Connected Cultures via YZ

Movie watching was a luxury. Entrepreneurship has demanded a price and it had it, until today. After many years, since we are now corporatised, I took time to see not the regular, but the peaceful movies and what better than Marathi movies, that we watched in the childhood days, courtesy Doordarshan. The names of Suryakant Patil, Jayashree Gadkar, Kashinath Ghanekar chimes in the mind. I got intrigued by the song 'Priyakara" set in Sanskrit from Kalidasa Kavyam Shaakuntalam. A few more clicks of the mouse took me to the movie YZ. I had to see it, as the song would not get off my head. What a movie! Wow. The theme is refreshing, contemporary, subtle, and yet imaginative. What made it even better is the fact, that for a Tambram with an altruistic DNA of a knowledge seeker, frugality, optimised use of resources, the characters, and the behaviour of the movie plot, seemed very similar. The female characters were educated and strong willed, not shying from delivering a blunt message, if needed. The men are erudite and non-controversial. Very familiar. To top it all, were the beautiful scenes from the temple town of Wai, a small town on the Mahabaleshwar route. A few pictures in this article is a treat to see.

It was then Sujata, my Saha Kutumbini remarked, A must be to be in Wai for a week, she added and that the spartan Maharashtrian living of contentment and happiness, was remarkably similar to ours. The connect was instant. It set us thinking, that the differences were few and I recollected that in childhood, we were very happy visiting our Maharashtrian friends’ homes, never noticing anything different. That our school had a strong Marathi flavour with a Marathi division itself was amazing and helped. Marathi was compulsory and I took to it like duck to water. My Marathi teacher Manda Miss, made sure, I loved it. My tuition teacher Gawli Sir taught me the poems of Kusumagraj, and I remember "Palikade Odyavar", "Jaya Bharatha"," Lezim" vividly. Most of our friends were Satviks, eating Puran Poli, Varan Bhaat, Patal Bhaji without too many spices. They read Kelkar's classic of Mahabharat and enjoyed the slick satire of Pula Deshpande. Not to be missed, the roaring laughter from Chimanrao' s dialogues. I still remember enjoying Moruchi Moushi, the drama that ran for long. It was fantastic playing and accompanying Sucheta Chapekar Tai, who had brought into mainstream the Padams of Sarfoji Maharaj into the Bharat Natyam Paddhathi. I remember playing for Pandit Gurudutt Shirali in the Doordarshan studious for a song on valour of the great Raze Shivaji Maharaj. Holidays in Maharashtra would be to go to Trimbakeshwar, Pune, Kolhapur and for some Pandharpur. I remember the state music festival in Dhule, when I performed, eating the spicy spinach lunch with Aamras, after it was done.

Today with 3 generations gone by, in this Swarna and Karma bhoomi, we realise that we are fused Maharashtrians of Dakshina moolasthan or purvikam, when we are here. There is no different thought and the Asmita is the same. This is the land of fairness

Of course, I have my strong loyalties and fondness to my Tamizhnad and my Garvi Gujarat, my Karmabhoomi as well. In all, I am happy to be a Samtripth, Samyukt Bharatiya, the land of unlimited opportunities, cultures, and diversity yet strikingly one

Jai Maharashtra. Jai Hind!