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Archive for November, 2018

ashokbhatia

CEOs and managers wanting to puncture the stress bubble these days have several options. Some can head to the nearest gym and burn away those blues. Some can simply switch off their technical gizmos and spend some quality time with their loved ones. Some can start learning yoga and meditation. Some can choose to put off the lights at home, put on some soothing music and relish their favourite tissue restorative, sans any distraction.

Others can pick up any work of P G Wodehouse or Terry Pratchett and recharge their batteries. Or, they can look up the delightful work of such eminent cartoonists as R K Laxman and Mario Miranda, both of whom have looked at managerial situations with the lens of sparkling wit and humour.

In Mario Miranda’s cartoons and illustrations, we come across the buxom but woolly headed secretary, Miss Fonseca. We also get to meet Mr. Godbole…

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Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, occupies a very prominent place in the minds of its citizens. Given the propensity of Bollywood producers and directors to cash in on events which touch the audience’s lives, one would presume that the festival would have had a major role to play in many of the flicks churned out by our dream merchants.

In quite a few story lines, Diwali does form the background of some events of major importance in the lives of the principal characters. The villain and his henchmen decide to massacre an entire family just when the latter happen to be celebrating the festival together. However, they willy-nilly leave behind a survivor who grows up with the single aim of identifying the villain and liquidating him even as the law enforcing authorities take their own sweet time to troop in.

But when one starts looking around for songs which are inspired by this magnificent festival, one is likely to be disappointed. These are few and far in between.

Here is a small collection which was recently brought to my attention by an elderly cousin who has a personal collection of movies and songs which could beat any museum professing to represent the best that Bollywood has to offer.

Aayi Diwali Deep Jala Ja: Pagdi (1948)

 

Deep Jale Ghar Ghar Mein: Lata: 1955

 

Deep Jalenge Deep Diwali Aayi: Paisa (1957)

Kaise Diwali Manayen Lala: Paigham (1959)

 

Mele Hein Chiragon Ke: Nazrana (1961)

 

And here is a famous song from the movie Guide (1965) where an entire stanza is devoted to Diwali.

 

Happy Diwali: Home Delivery (2005)

Perhaps, there are several reasons for Diwali songs being very few.

One could be that the joint family system has given way to unit families. Main protagonists in Bollywood movies have become more self-centred, pushing the broader family into the shadows. Over time, the importance attached to a family-focused festival like Diwali has gone down. We still get to see it, but merely as a backdrop to the small part of a song where the hero and the heroine are shaking their legs and limbs with much gusto.

Another could be the fact that Diwali was earlier considered a private family affair, with sweets getting distributed amongst neighbours after the traditional puja had been performed. But the current trend is that of a socializing event where those who could assist us in fulfilling our ambitions receive gifts much prior to the festival. In other words, if it was a single transaction between a family and the Goddess of Wealth in the past, it has now taken the shape of a multi-dimensional event of a transactional nature where one’s circle of influence plays a far more important role.

It is remarkable that Holi, the Festival of Colours, has found better attention from our film makers. Bollywood specializes in glorifying eve-teasing and this is one festival which provides ample scope for amorous advances to be showcased on the silver screen.

Here is wishing all of you a great Diwali!

(Note: Yours truly is grateful to the senior cousin who facilitated this post.)

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