Colours

Gabbeh

Gabbeh.
[Source – mk2films]
Readying the carpets.
[Source – mk2films]

Let the colours dry, and you,

Who has been waiting, yes you,

Gabbeh, smile, for I will come

Riding my horse, I will come,

To steal the decorated rug

With you inside,

At last, I will make you mine.

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Gabbeh, the 1996 film, is a simple tale of a gipsy girl, her clan and the way their life goes on.

Unfolding beautifully just like an artist painting a canvas, Gabbeh quietly touches the grand questions.

What is the purpose of existence, what is this feeling of love, what makes colours so harmonious, so arresting?

The complexities, the insatiable desires, the mind games, what helps and what hinders, how do we know?

What is to be said, heard and done before death?

The film weaves a beautiful pattern of such thoughts, but subtly, charmingly that one gets truly absorbed in the flow of the story and does not feel staggered or burdened at all.

The story is exceptionally close to reality even though the style of its narration is truly poetic. It is simple and complex, romantic and mystifying, colourful and rough, complete and incomplete.

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Collecting colours.
[Source – mk2films]

Presenting life from a woman’s point of view, talking about the role of a woman in a family, sharing her aspirations and wishes with us, the entire story thus, inherently is full of warmth, colour and calmness, making the love palpable for the viewer.

The best way to describe Gabbeh would be to call it a dream. It is a folk tale, a myth and yet an unembellished raw saga; hazy, vibrant, unreal and real at the same time.

Gabbeh is an experience, a dream that you must see one day.


Gabbeh
Makhmalbaf’s audio-visual poem.
[Source – mk2films]

Written and Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Gabbeh – Shaghayeh Djodat, Music by – Hossein Alizadeh, Cinematography – Mahmoud Kalari, Edited by – Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Language – Persian.

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Watch the trailer now –

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Learn about colours the gipsy way –


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The Journey

Amongst the clouds… yes, this is how the journey began. Mushy clouds, mushy dreamy clouds all around her. Whether she walked or the white dreams floated around her isn’t something the music ever revealed.

The music was busy playing and she was busy colouring. The sky and earth colours participated and turned rich.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, someone took a flight, landed, took a cab, halted for a coffee break, laughed with her friend and continued the road trip.

Warm waves of velvety starry blanket covered the existence and hushed those who listened into happy silence. She stayed awake for a while just to witness it all. A simple melodious note filled her ears and she swam to sleep.

That someone talked to her friend, they ate pastries and called it a day. That someone, with ‘oh’ look, got up to brush her teeth and then went to bed. Phew!

She opened her eyes, awakened the self and stepped out to see the end of a long search. Birds and buds, earth’s aroma and touch, giant trees’ humble smiles, the sun’s vocals and the wind’s compositions, other human beings, all dancing, and of course, the bicycles… everything she laid her eyes on glanced back at her, welcomed and sang to her.

At bliss, at Auroville. [Images by Jagriti Rumi]

Tring, tring… tring, tring, she replied to them. Crossed leg sitting inside an apple she relished it, sweet, sour, juicy and fresh. When she jumped outside, she gave the left-over bit to a dog. Questioning her about nothing the dog finished the apple.

Tring, tring… she went ahead and met a mathematician’s spirit, who gave her the map that took her to the grand golden lotus with twelve petals. Its beauty struck her hard and she kept standing there for ages in admiration.

Primary and secondary colours, in circles, pyramids and cylindrical shapes all passed by her. She blinked and found herself inside the grand golden lotus.

The grand golden lotus!
Matrimandir, Auroville. [Image by Peter Anta from Pixabay]

Earth, Fire, Wind and Water were there, she saw it, just a glimpse, but they were there in absoluteness. She blinked and she was back outside. Oh! The joy!

She danced all her way, lal-lal-lal-laaa, rotated and laughed, climbed the musical rainbow and listened to what the colours were playing and then surprised herself with her quiet self, quiet but not low, because her eyes were beaming and her soul still dancing.

By the hourglass the journey continued for that someone and her friend, click-click-click, pictures taken, tring-tring-tring on the cycle path, resting, eating and laughing.

That someone’s friend like a darling blue bird sang and danced… unable to resist she also joined her friend. Together they collected memories and both filled their hourglass with it.

Smart! Now time reminds them of those memories all the time.

Auroville… the journey, the destination. [Source – eco-villages.eu]

O journey, when did you start and when will you end?

O journey, can I stop and meet my friend?

The beginning is hazy, but true and the end will be a new beginning for you.

Don’t stop if you want to meet your friend, for she is on a journey too.


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Dear September

Happy me with happy flowers in September.
Image – Pixabay.

Do you remember how snowflakes made the little girl smile? And how velvety the whole valley looked? And me… jumping like a rabbit in white madness that I love so much…?

Oh sorry, that was January.  

Do you remember when the squally winds took my hat away?  

Ha! It was February. Sorry-sorry!  

Surely you remember the rush of the colours – rich green, bright but soothing yellow, and joyous merry pink… oh what days, colours dripping music and more… glorious days, sunshine in store read the headlines and our red shoes couldn’t stop dancing, remember?  

No? Colours rule, hurray, hurray… March, April and May… Oh! So it lasted till May… my mistake.  

But then mangoes arrived and shined and peaches and plums and cherries and strawberries… and never did we see such a bigger moon… what a splendour, you had said, I clearly remember, you can’t deny… the moon and the earth and the sky all in tune.  

Oh! It was June.  

The moon and the earth and the sun all in tune… oh, it was June.
Image – Pixabay.

Those monsoon showers I hope you remember… lie, if you have to, at least to save me from heartbreak. Puddles and paper boats, raincoats and wet pockets, teacups and gossips… Don’t take it all as a joke, I am hurt and you know it. But I won’t cry like you did and sneezed and laughed and cried again. We shared the longest hug… no, I am not mad.  

July and August… My bad!  

The golden autumn leaves, don’t say you don’t remember… we jumped on them, you and I… We liked the crunch-crunch sound… but that old uncle who wore a woollen Kulluvi-cap didn’t and he ran after us… remember?

Long walks in those misty mornings, me shivering you laughing, me yawning you still laughing… I even wrote a poem titled – September laughed throughout October and November…  

Am… Sh, why am I getting it all wrong?  

Lights and candles and time for celebrations… candies and cakes and handy resolutions… Oh! I know, am wrong again, you don’t need to say it… “December, December, December!”  

Indeed it was in December.  

Oh, my dear September… accept my apologies and hear what I have to say… whatever the calendar ever tells me, whatever the weather ever shows me, I carry September in my heart throughout the year, for September is special to me and will always be.  

The carousel plays on and on, it is where we met for the first time, I came reluctantly to that fair or was I dying to be there… but I am sure I stayed for you.

My dear September, I love you!  

Oh, so you do remember… ah September!

September Love!
Image – Pixabay.

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In Retrospect, I Think I Know What Alice Said

Alice
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

It was the Wonderland, Alice’s Wonderland, but she wasn’t there.

I felt very strange and thought of looking for her, but the very next moment this thought slipped away, dancing in front of my eyes and I stood there, smiling, I even said, ‘cheers’.

The tall trees were beautifully dressed in different shades of green, all of them together, creating a heavy and velvety canopy; mossy green sky with blue flowers and pretty birds singing sweetly all the time. Wonderland!    

When I wished to walk and explore the place, the earth showed a fresh path to me, it whispered to me, ‘this way’, and so I hopped ahead.

To my right, an endless celebration of lights and colours captured my mind. Every time red and green merged and sparkling yellow joined the blue, I took a halt to witness the magic.

Once, while the magical colours were reveling beautifully, I heard someone calling me from behind a huge tree. It was a talking tree and its name was ‘Alive’.

Alive
Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Alive gave me a green leaf and asked me to put it in my purple bag. Only then did I realise that I was carrying a small purple bag. I did what Alive told me to do and moved ahead.

After that I met ten such trees – ‘Humble’, ‘Brave’, ‘Love’, ‘Mad’, ‘Pure’, ‘Kind’, ‘Dream’, ‘Courage’, ‘Wise’, and ‘Happy’ – they all gave me leaves to put it in my purple bag. Doing as told, I kept on hopping ahead.

When I danced, the leaves in the purple bag danced along and when I sang, they played music with me.

At night when the wonderland looked silvery dark, I sometimes cried, afraid to wake up and break the magic and end the wonderland journey.  

The leaves in my purple bag cried along, the leaves were just copying me and their failed attempt always made me laugh. The leaves were my best friends now.

A lotus flower near a moon-shaped pond.
Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

Years passed in a day while I was looking at a lotus flower near a moon-shaped pond, under a giant mango tree. And all these years, I just kept looking at the lotus flower and kept smiling. Lovely life!

A caterpillar woke me up from meditation and asked me to take a ride with him; he said he was tired but had to offer me a tour because of the tradition of the place.

I warmly accepted and sat on him, but he refused to move until I gave him a coffee cigarette. ‘Coffee cigarette?’, I thought aloud and told him that I have never heard about such a thing.

With a smirk he asked me to check my purple bag and so I did, to my shock, I found one beautiful, golden brown looking coffee cigarette in it.

Blushing red, I gave it to him, he lighted it up and soon I could smell rich coffee in the air.

And then the roller coaster ride started.

The caterpillar took me to different countries in a flash and then to the past and future, underwater and in space, infinity and beyond, through colours and lights, and when we reached the music station, I asked him to stop.  

Every music instrument was playing, the waves in the air forced everyone present to dance to the beats; from samba to jazz, ‘ring-a-ring-a-roses’ to classical dance, I did everything.

I even got drunk, who can refuse a glass full of joy anyway? The rhythm lingers, as fresh as it can be, even now. My hands sometimes do the jingles on the table and my legs do the twist while walking.

At the colourful carnival.
Image by Juanita Mulder from Pixabay

I also remember attending a carnival, but what happened there exactly can’t be expressed in words. I have images in my mind and when I try to put them into words I end up painting and when I try to speak about it I end up singing.

The images are rich in colours and also smell of geniality. You must see them.

The journey was going to end, I knew it. The caterpillar said, ‘farewell’ and shook hands with me, leaving me alone with my purple bag.

On the rough road I walked ahead, dragging my purple bag that had surprisingly become ten times heavier than its original weight.

I sat on a funny looking rock to rest and started sobbing; a single drop fell on the ground and the place slowly started flooding with water. The rock didn’t sink, instead floated, funny indeed.

The rock took me to the shore and I was glad to see someone human. It was the Hatter.

He offered me some tea, but before I could drink the tea he asked me to sit and before I could sit he asked me to pass him the spoon from the far end of the table and before I could do it, he asked me, rudely, to go back from where I came, indicating a huge mirror with cursive letters as its frame, adding that he found me very lazy.

Astonished and confused, I took a step forward, suddenly the March Hare came forward from somewhere and asked me to let Alice go free.

He tried to snatch my purple bag and the Hatter joined him; I was winning until the Dormouse came there and tickled me. ‘Hurrah, hurrah’, they ran round and round the table, leaving the purple bag behind.

Magic happens thrice every day. Did you feel it today?

Flamingos feel the magic thrice everyday.
Image by Esmaylin Arguello from Pixabay

The eleven leaves came out of the purple bag and swirled slowly, then quickly, beautifully, and changed in a blinks time into Alice.

My eyes were full of happy tears. I wanted to meet Alice, she was smiling at me, and I wanted to talk to her about the wonderland. But that jealous Dormouse and March Hare came running towards me and pushed me into the giant mirror.

I saw Alice holding the Hatter’s hand, she said something to me, but I couldn’t understand it clearly.

Either she said, ‘Laugh and look up-up-up’ or ‘Pancake chocolate syrup-up-up’. Does it make any sense?

I’ll have to stop and think so that I can decode it and write and paint these words again and again.

What you said Alice sounded so sweet and true… I am sure I am on the right track.    

The right track that Alice also took.
Image by prettysleepy1 from Pixabay

With the vibrations of Alice’s words still alive and so many green leaves around me, am I out of or still in the Wonderland?   I am crazy enough to know.


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