Saturday, April 10, 2010

Curfewed Night : A memoir

I recently wrote a book review for my alma mater in journalism, The Kashmir Times. It appeared in the paper on April 10, 2010 and you can read it at: What Went Wrong With the Place Called 'Heaven on Earth'

It is a review of the book "Curfewed Night" by Mr. Basharat Peer. The book is a very impressive work, in terms of 'an eye for detail' that Mr. Peer shows throughout his growing up years when militancy and paramilitary forces became a part of life in Kashmir.

If you can get a hold of the book, the book is worth reading!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

'Road' to the Past.....

Have been listening to "Sar Jo Tera Chakraye" (remix version) from the film, "Road, Movie", which released last week. Didnt get a chance to watch the movie yet but the song has been making numerous rounds of television as well as radio channels these days.
It brings back memories from the Doordarshan days of my early childhood when "Chitrahaar" was the high-point in our mundane lives, telecast twice a week, till "Rangoli" came along to brighten up our Sunday mornings. Till then, we had only two days to look forward to our television-dependent lives, Wednesday and Friday. Rest of the weekdays passed in a blur.
The song in question is picturised on that remarkable comic actor of the golden era of Hindi Film Industry, Johnny Walker, who is shown moving around with his paraphernalia of "oil-bottles" and a jumpy gait, through a city park, calling out "Maalish, Tel Maalish" to all and sundry.
I remember this song, along with many more such gems from the B&W era of films, because it takes a very mundane activity in our daily life, applying oil to our hair, and connects that to all that is good or bad in our lives, in a subtle, yet forceful manner.
Remember, this was long before the present-day high-profile advertisements of "Thanda, Thanda, Cool, Cool" came along to take the "tel maalish" to just another level....
The song is from the film "Pyaasa", which is a masterpiece from Guru Dutt and is considered to be among the classics of old Hindi Cinema.
However, this song, written by the inimitable Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by the one and only S. D. Burman, stands out on its own.
I haven't seen the Road, Movie yet, so I dnt know what role this song plays in the movie, however, even before that, it has managed to refresh some pleasant old memories for me and others of my ilk.
One of them, I cant resist sharing with my readers: early mornings, getting ready for school, dad applying oil to my brother's hair and singing this song and my brother swinging his head lightly to the music. I can never forget this scene of my life.
Thank you S. D. , Sahir Ludhianvi and Guru Dutt for that.....