Saturday, April 17, 2010

The only woman among girls

Naseer A Ganai
Yesterday one of my friends forced me to watch that movie. I watched the movie in which she is lead actor. She was beautiful. No doubt about that. She was elegant. And graceful too. But above all she reminded me of good old days when girls were not heroines in Bollywood. They were all women.
But change has had to happen. Gone are days when apple and blackberry were just fruits. Change is must. But suddenly something happens which reminds us of our past. She is that trigger point. One look at her and she triggers all those memories of past heroines of the bollywood. The heroines, I should again say, were women then.
She had different look. Every time, in every scene, every frame of the movie, I found her different. I forgot the movie but not her. In Saree she looked more graceful. I was wondering whether she is heroine of 70s or of 2010. The fact is she is product of these sad times. Time at times surprises us. And She is that surprise.

In 2010 she takes you back to 60s, 70s and 80s of Hindi Cinema. There is nothing in Bollywood films that look like Hindi. Still it is called Hindi cinema. From songs to dialogues, it is all Urdu. I wonder why it is called Hindi Cinema. I have no clue.
But her conversation in the film reminded me of culture and civilization.
But on our civilization, Priyanka Chopra had a word. Last month after remaining here for seven days she returned to Delhi and said “I am back to civilization.” She was right.
Bollywood has never considered Kashmir as civilization and it never considered people of Kashmir as people. Film after film whether filmed in 70s, 80s or 2010 its approach towards Kashmir has remained that of colonial. Kashmiris have been projected as abject race always waiting for a tip from an outsider.

The portrayal has been such that one gets impression that Kashmir has no history and culture. Through Mehmdu (Mehmood), and then through Raja (Shashi Kapoor) in Jab Jab Phool Khilay Kashmiris have all along been portrayed as boatman ready to take alms from anyone. These are only few examples. There are scores. If Kashmiri is not boatman he is Tanga walla ready to do anything when ordered and guided.
Then in nineties, Kashmiri was projected as gun wielding misguided person following orders from “across the border.” All along it has been suggested that Kashmiri doesn't deserve the beauty of Kashmir. He is unworthy of it. He has no brains and he should remain subjugated always. Following orders.Hence no civilization.
Yar, where we have landed? We were discussing woman of bollywood and where from Kashmir crept into it? I was talking about She. Yes!

She reminds me of mischievous smile of Muduballa, tragic beauty Mena Kumari. Inhe zameen par mat utariyega, maile ho jayenge. She reminds of composure of Mena Kumari in Dil Apana Aur Preet Parayee. That of Suchitra Sen as Paro in Bimpal Roy's, Devdas. That of Rehkha. That of Nanda singing Yeh Sama Sama Hai Yeh Payar Ka. She reminds me of Wahida Rehman running after Guru Dutt in Kagaz Kay Phool.

Of graceful Sadna, of elegant Shirmila, of Zareena Wahab. They were all my favorites. But when I started growing up, I lost them. Lost them to Ashwariya, Shusmita, this Sen and that Sen. Of course there was not any Suchitra Sen among them. I lost them to new bollywood heroines. This Krishma, that Karina. This Rani and that Lara. Despite in their 30s they look like girls, than women. Only bones, no flesh.
But yesterday when I saw Vidya Balan acting in the movie, I realized that there is one woman among all these girls in Bollywood. And it is Vidya, the woman.
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