Salaam Bollywood : Do me a favour let's play Holi�
Now again the festival is back in films with new energy and vigour to suit contemporary themes and mood like in 'Do me a favour let's play holi �' in...
Now again the festival is back in films with new energy and vigour to suit contemporary themes and mood like in 'Do me a favour let's play holi �' in 'Waqt' � the Race against Time or Ranbir Deepika forthcoming 'Balam pichkari�' in 'Ye Jawani hai Deewani' There was a time in the 60s and the 70s when no Hindi film was complete without a 'holi' song. Soon came a time when the audience got bored of the stereotype situations and filmmakers had to take a break from the festival. Now again the festival is back with a new energy and vigour to suit contemporary themes and mood like in 'Do me a favour let's play holi �' in 'Waqt' � the Race against Time or Ranbir Deepika forthcoming 'Balam pichkari�' in 'Ye Jawani hai Deewani'. Recapping the complete 'Holi' story� The story behind the 'holi' festival is as old as our mythologies. When king 'Hiranyakashapu' could not convert son 'Prahlad' to revere him as a God he had no option but to kill his biological son, an ardent follower of 'Vasudev'. 'Hiranyakashyap' tried every trick in the book to slay 'Prahlad' but always 'Prahlad' was miraculously saved by his Lord 'Vasudev'. A frustrated 'Hiranyakashapu' turned to his sister and 'Prahlad's' aunt 'Holika' to help him. 'Holika' blessed to immortality, offered to sit on the pyre with her nephew on her lap confident that the child will turn to ash in the flames. To everybody's surprise 'Holika' was reduced to ashes and Lord 'Vasudev' to make an appearance and declare that he had to take back his blessings because she misused his boon to her. For centuries ever since, the festival is celebrated to mark the end of evil, while 'dhuleti', the ritual of spreading colour on the following day is a robust gesture to soothe the angry flames! It is believed that the 'deities' in 'dwapar yug' sprinkled 'kesuda' (red flower) mixed with water to calm the rage. Over the centuries, the kings and the queens replaced the red leaf paste with red powder (gulal) and gradually 'holi' came to be identified as a national festival of colour and cheer. Gradually the festival became a symbol of secular message and a dramatic occasion in all performing mediums to present romance and nostalgia. Hindi cinema particularly thrived on the song-n-dance situation to project the abandon of the occasion and what is intriguing is that the spell has not broken hasn't broken in a 100 years. What alters is the projection� Legendary filmmaker V Shantaram perceived 'Ari jaani natkhat, mat chuna mera ghunghat�' picturised on dancer Gopi Krishna and Sandhya in 'Navrang' as an expression of love using erotic lyrics and unusual choreography. Yash Chopra uses it for romance in 'Silsila' and later for drama in 'Darr'. For Subhash Ghai, it was a moment for confrontation with the father of the beloved and Jackie Shroff in Hero and later truce between warring friends in 'Saudagar'. For Rajkumar Santoshi it was a reason to play truant and take liberties with the helpless in 'Damini' and for Ramesh Sippy, a moment of celebration for the villagers in 'Sholay'. The director very beautifully combines the sad with the happy moments, where we watch a younger Jaya Bhaduri chasing her to be father-in-law Sanjeev Kumar's 'tonga' challenging to colour his spotless 'kurta' and later, the same sequence with Jaya as a widow watching the gaiety from a temple perched on the top of a hill. Mani Ratnam's 'Dal-Pati' retold the story of' Kunti and Karna' in modern times. The film portrayed a 13-year-old suffering labour pangs to deliver an unwanted child as the villagers dance around fire flames in the background. The unmarried girl has no choice but to abandon the new born on a moving train. For 30 years the ghosts of her morbid past haunt the guilt ridden mother superbly played by the beautiful Sri Vidya. Every 'holi' night she is hounded by visions of the villagers prancing around the bonfire destroying old belongings. Sri Vidya finds peace only when she meets Rajnikant and he forgives her. In Waheeda Rehman-Dharmendra starrer 'Phagun' Waheeda's father, a 'Zamindar' has presented his daughter a new saree. Dharmendra in a romantic moment splashes her with colour and ruins her new saree. Torn between the two men she loves, Waheeda is obliged to humiliate her husband in public to pacify her father. The husband is crestfallen and walks out on his pregnant wife to return 20 years later, imbalanced and diffident. In Shyam Benegal's 'Bhumika' Naseeruddin Shah playing a filmmaker has everyone believe that he disapproves of celebration because his daughter died on that festival. Smita Patil knowingly colours the director and gesture is the beginning of an attraction between the two. Exploring unfamiliar nuances is also Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Alaap' where in Rekha unsure of Amitabh's reaction hides behind the door waiting in anticipation. He follows her and colours her spontaneously, oblivious of her feelings for him. In complete contrast is 'Rang Barse�' in 'Silsila' where 'bhang' becomes an excuse for the lovers to rekindle an old affair. The brazenness appeals to our basic instinct, evoking a heady feeling despite the social taboos. The stigma of a widow participating in the festivities was first challenged by Shakti Samanta in 'Kati Patang'. Rajesh Khanna applying the 'Shagun ka Tikka' on the young widow's forehead was a statement on our social customs. Ketan Mehta's 'Holi' about ragging in college campuses was a statement on our degrading education system. Reflecting the sinister side of hostel life, the film is the sad story of a young boy destroyed by peer pressure. In the soon to be released Karan Johar's forthcoming 'Ye Jawani hai Deewani' Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor are all set to play a seductive 'holi' that will make you forget the old romantic films and songs� www. bhawanasomaaya.com