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Tag Archives: Sheila Vaz

Of Clouds and Separation

My ten favourite songs on clouds and separation


Mid-June, the rains used to arrive in Bombay when I was a kid. The black clouds would hold the promise of change. This would mean relief from the heat and dust of the preceding summer months and a burst of new life. The dreary plain near our house would promise to turn into a pond with lots of small streams arising and emptying in it. These small streams would then become alive with small and big crabs and tadpoles! Coinciding with the arrival of the black clouds, the new school year would also arrive. This would mean new textbooks! The dark messenger would also bring the hope, that I would share the class room with my friends from last year, but at the same time also the anxiety if I would again have to spend this new school year with class bully.

These dark water-bearers of sky, who brought so many emotions in my being were and are also the bearers of hope over the centuries in India for separated lovers. The earliest mention is found in Meghduta (the cloud messenger) by Kalidasa (most probably 4th century CE). It tells the story, how a yakṣha (a supernatural being), after being exiled, asks a passing cloud to take a message to his wife. In Hindi cinema though, we find mostly women singing to the clouds. They call upon them to be their messengers, to take a message to their far-off beloveds, asking them to return back.
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Of Winds and Breezes

My ten favourite thandi hawa songs


It is very cold here now. At night it goes down to  -20° C. When I ride my bicycle to work and back, the wind freezes me to the core. Yesterday, as I was returning back home the thought about the discrepancy between the European and Indian attitude towards cold and heat arose again in my mind. In Hindi film songs the cold breeze works like an aphrodisiac, while in Europe it is mostly the hot and sultry summer days, which turn the people on. While Meena Kumari in Pakeezah wishes her lover that the sunshine (coupled with heat) may never touch him (suraj kahin bhi jaaye tum par na dhoop aaye), while the gondoliere even in sunny Italy calls his lover o sole mio (my sun). Of course the temperature difference plays in this attitude a big role. This brought my thoughts to the various thandi hawa songs in Hindi films and resulted is this list.
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Bollywood, Lists

 

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Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

My earliest memories of Kaagaz ke Phool is the song “Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam”. It was quite a favourite with the producers of Chaaya Geet and later on Chitrahaar. The beautiful cinematography and Geeta Dutt’s melancholic voice, S. D. Burman’s haunting music made a big impression on me. My resourceful aunt, who would otherwise always provide us with the plots of the movie, would also be very quite. I never could fathom if it was because of the captivating sound or because of the extra-marital affair going-ons. There were regular screenings of the movie in the morning show, but I never thought of ‘bunking’ (that is the word used for skipping classes in Bombay/India) classes to watch it. Thus it was in my late teens that I watched it on DD’s late night movies.

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Posted by on June 6, 2010 in Bollywood, Guru Dutt Series

 

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