Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2010

House Flooded. Let's have some Music.

After eight hours of incessant rains they found their house flooded with muddy water. After the rain stopped and the water didn't rise any more, in a still overcast afternoon they got some stereo speakers and a tape player on rent. With the flanger sound blaring, they danced over the ripples. Overhead, dragonflies danced around in circles to an other tune. It won't rain anymore. A crow took a bite out of a dead rat's head. Flew away as a little girl approached. She saw the dead, stopped, with her bare feet give the rat a half-roll, prodded, spit and walked away. An eagle scooped down on the dead and flew away to a grand feast. Perched at some safe heights, unseen, the peacocks conversed over distances. This land could have been a marsh land. This land should have been a marsh land. This land is a marsh land.

What's with the use of flangers for lead vocals in Haryanavi and Rajasthani 'pop' songs?

Elders do the Hello

Found it in one of those whimsical alphabet booklets sold in buses.

Kishore Kumar, Yodel-ay-ee-oooo Songs, A List

*Updated with corrections pointed out by Bart Plantenga, author of some incredible book on Yodeling including Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World.


Kishore Kumar's brother Anoop Kumar, who we basically know for the line 'O manu tera toh hua ab mera kya hoga', used to own lots of Austrian music records. And from these records, Kishore Kumar picked up the art of Yodel singing, an art perfected in bathroom and then introduced by him to the world of Hindi film music. According to his biography 'Kishore Kumar: method in madness‎ ' by Derek Bose, "Kishore was a fan of the Swiss singer Tex Norton [* Tex Morton, an Australian cowboy born in New Zealand who sang  in the gene autry / Jimmie Rodgers style] and the Australian Jimmy Rogers [*Jimmie Rodgers, perhaps the most American and one of the most famous yodelers in the world, famous for his blue yodels] as well."

Although most of these songs by Kishore Kumar are thought to be '…

Sheesh Mahal: Palace of Mirrors

"Dressed in the baggy white cotton suit of a Bombay businessman, Producer Karim Asif stands proudly in his glittering Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace. Asif's extravaganza Mughal-eAzam was produced here at a cost of over $2 million, an Indian record.)"
-found this captivating image in movie special issue of LIFE magazine dated 20 Dec 1963.

It took K. Asif 14 years to make the film.

It took weeks to build 35 feet high, 80 feet wide and 150 feet long Sheesh Mahal set at Mohan Studios for the 'Pyar kiya to darna kya' song. The glass was imported from Belgium. According to R.D. Mathur, the cinematographer of the famous song, lighting for the song included hundreds of reflectors and  beams of 500 trucks.

After the completion of the film, for at least two years Sheesh Mahal, covered with a huge tarpaulin and open to a select few people, continued to remain the centre of attraction. And then it was gone.

Update: Photographer was Brian Brake for the series published in L…

March of Kanwariya

At the start of  wet season each year Christmas Island gets red crabs and at the start of wet season each year, in July-August, Delhi gets saffron Kanwariyas.