Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Browsing filmi blogs

After discovering Minai's Cinema Nritya Gharana and Dances on the Footpath last year, everyday seems to bringing some thing new from the array of blogs linked in their blogs. I am nominally interested in Hindi film songs and dances, having seen a few in the forties and fifties starting with Rattan and probably ending around the period of some of Raj Kappor's early films. Many of the things I was curious about like tunes, music, dances their background are slowly becoming clearer. Many of the blogs seem to by westerners, some of those of Indian origin though I cannot tell from the names and titles and some of them, particularly Minai's seem to be like research papers. Thet are checked and crosschecked (if somebody makes a mistake everybody jumps in) and there are well researched articles to those giving glimpses of the lives of the artists even the obscure ones who somehow were an integral part of making those films what they were with stories of human interest to erudite discussions. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to make lists (like the old Indian stuff of sins, punishments, Mudras and other catalogues) but somehow one has to post once in a while. Anyway, the provocation for this post is that I was curious about Anglo-Indians partly because one of my sons in law is an Anglo Indian. But I do not mix much with their family since they are very strongly Roman Catholic and I usually keep away from religion. My general impression is that they are not well accepted in India since they are scattered all over the place and do not have strong constituency of their own. But they do not seem to be that well accepted here and seem to go for many Indian things from food to Tendulkar. In one of the film blogs I have come across, I find soms glimpses of Anglo-Indian life. Here is the fourth part of a seies about one of the dancers Edwina Lyons in Hindi films around the sixties from Dusted Off. Here is a passage, probably very generalized, but came from a very tough and good person from the group "Like I already said that most Anglo Indians in My Opinion just live for the day ‘One Day at A Time Sweet Jesus’ Tomorrow is always another day so no need to stress & Limited almost everything they did in Their Lives If they passed through High School was more than enough to get by with & not really Ambitious as such Planning was definitely out of the Question & did Things Mainly on Impulse Majority of them Anyway! Yet They were Full of Airs & Graces & Almost felt that They were Superior to Others & I Personally called Them ‘Hard Cases’ just a Name instead of calling Them worse I know that I Am ‘Anglo Indian’ as well unfortunately! I know that I Worked Very Hard & Still Do but then I Might just be one of the Minority eh! Mind You I am not over the Moon being an A.I. but I cannot help being what I am We cannot call Ourselves Indian here in India because the Indians would not accept that.."
There are glimpses of many minor, major, forgotten, not-so-forgotten dancers and actors from that period amd a moving story about Edwina and Mehmood in memsaabstory.
Sometimes, the posts get very technical about ragas and what not. I like the songs as they are and do not care about ragaas. Possibly the knowledge and practice is useful but for somebody like for whom film songs and dances are a relaxation, these technical things seem a bit too much. And sometimes they cannot decide which raga it is because some innovators changed various things. Here is a very scholarly article about one song http://www.svabhinava.org/abhinava/Sunthar-LapakJhapak/LapakJhapak-frame.php
"We have here an apparently bizarre situation where everyone is ravished by Lapak Jhapak and attributes its musical appeal to the sublime power of the underlying râga, and yet there is little agreement and much confusion as to its identity!

Online listings of film music tend to classify this song as Darbarî Kanada or Miyan kî Malhâr, though instances of its being labeled as Megh Malhâr, Adânâ, etc., or even “Jai Malhâr” (invented solely for the occasion :-) ..."

P.S. I only quickly browsed through the four articles in 'Dusted Off'; I did not notice any information about Anglo_Indian actresses like Honey O'Brian from a slightly earlier period, and of course there were many in the very early days.

4 comments:

turanga said...

Talking of Anglo-Indians in films, Ray's Mahanagar has the relationship of the heroine with one of her Anglo-Indian co-workers as one of its themes. Have you seen it?

gaddeswarup said...

I did but it was so long ago that it is vague. I aso had some classmates from that community but never visited their homes though we got along well in college. More recently I have been meeting some of them through my son in law.

Divya said...

I like music Shows and Concerts.I love Classical Music Dance Styles.Where Can I Find Dance pictures for learning dance Steps and Moves.
Learn musical instruments

gaddeswarup said...

Divya,
I do not know. I am not really acquitted with Indian classical music or dance, only with some filmi versions of it.