Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tagore tribute

There is a beautiful song in the 1961 Hindi movie Kabuliwalah that I thought was a fitting tribute to Tagore on his sesquicentennial. Tagore's original story was perhaps less sentimental but just as deeply touching.

A hundred years ago, Kabuliwallahs plied the streets of North India. With tales to tell and wares to sell, they, as outsiders seemed to have captured the Indian imagination. Here is Dharmendra, a man of many disguises, doing his Kabuliwalah impersonation in the Bond-style masala movie Jugnu.

India has had a complex relationship with the Afghans. Tagore's sympathetic portrayal of a man from Kabul should be seen in the context of the dark shadow of history. Yes, Tagore was a great humanist and an early feminist too.


Vinayak said...


Meena said...

Thanks. Different usually gets you rotten eggs and tomatoes for breakfast.