Saturday, February 28, 2009

Raaleti poola raagalu

The chills haven’t quite left Delhi yet. I wasn’t feeling too clever, so I picked out a shawl to wrap around me this afternoon. An off-white one with a blue edge that always makes me feel special and cosy. A lingering sense of being sorry for oneself and a shawl – the connection was inevitable.

And just to have this superb song of Veturi’s on hand whenever I need it:

Aamani paadave hayiga
Moogavai poku ee vela
Raaleti poola raagalato
Pooseti poola gandhalato
Manchu taaki koyila
Mounamaina velala… aamani paadave hayiga

Vayassu lo vasantame ushassula jwalinchaga
Manassu lo niraasale ranchinchele mareechika
Padaala na yada swarala sampada
Tarala na katha kshanalave kada
Gatinchi povu gaadha nenani…
Aamani paadave haayigaa...

Sukaalato pikaalato dhwaninchinaa madhodayam
Divi bhuvi kalaa nizam sprusinchina mahodayam
Maro prapanchame marinta cheruvai
Nivaali korinaa ugaadi velalo
Gatinchi povu gaadha nenani…
Aamani paadave haayigaa…

Incidentally, what does ‘nivaLi’ mean, does anyone know?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vadatu samskritam

Australopithecus was tagged a funny tag. The task was "to get the 6th picture from your 6th folder and to tell its story". Hah, I thought, my pictures are all in one sub-sub-sub-folder, so what is one to do if the sixth folder I open doesn't have pictures? Vela moment, I try it. And there is a jpeg image:

Some 6-7 years ago, I attended a course in Spoken Sanskrit. It was wonderful—very empowering. Unfortunately, the teacher dawdled over the easy initial part, then found himself short of time, so rushed through the more complicated syllabus at breakneck speed. It left a very incomplete feeling and I've always intended to refresh what I'd learnt, pore over the books and teach myself a bit more thoroughly. This sixth folder was full of scanned pages from a textbook I'd found online.

Dararein Dararein


Dilli 6 yesterday. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, it is confirmed, cannot hold a steady tone. Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) comes to Delhi to drop off his grandmother and discovers old Delhi. We see the scenes over his shoulder, sometimes unnecessarily explicated by his narration, and the film team manages to build considerable ambience. How authentic I cannot tell, but it holds. The vignettes are excellent; there are nice characterisations and some rather intuitive actors. Waheeda Rehman is a stalwart; Pavan Malhotra, Sheeba Chadda (who’s doing some nice work – I loved her performance in Luck by Chance) and Divya Dutta all etch their presence. Sonam Kapoor too fits in, even if her animation is much too filmi. [Incidentally, how long do we worship this Mani Ratnam creation, the carefree young girl who dances in the rain and breaks into abandoned jigs on railway stations? She’s getting very boring]. I liked the colour and the vibrancy of Ramlila leitmotif, the dynamics of these small characters, their stories… most of it, most of it. There is no reason why all this couldn’t have been left that way—filmmakers do feel able, even within Bollywood, to observe to no specific end. The Roshan character could’ve gone back to America, wiping off possibly a manly tear, and that would have been that.

Mehra of course isn’t happy with that. He must have an Ending, a bit of a shoo-sha—he must attempt to force-weave his threads, such as they are. Suddenly happy-happy people turn into unreasonable monsters and we get riots, what the film calls ‘pravachans’ on Aham Brahmasmi, that are, in the event, ineffectual. Then we get a slice of Amitabh Bachchan playing Dumbledore. By now it is clear that the storyteller has indeed run out of ideas on how to END this thing. The audience doesn’t care one way or the other—if they’re still seated it’s out of sheer manners.

I’m glad I did though, because the end credits were good. Underscoring ‘the god is in us’ idea, the temple now has a small grubby mirror hung up by a tree. Each character comes up and reacts to his or her reflection, and some of these were very well done. Everyone precedes poor Abhishek Bachchan in this sequence, setting some rather good standards. So he doesn’t even try—he smirks, pretty much like he always does, does a small ‘Me dude, You dude’ type thingy and fades away. He cannot act, paapa.


Links to previous posts: my reaction to Rang de Basanti and its music.

I chose love, and I'm here

Wasn’t Rahman cool at the Oscars? Nice punchy speech too—these Tamil industry walas know how to deliver an exit line.