• Shalimar Revisited
  • BollywoodInside ManPerfume ReviewShalimarSpike LeeSukhwinderSynesthesia

Shalimar Revisited

Disclaimer: Best viewed at the theatre. Use a high volume to get it...

Some revelations need time to pass before they can be shared. Sometime this depends on how long it takes for someone to upload something into Youtube...

About a year ago I experienced synesthesia quite dramatically when I was sitting at the theatre and watching the opening of Spike Lee's brilliant (yet popular) thriller Inside Man*. As the Bollywood music rolled on, having nearly no connection at all to the opening credits, I started smelling Shalimar... The male singers' voice pouring around like melted ghee, sweet like honey syrup with rosewater over halwa and orgasmic drum beats.

I finally got the Indian connection to Shalimar. Forget about the fountains in Mumtaz Mahal's garden, or any other story they are trying to sell you... The sensuality of Shalimar's vanilla, roses and bergamot can be summed up into an Indian sweet and a Bollywood voice and ripples of silk-scarf dancing.

If you want to just listen to mohttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifre of the music, again, take this (this is the Rap Joint version at the end of the film ):

Here is the translation of the song from Urdo to English according to BollyWHAT? (it has more to do with Shalimar than the plot of the film):

He whose head is in the shadow of love
will have heaven beneath his feet.
Whose head is in the shadow of love...
Walk in the shadow.
Walk in heaven, walk in the shadow.

There's a friend who is like a sweet fragrance,
whose words are like poetry (lit. Urdu, the language of poetry),
who is my evening, my night, my existence.
That friend is my beloved!

Sometimes (my beloved) flirts like a flower,
so fragrantly that you may see her scent.
Having made it into an charm, I will wear it.
She shall be obtained as a miracle is obtained.
She is my song, my declaration of faith

(My friend is like a priest to me.)
My song... my declaration of faith...
She moves like the dew.
She walks with the garden of heaven beneath her feet,
sometimes through the branches, sometimes amidst the leaves.
I shall search the wind for her trail!

I trade in her beauty.
Fickle, she flits shamelessly from sun to shade.
She changes her bright colors;
I negotiate that as well.

*The popularity of the movie, as well as some of the soundtrack, helped Spike Lee to make his piercingly (and depressingly) provocative When The Levees Broke.
  • BollywoodInside ManPerfume ReviewShalimarSpike LeeSukhwinderSynesthesia
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