled to carry me all the way home! However, there was a private road which by passed the dirty kuchha one, and we usually opted for this one. 

Those were the days of the Indo-Pak war, and Achhan (father), had covered all the windows with brown paper. An eerie siren would bellow at random times ( I can still remember the wail of the siren)  and then whether at school or at home, we had to plug our ears with cotton and crouch under tables/ chairs. I was too young to be afraid, and rather enjoyed the adventure. At night, we were not supposed to switch on the lights, but everyone would go up on the terrace to watch the spectacle in the skies! It was great fun for us kids. 

Those were the days when ‘Chitrahaar’ used to be ‘Chaayageet’, Tabassum’s ‘Phool Khile hain Gulshan Gulshan’- the first of the star rendezvous…Paintal’s “Laddusingh Taxi wallah”, Santa kukdi, Amchi maati, Amchi maanas…
Initially I would go to my neighbour's home to watch T.V and later when we bought a T.V set, I remember how we kept our doors wide open during Prime time and how proud I felt  when others trooped in to watch Doordarshan at our place! 

All said and done there is a certain magic of Bombay that makes me a trifle envious of Bombayites...I guess  You can never take Bombay away from you, even if Bombay is taken away from you. :-)  

 (The above words began as a comment on Janani's post but morphed into a blog post!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tangle of Thoughts

Coming to terms with reality… what an ambiguous plateau that is for sure! Neither here nor there. There seems to be merely a diaphanous margin between the perceived and the imperceptible. Some random moment in time impinges upon the consciousness as real and yet its not so. What is not perceived is not truth?  One wants to desperately turn back time, position oneself at a specific point of reference , tweak with the yarns in the past, forge changes into the tapestry of the present. One is perplexed that it can’t be done?

That which was full of vivacity, that which pulsated with vibrancy is now still, mute- not even there? Can’t comprehend…

That with which one connected with the mind, the thoughts , feelings and emotions came to a naught because some organs stopped functioning? When one laughs, cries, loves a being, where does the lungs, liver and kidneys come into the picture? Where do those intangible things that one related to disappear to? What does one do when there is this unsurmountable need to call for, listen to and touch that which is no longer there? The memory of the voice is dissipating…but the density of the feelings linger…gets heavier with the passing moment and threatens to crush the self. The need to crystallize the memories is so intense that it hurts. Where does it hurt? Some place that cannot be seen, heard or touched…

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Musical Nostalgia...

 This post is inspired by Mad Momma’s post

During the late 70’s- 80’s,  I used to live with my parents in Dubai. They used to broadcast Hindi movies on TV on Wednesday nights I think. In the beginning, we used to go to sleep and then wake up in time for the movie because it began late into the night.  We used to valiantly stay up to watch unheard of movies. On Wednesday nights it was in Dubai channel, on Friday afternoons- Abudhabi. 

Later on when we bought a video player, we used to set the timer to record the late night movie and then watch it during the day with the added luxury of fast forwarding the commercials. Amma used to record songs that she liked from these movies,in audio cassettes. Needless to say, many of those songs linger in my memory and I still have some of those cassettes with me though the audio quality is not too good any more. 

After reading MM’s blog today, I was reminded of those songs and I googled for them on the net. I had a tough time tracing  a few of these, because most of them I could remember only the tune and    some random lines from the middle of the song. I had no inkling of the movie name and for some I could only recollect the actor's or actress's name! 

1.I don’t remember much of the movie,just that it starred Rakhee, Rajendra Kumar. I found the melody endearing. Been a long time since I heard it.

Tum mere ho mere siva kisi ki nahin khaati hun kasam- Aan Baan- ’72

2.This song, I can still see Reena Roy in my mind’s eye…but I had forgotten it was Badaltey Rishtey. 
mere saasonko jo mehka rahi hai- Badaltey Rishtey- '78

3.This one they showed it umpteen times on TV and each time I watched it faithfully- all for Shashi Kapoor. However I don’t remember the storyline at all. When I saw Shashi Kapoor on T.V recently I broke down.

Fakira chal chala chal- Fakira '76

4.A favourite movie of mine. I love Jaya and in this movie I liked Jeetendra also. I love everything about this movie. This particular song, because my mother recorded it from the movie, Sanjeev is singing on the balcony- in between he is interrupted by his father- Pran , and Sanjeev Kumar utters ‘Babuji’ in his half choked voice…I can still hear it in my mind.

mitwa bole meethe bain- Parichay  ‘ 72

link for 2 songs : Musafir hoon yaaron, Mitwa bole meethe bain:

5.This movie, I do not remember much, I think it has Rakesh Roshan, Lakshmi( Julie fame) in the lead roles. Amma had recorded 3-4 songs from the movie. 

Aangan ki kali -‘ 79

6.I remember nothing of this movie- except that Rakesh Roshan  is moustache-less and the heroine is Rakhee.

Do baatein pyaar bhari kar loon... Aakhon aakhon main: ‘ 72

7.I liked this movie so much those days that I saw it again and again…I like Pareekshit Sahni.

 Tapasya- ‘75

8.I was unable to find a link for this song, after much effort I managed to get the name of the movie- I had to trace it from lines that I remembered from the middle of the song. It stars Zareena Wahab, Vikram and Rakesh Roshan. 

 Jiska man ho prem ka darpan - Raezaada- '76
(ok, I'm daring to do this- just the bit I remember:)

Raeszaada | Upload Music

9.This one, I don’t remember the name of the movie, nor was I able to google it. I just remember that it starred Shatrughan Sinha.  I’m not too sure if the following lines is the beginning of the song either- but I remember the tune very well.

Do phool zindagi ke haskar yahaan mile the- sajna yeh woh jagah hai...

Aah, I enjoyed this trek down memory lane…and I’m happy that I’m posting something on my blog page…Thank you MM.

Update: just had to add these haunting melodies from 2 more movies; 

10.Palkon ki chhaon mein- '77, starring Hema, Jeetendra (guest appearance), Rajesh Khanna:

Dakiya dak laaya

Koi mere maathe ki bindiya sajaa de re...

11. Aayegi zaroor chitthi mere naam ki- Dulhan '74:( Hema, Jeetendra)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Tell me please...

Recently, Vallyamma (mother-in law) and my husband went to visit a few friends and relatives whom they had not seen for a long time. One of these, were a geriatric couple who were living on their own in their home in a small town. Of course they had house help without whom they wouldn't have been able to manage. Their children were all scattered in different places though they would visit from time to time.

The husband was 99 years old and the wife was in her early 80's. The husband was relatively hale and hearty while the wife was bedridden and totally alzheimic. Vallyamma and my husband were amazed to see the joviality of the husband ( I shall refer to this couple as U'ettan and k'edthi- as how my mil calls them ).

U'ettan received them with joy and announced to the house-help to cook lunch. He took them inside to meet K'edthi who had been reduced to a mere shadow of her former self. Her gaze was vacant and vallyamma had a tough time controlling her emotions as images of her former energetic times flitted before her eyes. U'ettan on the other hand sat beside his wife, holding her hands, caressing her palms talking to her as if she understood everything. He informed her of who had come to see her, talking continously, caressing her fingers all the time. They had always been a very loving couple and when I heard about their present circumstances, I could not help wondering if he did not miss his wife and companion.

Vallyamma said that U'ettan had no complaints or grievances. He expressed that he had spent a very happy life with his wife and that he was grateful he was healthy enough to look after her at this stage. He mentioned that he had not been able to take care of his mother during her last years and this was how he was making amends. He also said that he would like to leave the world only after his wife went! He consoled vallyamma who seemed visibly upset, that atleast K'edthi was in no pain physically. He said he did not feel lonely and kept himself occupied reading, keeping company to his wife. Every evening he would take the wife for a small ride in the car with the assistance of the house help and the driver. The house help and the driver too took care of the old couple in a most loving and sincere way. U'ettan said that he was lucky to have the help of these good people.

U'ettan used to be a school teacher and he has students in all strata of society who still remember him with gratitude and affection. U'ettan recounted anecdotes from his past which were inspiring and interesting.
Vallyamma and my husband who had entered U'ettan's home with mixed feelings took leave of the patriarch rejuvenated and inspired.

When I heard about this amazing person, his zest for life and the unconditional love for his wife, I wished I had been able to meet him, talk to him... to experience the positivity and liveliness of this grand old man! I would've liked to ask him to share the secret of his enthusiasm for life.

Thought bubbles

I'm not in the mood to blog at all. Have not been since a long time now. Not that I've not tried to coerce words of my thoughts- because thoughts have continued to rise and fall, but something is missing. Something that doesn't have a name or a definition.

Today, I type words just as is, on to the 'compose blogpost' directly. I try not to ponder, not to wait for the words to emerge. I'm trying to let my fingers do the composing...

Another morning and yet there is a difference. There used to be a time when one used to wait in eager anticipation for the next year. Now, again something is different. There is a sense of misgiving, a vague unrest, fear about passing years. Its not about age, wrinkles or grey hair only. It is about slowly reaching the edge of something which has no beyond. It is about coping with life's uncertainities which are certain to follow. Its a feeling of the ground below slowly slipping away from under your feet- it is about being pushed further on...towards a horizon I know not. It is about unfamiliar sights and sounds and sensations...ahead as well as behind me. It is about forgetting to linger in the present and letting the shadow of the future mar the light of now. In spite of trying to grab new experiences, seeking things to look forward to, still there is a feeling of time running out...there is acceptance and yet there is a question mark. There is a feeling of 'whats the point anyway'? These thoughts are not deliberate- they're uninvited guests whom I do not want to welcome into the threshold of my mind and yet they remain waiting at the door. Even if I slam the door shut, I know they're there on the other side. I can hear them...waiting...

I'm not sad, I'm not gloomy, I try to laugh aloud, but I can hear the hollowness in my laughter. I'm reading, I'm singing, I'm dancing, I'm talking, I'm laughing, I'm loving, and yet...I'm not quite here completely. Every moment , every experience, every thought, exist while reminding me of transience.