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sholay: Image
sholay: Music Player

Sholay, meaning Embers, was the first Bollywood movie I saw,  

Sat ina forgotten auntie’s conservatory alone, I must have been aroundfour 

I didn’t really know what was going on, there were no subtitles below 

But restlessly I flitted between the timeless classic and Mogambo, 

Amrash Puriface, on the other side, scary as hell, Mr India pre Temple of Doom 

I remember the remote controlling me, but we left too damn soon 

Never got to the end of either film, or understood what colluded, 

Only that it must have turned out ok, as it always does, I concluded. 

When Thakur got his arms lopped off, he must havetucked them in his kurta, 

I knew it because his body underneath looked wider than a Durga, 

Amitabh all dark wet chocolate, bristling hair here and there, 

“His dad was an Urdu poet”, dad would always share. 

Sholay still shows in Mumbai cinemas, never its flame gone out, 

Audience members’ embers still yearn and shout, 

For the last chance to revel in and see, 

Tightly packed action drama and gender performativity. 

Mine still burn, trying to learn, what Thakur and Amitabh are on about, 

I must return, to linger over, and understand the film throughout.  

Because that time when I was four, has become more than a metaphor, 

As my language learning was inevitably cut short, 

When the folks separated, part of my brain, had to abort, 

So HindiUrdu when I grasped at it, was rarely ever caught. 

Still now, I don’t know the language of my mothersfathers 

so embers of confusion float through me like palavers. 

Although perhaps there’s beauty in merely feeling a flow of tones, 

You’re still able to detect their glowing in your ignorant bones 

And it’s not just the Bombastic expressions that inspire 

But some words stick and grow like fire, 

They seep deep, flickering down the wells of your mind 

You know theyre there, unobtainable, so leave them behind 

Yet One day, in the darkness, you may yet return to find, 

Their wheezing light, casts shadows that blind. 

sholay: Text
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