Saturday, June 9, 2012

Damsels in distress!..??

I have reason for not posting anything for a little more than a week...oh! and its a really good reason ...I wanted to write about "Damsels in distress!.. ??" and was waiting for an incident related to the topic to reach its apex (I wanted to share it), which had its beginning end today.

Well, it started a week ago, when I came across a discussion, where a group of young ladies were talking over whether girls should be treated with little extra care and love at home as they need it because of their sensibility- only a few agreed on it.
When I laid the same topic in front of my friends, all of them went against it.
All the girls from both the groups, hooting the idea of being "favored", said one common thing;
"We are strong enough to take care of ourselves, we don't want extra protection from anybody".

 I, coming from a liberal family and also being the only child of my parents, never had to face any preference or discrimination...barring the occasional - first serving of treats in family get togethers (me being the only girl of my generation in the family back then), which happened ages ago. *I really enjoyed those -winks* . 
Though my father was and is still protective about me...but that does not make me feel like a princess locked away in a tower, with a fire breathing dragon as the gate keeper (hey I just described Fiona), it never did. And my Mom, well she is one hell of a cool mother.

Now, with such upbringing, I feel suffocated when bound with rules...and I get irritated when I am being treated with loads of extra care.
Agreed, some discipline..some pampering is required/acceptable... but total discrimination/ preference.. NO WAY !
I dislike extremes in anything. Balance- is the keyword in life.


Now, for the incident I was talking about;
Uma, the 13 year old daughter of our help (Mina), was in tears when she told me and mom that her father and brother decided to stop her schooling. Reason : The neighborhood girls were stopped by their respective families for various reasons (how shameful) and the father-son duo did not want their darling little one to travel so far to reach the school all alone, as neither of them could accompany her, because they left for work early morning.
I was wide eyed listening to all of this, my heart sinking, as I was aware of her want/love for school and studies... my mind began churning ideas of how to convince the men to allow her to go to school, I was looking for solutions which they might agree to.

Then something nice fell into my ears, her mother spoke up, she did not agree with them and wanted her daughter to study further -how did I forget her, all I was thinking was of the men- I was thrilled, the woman was speaking for her daughter's rights and at that very moment, it hit me, if she can not go to school, then how about distance learning. She can study from home and the only time she will have to leave for school is during exam. I enthusiastically put forward the idea and was overjoyed to hear that the mother had already spoken about it to her family, and that they were in talks with the school authority.
*Cheers to Mina*
But this does not end here, the best news was still to come, and that was today. The school had a discussion with the family and convinced the men to send Uma to school.
YES... she will go, she will continue her studies; she will do what she wants, what she needs, what she loves.

While writing about his, my heart went out to those girls from Mina's neighborhood. I wish they had a Mina in their families, to give that strength and support to the girls, to live on their own terms.

So, we are "Damsels in distress", but we can take care of ourselves...teach us to take care of ourselves... make us to take care of ourselves.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A date with Talash (1969)

I love this movie for many reasons and I was more than happy when our local cable operator played it last evening. I haven't seen any O.P. Ralhan films other than this, but if this is how he made movies, I know I have  to watch his other works very soon.

Raj Kumar/ Raju (Rajendra Kumar) lives with his mother *typical 1960s mother, the crying-bechari-widow maa* and aspires to make it big. His ambitions bring him to city, where he is hired as a typist with a big company run by Mr. Ranjit Rai (Balraj Sahani) *Handsome as always and suave*. Initially, Raju makes errors in his work which threatens to cost him his job. Ranjit rebukes him and Raju decides to pay attention and work hard. In due time, Raju is promoted and he works with all his sincerity.

During a decamp, Raju meets a beautiful village belle Gauri (Sharmila Tagore) *Beauty personified* and both fall in love.

Alongside, Raju's friend Lachhu (O.P.Ralhan) falls for the cabaret dancer Rita (Helen) *ooh.. I love Helen* and wishes to marry her. *I love it the way Helen pronounces his name*. But Rita cannot accept the proposal as her father (Sajjan) disapproves their love *Sad face*. The reason : Her father is being blackmailed by Peter (Madan Puri) for murdering Chaand (Jeevan) who tried to molest his wife. Rita's earnings from her dances is the only way to keep up with the supply of money, and her marriage would mean a stop in the payment.

On the other hand, Raju promises Gauri and her father to marry her and leaves. When he is back in the city, he is promoted and is made a partner. Now... there is no free lunch in this world, is there?... So, why all of a sudden the partnership? Well, the catch is -- Ranjit wants Raju to marry his daughter Madhu (Sharmila Tagore), who is polished, educated from Europe and is sooo urbane, and...and... is also a lookalike of Gauri *errr ??* As if the mystery about the doppelganger wasn't enough, our hero has to also save his career. His 'no' to the marriage proposal means losing everything he has earned till now.

Our lead man has to make a choice between his love (who has promised to kill herself if he doesn't go back to her) and Boss's daughter (with whom things are heating up as well).

Who will Raju choose ? Is Gauri Madhu's long lost twin ? Why they resemble each other? What will happen to Lachhu and Rita's love story ? To find the answers watch the film; the climax is worth.

Sharmila Tagore looks Oh-so-gorgeous through out and gives a good performance. Rajendra Kumar as a confused man torn between love and lust does a fine job. O. P. Ralhan is annoying sometimes in the comic parts and Helen is cute in the scenes and hot in the songs. Balraj Sahani, as usual, is perfect in his character.
Some scenes could have been edited, but its ok.. I don't mind much.

Super compositions by S.D. Burman lifts up the movie further. The romantic "Khai hai re humne qasam" & "Palkon ke peechhese", the cabaret  "Karle pyaar" and the master piece sung by Manna Dey, "Tere naina" all these and more makes it difficult to pick up favorites from the album.

Every frame supports the fact that it was the most expensive movie of that time with a budget of one crore...*phew* Extravagant art direction *and I just love the creativity here*, delightful costumes, picturesque outdoor locations, all these teamed up with likable performances make Talash a treat.
I love this saree

Here is "Kitni akeli" and "Mera kya sanam", all for your ears. :)

Images: Youtube Vidoes

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