Colors of India

This Saturday has been fantastic.The weather has improved vastly and the sun was out after three days of miserable foggy weather.The dogs and me got up around 1 pm too! How marvelous, right ? 🙂

Watched the latest Bollywood release ”Tevar” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevar) this evening and then had an excellent dinner in China Garden (https://www.zomato.com/ncr/china-garden-greater-kailash-gk-2-delhi ) which happens to be one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in New Delhi. The add ons and side dishes are great which is a pleasant experience. Most restaurants forget to zero in on these very crucial , little niceties. Its ummm…very much  important like foreplay 😀   Their black bean paste sauce which comes with the dimsums is exceptional as is the soft, sweet steamed bun. The pickled cucumber is fresh and tangy, while the ‘kimchi’ salad is the right crispy!

‘Tevar’ has already been trashed and bashed by many as a no-brainer. It certainly is.But then I found it totally entertaining and ‘paisa-vasool’ ( value for money) with an uncomplicated story line, great action, a heroine who for the first time looks good on screen and a typical  Bollywood happy ending with the bad guy and his innumerable evil cronies being thrammed single handedly  by the hero. There is a rather nice ‘item’ number by the very pretty and talented Shruti Hassan too.

But what got me thinking about the movie enough to blog are two very ‘Indian’ things or concepts.

The first is the game of ‘kabaddi’. Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabaddi . The game has become pretty mainstream in the recent past . As a kid,this game is used to be a favorite along with playing marbles. We played rough with adrenaline pumping and tempers running high 🙂 Victory in a kabbadi game was almost like winning a war! I don’t see kids playing ‘kabbadi’ these days.Come to think of it, I don’t see kids ”playing” actually nowadays…the pictures below are so true….and I guess tragic,non? Those were the days my friend we thought they would never end……

playstation      playstation 1

( Photo from the Internet for illustration only)

For a brief moment, during the film as the hero plays ‘kabaddi’ with his friends, I was transported back to my childhood and my ‘kabaddi’ gang, too 🙂

The second is the romance and love that we  associate with putting ‘rang’ or color on one’s beloved during the festival of ‘Holi ‘ in India. This is depicted very beautifully in the film and pictured in the song ‘Joganiyan” . Which takes me to Amir Khusrau’s ‘Aaj Rang Hai”. Traditionally, most associate it with ‘Holi’. But the version I love and accept is that it was the day young Khusrau, seeking a ‘pir’ ( mentor/spiritual guide) met Nizammuddin Aulia. His soul cries out in love and surrender… and in an ecstatic daze he runs home to sing to his mother:

Aaj rang hai, ri maa, rang hai ri…Mere Khwaja ke ghar rang hai ri
Mohe pir paayo Nijamudin aulia
Nijamudin aulia mohay pir payoo…

Des bades mein dhoondh phiree hoon
Toraa rang man bhayo ri….
Jag ujiyaaro, jagat ujiyaaro,
Main to aiso rang aur nahin dekhi ray

[Translation:Today there is jubilation, mother; see how colourful it is! in my beloved’s house see how colourful it is! see the brilliance in the courtyard! Today there is jubilation, mother. I have located my mentor Nizamuddin Auliya, O’ mother, how colourful it is today! Nizamuddin Auliya, makes the whole world bright. I have never seen such colour anywhere, Nizamuddin. I have travelled from land to land and searched. Your colour has captivated me, Nizamuddin]

The lines in the poem which make the accidental cry are “Main to jab dekhun more sung hai, ri ma, rang hai ri.Aaj rang hai, ri maa, rang hai ri.. [Translation: Whenever I look, HE is with me , today there is jubilation mother….]

‘Aaj rang hai’ has been sung by many great exponents of sufi music like  Abida Parveen,Ustad Nusrat Fathen Ali Khan, Sabri Brothers etc.

A very favorite version of the accidental sufi is here :http://youtu.be/1BOPPS0GhW0

Namaaste 🙂

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