Guest post by ARIF AYAZ PARREY
The beloved is like snow after a chilly wind. The beloved is a bright sun after snowfall. The lover is like the cinders in a kãger that refuse to die. The lover is the immortal heat of ashes.
In the 2008 Hindi movie Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! the playing out of virtues of theft in a world of (corrupt) systems is not the only delicious element. As a matter of fact, even more lovable is the song Tu raja ki raj dulari which echoes Shiv’s plea to Parvati after she has hopelessly fallen in love with him, and chosen a path of austerity competing with his asceticism. Tu raja ki raj dulari mein sirf langoti aala sun, bhaang ragd ke piya karoun mein kunde sote aala sun. He tells her. “You are a king’s royal darling, I possess only a loincloth (Will tiger-cloth be a more helpful description here?), I drink ashes which I grind on a pistil and mortar.” Now there are several ways of looking at this parable. At the surface, and then again at its very core, it is a narration of one of the major themes of storytelling: An independent, beautiful and strong woman poignantly falling for a clumsy, reclusive and basically loser-type man, against better advice and to much heart-ache all around. But this characterisation holds only at the surface, the patriarchy of this theme works through the neat device of depth, the woman is strong, but only on the outside, quite literally when you know that Parvati once shed her outer mantle which became a powerful warrior-goddess in its own right, but in depth and beyond the obvious, she is a woman after all, while the man, clumsy, reclusive, scrawny on the surface, has an inner strength which can gulp Halahal (funnily enough called zahr-e-Hilal or ‘poison of the crescent-moon’ in Kashmiri) without much ado or do the Tandav when he feels like it. Continue reading A song for snow: Arif Ayaz Parrey