Mere paas ma hai! This morning, #Twitter is abuzz with ‘bhari bharkam’ cliched, melodramatic dialogues of Bollywood that were once created to inspire intense emotion, nostalgia and ardent admiration. But these days the audience get tickled and chuckle at the excesses! Replying to Tara Deshpande’s Tweet about sharing favorite Bollywood dialogues, #Twitterati reacted with enthusiasm. Sharing some of my all time favorites!
Those iconic dialogues are tadka of our masala films. Whistle, whistle and more whistles for these!!! Which is yours? (To read, what Twitterati has to say – go to @Tara_Deshpande
One Sunday morning, when I bought this old painting on an impulse, I just knew that it was a copy of some famous oriental painting.
The rich dress of the bride, the slave making a garland, patterns on the carpet, jewelry and other small details gave enough clues. That’s why I did not mind the price. After carefully bringing the painting inside the house, the researcher in me began to google.
And bingo, I found it – Preparations for the wedding of the Cherif’s daughter in Tangiers by José Tapiró Y Baró. The painter (1836 – 1913), was a Catalan painter; best known for his watercolor portraits from Morocco.
This was the original painting, which I found on Google. José Tapiró Y Baró was one of the first to settle in Tangier, Morocco, to find inspiration from day to day lives of the people there. These kind of vibrant paintings were quite famous at the time and his works, especially portraits were very detailed and intricate despite having water color as the medium.
The backdrop of the painting was the wedding preparation of the Cherif’s daughter. Cherif means Sultan or nobleman which means the bride in the painting belonged to a noble family.
The story captured in this painting took me to places in my imagination. Who was the groom of the Sultan’s daughter? What kind of life she had after marriage? She looked shy and demure in the painting. How was she in real life?
Look at the intent with which the slave is making a garland. What was the story of this slave?
And who was this maid adorning the bride? She has nice ornaments on which means she would be quite up in the hierarchy. She seems to be darkening the eyebrows of the coy bride, the Sultan’s daughter.
There are many more questions. But two questions baffled me about this painting. First, who was this figure? The Sultan himself, sitting on a chair?
Another most important question, for me, is – Why is the painting, which I bought, not signed? It is unusual because generally everyone loves to put their names on their works. And although my painting is a duplicate, still it seems to be done by some master artist, considering its beauty. But why has he not put his name there? Very baffling! Also, I had thought that my painting was done in Oil but I am having second thoughts now. I guess it is water color just like the original one.
For now, my search is still on! The painting definitely has many, many stories hidden in it. And I am loving the experience of unraveling the layers in this lovely work.
And you can help too! If you know anything about the painter or the painting, please let me know. I will be very grateful 🙏🏻
‘Ghee Man’ is a brand new superhero conceptualized and created by my third grader and kindergartener. And the tag line goes – Ghee Man and the masters of the food-verse.
Fun Facts About the Desi Ghee Man
He is from Ghee planet.
He saves the world by throwing sticky ghee on bad guys.
His ghee rockets make him fly ( like Ironman).
He has muscles 50 ft high because of Ghee power.
He likes to visit and travel to Ghee-verse.
His favorite channel is Ghee18.
His favorite activity is coloring with yellow – Ghee color
(Ghee means clarified butter in Hindi and is regularly used in South Asian cooking.)
This morning, the kids got the idea while eating ‘Aloo Parathas’ cooked in Ghee. They even quickly made their own versions of the mighty Ghee Man. The one above is by older one and this one is by little brother.
The idea of this desi Ghee Man by the kids is quite funny and appealing. It also made me a little nostalgic about the summer holidays coming to an end. I’ll miss their sparkling ideas, fun moments, hugs and the kisses.
My little one would start formal schooling and one important chapter in the life of this SAHM (stay at home mom) will close. Taking care of school going kids is one thing but having small children to care for day and night is quite another. I had the good fortune of enjoying it to the core, of course, with all its challenges and demands. I will miss that!
Well, excuse my ramblings… and I really do hope you liked knowing about the new superhero – the glorious Ghee Man!
Who cares for Katrina Kaif’s rosy pout when the girl next door looks like a goddess in her digitally enhanced sun-kissed selfie? What is great about Arijit Singh’s renditions when the paanwala seems to sing better than him on StarMaker?
There is nothing exotic about filmy naach-gaana anymore when Indian marriage functions on YouTube present world class song and dance performances. Move away, Bachchans, Khans and Kapoors, for the glamour power is now in the hands of the masses! The public is rising again, this time, dismantling the carefully manicured images of film stars and seeing them as human beings rather than ruling gods.
Post independence, after the end of royalty in India, film stars slowly gained popularity and came to be worshipped owing to the heroics and glamour surrounding them. Their impenetrable, glittery and unapproachable aura made them rule hearts.
But today, surfeit of information about their life has stripped them of the glory. Every other person can abuse them on Twitter, judge their style sense on Instagram and form an opinion on their films and arts in a blog. They have become approachable and thus, very, very vulnerable! A popular saying in English holds so true here – ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’. The celebrities are so approachable and so deliciously dissect-able by anyone who wishes to do so.
And real stardom has been ceased by the masses – your crooning teenager or the dancing street urchin or the neighborhood shopkeeper or the average homemaker… everybody holds the power to stardom… all thanks to the revolution called – INTERNET.
The general public has apps that can make them beautiful and present their dancing, singing, acting, directing, creating… any talent on the world stage. Bloggers like us, who would have been secluded diary writers a few decades back, are now self published authors! It is a very curious age we are living in!
As of now, the masses are copying the celebrities but very soon originality will take over.
But the question I am interested in is – when each one of us becomes superstar, who would be the fan? Who would we look up-to? Who would be the new class of rulers? Seems like a riddle but for now, we are living a dream – where anyone from anywhere could be a star!
A beautiful maiden had three equally good-looking and worthy admirers to choose from, whom would she marry? Betaal, the celestial spirit, asked the legendary king Vikramaditya in the famous Sanskrit story book – Baital Pachisi.
The question seemed baffling but the answer given by the wise king at the end of the story was exceptionally wise. Read the story (in my words) and decide for yourself – If you were the fair girl, whom would you choose and why?
Once there was a beautiful and intelligent Brahmin maiden, who was sought by many young men of the time. But her father wanted to choose the best of all her admirers.
Three handsome Brahmin young men of Kanauj, who were great scholars arrived, and each one claimed that they were in love with the lady. Her father was perplexed as each one was great in every sense. The girl couldn’t choose because she did not want to hurt sentiments.
The three men’s ardent love for the girl did not lessen with time. They stayed on for months and months, showing their commitment towards the lady. But tragedy struck one day, the maiden fell ill and died. Her father and the devoted men were heart broken.
After the lady’s funeral, the first man, built a hut there, slept on a bed made of her ashes, and got his food by begging.
The second took her bones and went far to dip them in the sacred Ganges river.
And the third became a wandering monk and travelled around.
One day, the wandering monk, stopped at a Brahmin’s house to spend the night. The Brahmin thought he was a great ascetic and welcomed him. Dinner was served and the Brahmin’s wife and son joined them. But the son was quite mischievous and he began to trouble his mother by throwing tantrums. The mother got very angry and threw him into blazing fire. The boy turned into ashes.
The third man was shaken and began to scream. He thought the Brahmin’s family was that of vampires and demons. The merchant calmed him down, brought a book, murmured a magic spell and threw water on the ashes. The boy got up, alive as before. The third man was joyous. Here was the way to revive the maiden!
That night, he stole the magic book and returned to the cremation ground. The first man was already there and the second man had returned after immersing her bones. The third man told them about the magic book and asked the first man to bring the ashes of the girl.
The lady came back to life, prettier and more radiant than before. And the three men began to claim her recounting their respective, trials and tribulations.
The first man said – I kept her ashes. That is why she came to life. She is my dear wife.
The second man said – She came to life because of my journey to the sacred river. She is my wife.
The third man said – I brought her to life by my magic spell. She is my wife.
Here Betaal stopped and asked the good king – Whom should the fair lady marry?
(At this point, while reading the story, I considered the monk as the worthiest one because he found the way to revive the girl. But after understanding the king’s answer, I agreed with him.)
King Vikramaditya said – The third man painfully found the magic spell and brought her back to life, but he did what a father ought to do. He is not her husband. And the second man who went to dip her bones in the sacred river, he did only what a son ought to do. He is not her husband.
But the first man who slept with her ashes and lived a hard life in the cemetery did what a lover ought to do. The first man deserves to be her husband.
Betaal agreed but flew back to the tree to test the king’s constancy. And the loop of stories continued with questions and wise answers in the book.
But, If you were the fair girl, whom would you choose?
So, one day, three men, who were friends, began their search for God in the magic jungle. They reached the jungle and looked around. The first friend, saw a cave, and unwittingly entered it thus losing his way entirely. But his search for God was so intense, he did not care about darkness or dangers and walked on. It was a very tough, long, long journey, with no companion, no food and absolutely nothing for support. He became skeletal and hardships troubled him at every turn. There were beasts around, and scary thoughts as well as physical handicaps but he continued walking just because he knew nothing else to do. Eventually, he found the exit of the cave and concluded God is ‘Nothing’. And instantly got enlightenment.
Soon after this, his second friend called him from a nearby stream. He was rowing a boat, looked drenched and tired . On reaching the shore, he got down, tied his boat and came to sit by his first friend. The first friend enquired about his journey. The second friend said -“When I lost sight of you two, I found the river and the boat. The journey was exhausting, with severe ups and downs, and there were agitating storms and heavy rains. At one point of time I was sure to drown. But I found a certain balance, somewhere in the middle. So, this understanding helped me to find the perfect balance in the boat. The whole time, I stayed on the middle path, and I survived.” The moment, he uttered – Middle Path, the second friend got enlightenment! Now, they waited for the arrival of the third friend.
The third friend soon joined them. He came running down a hill, and looked healthy, happy and upbeat. His two friends asked in chorus – “How was your journey, friend?” The third friend said – “Divine and blissful!!! You see, when I lost my way, I was terribly sad and scared. I climbed a mountain top, looking for both of you, but couldn’t see you anywhere. But then, I found a very interesting rock. I began to sculpt the rock and created a fascinating companion.” He showed a rock statue of a little, naughty looking boy to his friends. “I was missing your company, my friends, so I would talk to this statue, the playful guy. This guy answered all my questions. And you know, He became my guiding light. He made mockery of the dangers and I learnt to laugh with him. We enjoyed exploring the jungle – the cave, the river, waterfalls and mountains….all was fun, because I had Him. I was free of fear, sadness, stress and attachment because He was with me and I was devoted to Him.” The moment, he said – Devoted, the third friend got enlightenment.
Then, the statue suddenly laughed and said – “Journey matters friends, as much as the destination. And if you find devotion, you attain the highest form of intelligence and life becomes a breeze.” The three enlightened men smiled together.
(This story alighted in my mind out of nowhere and I thought of capturing it in this blog.)
Today, I stumbled upon these quotes and loved them. BTW, just wanted to share that my WordPress account is giving me problems so I am unable to access blog posts through emails. Even the reader is not showing all the blogs I follow. I hope to get it fixed soon. Thanks a lot for reading😀