Saturday, April 4, 2015

Language, history, religion and their intertwined stories.

The inimitable, amazing Javed Akhtar, Firaq Gorakhpuri. And Shamsur Rehman Faruqi.

Plus the true meaning of 'triveni' sangam and 'butparasti' :)

First a simple short line exploring the way Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Gujarati, Portuguese, English, Sanskrit and other languages are intertwined to form what we know as Hindustani/ Hindavi/Urdu/Hindi.

And now the detailed conversation, where he talks about the nature of languages, scripts, history and the ethos of Hindavi/Rekhta/Urdu language. Also, how the notion of linguistic 'purity' is absurd.

Always a delight to listen, this clip of Javed sahab is taken from the Jashn-e-Rekhta festival organized by team in Delhi.

And now for the legend himself : Raghupati Sahay aka Firaq Gorakhpuri. Exploring similar themes in this rare time capsule of the 60s Doordarshan.


And lastly, this amazing lecture by Shamsur Faruqi sahab, one of our greatest living intellectual. Here he speaks about languages, literary traditions, metaphors as reality, history of our land from Abhinav Gupta to Khusro and so much more! All in in his inimitable style.

Bonus : We learn the true meaning of 'Triveni sangam' and 'Butparasti' :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bombay cinema : old and rare - I

Amusing, rare conversation on Caste in Bollywood

A very rare instance of a conversation around caste stereotypes in Bombay cinema, even though it is done for comedic effect and is from six decades ago! The clip is from the film 'Dil ki Rani', circa 1947, starring a very young Raj Kapoor and an almost juvenile Madhubala. 

Tried watching the film, to find the context of the scene, but had to abandon the plan as it was sheer torture. The film is unbearably bad.

For a cinema tradition of more than a 100 years, it is quite stunning how totally disconnected and aloof the industry remained from caste and related issues. This was one of the rare occasions, when comedy opened up the lid, even though for a fleeting moment.