Friday, November 2, 2007

The Meaning of Clothing

SEE MORE RECENT POST 2-20-09; SAME SUBJECT, MORE INFORMATIVE]
Does what we wear matter? Please watch clip on youtube from a classic, legendary Raj Kapoor film, Shree 420. It is easily searched for and found on the web under the name of the film name or the song title, "Mera joota hai japoni." In it he sings:

My shoes are Japanese, my pants are English-style
mera joota hai japani yeh patloon englishtani
The cap on my head is Russian, but my heart is Indian.
sar pe lal topi roosi phir bhi dil hai hindustani
I go out into the big wide world, I walk with my head held high
nikal pade hai khulli sadak par apna seena taane
Where does my destination lie? Where will I ever settle?
manzil kahan, kahan rukna hain uparwala jaane
The Creator up above us only knows
badte jaayen hum sailani, jaise ek dariya toofani
Like true soldiers, we forge ahead
sarpi lal topi russi phir bhi dil hai hindustani
My shoes are Japanese…
The cap on my head is Russian, but my heart is Indian.
upar-neeche neeche-upar leher chale jeevan ki
Up and down, round and round, flow the eternal waves of life
nadaan hai jo baith kinare, pooche raah watan ki
Foolish are those who sit on the sidelines, with little care for their country’s fate
chalna jeevan ki kahaani, rukna maut ki nishaani
To forge ahead is like life, to stop still is like death
sarpi lal topi russi, phir bhi dil hai hindustani
The cap on my head is Russian, but my heart is Indian
mera joota hai japani, yeh patloon englishtani
My shoes are Japanese, my pants are English-style,
sarpi lal topi russi phir bhi dil hai hindustani
The cap on my head is Russian, but my heart is Indian.

In essence, these words, "picturized" long ago by a legend of Hindi cinema, are at the heart of my current work on NRIs and globalization. More to come...

1 comment:

Beth said...

Funny you should ask! I was just reading a blog post by fashion students about film hero clothing from the 60s to today.
http://hodnid.blogspot.com/2007/10/mens-clothing-in-bollywood-through-60s.html

As for your texts here...hers seems to be concerned with the personal-scale ties between herself and nature, and his is about "go[ing] out into the big wide world" with confidence and wondering about his relationship to other people, the creator, his country....