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Thread: Jayavardhini

  1. #1
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    Jayavardhini

    Bombay, 1973.
    Jayavardhini -
    The heroine's name that you will see
    on every oil painted billboard
    at the road side,
    and every cinema hall
    strung up outside
    a six foot canvas
    30 foot wide -
    shows her reclining
    with dark-lashed, kohl-lined, doe eyes
    pink flowers in her black bouffant,
    a blue sari of see-through chiffon...

    The aam junta line up, at great length,
    to spend
    3 hours in her world again
    where she frolicks and flees from scene to scene,
    dances in monsoon rains upon the screen
    and strikes a note in North India's heart
    when her coy smile
    signals a musical number's start...
    Jayavardhini
    aged just sixteen
    1973's
    blockbuster queen
    with sandalwood skin
    and aqualine nose
    gold rings adorning hennaed toes.

    Where does this cinematic force come from?
    Some say the distant,
    Dravidian South,
    where she had once lived hand to mouth
    without a legitimate father
    and
    in a chawl on squatted land.
    Bombay's industry rags
    each have their own high priestess
    who preside over and repurpose insider mess
    and they've heard at film parties
    this new attraction cannot write or read
    in Hindi - nor any other language -
    it's said, they feed
    her lines to her on set
    through a grandmother who controls
    every single purse string
    and maintains a tight hold
    over the shy, chubby, pint sized
    superstar
    who cries in the studio lot in the car...
    Arrives on set with bruises
    that are powdered away
    and seems to flinch when heroes
    bid her good day.
    Who fiddles with her bracelets
    or stares at her feet
    when directors and writers come on set to meet
    and pitch her new projects
    as her old 'Ammi' looks on
    who nods only faintly, and sighs when they're gone.

    Copyright Yafeu-Khamisi Rodway-Brown

  2. #2
    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    I liked this.
    I'm sorry that I'm not good at analyzing stuff, but I'll just tell you I liked it.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
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