Sunday, September 2, 2007

Drinking from the fire hose

I recently watched Satyajit Ray's Shatranj ke Khilari. A friend had recommended this one to me a long time ago and I was finally able to get the movie. A little googling told me that this movie is one of the only two hindi movies by Satyajit Ray.

One of the reasons I liked the movie was the chaste urdu spoken throughout the film. Urdu is such a beautiful language that even wtf in urdu would sound like a compliment. There are a few instances in the film which would prove my point. It is a sad realization of my lingual incapabilities that I can think of no better way to express the beauty of this fast fading language.

Besides that, the narration in the movie is by Amitabh Bachchan. It was refreshing to hear Big B's young voice as the movie was made in 1977. Probably, Ashutosh Gowarikar got the idea of having Amitabh's voiceover in Lagaan from Shatranj ke Khilari. Though by the time Lagaan was made, Amitabh was much older and his voice had become much heavier. It is serendipity that Lagaan portrays the year 1893 while Shatranj ke Khilari is set in the year 1856.

As much as I have enjoyed Shatranj ke Khilari, I cannot help but feel sad that I can't understand Bengali. Judging by a Bengali friend's adoration of Satyajit Ray movies, I think I am missing out on a treasure trove. Though subtitles are there, but subtitles can rarely come close to the essence of a movie. A case of lost in translation. May be someday, I'll learn to understand Bengali (and eat fish curry 8 times a week too which would come naturally then).

There is so much to see, so much to read, so much to explore, so much to discover that the water invariably falls out of the fire hose. I cannot drink fast enough.

I am trying though.

1 comment:

Alefyah said...

I adore Urdu too!! I think it's the most beautiful indian language :)