Dancing on a Train

Yesterday I came across a CD I made of musical numbers from Bollywood films. I discovered one music video featuring 2 dozen people dancing atop a moving train. It’s a lush sensual video. I put it in one of my directories:
(not hyperlinked here because I don’t want google to find it–please don’t hyperlink to it!). The song Chaiyya Chaiyya comes from the 1998 film Dil Se

Famous train dance number of Dil Se.

Another song I’d like to share is Tumhi Mere Mandir Tumhi Meri Puja, a lovely sad song sung by Lata in the film Khandan (in the same directory). See this
forum thread about the best songs in Bollywood (loyal readers of mine may remember that for a while I kept up a weblog about Asian culture). I still miss working on that; Asian culture has always been a love, and I’ve tried not to let language barriers interfere with it. Let me just point out that I began Asiafirst in Spring, 2001 in the throes of unemployment when I could least afford to be writing about literary stuff. Sometimes in the midst of dire external pressures, that is the perfect opportunity to turn inward to something artistic. It reminds me somewhat of the protagonist in Hamsun’s Hunger dashing off to write a religious oratorio in the midst of financial calamity.

At the time there was a real dearth of blogging about Asian culture, and my weblog was probably the only place to find English-language discussion of topics (In fact, if you searched “Asia Weblog” “China weblog” and “India weblog” on google, my site appeared Number One on all of them. That of course quickly changed within 5 or 6 months, and actually a lot of things were going on in my life at the time (new job, financial problems, new city). After finishing my essay on Soul Mountain , I realized that literary blogging was rather futile. You really never had a chance to explore topics as fully as you would have liked (although Dan Green and several others have really challenged that assumption). I no longer visit Asia weblogs as much as I used to (if only because American bloggers have been more Asia-aware), but the two sites I go for literature are Kitabhana , Indian Writing and China Digital News.

Two other Asia songs I adore:
Selamat Hari Raya by Fazidah Joned (more about her here). Here’s a photo.
Fazidah Joned
Liu Wen Zheng “Gui Ren Sha Chen”
Liu Wen Zheng is a Taiwanese singer popular in the 1970’s that reminds me (no kidding!) of Barry Manilow.
Grace Chang’s Gesundheit Song.
Grace Chang was a 1950’s movie star from Hong Kong
Siti Nurhaliza, Bila Raya Menjelma
Siti Nurhaliza is a top Malaysian singer. Very young. Very talented. Google her.

Believe it or not I spent the weekend scanning 2 translations of Sanskrit poems for Project Gutenburg. Long and tedious, though made easier by listening to several Teaching Company tapes (most recently about the Roman Empire and Modern European history). A few weeks ago I listened to a great series of lectures on Shakespeare. Too lazy to dig up hyperlinks. (Check your local library to see if they carry them). Nowadays, itconversations.com provides great audio sources for lectures on technology and culture. It’s really interesting and cool that audio lectures are now so easy to find for free or very low costs. Horray, Internet!

Here’s a great site of public domain classical Sanskrit texts in translation (I found a few things not in Gutenburg). Last week or so I was staggered by the release of the complete translation of Mahabharata on blackmask.com.

As a sidenote, though I don’t obviously don’t get around to reading them immediately, one of the highlights of my weeks is perusing the latest releases at Blackmask.com. It’s safe to say that I usually download 10 new ebooks a day. (If only because blackmask’s navigation system leaves a lot to be desired). They really need to have a wishlist/bookmark list).