“Dil Hoom Hoom Kare” from Rudaali (1993) & Amjad Khan’s last role

I watched a parallel cinema film from 1993 last night directed by Kalpana Lazmi called Rudaali.  Like parallel cinema is supposed to do, it dealt with a serious topic: professional mourners, known as Rudaali in Hindi. I was happy to hear great music by both Lata and Asha throughout the movie, a feature not always present in the parallel cinema.  I had a whole stack of Hindi movies from the library waiting for me to watch them, and I was in the mood for some personal, professional mourning, as the night before a ferocious hail storm ruined my garden.  I knew I loved my hosta plants, but this destructive storm only confirmed this attachment.  What in the past I would have described as golf ball sized hail, and now refer to as ladoo sized hail, fell from the sky at high speeds and in minutes ruined my garden. These aren’t my hosta pictured here, I found the image online, (if you click on the picture you’ll see they belong to a math professor from the University of MN) but I believe mine would have looked like these if the storm taken a different path:

 

Ahh, the power of Shiva! I wanted to weep at the loss, and briefly hired myself as a professional mourner.  Afterwards, I had to accept it, tip my hat to mother nature’s shakti, and seek peace through a movie. I was in the mood to mourn and had the perfect movie in front of me so things were already looking up! Here’s a bit about the movie: 

Rudaali is a 1993 Hindi film directed by Kalpana Lajmi, based on the short story written by Mahasweta Devi. The title is a reference to a custom in certain areas of Rajasthan where women are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women are referred to as a ‘rudaali’ (roo-dah-lee),literally translated as female weeper. Their purpose is to publicly express grief of family members that are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. The film is set in a small village in Rajasthan, India. It tells the story of a woman named Shanichari, who was abandoned by her mother shortly after her father’s death. Bad fortune follows as she marries an alcoholic, who leaves her with little hope of a brighter future for herself and her son. Throughout Shanichari’s lifetime of misfortune she has never cried. This creates great difficulty once she is called to become a rudaali until Bhinkni, an experienced mourner, enters her life. But Shanichari is simply led to more misery that will surely bring her to tears. Dimple Kapadia won a National Film Award for her role of Shanichari in the film. The film also features Raakhee, Raj Babbar and Amjad Khan in one of his last films. Amjad Khan had died before the film’s release and the film is dedicated to him at the beginning of the film’s credits. (wikipedia)

Read more on the film at Philip’sfil-ums, rAjOo, and alternate movies.

Here’s my progression of Amjad Khan viewing: Sholay (1975), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Qurbani (1980), Lawaaris (1981)  and last night I saw Rudaali (1993).  In the beginning Rudaali  you see this:

I then realized Amjad must have died around the time of the movie’s release.  I was thinking that maybe he wasn’t in the movie, but rather that the movie simply was dedicated to him. So when someone who looked like a MUCH BIGGER Amjad Khan appeared…

I couldn’t believe it was him. I remember seeing Khan in Lawaaris and thinking how chunky he’d become and how fitting since that character started out in the film as a pig of a man. Khan’s character appears in Rudaali several times and he’s on his death bed, trying unsuccessfully to die. Ironic that it was one of his last roles to play a dying man. 

 Finally I figured out that this was indeed Amjad Khan:

After I got over my shock about Amjad’s apperance, I was free to enjoy the film.

For today’s video, listen to Dil Hoom Hoom Gare” (My heart beats with fear) which is about Dimple’s character’s sad life, but reminds me of the hail storm I’d just survived.  I am dedicating to this song to my plants harmed by the storm.  It’s sung by Lata Mangeshkar, picturized on Dimple Kapadia, with lyrics by Gulzar, and music by Bhupen Hazarika:

Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye

My heart is gasping, it shivers in fear

Ghan dham dham kare, darr jaaye

The clouds are thundering, my heart becomes afraid

Ek boond kabhi paani ki mori ankhiyon se barsaaye

A drop of water sometimes flows from my eyes

Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye

My heart is gasping, it shivers in fear

More Lyrics HERE.

Thanks to Dimple, for her excellent acting, for crying over my injured hosta, for being the Rudaali of my hail storm.

Video of the Day: “Kannamoochchi” from Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)

kandukondain_kandukondain.jpgHere’s some more Tamil, like yesterday’s video it’s from Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000). The movie stars Mammootty, Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Ajith, & Abbas.  Here’s my co-blogwallah Nandini’s favorite song from the movie, “Kannamoochchi.” The song’s music is by A. R. Rahman, lyrics by Vairmuthu, and features the fabulous vocals of  Chitra & K.J. Yesudas, picturized on Aishwarya Rai‘s dancing.

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Lyrics in Tamil with English translation. Here are the Lyrics and English translation for all the movie’s songs.

Video of the Day: “Engae Enathu Kavithai” from Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)

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Kandukondain Kandukondain (Tamil: கண்டுகொண்டேன் கண்டுகொண்டேன்) is a 2000 Tamil film directed by Rajiv Menon. The film was also dubbed into Telugu as Priyuraalu Pilichindi. The film is a contemporary Indian take on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Starring Mammootty as Bala, Aishwarya Rai as Meenakshi, Tabu as Sowmya, Ajith as Manohar, and Abbas as Srikanth.

Set in modern India, it’s a classical tale of a widowed mother and her three daughters: Saumya and Meenakshi who are grown-up and beautiful, and Kamla who is still at school. They live with the widow’s father in his grand country house. The father, who is ill, dies unable to communicate that he wants to change his will. Everything is left to his son, Sam, and Sam’s mean wife. The family of women, who have spent years looking after the father, are evicted by Sam and his wife and are forced to move to Madras. Before this, both elder daughters have developed a romantic interest: Saumya with Manohar, a budding filmmaker returned from America who wants to make his mark in Tamil cinema; and Meenakshi with Srikanth, a young businessman who is involved in some dodgy investments. Major Bala (who is disabled) and his uncle befriend the girls and their mother. Bala, who was a commando major in the Indian army, is shown in the first scene being blown up, resulting in the loss of his leg. He drinks too much as he feels sorry for himself….(wikipedia)

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The USA release is titled “I Have Found It.”

Watch the distraught Aishwarya Rai, as Meenakshi, achieveing her dream as a singer, but it means NOTHING because the man she loves is marrying another. But things aren’t so bad, for Mammootty, as Bala, is about to step in and make things right.

“Engae Enathu Kavithai” sung by K.S. Chitra & Srinivas, music by A. R. Rahman. Chitra’s voice is one of my favorites! Just listen to its beauty:
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Thanks to youtuber guru8537 for the video that includes an English translation. Look what BollyWhat? has to say about it. Lyrics in Tamil.

And if you’re interested in my favorite new internet obsession, it’s watching contestants on “Idea Star Singer 2007,” the Malayalam version of the Idols show.  I particularly like Vani Jayaram. Check out her version of today’s video: “Engae Enathu Kavithai”

Video of the Day: Silk Smithas…”Look at my Eyes!”

I’d never heard of Silk Smitha until seeing this video on another blog the other day. Watch the video about her HERE, it even includes a glimpse of Rajinikanth!

Pratibhaa, Chennai: She was 220px-silk_smitha.jpgthe Helen down South at a time when South Indian heroines were slowly emerging out of their saris. Silk Smitha scorched the big screen with her item numbers. Eleven years after her tragic death, she is back on the silver screen. Her last film before her death in 1996 – Thangathamarai is getting ready for a release this Pongal, and the producer is hoping for a great opening. “Her height, her body structure and the look she had in her eyes is what endeared her to the audience. So many other actors have their films releasing after their death, they all have fans, but as far as Silk Smitha is concerned all the people are her fans,” says Director and Producer, Thangathamarai, Tirupatiraja. Smitha made an entry into films through Veenayum Naadamum but it was after the character in Vandichakram that she got ‘Silk’ pre-fixed to her name. She’s done over 200 films in all South Indian languages and even years after she’s gone her fan base remains intact. “She’s not just a bomb. She’s a good actress too,” says a fan. Another fan adds, “In her Malayalam film Spadikam, she gives Bipasha Basu competition.” Though she did roles that portrayed her like a sex bomb, she’s proved herself to be a reasonable good actress with films like Moondraam Pirai and Alaiygal Oyvathillai. And whatever be the reason, the fact remains that even 11 years after her death, her fans haven’t forgotten her. (“Silk Smitha’s Coming to Charm You,” indiowo.com)

Then I looked around and had the luck of finding this gem.  It’s a bit PG-13, but it’s worth a watch.  Not sure of the movie, but the actor with Silk Smitha is Vijayakanth:

Mad Tales from Bollywood: Portrayal of Mental Illness in Conventional Hindi Cinema

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This looks like a good read

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This is the first book to investigate how mental illness is portrayed in Hindi cinema. It examines attitudes towards mental illness in Indian culture, how they are reflected in Hindi films, and how culture has influenced the portrayal of the psychoses. Dinesh Bhugra guides the reader through the history of Indian cinema, covering developments from the idealism of the 1950s to the stalking, jealousy and psychopathy that characterized the films of the 1990s. Critiques of individual films reveal the culture’s approach towards mental illness and reflect the impact of culture on films and vice versa. Subjects covered include:
· Cinema and emotion
· Attitudes towards mental illness
· Socio-economic factors and cinema in India
· Indian personality, villainy and history
· Psychoanalysis in the films of the 1960s

Mad Tales from Bollywood will be of interest to psychiatrists, mental health professionals, students of media and cultural studies and all those with an interest in Indian culture. (Amazon.com)

Video of the Day: “Mere Angene Mein, Tumhara Kya Kaam Hai” from Laawaris, 1981

laawaris.jpgWatch Amitabh Bachchan perform in various forms of drag in the 1981 movie Laawaris. The song, “Mere Angene Mein, Tumhara Kya Kaam Hai,” started playback singer Alka Yagnik’s career.

 

Now look at Big B. reprising the same song, courtesy of youtuber yaf55, who writes,

Amitabh Bachchan Mere Angane mein in the Jumma Chumma 1990 Concert with girls from the live audience at Wembley Stadium in London, the biggest concert ever.

Video of the Day: “Chura Liya Hai” again, this time at Filmfare awards in ’05 with Shahrukh Khan

fftrophy.jpgCheck out Shahrukh Khan at Filmfare 2005 awards tearing thru many hits, including “Chura Liya Hai”—from Yaadon Ki Baaraat with Zeenat Aman. He also performs with Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, and Rekha. Watch how Amitabh Bachchan looks on as Rekha dances and wife Jaya Bhaduri politely applauds. Classy.