S. Janaki on Sridevi with the music of Ilaiyaraaja… I’ve noticed this combination in a number of scenes from south Indian films of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and it’s always splendid. I’ve found that this dance is a good one for picking up my mood…
P.S. The director of the second piece, Sangita Shresthova, also has a blog that I’m adding to my blogroll. Check out her post of July 7 – excellent taste in filmi dance, if I may say so. :)
I may be stuck in the ’40s and ’50s where Bollywood is concerned, but I’m still happily delving into just the past few years’ worth of Pakistani stage mujras (which often use some perverse remix of a very old song anyway)… And talk about eye candy…I can never watch just one! They’re also often hilarious – though some of the dancers are very good, too, I think. (In general, by the way, I’ve concluded that these are much less like murjas in Bollywood movie terms than they are like cabaret dances – as you can probably see…)
P.S. 7/27: A few more thoughts about the dances above (I mention the sources in comments also):
The first mujra, by Deedar, is based on the song “Kanta Laga…” from movie Samadhi (1972). But listening to the remix, I’m picking up a few other things, such as the spoken English part from “I Love You” in Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) (I think it’s all from that song), and then there’s that riff from the ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba” in Sholay– that is, from the dance by Helen, who must be a sort of patron saint for this genre of mujras.
As Hema pointed out in comments, Deedar’s dance is like a workout. More often than not, there is this athletic quality about her dancing, as well as her appearance – which is not too common among these mujra dancers, many of whom must be close to twice her weight. I would not say she’s my favorite, but she’s fun to watch sometimes, and she can do a lot of stuff that other people can’t. I like the remix a lot too.
I don’t know who the second dancer is, unless it’s Deedar looking a little different and not moving quite as well. As I mentioned in comments, I mainly included it for the remix of “Ankhiyan Mila Ke,” that great song from Ratan (1944), which I’ve praised and posted a couple of times, and I do think it is much better than the “official” video that goes with the remix (though that’s not saying much). But I’m not crazy about the entire dance… For one thing, I just don’t get much from the “sexy” pinup kind of pose that she does in the beginning – she’s looking a bit too much like she’s trying to get into Playboy. But then when she gets more frenetic, it is entertaining, and her moves are very funny sometimes. I love the part where she holds one foot with her hands and hops on one leg. You see a lot of one-legged kind of stuff in classical Indian-influenced dancing, but I’ve never seen it done in such a funny (and obviously untutored) way.
Her movements aren’t always very fluid, but I think that’s because of the pants. I guess she just doesn’t have the amazing ability that Helen had to move around very freely in extremely tight pants – and tight clothes in general, especially without splitting anything. But maybe Helen was able to get much better tight clothes, which could more easily stand the “tension” (as Barburao would say). Nonetheless, this dancer’s clothing isn’t always a liability for her either (for instance, I must admit that I do kind of like the rotating bum exhibition at the end).
I like the third mujra, for the entire dance. I still haven’t figured out what Noor Jehan song is being sung (by someone else), though YouTube comments have indicated it was from the ’70s. But this one is my favorite from the batch. It’s funny and charming, and I think I like Nargis a bit more than Deedar (who happens to be her sister, by the way). I also have to commend the set designer, as I love all the colors and the flowers, which fully complement Nargis’ feminine charms. (Not a tomboy like Deedar!) I think Nargis is my second favorite of the contemporary Pakistani mujra dancers, surpassed only by Megha – whose dances I’ve posted a few times in the past couple of years, most recently on May 3.
As I may have mentioned, I moved again this past month. Fortunately, though, this move was quite voluntary, because a friend wanted me to go in on a share right in my neighborhood, and this seems like a better situation than I was in before. My room, in particular, though small, is much more airy than the one I was in before, as it looks out over a backyard (to which we have exclusive access) and thus even seems as though it’s surrounded by nature somewhat. This is far different from the last room, which was surrounded by brick walls, with a view out the window of another window and a brick wall.
But while there might be more nature right outside my window, the street itself is a bit more industrial, because it’s at the south end of the neighborhood, right off Queens Boulevard, and there are a few gas stations, mechanics’ shops, and car dealerships right in that vicinity.
Two doors away from me, there’s a lot with some cars in it near a big sign that says “Punjab Motors.”
And as soon as I glimpsed the phrase “Punjab Motors,” this scene flashed into my mind:
My computer fell down and then it crashed. It lost consciousness for about 18 hours and resisted numerous restart attempts. But now, it seems to have mysteriously recovered – for the time being.
P.S. 7/23 – Computer’s health was very bad again today. Computer froze/phased out repeatedly, required replacement of “bad sectors.” I will spare readers further updates – suffice to say, if things slow down, that is why. If computer must be removed for a time, I’ll at least try to address comments in Internet cafes.
P.S. 7/31 – The hard drive seemed to stop for good (expire?) on 7/29. The computer is now in the shop, getting a hard drive transplant. (Yes, I am borrowing some time on somebody else’s computer at the moment.) Fortunately, the price turned out to be much lower than prior estimates (assuming they are doing everything they need to do to revive it). So, at this point it seems that I will not have to do anything drastic to raise computer repair funds. I hope to have it back and working by August 1.
8/2 – Looks as though it’s going to be a while before the computer is working again… It’s not the hard drive after all – it’s the motherboard! For the next couple of weeks, my Internet access will be limited, but I’ll do the best I can with this situation…
Travels to the moon (and beyond) seem to be in the news again… 40th anniversary of the historic moon landing, space station walk coming up on Saturday, India’s moon-orbiting satellite back on track (if that’s the right term)… So last night and this morning, I’ve been thinking about a song about flying beyond the moon, from Pakeezah.
This movie took a long time to make, but since the filming was completed in ’71, I’m thinking that this song was written around the time when travels to the moon were a big subject in the whole world’s popular culture. But the basic subject of the song – going with a loved one far, far away from the cruel world that we know – had probably been around for a bit longer. (The first movie that I think of when I think about that theme is Guru Dutt’s 1957 film, Pyaasa.) And, it’s easy for me to see why such a theme has lasting power. Personally, I find it a very attractive idea. (Now I only need to find the woman who will run off with me, since past candidates kind of disappeared a while back.) I guess that’s a big reason why I love this song, though of course a lot of great talent went into it: music by Ghulam Mohammed, singing by Rafi and Lata, and those very attractive lyrics by Kaif Bhopali.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a separate clip for this song that had English subtitles, so I’m including two versions… One is the separate song clip without subs…
…and the other is an installment of that copy of Pakeezah at YouTube, which seems to have pretty good subtitles. (The song is near the beginning of the installment, and right before it, you can hear some nice background music by Naushad and witness the heroine’s great confession…)
P.S. It was mentioned somewhere at YouTube that you cannot see Meena’s face in most of the song because she couldn’t face the camera in that advanced stage of her illness. Facts like that just add a dimension of terrible sadness to this song and much of the movie. But Pakeezah at least has a farily happy ending (albeit with some very dark stuff mixed in) and, as I may have said before, I think it’s a great movie.
For the next post, I hope to go back to a film that Meena Kumari was in when she was younger and having a better time.
P.S. [7/23] OK, the writeup that I hoped to do as the “next post” will have to wait, mainly because of technical difficulties.