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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. K Chaudhry’

I put myself on full throttle ultra purdah for a few days in preparation for my creation of crop art for the Minnesota State Fair. Crop art is the design of crop seeds in artistic arrangements, and if you’re crop arting for the MN State Fair, the artists are to use only seeds of plants and crops that grow in the state. It’s how city folks like me learn about farm crops from the country. I’ve entered before and there is a time commitment involved in gluing seeds down, and you have to make a sacrifice, and you can guess what I had to sacrifice: Bollywood! But my qurbani, I mean sacrifice, yielded this:

I recreated the image using these seeds: barley, canola seeds, corn, flax, golden flax, millet, oats, safflower, sunflower seeds, and wild rice. You can see my Sanjay Patel inspired Ganesha recreation in person in the Ag-Hort building at the MN State Fair through labor day. I would like to think that some people will do a little puja in front of my Ganesha of seeds.

I found Sanjay Patel’s excellent Ghee Happy website back in early 2007 while looking around for Hindu god images. When I saw Patel’s super cute deities I immediately thought: crop art! If you don’t already have it, I recommend his book The Little Book of Hindu Deities to you. It’s not only adorable, but also a clever, fun, and informative read. How could I choose from the dozens of ultra cute deities to recreate in seeds? I decided since the RNC is coming to Minnesota during the time of the fair, that it would be nice for a very different kind of elephant to welcome that RNC elephant. Maybe Ganesha’s divine energy could help out the Republicans.

I did contact animator extraordinaire, Shree Sanjay Patel, via email to tell him about my crop art and to let him know that I may be infringing on his copyrighted material. It seems that the copyright doesn’t cover seeds, so I should be safe from a lawsuit. Mr. Patel graciously responded to my email and was so very kind. Thank you Shree Patel!

When my Ganesha was completed and delivered to the state fair, I got back on the happy Bollywood train. The first movie waiting for me was the 1955 classic Shree 420. The Shankar-Jaikishan soundtrack is awesome, but I was particularly taken by one song for obvious reasons: Eechak Dana Beechak Dana, picturized on Nargis and Raj Kapoor, with playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh. The Bollywood universe knew I was heavily dedicating myself to seed work during my purdah and rewarded me with this gem of a tune. Just look at the seed related lyrics!

I know what Nargis is talking about, one little seed, two seeds, seed on seed!

Thanks to Sharikazoid for the video with the English subtitles.

If you’d like to hear it again, Dr. Chadhury did a remix of the song.

I’m certainly not the first to recreate Sanjay Patel’s images. Check out this impressive stuffed Kali inspired by Patel’s image. For further reading of the art of seeds, consult David Steinlicht’s excellent CroptArt.com site as well as Colleen Sheehy’s book, Seed Queen: the Story of Crop Art and the Amazing Lillian Colton.

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You may be wondering like I am, “Sita-ji, why aren’t you in Chicago tonight enjoying Amitabh and everyone else in The Unforgettable Tour?” You see there was a time not too long ago when one could fly from Minneapolis (blog headquarters) to Chicago for $100 or $200 round trip. Now with the poor economy, the airline troubles, and many of the charters that serviced the MSP-Chicago route being shut out of service and our poor corporate citizen airline, NWA somewhat monopolizing the route, flights now routinely cost between $500-$800! I could fly to NYC for less! NWA, did you forget the state of Minnesota graciously bailed you our with millions and millions of dollars($245 to be specific), I mean lakhs and crores of rupees? You forgot to pay us back NWA! I digress, let me swallow that bitter pill and move on, teekay? But you see, we are all related and everything is connected to everything and I choose to partially blame NWA for me missing this show. 🙂 So I had some tentative plans to make a spur of the moment driving pilgrimage to Chicago with a Bollywood buddy pending on how the vibe felt this morning. It was not vibing, so we settled in to watch the next best thing to seeing Amitabh performing on stage: we watched Abhimaan (1973) instead, where Amitabh plays a singer who performs on stage before the masses. Sort of the same thing, without having to make the 12 hour round trip drive.

Amitabh seemed to be speaking to me throughout the film, asking Sita-ji what she wanted (to see The Unforgettable Tour, duh!) and then trying to comfort me by showing he understands the disappointment:

Thanks Amitabh! Here’s the lowdown on the film:

Abhimaan(Devanagari: अभिमान, Nastaliq: ابھمان, translation: Pride) is a 1973 Bollywood film starring Amitabh Bachchan; his real-life wife, Jaya Bachchan, Asrani, and Bindu. It was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.The film is perhaps best remembered for its songs, composed and arranged by the late S D Burman, written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and sung by famous playback singers Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi. The movie takes inspiration from A Star Is Born(1954). When it was released, audiences found similarities between real-life couple Amitabh and Jaya and the couple they portrayed on-screen—as Jaya’s career was stronger than Amitabh’s at the time. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for Abhimaan. Subir (Amitabh Bachchan) is a professional singer whose career is soaring. He does not plan to marry—until he meets Uma (Jaya Bhaduri), a sweet village girl who also sings. Subir falls in love with Uma and marries her. He returns to Mumbai with his new bride. Subir continues as a singer and also fosters Uma’s singing career. His career falters, however, just as Uma’s singing career begins to thrive. Eventually, she becomes more famous than her husband, sparking jealousy from Subir. His pride and jealousy tear the marriage apart. The question becomes whether Subir can overcome his jealousy? (wikipedia)

For a nice blog review of the film, I direct you to The Bolly Blog. And now on to my more shallow reflections of Abhimaan! Amitabh (Subir) and Jaya (Uma) look fabulous in this film. Her saris are gorgeous! In nearly every scene she wore a new, more lovely sari! Amitabh’s shirts were just are beautiful, with a funky 70’s twist. I said to myself, “Costume designer? Kaun hai?” So let me give a shout out to whoever found the beautiful fabric and made it into those outfits and got those guys looking so great:

Shalini Shah, Ramlal, Farida and Shyam Khandekar, nice job! I like your style! I think Amitabh even looks smokin’ hot smoking and drinking:

One thing that surprised me was the sexual tension portrayed between Amitabh and Jaya. Since I am a good Hindu-Catholic-Muslim-Buddhist-Sikh-Jain and sometimes Parsi girl, I was a bit embarrassed by Amitabh tugging on Jaya’s hair and pointing to his lips for a kiss. Bachchans, keep that sexy stuff behind closed doors please! See! Bas!

The movie taught me some new things like this. Who knew men were jealous of women?

Another delightful part of the movie for me was seeing Bindu, who gave a great line said with confidence and love, that we all should consider using if ever dumped. So classy, dekho:

Bindu’s character drops some bollywood wisdom on Amitabh’s Subir. I love it!

Well he’s not ready to hear all that, nor her urging him to lighten up on the whiskey, since he’s trying to drown his sorrows vs. facing them head on. His retaliatory statement:

Snap! Oh no he didn’t! If what Subir says here makes no sense to you, go see Devdas!

For me this was a movie about they style and the music, since that’s what I enjoyed most, rather than the story itself. Not my favorite Amitabh movie, but a great one to see nonetheless, especially as a cheap subsitute to missing seeing him live in Chicago tonight. But I think the Chicago show of The Unforgettable Tour may have been a bit like this tonight; from Abhimaan, Kishor Kumar singing for Amitabh, Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka, with music by S. D. Burman, who won the filmfare award for his work here:

Here’s the remix, from Dr. K Chaudry, who is very devoted to Bollywood.

If you’d like to hear yet another marvelous tune from the film, take a detour to TheBollywoodFan’s great blog to hear Tere Mere Milan Ki.

Really how lucky we are to live in a time where we have these films at our disposal, hai na? No this isn’t a photo outside of The Unforgettable Tour, it’s from Abhimaan, showing that then and now, Big B as an actor and as himself is filling the house!

Chicago Unforgettable Tour attenders, post your review here. I’d love to hear about what I missed! Mr. Bachachan reported the following on his own blog: I have to say it. . Chicago was amazing.. Everyone was just awesome and the audience to die for. . Sold out stadium. . And India just won a gold in shooting..  Read more at his blog about this on day 109.

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Here at the Bollywood Food Club, we LOVE Dr. K. Chaudhry.  He has uploaded many (500+!) fine videos and leans toward covering Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar tunes. We haven’t posted one of his cover tunes in a while, and stumbled upon this tonight.  Obviously others in the USA have a love for Dr. K. and started a fan club.  How do I sign up?  Where was this dinner? Here’s what Dr. K. Chaudhry says:

Hi friends in USA
About 310 of you inauguated fan club on April 5, 2008 with a musical evening. Parnav, Varun, Mathews and you all have always been sacrificing their sleep to call me during my day time. Just after 17 days you are celebrating dinner meet at a restautrant.That cannot be described just as a sentimental relationship between a man in Delhi and some hundreds in America. That is a carry forward relationship from some past lives. I remained away from you for 63 years. Now we shall remain together until we live together.

 Enjoy Dr. K Chaudhry:

Video thanks to drkchaudhry

More of Dr. K. Chaudhry from BFC here.

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nayadaurcrop.jpg

WOW! I saw the classic Naya Daur (New Age) this week and LOVED IT! It’s a drama of man vs. machine. I threw out every machine in my house after seeing it, but then I went out and replaced them all when I understood, if used correctly and without taking away human dignity, they’re OK.

Naya Daur is a 1957 Indian drama film starring Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit and Jeevan. The film is set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeping in. nayadaurposter.jpgThe focus is on Tangawallahs who earn their living transporting people from place to place on Tangas (horse – carts). Their livelihood is threatened when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town,which he subsidizes heavily with the sole intention of first driving the Tangawallahs out of the down and then making profits. Dilip Kumar plays one of the Tangawallahs who petitions the landlord over this injustice.Then, Jeevan’s character proposes a competition to decide which service is the best – The Bus or the Tanga? It is then decided that there will be a race between both the vehicles. The highlight of the film is definitely the heart stopping final race where the underdog wins and how? (wikipedia)

Check out what upperstall has to say about this movie. There’s also an official website since the 1957 film was colorized and re-released in all its glory in July, 2007. The fancy re-release of the classic has a supplementary disc where you can see Yash Choprā interview the film’s director, his brother, B. R. Chopra, who he calls, “bhai sahib” in the interview, which I loved. So formal! He even wishes his brother the oh so Indian, “All the best!” at the end of the interview. I’d love to interview my own brother and call him brother sir, he’d be so confused. Anyway, the supplemental disc has lots of nice tidbits, like Yash Choprā saying, “43 years ago, a time when people made films with their head and hearts and not just with calculators in their hands.” B. R. Chopra laments that “today’s artists are business men, not so much passion, artists only reworking the same story over and over.” B. R. Chopra speaks of hiring a large group of bangra folk dancers for the movie, worth every rupee I’d say. He also talksnayadaurasha.jpg about how Vyjayanthimala‘s role was originally intended for Madhubala, but her father refused her participation in the film for fear she’d romantically reinvolve herself with heart-breaker, Dilip Kumar. The musical launch segment has both Chopra brothers, Aditya Chopra, Vyjayanthimala, Dilip Kumar, and Asha Bhosle, all looking great in 2007!

The music in this film by O. P. Nayyar is spectacular! As upperstall writes, “The film is a musical triumph for OP Nayyar and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. Each of the songs in the film was a raging hit and won OP Nayyar the Filmfare Award for Best Music.” I especially liked the devotional song “Aana Hai To Aa” by playback singer Mohammed Rafi. This song offers that Bollywood wisdom that I love. Here are the lyrics in English, but I bet the Hindi is richer, more meaningful and more beautiful:nayadaurdelay.jpg

Come if you have to

There are no turns in the path

There is delay but no denial

Come if you have to

When you can’t solve your problems

Have faith in the Lord’s justice

He will resolve your problems

What you couldn’t do the Lord will

He knows everything that’s in your heartnayadaurtemple.jpg

The Lord knows your every condition

Your wishes are fulfilled without asking

Those whose hearts are pure get to take shelter here

This is the court where you get justice

He is the ultimate master of the world

Lyrics

We’re lucky enough to have BFC’s favorite remix artist, Dr. K Chaudhry post a version of the same beautiful song:

I’ll have to come back and post a bit more about this fantastic movie later.

Read what theBollywoodFan wrote about the film.

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