Monday, April 10, 2006

Shanaani Chidiya

Here’s yet another Nayana post, with due apologies. Mea culpa. But there is a children’s literature slant to it, so please just stay with me!

Ok, Nayana is one of those kids who hates TV, and will not watch cartoons or music TV (unless it’s specifically the picturisation of a song she likes – say Kajara re, or Bulla). But she’s got hooked on to an old NCERT-Films Division film made for good ol’ DD called Ek aur Anek. Many of you probably remember the short from your own childhoods. It’s got an unforgettable song that goes: bela, gulab, juhi, champa, chameli / phool hai anek kintu mala sirf ek hai. And it combines the Nehruvian ideals of socialism and secularism, along with a lesson in grammar!

Despite its vintage – the ’70s – the film is lovely little gem. It’s got a great narrative, fantastic art, and shrill as the soundtrack is, it’s also very catchy. Nayana watches it open-mouthed. She loves the didi and the kids and the whole shebang. Till, that is, the hunter shows up, and then she lurches back in Amit’s hand, terrified of the maan (‘man’). You can hear her heart beat faster and she cringes, till the birds fly off to get their nets cut by friendly mice. Then she’s happy and when the song goes chatur chidiya, sayaani chidiya, she triumphantly warbles along, shanaani chidiya… and that’s where this post gets its title.

I think what’s charming about this film is its narrative quality, which is layered and yet so easy to understand. And it’s refreshingly innocent. Is that communicated to Nayana somehow? Obviously she doesn’t understand the dynamics at play in the narrative.

But listening to the song and watching the kids play together, I’m sure we could all – like her – sense the joy, the wisdom and the hope!

For those of you who have the time and the inclination and broadband, download the video and get the lyrics here.

12 comments:

surabhi said...

hey, ilove reading about nayana -with or without the lit. angle.
wasnt there another film called simi -the fish one...
i did not take your phone no the other day- and i cant find hansu-so i cant call!!! my email - surabhi_sh@yahoo.com

Aishu said...

I like the Nayana Posts, I check your blog everyday just to see if you have added anything new about Nayana boo. Love you!

Anand said...

Hi Anita and Amit,
Certainly did bring back memories of my childhood. The thing in my case was that I did not speak any Hindi, yet I completely understood the narrative. Maybe not all of it, but certainly picked up quite a few Hindi words in the process. Now wonder Nayana likes it.
I also vaguely remember another charming little animated film about rumours spreading. They used to show that in the cinemas.

Just Mohit said...

this one used to be my favorite DD-movie as well. I still sing it to my kids from time to time, although having never seen it, they can't relate to it much!
Thanks for the link!!

VL said...

I love reading your posts too! And Nayana is so adorable. It's rare for kids -not- to clue their eyes to the TV, which is probably better in the long run :)

Mukul said...

hey, thanks so much for the ek chidiya link! watched it with moist eyes, nostalgic about a way of life and the ideologies of our childhood. i think i'm going to buy all these films from films division - this one, 'tree of unity', swimmy machhli and whatever else thay have!

Mukul said...

hey guys, i posted on the same film, so moved i am!

Vani said...

Hello Anita,

This is Vani. Loved ur posts.read the one about Target magazine..cudnnt help but smile..
I grew up reading target, I jus loved it..Moonchwala,poonchwala..and Gardab Das..!!!I donno for what reason they stopped publishing it..n started wid this teen magazine 'teens today'..I dint like it..honestly..it was about being trendy n rockstar interviews n whats cool whats not n all that stuff..my friends liked it..

Takes me back to ur post about teenagers not interested in readin these days...well..its sad but true..I see my young cousins around me grwing up with very very different values..everythings different..from what they see on television to what they wear..!!

I donno..why I am writing all this on ur post..??but thanx for ur lovely posts..n keep blogging..

Vani said...

Hello Anita,

This is Vani. Loved ur posts.read the one about Target magazine..cudnnt help but smile..
I grew up reading target, I jus loved it..Moonchwala,poonchwala..and Gardab Das..!!!I donno for what reason they stopped publishing it..n started wid this teen magazine 'teens today'..I dint like it..honestly..it was about being trendy n rockstar interviews n whats cool whats not n all that stuff..my friends liked it..

Takes me back to ur post about teenagers not interested in readin these days...well..its sad but true..I see my young cousins around me grwing up with very very different values..everythings different..from what they see on television to what they wear..!!

I donno..why I am writing all this on ur post..??but thanx for ur lovely posts..n keep blogging..

Vani said...

Hello Anita,

This is Vani. Loved ur posts.read the one about Target magazine..cudnnt help but smile..
I grew up reading target, I jus loved it..Moonchwala,poonchwala..and Gardab Das..!!!I donno for what reason they stopped publishing it..n started wid this teen magazine 'teens today'..I dint like it..honestly..it was about being trendy n rockstar interviews n whats cool whats not n all that stuff..my friends liked it..

Takes me back to ur post about teenagers not interested in readin these days...well..its sad but true..I see my young cousins around me grwing up with very very different values..everythings different..from what they see on television to what they wear..!!

I donno..why I am writing all this on ur post..??but thanx for ur lovely posts..n keep blogging..

Rahul said...

Title should be "Sayaani Chidiya", 'Sayaani' means smart

Anita and Amit Vachharajani said...

er rahul, i know it's called sayaani chidiya. if you read the post again, you'll see that it says that my daughter sings it as 'shanani chidiya' and that's why i called the post that.