5 comments on ““I’ve lost my nose ring.”

  1. Thank you for that – I’ve heard it countless times at Punjabi wedding sangeets, but never knew what it meant! Though I’m yet to figure out the significance of a lost nose ring…

    Clip 3 and 4 are ludicrous as far as the visuals are concerned: women with figures like that (and I should know!) shouldn’t dress like that or dance like that. ;-)

  2. Oh, I don’t know, sometimes those who “should know” can be the harshest judges. :-)

    Anyway, #4 could be called visually ludircous for a number of other reasons, but it’s still fun and the singing is still very enjoyable ;-) .

    In #4 I couldn’t help noticing how the woman is dancing around like crazy but the guy is just standing or milling around, seeming as though he wouldn’t even know how to move to the music. I’ve noticed that this is a fairly common scenario in these Pakistani film and stage scenes (which I think they often call “murjas” though they probably would have to have other qualities to be called such in Bollywood).

  3. Yes, the singing is enjoyable. And I did notice the strange stillness of the man. It does seem kinda weird to have the woman prancing around and the guy not moving a muscle. In a Hindi film mujra, the man (and often there would be an entire audience, plus of course musicians) would more likely be sitting, not standing around looking like he didn’t know what was going on.

    Pakistani TV shows from the 80’s and 90’s were awesome; I haven’t been able to get my hands on any films (not that I’ve tried), but I’m wondering if they’d be worth the effort….

  4. There are quite a few Pakistani films and film clips online, if you don’t mind watching movies that way, and you probably would understand the language a lot better than I can, at least of the Urdu films.

    Here in Jackson Heights, NY, it is fairly easy to get Urdu and Punjabi films. There is a Pakistani DVD store not far from me that is open 24 hours and it has a lot of old Pakistani films as well as new ones (and some Bollywood stuff too). That is where I picked up the 1952 film Dupatta, which I thought was well worth watching, despite some obvious flaws. (I reviewed that one here also, a little while back.) But, of course, it is full of wonderful songs sung by Noor Jehan in front of the camera (with music composed by Feroz Nizami), and I wasn’t kidding when I ranked it as one of my top three or so filmi soundtracks of all time. Subsequent to buying this, by the way, I found out that the same version – with subtitles – is available for free on YouTube, but that’s all right, because I paid only $5 for it, and it is still a little better watching this straight from the DVD than from YouTube, though the quality isn’t great in either case.

    At different times, there are a bunch of these old Pakistani movies on DVD in that store, whch is less than half a mile away from me (and still will be when I move again next week :) , but most of them do not say “English subitles” on the DVD case, and the guy in the store told me that he couldn’t guarantee that these Urdu and Punjabi films actually would have subtitles. When/if I ever have regular employment again, I’ll probably be willing to buy a bunch even without knowing whether they have subtitles, but right now I’m being frugal enough that I’m probably not going to buy a film if there’s a chance I won’t understand any of the words in it. That doesn’t mean I won’t watch them, though, as the free online selection is much bigger if you’re not looking for English subs…

    I watched Intezar all the way through without subtitles and it was still enjoyable. This was another film with a great soundtrack (this one by Kurshid Anwar) and the most wonderful singing by Noor Jehan. (I hear that Lata Mangeshkar said this one was her favorite Pakistani movie for the music alone.)

    I think the old Pakistani movies are just as good as many old Bollywood movies, although with obviously inferior technology or resources behind them, and maybe with some more old-fashioned story telling and acting than what was going on in Bollywood at the same time. But I watch a lot of these movies for the music and dance, and I sometimes find underproduction to be kind of charming :) , so I at least am happy to put a little effort into finding them.

    The later Pakistani films maybe aren’t as good, but a lot of the dance scenes that I see on YouTube are a lot of fun…

    I like watching videos of Pakistani stage mujras too (some of which appeared on some TV show or other). Admittledly, sometimes I might be watching with some prurient interest, and I certainly can’t be offended when they do get smutty, because a lot of stuff online being labeled “Mujra” is just softcore porn. (And don’t ask me if I ever consciously seek out the smutty material, because I won’t get into that. :) But I think there is a lot of generally good dancing and interesting performance to be found in these mujras, at least in the really good ones.

  5. Oh, thank you for those suggestions – am definitely going to try and get hold of Dupatta and Intezar. I have serious doubts about whether I’ll be able to get hold of any DVDs or VCDs here in India, but I have watched (and enjoyed) films even if I’ve had to see them on youtube, so no worries there!

    My constant complaint is that there are only 24 hours in a day, and there are so many films out there waiting to be watched. And reality intrudes with work that must be done too. Sigh.

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