Goa Dec 30/31 , 2010 Thu/Fri 1 : 50 AM
Back again with you like a bad penny ! But it is inevitable, forgone conclusion and definite. The post at night has a flavor of its own – like it or not !! And so here I am again ranting and informing and describing the varied activities of the day, thoughts for the moment, impressions that need attention and much more.
Millions of people could not be wrong if they have through centuries chosen a particular region as being one for relaxation and rest and forced siesta. Goa certainly has been that one distinct choice and each year though many may say that it is passe, they all turn up here. Such is the attraction and such its drawing power.
For me it has been a haven from the moment I discovered it and continues to be one. So, clad in my swimming gear there has been little else but the sun the sea and the palms the entire day. The body seems to enjoy that. It does not get much of this often and when it does, it takes in all for many seasons. The wife thinks I look most rested and fresh and have not been so in quite a while. Which is lovely to hear, though I do not see any change in my rather aged and frail disposition. Any way, so long as its in the eyes of the beholder, it is acceptable to me !!
Zarine my oldest and most devoted fan from Goa, seems to have some news for me on that girl from the doctor’s home on top of the hill where we shot ‘Saat Hindustani’. She feels the girl’s name was Maria from Marieta. But she informs that there has been a tragic end to her life. Apparently she was found dead in the wash room of a Hotel here, her sugar level having fallen very low. I do hope and pray that this is not the same person and that this lovely friend of ours is still safe somewhere !
The television threw up some interesting programmes today. There is a limited list that caters for the hotel and keeping the tourists in mind there is emphasis on British, French and Russian channels. On one of them I had the great pleasure of watching a French Opera and I must say even though my French is a lot of Greek to me, I was able to follow some basic overtures of the plot. The set was most fascinating. Modern and steel in construct, it rotated often displaying various facets of the location where the story seemed to be heading. It was really one large grilled square with several compartments, where the acts were being performed. Interesting ! And it wasn’t period at all, as most operas tend to be. At least the more important Italian ones that one has had opportunity to watch. And now I feel strongly that when next in these opera towns – London, Paris, Rome – I must devote my evenings in catching up with their shows, instead of running madly from one shopping arcade to another, or just ambling through cozy restaurants. This visual art is fascinating and needs to be imbibed.
On Tv too last night before putting the lights out was another favorite of mine – ‘Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam’ of Guru Dutt. The enchanting and absolutely mesmerizing Meena Kumari, the simple attraction of Waheeda Rehman, the dignified Rehman and the genius of Guru Dutt’s direction, even as he acted a prominent role in it. And the music. How ever can we forget ‘na jao sainya, chudha ke baiyain’ and the brilliance of an intoxicated Meena ji pleading with Rehman Saheb not to leave. No great camera flourishes, no dynamic artist movements, no flashing lights nothing. Just that symbolic dark and shaded black and white lighting, a bed and the two artists mostly in close ups. This generation of today’s time would perhaps have asked for more action and display. But no it was the artistry of simplicity, which alas we have all to quickly forgotten and lost.
This and ‘Kaagaz ke Phool’ were landmark films of the black and white era. Dynamic in presentation and dramatic in content. The artists acted yes, but so did the lighting and the camera. It shall be one of the greatest tragedies and the pun is unintended, of Indian film that a film like this should have failed and not received the kind of patronage it so richly deserved, compelling its director to cling to the more box office commercial fare in his next ‘Chaudhvin ka Chand’ and in color. It was a beautiful Muslim social, did extraordinarily well at the box office, but it was not ‘Kaagaz ke Phool’, the brilliance and the irony of the film almost lifelike for its director !!
Silence and solitude are such an asset for a creative mind. I used to find it amusing in my earlier days when I would hear of writers and music directors and story writers and composers, trundling off to far off locations for the peace and quiet to create. Why would they need that for this I would argue within me. Creation could happen even in a crowded street ! But I think I was wrong. There is something that incites your mind when it is at peace.
As I lay by the sea this afternoon with nothing to do but lay myself down, I kept getting varied and extremely enterprising ideas and thoughts on cinema and moments and situations and shots and angles … and I wondered … that is why they go off to think and write and contemplate on what needs to be developed. Its been no different from those that take ‘sanyas’, the saints and the ‘sadhus’ that have for ages sought the tranquil surroundings of the Himalayas, or the deep isolated forestry or the loneliness of being lonely ! There has been more to it than most of us imagine. And may it ever remain so !!
My cameras remain unopened. But they shall be put to use soon. And you shall be subjected to some rather horrifying results. ha ha ha … !! Till then savor the air and environment that intoxicates me and let me send you large amounts of its quantity spruced up with my affection and love ..