Sunday, May 06, 2012

Books, Music and Movies

Last night I woke up around 1.30 in the morning to the music of 'Rockstar'. For a few seconds I thought I was dreaming. It’s a bit incongruous because my house is nestled amidst thick mallu neighbourhood who hardly speak Hindi. But the loud ‘ya yaa yeah, Jo bhi main’ blaring from I don’t know where exactly, left no doubt in the mind.  I thought the person, whoever was it, must be like Amitabh Bachchan’s character in 'Milli'!. Tamilians generally don't seem to accept that greatness can exist beyond their borders. Unlike Tamilians absence of love for the language has not made Mallus unreceptive to Hindi film music. That I knew before because some of the Mallu movies I have so far watched have lot of Hindi movie references and people I have interacted here actually know their Rafi from Manna Dey! Then again I also didn’t know much Hindi but knew quite a few things about movies and music.
So following the vedic tradition and changing it to the circumstances I thought ‘let the music come from all sides’. Isn’t life all about books, music and movies? What would I be without them? These are the things that you and you alone can do and get full load of pleasure depending on nothing else. They create a whole new world for you and from there all other things in life look so insignificant and pointless. So paraphrasing Descartes, instead of I think, therefore I am, we should say I read, I listen and I watch therefore I am *.  That got me thinking about my kind of music. I am a sucker for film music based on classical music. In that department contribution of gultis is the most significant IMO.  I think the gultis as a community should get a Phalke award for taking film music to greater heights. If film music enjoys as much respect in the books of art connoisseurs as that of classical I think Gultis are solely responsible for that. Example for that is this orgasm inducing Ghantasala song Shivashankari which whenever I listen to never fails to leave me quivering like a leaf in the wind. It has everything. Music is simply mindblowing.I know of no other song which can or has surpassed the excellence of this song. I am no authority on carnatic/hindustani classical music. But songs like these make me regret that I never took serious interest when we, like all other kids of our age, were pushed to sangeeta classes.
I wonder why Ghantasala or many other noted music directors and singers of south India were never considered for Phalke award. I was just going through the list of award winners since it was instituted in 1969, the list is so skewed towards bollywood people especially actors that its a shame that its called a National award. I mean recognising playback singers is alright but only if they contributed significantly towards music. I mean, both Lata and Asha figure in the list and you have not recognised those who contributed significantly to the music and because of whom the cinema or the music got another facet such as Kaifi Azmi, Gulzar, K Vishwanath, Ghantasala,Adinarayana etc., I really do not understand why the actors should get Phalke award. They do what the directors tell them to do, they bring the Director's vision to reality. Just because of that should they be given the highest award in cinema? I have my reservations on that. No doubt, Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Dev Anand are tremendous actors. So are all the actors of that generation. Somehow it does not seem okay to me.  
* I would be really furious if someone were to say I facebook and I tweet therefore I am!
PS: I debated including sports in the list but decided against it since even if you are playing alone say squash, chess or even solitaire what you get in the end is sense of accomplishment like 'I did' kind of feeling. But the pleasure that you get from good literature, music and movies is deeper.  

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