lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Laahiri Laahiri Laahiri Lo

I am going through a bout of nostalgia, thanks to Neha remembering Maya Bazar.

The movie was released in the year I was born and it still draws full houses whenever screened. It is a timeless classic. I don't remember when I saw the film first, but the dialogues and the phrases coined by Pingali Nagendra Rao were part of Telugu lexicon I grew up with. We referred to gongura, the famous green stuff of Andhra, as Saakambhari Devi prasaadam, we would say tasmadeeyulu to refer to the enemy camp and regularly alluded to the famous advice "Rasapattu lo tarkam koodadu".

The best known song in the film is "Vivaaha bhojanambu" but my personal favourite is the rollicking "Aha naa pellanta" where Savitri, that great actress, does a marvellous imitation of SV Ranga Rao.

The scene is this: Sasirekha is rejoicing about her upcoming marriage. But Ghatotkacha is impersonating Sasirekha. He keeps forgetting himself and lapsing into his natural mannerisms. Savitri, looking delightfully girlish and endearingly plump, captures SVR's mannerisms perfectly.

The song, sung by P Sushila, is boisterous. Sushila uses a mocking tone and sings with great insouciance that is perfect for Ghatotkacha's impersonation. Ghantasala's jati interlude with the impish atu tantaam itu tantaam among them cracks me up every time I hear the song.

Though the credits say Ghantasala, the song "Laahiri laahiri" was composed by S Rajeswara Rao. Ghantasala did the orchestration alone. This is the song Neha went into rhapsodies about in her post.

Sasirekha and Abhimanyu on a boat ride, the mood is dreamy and the song languid. It is a lovely song, and the first that many will name if asked for a song based on raga Mohana in Telugu films.

For non-Telugu readers, I offer a translation of the song:

Smitten and intoxicated
Oh, oh, the world swings, it rocks.

In the path of gushing moonlight as star and moon dally
In the caress of little breezes laden with loving fragrance
The world swings intoxicated.

In the rocking, chuckling and shimmering waves that arouse sweet thoughts
In the boat of love that beguiles, on this pleasant outing,
The world swings intoxicated.

In this delicious ambiance that sets everyone playing
In the gentle mischief of the lord who thrills all minds,
The world swings intoxicated.



Blogger Anand said...

ஆஹா இன்ப நிலாவினிலே?

8:01 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anand- Yes. Can somebody translate the Tamizh version for me?

8:07 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

So when are you going to write 'something in the way she moves', eh? Majority vote seems to want it, after all.

You didn't mention the lovely Bhimplas Neevenaa, either.

And on a different note, do you have a copy of Varshini I can borrow? I want to read it again.

10:21 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Ash- No joy, I am afraid I have to report. I have the cuttings though. I keep meaning to get them bound and all that, you know?

10:36 pm  
Blogger neha vish said...

Wonderful! Thanks muchly for this Lali. I saw your favourite song over and over again - it's a hit with the husband.

10:46 pm  
Blogger anantha said...

Missus Em: The pallavi is the same.
Your translation seems to fit the Tamil version too.

1:02 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Neha- When you compare SVR imitating Savitri and vice versa, Savitri wins hands down. I watched it some six times yesterday, till K got irritated, heh.

Anantha- It does? I'd like transliterated lyric to check. But none of you like doing transliterations, alas.

12:30 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

Don't do this giving a link to links thing, Auntie Lali. But the song 'Aha naa pellanta' rocks. Thanks for the laughs.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Rajesh- Child, stop nitpicking. And yes, 'aha naa pellanta' is a mahvellous song.

11:54 pm  
Anonymous ramki said...

what a coincidence. Watched this movie on VCD (Tamil) only last week for probably the 100th time.

5:34 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Ramki- Do yourself a kindness and watch the Telugu version. :-) It is well worth the effort.

10:10 pm  
Anonymous tivi said...

I always liked the older couples enjoying the same scenery. Thought it was such a nice directorial touch

4:22 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Tivi- Umm, yes, and the very dramatic catching Gummadi and NTR in profile by the noses, to establish they are brothers, too. A good thing they had the same kinda noses, though.

2:28 pm  

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