'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Stuff Of Legends

Owing to various unanticipated 'hecticities', I have not been blogging much of late. Nevertheless, the last few weeks have been interesting enough with a copy of 'Aitihyamala' having been acquired. This collection (in Malayalam) of legends, myths and life-histories from Kerala has, to my knowledge, not been translated into any other Indian language. Here is a sample.

(Note: This is from the article on 'Chembra Ezhuthassanmar'; the passage below is on a 'padippura' (a usually small building constructed over the gateway to a compound) that 'Makku Ezhuthassan' a once-upon-a-time patriarch of the Chembra family had built).

- "During Makku Ezhuthassan's time, several friends of his and other local lumanaries used to frequent the padippura and they would pass time in musical sessions, games of chess and occasionally, displays of magic. Ezhuthassan had also set up a picture of Krishna in one of the rooms; and he would read the scriptures before it everyday - this practice of scripture reading is still being followed there. Over generations of devotion, the picture came to acquire the Lord's 'presence'. Indeed, it is believed that at nights, celestial beings come to pay obeisance so one stays there overnight - and it has been observed that whoever dares to do so gets physically thrown out by an unseen hand. To this day, in the quiet of the night, one often hears the sound of music and singing from within the building - a phenomenon that occurs more on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A New Spin To Khandala

Note: "Aati kya Khandala?" (something like "Wanna come to Khandaala?") was a rather silly but very popular Hindi movie dance number of the late nineties. Aamir Khan had acted it out and probably sung it too.

Sometime in the summer of 2006. The Sinhagad express, bound for Pune. Afternoon. Next to us sit an elderly couple and a nearly three year old girl - must be their grand-daughter. They have been very quiet, mostly - even the child - the weather is torrid, sapping...

The temperature gets milder as the train creeps up the ghat. It then pulls into a small station. The old lady tells the kid: "See that, Khandala station!". The girl says: "Gun-daala!". The grannie corrects: "Naahi, KHAN-DAA-LAA!" And the little one tries again: "Gun-Daa-Laa" and then suddenly takes off: "Gun-Daala, Bun-Daala, Gun-Daala, Bun-Daala, Gun-Daala, Bun-Daala, OH!" - an impromptu parody of the title-song in the movie 'Mangal Pandey' (again starring Aamir Khan). Grannie, totally floored, exclaims: "Arrey waah!"

Update(Feb16th 2010)
Today, I read Jnanpith winner U.R.Ananthamurthy's preface to an omnibus edition of his works. Even as a child, he was known to be highly gifted with words. He says the adulation could be traced back to him as a 4 year old declaring: "Abbkkanna gubbakka kachchikkondu hoyithu!" which meant "A little sparrow (gubbakka) carried off Abbakka (the proper name of a maidservant at their home)!" - the alliteration and endearing nonsense therein totally floored both the lady in question and the writer's own mother who would go on to proudly refer to this event all her long life.

So, in the years to come, if I get to hear of a lady writer from Maharashtra with a profound gift for words - and born around 2003 - well, I don't need to say more!