Swarna Rajagopalan Profile picture
Jun 4, 2020 14 tweets 5 min read Read on X
Just learned that Basu Chatterjee passed away. My 70s movie memories are not Deewaar and Sholay but Piya ka Ghar, Rajnigandha, Chitchor, Guddi, Bawarchi... sweet films about ordinary people like those I knew.
A #rajnigandha offering: bit.ly/2z5VR9s
"Kayi baar yun bhi dekhaa hai
Ye jo man ki seemaa rekhaa hai,
Man todane lagataa hai
Anjaanee pyaas ke peechhe,
Anjaanee aas ke peechhe,
Man daudane lagataa hai"
If you haven't watched 'Piya ka Ghar,' you really should, for a loving glimpse of life in small Bombay flats.
Yeh jeevan hai.
This film with these delightful songs I cannot choose from. I do now cringe at the sexism but that does not diminish the joy of seeing those Bombay buses and bus-stops. And the songs. And performances.
Chhoti si baat.
Tu jo mere sur mein. Chitchor.
Since @SrBachchan has mentioned this gorgeous song, I must now share the link, and because I cannot choose between the AB/Kishore Kumar version and the rainy tour of South Bombay, both:
@SrBachchan Not just shot in places that were home, but I love how fast they walk... like real Bombayites/ Mumbaikars who don't dawdle even when they stroll.... ❤
'Swami' had 'Ka karoon sajni' but I love this song: Pal bhar mein yeh kya ho gaya. bit.ly/3733ZnM
I was in high school when I watched it, I think, and already, the ending left me with questions. But still, a film whose visuals remain in my memory.
Because every thread is improved with the addition of a little Dev Anand (and solely for that reason), this song from 'Man Pasand': bit.ly/2MtlrrT
Imho, nowhere in the same league as the other songs linked here.
"Sapna dekhe mere khoye khoye naina/
Mitwa mere tu bhi seekh le sapne dekhna."
Anand Mahal. bit.ly/3czRL70
And because even a Twitter thread must be systematically researched, I looked up IMDB and remembered this film: bit.ly/3cDdmM8
Baaton Baaton Mein.
And this delightful title song from Khatta Meetha.
Most of our films today seem so ostentatious by contrast to these films, and crude violence replaces a gentle, humane irony as our nod to realism, and we have lost somethin.... Innocence? Simplicity? Probably, both.
A postscript for this thread, the exquisite 'Tumhe dekhti hoon' bit.ly/2XYUVfw from a Basu Chatterji film I have not seen, Tumhare Liye. But what a song!

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More from @swarraj

Sep 21, 2020
Reading the tweets about the FCRA bill. Any government has a vested interest is stifling civil society but startling how much hatred and mistrust people have for those of us who choose to work in the larger interest.
Just six months ago, this government left the people of India to their fate and it was this civil society that stepped into the breach, turning compassion into practical help. For months.
How many of those volunteers drove around in imported cars and branded clothes? I saw none. I saw heart, courage and generosity.
And a government that couldn't care less. Notwithstanding the name of their private fund.
Read 10 tweets
Sep 8, 2020
A short rant about the vegetables I've been getting delivered during the lockdown. People romanticise Pazhamudir and other farm-table type shops but vegetables are awful. Dirty, half-rotten and degenerate within days. I've seen rot in carrots, brinjals, etc.
I just got a batch from a different store, hoping for better. The lauki are spotted. The carrots broken. The cluster beans discoloured and tough as leather.
@Zomato @DunzoCare @swiggy_in if we leave feedback about your vendors, does it make a difference?
I miss the clean packaging of Nilgiris. I have no sense of romance about nature, vegetables, cooking and just want the @#$# job done. Washing mud of ginger and potatoes as if I got them from a garden irritates me.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 7, 2020
I have lost track of the relentless march of COVID19. I am not reading the numbers. I am not tracking the opening-closing. I am reading some of the sad stories.
I am very fortunate to sit in a cave, connected as I wish by a virutal bridge to the world.
I am isolated but not insulated from knowing and feeling the lived suffering of people everywhere. What I am not paying attention to are the daily details.
Therefore, I can say, what you probably can't: it's hard to say anything at all definitively.
There is an up-down, see-saw, righttodaywrongtomorrow quality to what we think we know and if we are honest, most of us are simply stirring the details.
Neither our leaders nor the news appear to be factual so we just cannot tell exactly what is going on.
Read 6 tweets
Aug 23, 2020
I ordered a box of Samahan sachets for my aunt in Hyderabad and was pleased to see this this morning. @amazonIN Image
When my niece checked, however, this was in the box. @amazonIN Image
I left delivery feedback saying it was the wrong item and was about to book a return but guess what? I cannot return this item. Which means my aunt cannot have what she needs and is saddled with this. @amazonIN are you going to help me fix this?
Read 5 tweets
Aug 6, 2020
It's 75 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and we are forgetting that it was as much of a watershed moment as #COVID19.
35 years after I visited the Peace Park, the memory still fills me with a sense of urgency.
I wrote this for the 70th anniversary.

The Nobel to @ICANN apart, that we still need to talk about nuclear disarmament says something about our unwillingness to learn.

Nuclear disarmament is a feminist issue, and this is why.

#Hiroshima75 #womenandpeace #FemSecSt
Read 4 tweets
Jul 27, 2020
It's the kind of day when I want to have Siddhivinayak's web darshan live streaming on my desktop.
I cannot remember when we began going there, late 1960s probably. We would drive from Colaba, go to the temple, eat vadais and once in a way, wander through Century Bazar which was then shiny and new.
The temple was really small and open. I think I remember a Hanuman or something outside under a tree and then the small Ganesh temple.
My father walked there barefoot from Cuffe Parade when my uncle was dying in New York.
Read 5 tweets

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