Sunday, July 26, 2009

(At last) it's written!

Year 2004 ,there was a small column in news about a book of fiction . What took my attention more than the plot was the fact that it was written by an Indian beaurocrat and that it was immediately signed up for a motion picture. I eagerly waited for the book. Saw its copy in June 2008. Did not buy it because I had no time to read.
Somewhere in September 2008 I read an Anil kapoor’s ( an Indian movie star) interview in which he mentioned about a movie off from an English director.He had no clue about the director .Though he didn’t refuse the offer When he casualy mentioned it to his son, he was astounded and told him that he was a great fan of this director and the offer is not to be refused. He accepted.
The film sweeped the golden globe awards . It was released in the theatres in early December but I was too busy again to watch it. So it’s like I didn’t get to read the book or see the movie ,I took track of for almost 4 years . Then came the biggest honour . The Oscars. The ‘Mozart of the east’ got two Oscars in one go! It was the front page news and a national frenzy. Slumdog Millionaire a motion picture directed by Danny Boyle based on Indian beurocrat Mr. Vikas Swaroop’s fiction Question and Answers was a hot news. It spoke of the misery of slum dwellers and destiny . Amidst the great frenzy and the flash lights I wondered where did the slum kids who acted in it go. The very next day I saw a complete cover up on the kids in the Hindu weekly supplement and then there was the Oscars dinner where these kids pictured with Dev Patel in the celebrity dinner. At the same time there was another Oscar for a short documentary about a girl Pinky who had a cleft lip. It showed how a surgery transformed her life. Pinky got international fame and so did the plastic surgeon who would have done that work anonymously for years. So it was a happy scenario . I almost equated it with the fairy tales we used to read and enjoy. It was like all the bits of news were reaffirming a fairy tale to me. I was ecstatic to the extent I wanted to write something on it.But I didn’t. Then when the excitement was over I thought was it not pseudo-fame for these slum kids! They reached a place even the most famous stars from India haven’t reached . They are flashing smiles in fashion shows and magazine covers . But what comes next when the media flashlight shifts to something else. They need news. They made a great show out of the murder of a fourteen year old girl and the misery of her parents for months and then it suddenly was wiped out from the scene like it never existed. It has to happen. Thereafter how do these children deal with same miserable life again , having tasted success and grandeur. While I was busy with these thoughts there came the news that the child actor Rubina’s father was arrested for trying to sell her off. So what changed in Rubina’s life? May be she was saved just because she is famous now or may be she was being sold at a high price because she is famous now. Well again I wanted to write something and again procrastinated. So I neither read the book nor saw the movie or write anything.
Last week after my exam I finally watched the movie and particularly admired the never give up attitude of the protagonist and the tenderly woven love story. The next day Rubina khan was in news again because her slum was destroyed by the municipality. I thought I must write something because it’s been long I have been postponing it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gandhari Blindfolded

Two days back Gangubai Hangal ,lengendary singer of Kirana Gharana, passed away. Going through the orbituary ,memoirs and tributes to her some things took my attention.

I tried to imagine the young girl clad in a saree moving out on the streets to learn music.It was a time when a career in music wasn’t very acceptable . She dared the bad words and braved the street urchins who threw dirty water on her. What struck me most was that her real name was Gandhari but that wont suit a ‘gaanewaali’ . Though she could fight the laughter and the insults but she had to change her identity for societal acceptance. Men in music were revered and bestowed ‘pandithood’ and ‘ustad-dom’ but a feminine talent of music could not surface above ‘gaanewali’.

So brave Gandhari blindfolded herself and camouflaged as Gangubai so that her great talent could survive; her love for music could live. Amidst the hardships she underwent to sustain her ‘world’ may be this was the last thing she could have complained about.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The beginning...

Kamala and Bimla, raised by wolves,never learnt to be human let alone learning the nitty gritties of feminine behaviour. In short it's the socialization that makes 'humans' and definitely 'being a girl' is taught.The process starts from birth and under the same roof differences in bringing up exist with a sad subtlness. This is so engraved in the society that even the most liberally raised women can't deny its suffocating shadow.
This blog is my attempt to unwind and write about things which actually initiated my 'affair with words' about a decade ago . My first poem 'WINGS' , represents the first encounter with this subtle, suffocating web of demands on a human ,born feminine.
Eve shared a bite of the apple of wisdom with Adam. This was called the blame and burden of Eve that led to banishment from garden of Eden to the mortal world full of misery . But I believe that 'bite' was her bold quest to say 'no' to ignorance and her generosity to share it with her beloved... what came later is her magic and not her fault....