Disclaimer: The facts are taken from the journal "Taste, Taboo, Trash: The Story of Ramsay Brothers" by Kartik Nair. I personally declare that the journal is only used as a reference & no intentions copying the content for any benefits, it's only to spread the knowledge regarding the working ways of Ramsay brothers. [more inside]
Welcome to Haider, a Bollywood version of Hamlet set for a controversial, much anticipated release this autumn. Vishal Bhardwaj's latest Shakespearian adaptation turns the Prince of Denmark into a philosophy student from Kashmir, the former Himalayan princedom, who returns home from university after hearing that his doctor father has disappeared and his mother is in a new relationship. View the trailer here - captions available. [more inside]
English words are becoming more popular in various Indian languages (Hindi is the language that's predominantly discussed in the article). Vise versa: words that English owes to India (again, predominately discussing Hindi).
Idibon, a company that specializes in language processing, decided to rank the world's languages to see which had the most unusual features. The winner was Chalcatongo Mixtec, a language spoken by 6000 people in Mexico. The most normal language? Hindi. [more inside]
Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi + Tere Bina Aag Yeh Chandni: Dream sequence from the 1951 Hindi film, Awara. "The film, generally considered one of Kapoor's finest, is notable for its darkly surreal sets... and for its remarkable dream sequence, which echoes this architecture in an evocation of heaven and hell. Despite its ultimate vindication of patriarchy and capitalism, the film became an enormous hit in the U.S.S.R. and, thanks to Chairman Mao’s reputed fondness for it, in China (to this day, millions of middle-aged Chinese can hum its title song)." You can view the other musical numbers from the film here.
The Hindi Urdu Flagship Program at the University of Texas, Austin has a number of freely available online resources on Hindi and Urdu, including vocabulary exercises for beginners, video interviews with native speakers discussing various aspects of their language, a Hindi-language podcast on various topics and the ways one can discuss them in Hindi, and several downloadable books in PDF format. [more inside]
Some Hindi music directors take a lot of er, inspiration from popular western songs, lifting music and even lyrics. The results range from awful to inspired. [more inside]
Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, has created a superb online collection of resources, all about India and South Asia, its art, history, literature, architecture and culture. Her Indian Routes section (the Index page) is a particularly rich resource. Her vast, colorful and informative site also has many great images. Check out her "scrapbook pages" on the Princes l the Ghaznavids l British Rule l Women's Spaces l Perspectives on Hinduism. [more inside]
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Naa (You don't know, and neither do I) = A guy who's in love with a girl falls in love with someone who he thinks is right for him, but he realizes his mistake, only after the girl has decided to marry her perfect match [or so she thinks]. Taree Zameen Par (Stars On The Ground) = A boy who has difficulty with school work gets put into a Hostel for boys where he discovers a teacher who understands him and is willing to fight for him. And Jab We Met (When we met) = A story about a guy and a girl, who meet on a train and get hitched to each other; the guy finds himself by the end of their travel but has to leave the girl because she's run away from home to marry a guy, only to find out that he doesn't want to marry her... three Hindi movies which I would suggest that everyone watch!
It seems apropos today to post about Bollywood and its style of romance and love. Songs are often the equivalent of a bedroom scene, a fact I didn't believe until it was pointed out to me that there were numerous instances of extremely suggestive songs followed by pregnancy. Bollywood also uses songs to arouse patriotic fervour, a trait that master music director A.R. Rahman takes to new heights with his release of the classics Vande Mataram [Motherland, I salute thee] and Jana Gana Mana [India's national anthem]. But even before him, there were classics of public service advertising such as "Mile sur tera hamara..." a fuzzy video but inspiring nonetheless of the myriads of voices and languages spoken in India. Other loves that hindi cinema celebrates through its songs is that of a mother for a child, god, love across cultural boundaries and what is politely termed as "conjugal love".