Monday, August 28, 2006

"nirmal anand ke liye"

As a kid, I remember watching Khoobsurat many many times over, each time fascinated by the fantasy song, "kayda kayda". It was a child's dream come true on screen....snowy mountains where you could scoop off the snow and it would be icecream in your mouth, candy hanging off trees, ready for plucking, and tasty drinks like colas and coffee on the tap. And being asked, "kayda kayda, akhir fayda?" A good way to question discipline, and authority, at any age!

A little older, I caught the movie again, this time enjoying the rhyming dialogues spoken by Rekha's family (the cook, asharfi lal, who makes masoor ki daal!"), and the draconian matriarch in the other household..the two forming perfect foils for each other with Rekha as the saucy rebel, ploughing on regardless of Dina Pathak's glares and stern comments, winning all hearts.

Then again, and this time, I was taken by the references to "nirmal anand"--- those 2 magical words with which she lures the suppressed family into delicious rebellion. I heard somewhere that the movie was a criticism of Indira Gandhi, and the imposition of emergency and how it took away people's freedom. Interesting idea, although I have never discussed it in detail with anyone.

Another movie, very different, that I have loved was Abhimaan. Beautiful songs and a very, very real situation turned into a movie that can bring on introspection. My heart breaks each time a traumatised Jaya Bhaduri finally bursts into tears thinking of her lost baby as she stands beside her husband on stage towards the end of the movie.

Hearing of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's passing away brought on deep nostalgia for movies I have enjoyed, again and again, over the years. Catching the opening credits of a film while channel surfing, if I missed the film name but saw Hrishikesh Mukherjee's name on it, I would remain on that channel, often informing family to come join me for classics like Chupke Chupke, Guddi, Golmaal, Bawarchi, Anand and so many more. Memorable characters, very well etched, a great plot, absolutely clean humour playing on people's fears, insecurities, irrationalities, eccentricities, and making fun of all of us, here was a man making films that invited everyone to enjoy some nirmal anand without requiring any suspension of disbelief or parental guidance.

To be able to leave behind laughter in the world is a great achievement.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kept in the Dark

The glow from the screen of this laptop is all the light in this room. Because i am staring at the screen, i can see nothing beyond when i raise my eyes to look further than's even darker, if that's possible.

my family, well actually my neighbourhood, is being treated to a candle-lit evening, courtesy the powers that be, which are powerless at present. so the sweaty kurta slowly turns into a vice-like clammy grip on my body, as i try hard not to let any one sweaty part of my body touch any other sweaty part of my body, or anyone else's for that matter. to be able to embrace a sweaty person is a sign of true love, for it can make enemies of the best of friends!

a very cute calvin strip i read showed him sitting wide awake in bed, afraid of monsters as usual, saying "i think nighttime is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction"! so the dark everything looks more ominous, more threatening. the sky looms closer, the furniture legs are out to get you by the toes, the mosquitoes bite like they were vampire bats, and entering the bathroom is like approaching the crypt with god knows what-all waiting for you inside!

but then, somebody out there said "let there be light" and there is. and i am squinting now as i adjust my dilated pupils to the newly lit-up house. every nook and cranny looks familiar now and i am the lord (lady?) of all i survey!! off i go to that tame bathroom to wash off the grime and have a cool drink!