One of the regrets I have is not knowing Telugu. Caranatic Music becomes all the more incomprehensible because so many of the songs are in Telugu. As a child, I was fascinated when my mother conversed in the language with our neighbours. She grew up in Hyderabad, so she spoke it fluently. When I lived in Hyderabad, I didn’t really have much of a chance to learn the language. Though I did pick up some of it when I traveled around in Andhra Pradesh. My mother insists that Telugu sounds “sweet” to the ears.
I was listening to this fabulous song from Maya Bazar (1957). Now Maya Bazar was made in Telugu and Tamil almost simultaneously. Though the movie is a good two and half decades older than I am, it’s almost timeless! The song that kids loved was the Kalyana Samayal Saadam (trans. The Wedding Feast), replete with references to food, savouries and sweets! The song is pictured on Gatotkacha. I love the way the song has this deep laugh. It completely makes me giggle to this day. This is where you can see the Tamil version at YouTube and the Telugu version (Vivaha Bhojanambu) here. There is this part, where the plates and pots of food just gravitate towards Gatotkacha, and he becomes larger in size, and gobbles it all up! He just opens his mouth, and the laddoos go flying into his mouth.
Sri is the first to admit that I butcher Telugu. Having grown up in Hyderabad, he speaks it well, and I fear that my mother and he conspire in this language right in front of me. I also seem to think that if you add an “oo” or “ulu” to a Tamil word, it becomes Telugu. Apparently that is not the case. Anyhow, one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard must be Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo from the Telugu version of the film. I don’t understand it entirely, but it sounds absolutely divine. The Tamil version is wonderful too, but some how I have come to prefer the Telugu one. Abhimanyu and his love interest – Vatsala are in a boat in a shimmery, shiny, silvery lake in the moonlight. The song is so perfect, you wouldn’t change a thing.
I wish it was easier to find DVDs of these old movies in the UK. I am suddenly most keen on seeing this movie after last seeing it when I was nine.