Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hindi Cinema Interlude #2

(Can one have consecutive interludes? Isn’t that a bit oxymoronic??) While we have the expert services of Mr Ghanshyam Nair with us, here’s Anglo-Indian “vamp” Helen dancing with Indian sailors in a Calcutta dive. (Calcutta is the one Indian city in which I’ve spent any amount of time, and I have good memories of the cricket-crazy kids and the amazing driving skills of the adults!) I think I’m right in saying that being Anglo-Indian was enough in itself to suggest loose morals, but if you can also move about like this then you’ll probably need a large retinue of bodyguards wherever you go. She’s voiced here by playback singer Geeta Dutt and the film is the 1958 Howrah Bridge. It’s Mrs Dilo’s favourite song.

10 comments:

Scarlet Blue said...

Is that a clarinet making that whoopy noise during the intro?
Anyhow, my whole blog is made up of interludes... think I'm due to write a proper post within the next 6 weeks, so you deserve a break.
Sx

Gorilla Bananas said...

So which ones are Ango-Indian then? It's not very easy to tell with the naked eye. I always thought Englebert Humperdinck was Irish.

Gaw said...

That sounds so good on a cold, wet London Tuesday. I'd love to be off to India for a few weeks. Sadly Shoreditch is about as far east as I'll be going.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Another gem Gadj - will be adding to my favourites.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Scarley, it may be a clarinet, but there's also strings and a (Hawaiian?) steel guitar in there - they were surpizingly eclectic musical arrangements for the time!

Bananas, it's the lass, full name Helen Richardson, born to an Anglo-Indian father (though that can mean a multitude of things) and a Burmese mother. You'll never look at another Caucasian woman again.

Gaw, it's jolly, isn't it, kind of like a Gene Kelly number with added sultriness. Might not Brick Lane be a good compromiuse for you?

Lulu, glad you like it! I'd be happy to see some of your favourites too sometime.

Ghanshyam Nair said...

Mrs. Dilo is a wise woman. The same movie has a lovely Asha song as well - Aaiye meherban, baithiye jaan-e-jaan...
And my YouTube recommendation for the day is another bit of Geeta Dutt magic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPdnqe8uYbY

Gadjo Dilo said...

Nairji, she is indeed :-) Ah, that's a lovely track from Dutt, more Asha than Lata - maybe you can guess where my preference lies regarding those two. (If you're interested, look at later comments on the previous post where I explain my understanding of Rafi/Kishore.)

Pat said...

Just one word - delightful!

No Good Boyo said...

This is classy stuff. I've always had an instant aversion to Bollywood, born of my dislike of musicals in general, but I'm open to conversion.

Bollywood was big in Soviet Central Asia too, and many of tha Tajik warlords during the civil war took their noms-de-guerre from Bollywood heroes.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Pat, glad you like it :-)

Boyo, no conversion is required, just a certain orientalism. As well as Bollywood, British 1970s costume dramas were very popular here - I'm surprised I've never yet met anybody named "Poldark".