Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Koi range hawaon ke baal

Happy Holi, people.
I don't like to participate in these celebrations myself - I don't like getting gulaal and silver paint in my hair, being all squelchy, covered in gooey substances and then have to spend hours getting it out, but as with so many things I like the idea of it.

In a play I saw many years ago, an old woman says wistfully: "Un dinon tyohaaron ke aane ka pata chal jaata tha bahu betiyon ke gaanon se, lekin aajkal Chitrahaar se maloom hota hai." She saw television eroding the cultural values of her generation, so isn't it odd that we now look back sentimentally at Chitrahaar?

Talking of holi film songs, here is one I like very much, a song I've always felt was underrated. It's from Mangal Pandey; Rahman (again!) and Javed Akhtar capture very well the exuberance of it all: the colour, the spirits, the letting go, the sexiness. The notes seem to dart unceasingly, the sounds and shouts come to us from various distances, the layers add to the boisterousness, to the sense that so much is happening off screen and in the background.