15 comments on “Hey, It’s Holi!

  1. The first one is outstanding and a great favourite, but all are nice!

    Did you know this one with your favourite Waheeda Rehmaan from Phagun? Doordarshan, Indian TV, would programme this film for Holis!

    Not a bad film with her, Dharmendra and Jaya Bhaduri/Bachchan.

  2. Yes, Navrang is the best. Originally, I’d just posted that, but the Kohinoor song was running through my head (as it often does), so I added that, and then I thought, might as well make it three.

    I’ve seen the other scene that you mentioned too, thanks.

    BTW, did you think Waheeda Rehman was my favorite? Funny, because there is someone out there whose favorite she really is, who thought I didn’t fully appreciate her. There are a couple of big Waheeda Rehman fans out there; my obscure Waheeda posts are for them. :) I think I’m still much more hooked on the other southerners, Padmini and Vyjayanthimala. (And add Kamala strictly for the dancing.) But Waheeda has grown on me, and I do think all those Guru Dutt films that she was in are outstanding. Plus, it was nice to learn that she has stuck with it in films almost coninually (minus just one ten year break in the ’90s to early 2000s) and is still doing it in the present day. That seems kind of rare for a woman in Bollywood.

  3. Great songs, all of them. Fantastic musicians, and musicianship. Such tight rhythms, muscular and controlled. Makes me feel very sloppy. I feel I need a musical work-out now. I’ve really enjoyed myself here this morning. Better go and do so me work now though. Thanks!

  4. Richard, sorry, maybe got the Waheeda impression because she is also one of the good dancers in Indian movies, and you have a few posts.
    I know of course that Padmini (have never seen enough of her to have an informed opinion) and Vyajanthimala are your two top in that order. V was really cute and still is an elegant lady.

    Meanwhile, reading your blog I remembered the man who brought Kathak to new heights, Birju Maharaj, and wow, youtube had clips of him too, although only his later years.
    From one interpreter to another, the same dance looks so different!

  5. Hi, Joss. I’m not clear from what you’re saying if you are a musician or if the musicians are inspiring you to do more workout and be less “sloppy” in general. I get the impression that it’s the latter, but it could be the former.

    I don’t do any kind of physical workout. I do walk a few miles a day. And I’m trying yoga once in a while. No need to explain why all this stuff is inspiring me a little with that. :)

  6. Bawa, thanks for the suggestion of Birju Maharaj. I’m not all that familiar with his work, will have to look into that. Among the great male dancers (whom of course I have neglected somewhat), I have appreciated Gopi Krishna and will probably post some things of him in the future. Since you’ve already mentioned Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, I know I don’t need to tell you about Gopi Krishna. :)

  7. Obviously I need to do a linguistic work-out too! A comment with such sloppy ambiguity would never do in Bollywood. :) But I guess I meant the comment in both senses. A work-out on the floor or on the piano would do me just as much good. I am recuperating from CFS so a dance around the kitchen to Hindi film music is about all the exercise I am capable of at the moment. I am not a professional musician but I have been having piano lessons while I’ve been off work, and I appreciate how hard it is to keep with the beat! I’ve also benefited greatly from yoga. Fitting it in to my busy schedule is the problem though – I’m off work but I have all these three hour Hindi movie marathons to find time for!

  8. Oh, sorry to hear about the CFS. It must be an ordeal to have to keep going back to a job on top of that. On the other hand, in this world economy, one is reminded of the old saying, “The only thing worse than having a job is not having one.” (Although I, myself, would enjoy not having a job, if I had enough money. And, since I’m in the U.S., if only I had healthcare…)

  9. Richard, only when I hear people like you that I realise what a great burden we don’t have to carry in Europe as far as health goes.
    I think one of the greatest conquests ever for every citizen to have the best available medical care as a public service, and what distinguishes a so-called dev.ed country from a dev.ing one (in my humble opinion)
    Do you think there’s a chance with the new govt of this happening in the US?

    Ok, back to dancing :))

  10. Hi, bawa. In answer to your question, unfortunately, I don’t see any chance of this happening with the present government. The only way for this to happen would be if there were a national health insurance – or “single payer” as its called in U.S. political language – similar to what’s in Canada and most (or maybe all?) of Europe.

    Single-payer healthcare is not, as the saying goes, even on the table. Every plan being discussed has some element of private insurance involved and nothing locks out the insurance companies, which are the main obstacle to universal and accessible healthcare for everyone.

    President Obama never made even the slightest promise to consider that kind of healthcare. During the presidential campaigns, no one in the major political parties would consider it except for Dennis Kucinich, who dropped out of the race very early.

    I think there will be some slight improvements in availablity, especially for children. Most adults, especially the unemployed and contingent workers, will probably see very minimal changes, if any at all.

    I don’t see this government as becoming all that progressive on its own. There are changes afoot, but that’s because of the catastrophic economic situation, and a more progressive government would probably be giving more help to the people and less to the banks (which many say would be wiser economic policy, too).

    Anyway, don’t let me lapse back into political blogging here :)… Back to dancing now!

    Although, by the way… My recent “dancing” posts were actually motivated by some political news. I was reading a little about Jayalalitha and her recent two-day (I think) fast in support of rights for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. I see that her opponents are questioning her motives and crying “too little too late,” but I think the deed that she did, by itself, is good. For that and some other reasons (based on my very limited knowledge of Indian politics right now), I thought I might give a little tip of the hat to Jayalalitha: Thank for that nice gesture this week; you get three dance clips!

  11. Thanks for such a detailed answer: it is always nice to read something other than newspaper rhetoric. What you tell me though, it is really sad. Here in Spain there is this “single-payer” system and you cannot opt out. Healthcare is universal & unlimited. Medicines: you pay 30-40% of the cost, except pensioners, etc. who get them free. Pharmacies are now obliged to sell the cheapest generic for prescriptions, regardless of the actual name on prescription”. Where I live medical type dental care is also free for kids until 15.
    Besides, there is a flourishing private health-care sector that works with pvt insurance company as a top-up to those who want things done extra fast, or feel they can pay extra. Public health also off-loads some work onto the pvt. sector at no cost to the patient.
    But it is accepted that while pvt care me good for delivering babies, having scans, tests, normal operations, if you really are in Trouble, you end up going to the state hospitals, because they can afford the biggest and the best facilities and they keep you there as long as you need it.
    As I said, the system contributes a large chunk to my own welfare, because I am mentally at peace, not only for myself, but also I do not have to feel guilty about every less well-off person, unemployed, old-age pensioner,etc. (even illegal immigrants have health access) I come across: they get exactly the same care as I do. I think that this makes me “wealthy” in a way that is really true.
    I thought the current US govt was going to go further than what you say.

    Now as you said, back to Jayalitha, Padmini and co.: if you carry on digging such stuff, you will become an Indian cinema paleontology expert. (is that marketable)

  12. Bawa, going back to one of your earlier comments, I stumbled upon an interview with Birju Maharaj here:


    And my favorite part of the interview is where he says:

    We better stop following others’ footsteps and try to get them bow in front of us. We can beautifully present any form of dance with the base of classical dance. It’s not tough to learn classical dance.

    You can remember Kamala Lakshman, Padmini, Ragini and Hemaji following the classical way of dancing.


    By the way, you said you were living in Spain, which surprised me, because first of all, you have a UK e-mail address and secondly, I don’t get any hits from Spain indicated when I check Statcounter. In fact, I don’t think I get any indication of your visits, period, on Statcounter, though I can easily recognize some other people’s visits. (Yes, I spy to some degree – hope nobody minds.) Is there a special Internet cloak surrounding Spain? Or maybe you have your own cloak. :) You don’t have to answer any of that, I just found it rather puzzling, so I thought I’d mention it.

    (Spain – now, that’s another place with an interesting history…)

  13. Richard, when I started out on internet ages ago I had a British connection (have been a teacher for many years at the British Council) and also with a co.uk address, there was far less junk mail!!! And now so many people have that add i cannot change it.
    I don’t know why the stat counter doesn’t show it; the moment I visit Atul’s song a day page, I can see myself as a visitor registered from my region in Spain: am not doing anything at all! Yes, it is an interesting place to live in, and if we ever get bored, there’s France slightly over an hour’s drive away (well, one corner of it) so am not complaining:)

    Thanks for the Birju Maharaj link; truly great talent is not hesitant of accepting others, however different, so good for him! Its like all the criticism Shubha Mudgal receives for her non-pure-classical work, but I think some of them are brilliant and that she gets full marks for me to try and do something different.

    I think her Babul on domestic violence is really powerful

    By the way, Birju Maharaj’s kathak dancing is quite something!

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