Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

This Old Black & White Movie Was Interesting, Even Now!


This old black & white movie,  'Anupama' brought back many memories for me...some happy and some are not so happy...I was in school when this movie was released (1966).  I had started admiring (!) Dharmendra and my mother went to this movie in Ashok theatre (Chennai) with her cousin, without telling me and I remember crying and not talking to her for some time! Feel silly now! No, we were not going/taken to movies regularly (we were 5 siblings!), but mother used to take us to good movies.  This movie had become famous mainly because of the songs (courtesy: Binaca Geet mala, radio prog.) I didn't get the opportunity to watch it until now!

My ankle has got a ligament tear now which needs lot of rest, so I seem to be watching movies in most afternoons! Because this is a black & white movie, I was postponing, though watched Gurudutt's 'Pyaasa' and some other black & white Bengali movies.

I think I need not go into the full gist of the story of this movie.  This is a 'father-daughter' relationship story, mainly.  The father gets married very late in his life and is very attached to his wife.  She delivers a girl baby and dies.  The father (Tarun Bose), who is quite rich,  hates the sight of his daughter (Sharmila Tagore) because he thinks that she was the reason for his wife's death! he becomes an alcoholic.  She is brought up by their house help.  Because of her father's hatred for her, she becomes an introvert and never mingles with anybody.  Because of the heavy drinking, he falls  ill and is asked to take a break and father and daughter go to Mahabaleshwar.  There, the hero Dharmendra (Poet and teacher) enters.  He is the friend of Arun (Deven Verma) who is supposed to marry Sharmila as per the father's choice! But Arun falls in love with Anita (Shashikala), the father's friend's (David) daughter...oooof...too confusing?!! Well, Dharmendra meets the beautiful eyed, silent girl Sharmila and their love blossoms!

You can see Dharmendra, a bit plump and young one, watching Sharmila, in the above song. 

I remembered this song (the tune led me to this song...the music directors are different, though) by Mubarak Begum.  Lovely song, my favourite!

One more surprise is Deven Verma.  He became a famous comedian later but here, he has acted very well and another surprise is Shashikala who is singing this beautiful  song. She became famous in negative roles later!

David was at his best.  He used to get this type of roles mostly in all the movies he had acted.  He and Shubha Khote were always, old people.  Shubha is Dharmendra's mother in this movie!

The hero and heroine never danced or sang together for even a single song, in this movie! They sang separately!But this movie was a hit in those days! Music ruled then!

This is the only song for Dharmendra in the movie.  Lovely song with good lyrics.

I liked Dharmendra in this movie.  He has acted very naturally.  This song is an example.  It looks as if he is really singing...he takes breath at appropriate places too! Hemant Kumar is singing this song and he is the music director for this movie.  This movie became famous for the songs and Sharmila's eyes were 'talk of the town' in those days (My mother's views!).  I was a Dharmendra fan in those days (Did a post on my childhood/teenage, here!)

This 'ankle-rest' break has shown me, that I have my mother and grand mother's 'movie-buff' streak! My mother had a cousin and both of them used to go to movies together often.  She used to tell us the stories at night, I still remember.  We were taken to movies very rarely, but stories, we knew! I can't narrate a story like her, any day! She was good in narrating mythological stories to my sons with all the minute details with lot of expressions!  She used to read a lot, both in Kannada and Tamil.  She worked in a library and used to bring heavy mythological books and read them as if they were fiction books.  I think this movie has triggered my mother's memories...I remembered her often while watching it.  She used to send us with our cousins to very good movies (she would watch them first!).  I think she has influenced me so much that I am able to watch Kangana Ranaut's 'Queen' or Sathyajit Ray's 'Apur Sansar' with equal interest! Unknowingly, we are influenced by our parents and by the time we realize it fully, they are no more.  It hurts sometimes. 

The other movies I liked during my movie marathon are:

Selma...I remembered 'Mississippi burning' while watching this. This is a movie on Martin Luther King. Good one.

Diksha...a many award winning movie with a very serious story. The story takes place in Dakshina Kannada, my native place! Nana Patekar, Manohar Singh, KK Raina, Sulabha Arya...a memorable movie. 

The Bridges of Madison County... Clint Eastwood directed and acted with my favourite Meryl Streep.  A good romantic movie.

Saving Mr.Banks... Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks movie based on Walt Disney.  Enjoyed.

Contact... a Jodie Foster movie.  A very well made film, though I had watched it many years back. Still enjoyed!

The Constant Gardener...watched this with a heavy heart.  Good movie.

Man of favourite Denzel Washington's movie.  Still remember it.

Tamil movie, Devar Magan... A very well-made Kamal, Shivaji Ganesan and Revathy movie.  Had already watched in the theatre, still, watched it again.  Good movie.

Well, I watched so many (one was, 'Sanshodhan', a Nihalani film, but something was missing in the story. Everybody acted well, though.)  but remember only the movies I enjoyed watching.  I am still relaxing! Any recommendations?!


Friday, June 5, 2015

The Land Of No Corruption! Unbelievable To Us, Indians!

It is more than 4-5 months since I had visited this place, Dubai! We stayed there for 4 days.  The trip was arranged from home.  We visited this place on our way back from the U.S. Let me write about some interesting anecdotes I heard and saw over there.

We could see many many Indians everywhere, esp. Malayalees! Hindi is enough to roam around here! The driver cum guide told me many things about Dubai.  They are very well paid.  But everything from home rent to food, is expensive.  He was a Pakistani.  He had been working here for the past 8 years and had visited his family in Pakistan only twice.  He had 4 children(!).  Two were in college.  He said that though the work was tough, long hours, money was good.  We had 3 drivers for 4 days and all of them said that the country is free of thieves and no teasing or harming women, no corruption and NO INCOME TAX! Whatever you earn, you keep!

I thought that Dubai was a desert and so I won't find any trees except Palm trees.  No, many areas were covered by trees and we saw very well maintained lawns.

The UAE was created by their late King Zayed (whose photo was found everywhere!) which had made it one of the richest countries in the world.  More than Oil money, they are targeting on 'Tourism' money.  So many world class resorts, hotels etc. are found here.  I could hear Bollywood and Arabian music throughout the night from our hotel...night life for the tourists! Bollywood films are famous and music, more famous! They have started encroaching the sea also.  Filling the sea bed with rocks and mud and building houses and resorts there, it seems! Again, tourism is the main aim. 

I saw one music reality show like ours in their TV.  Girls were dressed up well, with modern dresses. They were either sitting or just standing while singing...middle aged men were sitting, many were there, opposite them and when the girl started singing, these men got up and started dancing...just rotating themselves with their Arabian dresses! Funny.  No girls or women danced!

I loved the desert safari ride! The vehicle was a land rover and the driver was a Malayalee (!).  3 other passengers (again Malayalees!), apart from me and my husband were sitting with our belts tied and hands holding the handles above our head.  These 3 people knew somebody and had hired this particular driver who drove us recklessly on top of the high mounds of sands and brought down as if the van would roll head over heals! You know me well by now, I was laughing and my husband was glaring at me! But after getting down, he appreciated the driver for his control over the vehicle! We had never expected this ride to be like this! The height of thrills, really!

One more thing I noticed was, most of the buildings were painted in beige colour as if they were built by the govt., even the independent houses in posh localities.  The driver said that they were painted in sand colour because they got sand storms often and the sand dust covered everything, even the huge buildings, with sand.  It was tough to clean them all the time.  So this colour, which blends with the sand! What an idea, Sirji!

Apart from gold, which is famous and sounds cheaper than our country, tourists bring home badam, dates and saffron. Gold is purer, we were told.  2 Gold Souks (markets) are there with hundreds of gold/jewellery shops!  We paid one dirham, crossed the waterway by a boat and reached the market place, first the old one.  Small small shops with lots of local curios which were quite interesting and then to shops like the ones we see in our country.  We had a cup of local chai from a small tea shop and it was very good. Again, nobody glares at tourists! We had lunch at Sangeetha restaurant! Many Indian restaurants were there.  On one day, lunch was at a Gujarathi restaurant!

Now, to the pictures:

We went across the waterway just for one dirham to the market in this beautiful boat.

Independent houses in a posh area.  Only locals can buy property here.  Others can take houses on lease.  For starting a business here, it can only be with a local partner's collaborations, it seems.  Is it so?
The sand was beautiful, which is strange! Nothing else! I remember this safari even now than anything else about Dubai! We nearly touched the stars and tumbled down! Such high dunes!

Desert Safari...we had Indian Vegetarian food here and tender coconut too!  When we were returning from the desert at about 11 pm by the Land Rover, the whole area was dark until we reached the main road after driving for nearly an hour.  The only light we saw on the way was from a small hut, which was, you won't believe, a Keralaite's tea shop! If I had known earlier, I would have been prepared to take a snap!
Desert Safari...a girl dancing with serial bulbs on her dress to Arabian music.  The music was good! Camel rides were there and I rode one!

The road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. I saw trees on both sides of the road and platforms like this with small flowering pants in most places. Green lawns were looking fresh, well-maintained by mainly Indian labourers, I was told.  The mud was imported by ship from India, mainly! It has started raining here for a few weeks an year for the past 3-4 years, it seems.

Beautiful sea...clean beach.  It was full of foreigners.  We crossed this area at around 12.30 pm and the sun was burning our skin, still saw many fair skinned people in the beach.  I have to appreciate the local people...nowhere tourists were glared at or harassed.  No muggers or open cheaters, I was told.  Law is very strict here.  I love this aspect of the country.
Clean beaches...Looks beautiful! The whole city is clean!

The latest mosque built in honour of King Zayed, we were told.  I went around wearing an abaya (purdah, long black gown covering women from head to toe...only face was visible!).  Everything is new here, in this mosque.

We were taken to a 'model' village, a village created for the tourists, with narrow streets, wells, small mosque etc. Saw a small hut with cows, sheep, ducks and hens too.  Saw many small birds including many sparrows! This man was making woollen wall hangings.  It was interesting to watch him mix so many colours and bring out images. 

The wall hanging in the shop where the man was knitting. Threads of different colours are knitted together to bring beautiful images.  Amazing!

A well in the 'village'.  I have seen same type of wells in my village too, in Karnataka, India, near farm lands, when I was small!

Dubai 'village' ducks! One is was hot in the afternoon!

Burj Khalifa...the famous, tallest building in the world, a replica inside the Burj Khalifa.  Wiki link is here about this!

Gold Souk (the famous Dubai Gold market). It was very crowded in the morning before lunch.  This photo was taken at lunch time and it was a Friday, namaaz time! Noticed many Indian stores too like Shyam Jewellery, Damas, Joy Alukkas etc.. Wiki says 'By some estimates, approximately 10 tons of gold is present at any given time in the souk.
My memory about Dubai is these concrete buildings in different shapes and sizes and the Sand (desert safari which was beautiful but lasted for half an hour or something, i.e. driving on the sand). (this is wiki picture!)

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