Monday, August 4, 2008

Trailer of Tahaan

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(Continued from my previous post on Tahaan: a boy with a grenade)

Came across the trailer of Tahaan on youtube at IDreamProduction channel
Have a peek at what the movie promises:
Yes the voice-over is irritating. Too HBOish!


(They removed this trailer. Guess the voice over was really over the top)
Here is the new trailer:



Here is one more with a better use of the soundtrack:


Since the movie is still not out in the theaters (it will be in October), I am going to pontificate about the 2 minute trailer. And here I go:


The little boy commanding his donkey in Kashmiri to Pakh! Pakh! (Walk! Walk!) is a fine linguistic experiment.

The background score just in the mid of the trailer is authentic Kashmiri music and absolutely stunning at that. These are the fast beats of Chakkri. The music is set by Taufiq Qureshi, son of Ustad Alla rakha, younger bother of Zakir Hussain and a person of Kashmiri origin. The soundtrack sounds brilliant.

Apart from all this, the thing that really took me with surprise me was: a simple dialogue uttered by a Kashmiri

Ye Ga'da ab tumhara nahi raha
Jao yaha se
How do I know it's a Kashmiri voice? Notice the tone of the voice and the way hindi word Gadha is pronounced as Ga'da by the character. This pronunciation is characteristically Kashmiri. It may seem a trifle little matter. A trifle matter of tongue. But...

Here is a little note taken by Godfrey Thomas Vigne, an English travelers who visited Kashmir in 1835. In his book Travels in Kashmir he wrote:

The languages now spoken, which are derived from the original and pure Sanscrit, are denominated Pracrit. The Italian is a Pracrit of Latin. The Hindu, Gujerati, Tirhutya, Bengali dialects, and others, are Pracrits. The language of Kashmir is a Pracrit. The Kashmirians, says Abu Fuzl, have a language of their own. I was told on good authority, that out of one hundred Kashmiri words, twenty -five will be found to be Sanscrit, or a Pracrit, forty Persian, fifteen Hindustani, and ten will be Arabic ; some few are also Tibetian. There is an uncouth rusticity about the Kashmirian pronunciation which is almost sufficient, at least I thought so, to betray the language as a patois, even to a person who did not understand it. The Sikhs, their lords and masters, are well aware of their erroneous pronunciation, and have a standing order against the admission of any Kashmirian as a recruit, on account of their almost proverbial timidity ; and if a man present himself for enlistment, and is suspected of being a Kashmirian, he will be told to utter some word, such as Ghora (a horse), which, if he be of the valley, he will pronounce broadly Ghoura or Ghura, and be thus detected.
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And now my close friends would certainly understand why sometimes I sound funny, why Gaurav becomes Ghaourav and why Sau Rupay becomes Saoo Rupaye.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sqay, a martial art form from Kashmir

The Persian word sqay means ‘knowledge of war’. According to the legend, thousands of years ago, Kashmir’s King Dharyadev trained his fighters in this defensive art form.

The modern form of sqay was introduced in Kashmir by one Nazeer Ahmed Mir. Now sqay is practised in 20 Indian States. The swift movements and defensive steps of sqay are similar to those of kalaripayattu of Kerala.

kalaripayattuJust like in kalaripayattu, sqay employs weapons such as swords and shields. “Tora’, the sqay sword is made of bamboo with leather cover. Burgula, the shield is made of leather. Besides Sqay combines elements of Karate and Taekwondo. A wide range of combat methods such as blows, kicks, punches, locks and chops are used in sqay.

It has four kinds of competitions — Loba (fighting), Khawankay (Katta), Mathol (power breaking) and Aerosqay

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Like most people I had never heard about this martial art from Kashmir. It came as a complete surprise to me.

The info. here is from an article published in The Hindu
Read more about it at The Hindu

Friday, August 1, 2008

Powerless, Meter less

Everytime the light goes off, people come out on the street to protest. They are protesting for land in Amarnath. On the phone I was told that Electricity meters of houses have been damaged by the protesters. I asked is the protesters are damaging the meters of their own house. In jest, I was informed: first they go out and destroy meter of others, and then they go home and destroy their own meter.
Only a few years ago, Jammu was a meter less town. Electricity - the city did have some time in between 8-10 hour power cuts, voltage - if you torched a live wire intentionally, on good days it could tickle you to go into a voluntary spasm and break a smile on your face. Every house was and still is run by giant privately owned transformers. Step up - Step down is a ritual to be performed every hour or so for 24 hours, everyday, every night, every month and every year.

This electricity was almost free. Then the local administration stringent on the subject of electricity meters. On my last visit to the city, June 2008, my uncle told me now the electricity almost never goes, except of course when its our vari . And even the hours of vari are now normal - only 2 to 3 hrs. I was there for more than two weeks and the light did go off unscheduled. I was told: Bad Luck!

Actually now that I remember, there were meters earlier also but only now they are being taken seriously.

I guess the city never took them meters kindly.

Now every time the light goes off, with nothing better to do, people go out protesting for land.

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Those who remember history, or those who remember Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, or better still, those who remember Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown, will of course remember that the the story of Kashmir problem starts in 1947 with the burning of Mahoora Power House and plunging of valley into darkness.

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I was told that the Gujjars are being asked to leave Jammu. Where will they go? They have always lived in Jammu. They are told: Go back to the Valley.

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