10 comments on ““Dil Cheez Kya Hai” Performed By Aditi Bhagwat, a Disciple of Roshan Kumari

  1. What a blog you have over here, sir!

    29 year old Indian film buff here, though I have seen barely 10% of the classic Indian films that you seem to have explored.

    I am a huge fan of classic Hollywood though especially the studio era from early 30s till early 60s.

    However I have stopped condescending towards Indian classic cinema and have started exploring them lately :)

  2. Thank you, Shrikanth. I have actually had conversations with some other very non-Indian Indian film bloggers about how it’s up now to us to show love for these old Indian films that so many Indians or NRIs choose to reject. Well, as I was discussing with someone else recently on Facebook, there’s the “grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome. (Unfortunately, it seems more people have the “I don’t want to be exposed to anything new or different from what I know already” syndrome, but that’s another matter.)

    I am very pleased if this blog, my expression of love for these old movies (mainly) and the related music and dance, is helping to revive your interest in this stuff as well.

    I like some of the old Hollywood films from the period that you mentioned. Especially in the 30s and early 40s, there were still a lot of films filled with music and dance, and it’s very unfortunate that Hollywood completely rejected this sort of content in more modern times. I still like the Indian music and Indian dance more, but I do enjoy the old musical films from Hollywood. (I love watching the earlier films with Ginger Rogers! And production by Busby Berkeley…)

    Some American films even had good social content back in the day. But by the late ’40s and early ’50s, Hollywood was tainted by anti-communist paranoia, black lists, etc. At the same time, “Bollywood” was being very overtly socialist, anti-capitalist, and all around socially conscious, even in many big, music-packed blockbusters. And what music they were packed with, and what dance!

    You’ll never have to worry about me being “condescending” toward old Indian films. :)

  3. Richard: Maybe it’s the conservative streak in me that partly contributed to my relative aversion to old Bollywood in my earlier years. I somehow used to cringe at the overt socialism and often thoughtless radicalism concerning social issues.

    American cinema somehow seemed more secure in itself, less willing to condemn the past. I could relate to the rugged individualism and old fashioned virtues expressed in personas like Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper and John Wayne.

    But I think with time I realize that the radical streak in Indian cinema was inevitable given the history of the country unlike the US which has had a more successful past.

    The great Indian musical is drawing me back to the melodramatic tradition. Perhaps commercial Indian cinema hasn’t had masters like Hawks or HItchcock, but the Indian musical remains unmatched for its thrills! I was watching Dr.Vidya yesterday. The thrill of watching Helen and Vyjayanthimala compete in dance is unparalleled in Hollywood musicals for instance!

  4. Shrikanth, don’t get me started on a political debate. LOL But I’d hardly call the Great Depression a big success in American history, nor the numerous depressions of the previous century, nor the history of slavery, racism, and brutal repression of labor struggles (especially before the New Deal era), nor the genocide committed against the earlier inhabitants of the land.

    By the late 1940s(?), things were looking a bit brighter for America, specifically because of economic changes and the great “class compromise” that helped America to create a strong middle class for the next few decades or so. But I don’t think American cinema’s supposed reluctance to condemn the past was due strictly to the natural urges of everyone who wanted to make cinema. This is especially true re. the absence in American cinema of criticism of the the capitalist system. The biggest reason for that is that at the same time that India cinema produced big blockbusters full of socialist messages, American cinema became afflicted with a BLACKLIST. It was at exactly the same time of socialist late ’40s and Golden Age ’50s Indian cinema…that suspected communists and sympathizers were driven out of Hollywood, basically banned from working, etc.

    With regard to “rugged individualism” I think America is starting to see the consequences of the political ideas and choices influenced by that approach, and I can say that I and millions of others have suffered plenty in the past decade, as America has begun its own steep economic decline. (Maybe there is a moment of “recovery” for the top one percent…but not for just about everyone else.) So, even if there is some reason to accept the idea that America had a bright (or “brighter”) past, it certainly doesn’t look to have a bright future. (But who does? India was supposedly becoming an economic miracle of some kind…with greater inequality and increasing poverty among many of the poor. But, of course, different sources will give you different versions of that situation. I tend to read a lot of Arundhati Roy. :) )

    Anyway, all politics aside, I am glad that we can agree regarding fondness of the music, the dance, and the melodrama.

  5. Richard : Some pertinent points though I have my differences with the narrative.
    Anyway let’s not discuss politics!! Hope we have more discussions of the Filmi variety in future!

    By the way, do you understand Hindi or Tamil? Or do you rely on subtitles only?

  6. Shrinkanth, I am happy to have more such filmi discussions too.

    Regarding the languages, I do rely mostly on subtitles. When I first fell for these films in a big way several years ago, I relied almost entirely on subtitles whenever I wanted to understand the films entirely. (And it was fairly easy to find English-subtitled DVDs of the films, because I lived in Jackson Heights, NY, where there are a good number of stores selling them.) Of course, I could also enjoy films to a good extent without understanding the meaning of the words, especially since I have been so fond of the music and dance. (And, one can get some meaning by following the film visually, especially with a good plot summary at hand. I have done that a little; I have noticed that Greta Memsaab has done it a bit more.)

    I did know a few basic phrases of Urdu/Hindi from some time earlier, and within the last two years, I have taught myself enough Hindi to fill the first few chapters of an elementary book (some of it from an elementary book). Actually, I think I knew more Hindi a little over a year ago, when I was persistently studying it but am a bit rusty now. But I would like to pick it up again. It is not easy, but it would be great to understand the language fully.

    I have loved the sound of Urdu for quite some time as well. I first really fell for it in the mid-late 1990s, when I had a Pakistani girlfriend for half a year or so. One day I woke up to the sound of her speaking to a friend over the phone in Urdu, and it seemed positively dreamy to me! So,I felt some incentive to learn that language for quite while, but it took more than ten years and many films for me to finally make an effort to learn it – or the Hindi variation, that is (there seems to be just a little difference in the spoken form – but reading/writing is another matter).

    But, sorry, I guess I digressed. :)

    I don’t know any Tamil… To me that language seems far stranger. But I like the sound of it also, and it’s actually easier to find subtitled Tamil films online (though a little more difficult finding Tamil films with subtitles that make a lot of sense).

  7. Richard: The fact that you find Tamil strange is not surprising.
    It belongs to the Dravidian language family as opposed to the Indo European family to which Urdu/Hindi belong.

    In fact Hindi is a closer relative of English than Tamil in terms of its origins.

  8. I have no words to express my gratitude to you. Definitely you would have seen originol dance no by Rakha ji.

  9. Mohan, thank you so much for your kind words! (And I am very sorry that it took so long for them to post, too. I didn’t realize this was waiting for approval.)

    And, yes, I certainly did see the original by Rekha. Umrao Jaan is my favorite Rekha film, and possibly my favorite film from the ’80s. It’s also got my favorite singing by Asha Bhosle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s