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Archive for February, 2017

PGWodehouseWodehouse keeps touching the lives of residents of Plumsville in more ways than one. In success, as well as in failure. In pleasure, as also in pain. In joy, as also in remorse.

Here is a blog post from Plumtopia which is a sterling example of the manner in which Plum helps us to face harsh slings and arrows of Fate.

Plumtopia

Bertie Wooster once said:

I’m not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare who says that it’s always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.

Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest

So it was in February; I was sitting happily at my keyboard, brow furrowed with concentration as I worked on a delightful series of blog pieces on the theme of Wodehouse and love, in anticipation of Valentine’s day – the anniversary of Wodehouse’s death. The first three chapters of my first novel had received a nod of approval from a well-established author, and Winter was drawing to a close. Life was filled with the promise of Spring larks and snails; God was in His heaven and all was right in the world of Honoria Plum. But, as Wodehouse so…

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Residents of Plumsville admire Psmith for more reasons than one. Eve Halliday is another character which deserves better attention than it normally gets.

What happens when the two run into each other? How does their romance progress?

Here is a delightful post which celebrates the gradual evolution of their relationship. Cupid, were he to come across it, would surely approve.

Plumtopia

32-23This February’s Great Wodehouse romances series continues with another guest author, K.V.K. Murthy, known to Facebook friends as James Joyce.  His piece takes us on a walk through romantic literary history with Psmith and Eve Halliday (Leave it to Psmith).

A note on the Psmith-Halliday romance

by K.V.K. Murthy

The question of favourites is mostly subjective, and Wodehouse’s vast canvas of miniature romances doubtless provides for each taste. The Gussie-Bassett, Tuppy-Angela, Bingo-Banks and others too numerous to mention are all miniatures :a concatenation (to use Jeeves’ word) of comical situation, Edwardian silly-assness and a bit of fat-headedness thrown in for seasoning. They are the staple of drawing-room one-act plays of a certain generation, given occasional revivals in schools to round off the Annual Day shindig. Barring minor changes in detail, they are all more or less cast from the same block. Wodehouse’s success with that block – or formula –…

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When it comes to capturing the wide canvas of human relationships and emotions for the silver screen, Gulzar saheb surpasses all others who wield the megaphone.

Here is an ode which would be relished by all those who are familiar with his work.

Reflections, Ruminations, Illuminations

Note: My poetic tribute to the haunting, melancholic, yet the beautifully touching saga of love gone awry in the hands of destiny, the irresistibly deep and unforgettable chemistry between Mahinder, Maaya and Sudha in Gulzar’s timeless love saga ‘Ijaazat’, based on the Bengali story ‘Jatugriha’, by Subodh Ghosh.  The film, unforgettable till today for the tenderly crafted lyrics of Gulzar Saab composed with finesse by the phenomenal R.D. Burman,  followed the story of couple who are separated and who accidentally meet in a small waiting room of a railway station and discover some truths about their lives without each other.

ijaazat_movie

Like weary travelers, lost in the waxy orbit of time

We lose our shores, and then, keep coming back

To where our stories began, the Ground Zero

Where you slouched against my caramel skin,

Lost in the deep, blinding maze of a past, passionate, drunk

With the lyrics and heartbeats of…

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Here is a listing of some of the lesser known songs featuring Madhubala, the Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood!

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

The very mention of Madhubala’s name brings to our mind her dazzlingly beautiful face, her enticing smile and her charmingly sensuous persona. Acknowledged by fans and industry people across all generations as the most beautiful face to have graced our industry, she has rightfully been accorded the title of ‘Venus’ of Indian cinema!

Veiled behind this beautiful face was also a brilliant actress, who could do both light-hearted as well as intensely emotional roles with equal ease. However, most of the time her beauty did not allow her to get the appreciation she deserved as a superlative actress of the ‘Golden era’ because of which she was mentioned only after Nargis and Meena Kumari…

Though articles on her invariably focus on her on-screen and off-screen- romance with Dilip Kumar and her comedy roles opposite husband Kishore Kumar, what is overlooked is her superb chemistry with her other…

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Residents of Plumsville are aware of such couples as Piggy-Maudie and Joe-Julia. To lovebirds that are young at heart and have matured over time, lining of the stomach plays an important role. At times, the prospect of an alliance between their respective children reunites them. PGW RingForJeeves

In ‘Ring for Jeeves’, we get to meet Mrs. Spottsworth and Captain Biggar. They are also young at heart but not as advanced in age as to merit consideration either to bodily afflictions or to children’s marriage prospects.

The two get introduced to each other while on a hunting spree in Kenya. Much later, they run into each other in the coffee room of the Goose and Gherkin, one of the wayside inns in England. A day later, they happen to be staying together at Rowcester Abbey, a property Mrs. Spottsworth is considering buying.

Of chance meetings which are ‘meant’

Mrs. Spottsworth exudes an aura of wealth. She is as rich as she looks. At the mere mention of her name, the blood-sucking leeches of the Internal revenue Department ‘raise their filthy hats with a reverent intake of the breath.’

Her first husband, Cliffton Bessemer, died in a road mishap, leaving behind sackfuls of the green stuff, which got further supplemented when her second husband, A. B. Spottsworth, made the obituary column, when, while hunting in Kenya, ‘thought a lion to be dead, whereas the lion thought it wasn’t.’

Colonel Cuthbert Gervase Brabazon-Biggar had the privilege then of picking up the mortal remains of her second husband and of getting those shipped out to Nairobi.

She remains in touch with both her husbands through a Ouija board. Broadminded and considerate, they keep egging her on to marry yet again. They assert that a woman, irrespective of her bank balance, needs a mate by her side.

She is intensely interested in psychical research and looks forward to enthralling spiritual manifestations, that too with a dash of impatience. She does not believe in chance. She believes that even chance meetings are ‘meant’.

Of cavemen and clubs

Mrs. Spottsworth is a romantic at heart. When ‘a night complete with moonlight, singing nightingales, gentle breezes and the scent of stock and tobacco plant’ brings the two lovers together, she tries her best to kindle the passion which happens to be dormant in the bosom of Captain Biggar.

The latter even gets persuaded to put on a pendant around her shapely neck, driving knives into his trembling frame.

Do you remember the day we met in Kenya?’

‘Oh, rather,’ said Captain Biggar.

‘I had the strangest feeling, when I saw you that day, that we had met before in some previous existence.’

‘A bit unlikely, what?’

Mrs. Spottsworth closed her eyes.

‘I seemed to see us in some dim, prehistoric age. We were clad in skins. You hit me over the head with your club and dragged me by my hair to your cave.’

‘Oh, no, dash it, I wouldn’t do a thing like that.

Mrs. Spottsworth opened her eyes, and enlarging them to their fullest extent allowed them to play on his like searchlights.

‘You did it because you loved me,’ she said in a low, vibrant whisper.

Kind words and melting looks

Despite being cold shouldered, her female instincts do not lead her astray. She knows that when a man chokes up and looks like an embarrassed beetroot every time he catches her eye, he is bound to be passionate about her. To bring that passion to a boil, few kind words and a melting look or two would be quite sufficient.

When an opportunity presents for her to dance the Chesterton with the ninth Earl of Rowcester and rousing the fiend that slept in Captain Biggar, she exploits it. The latter walks out in a dark mood, giving the frogs on the open lawns an impression that ‘it was raining number eleven boots.’

When her diamond pendant gets purloined, she merely expects justice, not vengeance. When Captain Biggar is held to be the prime suspect, she starts losing her faith in human nature.

When a woman loves a man with every fibre of a generous nature, it can never be pleasant for her to hear this man alluded to as a red-faced thug and as a scoundrel who can’t possibly get away but must inevitably ere long be caught and slapped into the jug.

The Biggar Code

On his part, Captain Biggar has loved her from the very moment when she, a combination of Cleopetra and Helen of Troy, had briefly popped up in his life. But his code was rigid on such matters. A pauper like him could not go mixing with wealthy widows. Tubby Frobisher and the Subahdar in the old Anglo-Malay Club at Kuala Lampur would not approve.

The Biggar code not only forbids poor persons proposing to rich widows. It also encourages a white man to shield young and innocent women from the seamy side of life. When it comes to alerting poor Jill about her affianced, Bill, cooing to Mrs. Spottsworth like a turtle-dove, Captain loses no time. The code also enjoins one to be honest in one’s dealings – whether by way of chasing defaulting bookies or by returning stolen pendants. If one values money, it is only to ensure that one can feel in a position to express one’s love for a woman with a magnificent bank balance.

He has a penchant for expressing himself in Swahili as also in some languages of the East. When craving clarity of mind, he is wont to do yogic breathing exercises and practice ‘communion with the Jivatma or soul.’

Breaking the code jinx

The code jinx is broken by Mrs. Spottsworth by confirming to Captain Biggar that one of the code’s main proponents, Augustus Frobisher, has already gone ahead and married a woman who has much more money than herself.

Captain’s plans of wandering out into the sunset alone get scratched. Jeeves’ services get relied upon for announcing the banns in The Times, the Telegraph and Mail and Express.

Unlike the narratives which capture the characters of Piggy-Maudie and Joe-Julia, the main protagonists in this case do not get united owing to one of the juicy schemes of Jeeves.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/piggy-maudie-and-a-seasoned-romance

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/joe-julia-and-a-seasoned-romance)

 

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

Waheeda Rehman with her exquisitely chiselled features, a rare simplicity, amazing grace and immense talent had a truly transcendental appeal. Her beautiful presence lent dignity to every character she portrayed in her long and illustrious career spanning more than three decades. From the vamp of CID in 1955 to the grandmother of Delhi-6 in 2009, she was fortunate to have got a variety of roles and her career graph is not only studded with memorable performances but also some remarkable on-screen dances.

waheeda-dance1

Waheeda Rehman danced like a dream and being one of the few dancing heroines to have entered the industry she brought with her the beauty of our cultural arts. She put life into all her dances and her eyes beautifully captured the different emotions and nuances required for the song situation. Apart from typical classical dances she also performed other lighter styles and left her graceful…

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ashokbhatia

The conscientious ones amongst the mandarins in the Indian Health Ministry cannot really be blamed for having sleepless nights. The epidemic of such lifestyle diseases as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular abnormalities is leaving them a wee bit clueless. The need of the hour is to come up with a scheme which nudges Indians of all sizes and shapes to start living slimmer and healthier lives.

Take obesity, for instance. As many as 60 million Indians – roughly 5% of the population – are considered obese. With more than 50 millionObesity image suffering from high blood sugar, India is a nation headed for a health tsunami the devastation caused by which would be anything but sweet. This is a grave threat to our vision of the country reaping a hefty demographic dividend in the years to come.

How do we motivate the Indian couch potatoes to switch off their TV sets…

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