Movies are many a time larger than life, and some movies even more so. And today, with a twist to what I have been doing this far, I bring you the larger than life Lagaan movie. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India is the full title of a Bollywood movie made in 2001, and won many accolades.
Note that today’s poem based on the movie can be a bit of a spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie. On the other hand, not really, since the ending is what is what we expect from stories like these on the larger than life screens of the movies we love to see…
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From Lakshmibai to Lagaan: Both Larger than Life
When I initially started this series, my mind had been made up for the letter L for I immediately thought of Lakshmibai of Jhansi. Lakshmibai’s story is familiar and parallel to the stories of both Chennamma and Durgavati, both of who I featured earlier in this series. All these brave queens ruled their kingdoms after their husbands died; they were all just and fair and amazing rulers, much revered by their people; and each of them acted as the rulers because the heir to the throne was still young (and in both Chennamma’s and Lakshmibai’s case, the British wanted to take over the kingdoms because the heir was an adopted son).
But then I saw the prompts for today and also realized that I did need a change. And trying to write about three queens with similar tales would just make it so repetitive. Plus, there is already a stunning poem about this queen. My mind travels back to middle school years when I learned Subadhra Kumari Chauhan’s Jhansi Rani poem. It made me feel empowered and ready to face challenges head on! So for a poem and other reads about Jhansi’s queen, Lakshmibai, I have given links in the recommended reading/references section below.
Larger than Life Lagaan
Lagaan: Larger than Life
There’s a breathless hush in the theater tonight,
and the Lagaan team is in a fix, that’s true,
Not just a battle of cricket, but of wrong and right;
To win against the British, they need a miracle or two!
The last over begins, and there is lots at stake
and soon it is down to the last ball, and oh no…
The pressure, the tension, it is too much to take..
(“But don’t you fret, for it is just a movie!” to which I say “So?!”)
Bhuvan, the captain, has lead his team with pride,
A team who never before had played this cricket game
So it is that this motley newbie crew face the English side
They are not in it for fun or for fame..
Nope, they are here to decide their fate
And over the three days of a few high and many a low
It has come down to this last minute on this date…
(“But don’t you fret, for it is just a movie!” to which I say “So?!”)
The British have played well, and they have played rough
But Bhuvan’s team shone bright too, and their opponents are surprised
Now, the audiences on screen and in the theater knows it is tough,
Victory, to both these teams, is becoming more prized!
It is down to that last ball, and the batsman gets just one run…
Is it over? Did they lose? But wait…seems like one more ball to throw!
Captain Bhuvan at the bat, he strikes a six!! And yay, they have won!!
(“Oh my,” you say, not just a movie! And I say, “See, I told you so!”)
While the cricket match is all I have said about today,
there is romance in the air, and songs and dances
And now that the team has won, hurray!!
Gauri and Bhuvan can finally celebrate and share sweet glances..
While Elizabeth bids Bhuvan farewell, and not a “See you later,”
that desert, like my state, receives a well-deserved downpour
And audiences depart home – both on-screen and in the theater …
(“Oh, a typical larger than life movie,” to which I say “So?!”)
~ Vidya @ LadyInReadWrites
My Take on the NaPoWriMo and APAD Prompt
The Day 14 prompt asks us to write a parody based on a famous poem.
Today, I challenge you to write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a favorite (or unfavorite) poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else (more of a satire – though the dividing lines get rather confused and thin at times).
For the April PAD Challenge at Writer’s Digest, here is the prompt for day 14:
For today’s prompt, we’re going to try something a little different in that I want you to write an “And Now for Something Completely Different” poem. This prompt is inspired by the Monty Python skits that would suddenly shift gears, but your poem doesn’t have to be humorous. It should aspire to be somehow different than what you’ve written so far this month.
So with that in mind, I picked the poem Vitai Lampada by Sir Henry Newbolt, a poem about cricket itself. You can read the poem in its entirety here, but here are the first four lines so you can see the parallels. While I did deviate a bit from line lengths at times, I followed the patterns and rhymes as much as I could, and I guess using it for portraying a movie kind of does make it a parody (though both this poem and the movie both kind of deal with serious topics). Plus, writing a poem about movie did work for the ‘And now for something completely different’ prompt!!
There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night —
Ten to make and the match to win —
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
Recommended Reading and References and More
- Rani of Jhansi (Amar Chitra Katha)
- Wikipedia page about Rani of Jhansi – Lakshmibai
- Lagaan movie (the DVD)
- Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (the complete script of the film – I just discovered it today – note: it is in Hindi and English)
My L Books
Today, I bring you just one-word reviews of the books but will update with longer reviews post April… either here, or on a separate post. But each one of these books is very different and each one is a must-read for what it offers…
Lila Duray: A Collection of Delightfully Delectable Poems by Emily Morrison and illustrated by Aileen Bennett (Children’s Poetry | 6 – 12 years, and up)
Description: Inspired by Shel Silverstein, Emily Morrison stretches the bounds of imagination and enchantment in this collection infused with humor, empathy, profound truths, and delightful characters. The clever interplay of Aileen Bennett’s illustrations draws the reader into the nuances of the words as they come alive in the reader’s mind.
My One Word Review: Delightful!!
Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood (Children’s Historical Fiction Based on True Events – Novel-in-Verse | 8 – 12 years, and up)
Description: Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.
My One Word Review: Stunning!!
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg and illustrations by Matthew Cordell (Children’s Stories-in-verse, 6 – 8 years, and up)
Eleanor’s beloved babysitter, Bibi, is moving away. Suddenly, the things she used to enjoy aren’t fun anymore—everything reminds her of Bibi. To make matters worse, Eleanor has a new babysitter, who just isn’t the same. But as the new school year looms ahead, so do new beginnings. And Eleanor is about to learn some special things about herself, friendship, and the bittersweet process of growing up.
My One Word Review: Sweet!!
And Now the End of the Post
Linking up to BlogChatterA2Z, Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge, NaPoWriMo, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
8 thoughts on “Larger than Life Lagaan and Lifeboats With Delightful Cookies”
Wow! I am loving watching you engage with this challenge. I’ve not seen many Bollywood films or performances, but I love the larger than life exuberance of the music, costumes, and plots. Such beautiful art!
Vidya, when I read your narratives about books and movies, sometimes I think I know next to nothing about the history of India. Thank you for the impressions that help me fill in my lacking knowledge, of places, people, and events. Today you mentioned 3 queens who took over after their husbands past, and the women managed well. It occurs– in those days, didn’t men die younger than women, often, due to going about fighting wars? Thanks for another interesting post.
What a poem! Your L books sound exciting and I’m keeping some in a notebook for when Lia gets a bit older!
Your article on “Lagaan” and lifeboats was an absolute delight to read! The way you intertwined personal anecdotes with movie analysis was refreshing and engaging.
I love the movie Lagaan I have watched it several times and never get bored with it. You have written a nice recap.
wonderful poem and story! There is SO much for me to learn about India. The culture is so rich, it’s incredibly remarkable. Also it makes me want to come back to India and explore more regions of it
Wowo… impressive poem talents sharing as always here. This time I caught by the one word book review at the bottom of this post, I’m looking forward to read the long review of the book lifeboat 2 , don’t make me wait too long ya 🙂 cheers SiennyLovesDrawing
As always, a beautiful poem. Also, the story behind it is very interesting – an new to me since I think I haven’t seen one single Bollywood movie in my entire life. I’m simply not fond of singing and dancing in movies, hence, Bollywood productions definitely aren’t for me, I guess 😀
Also, I will look into your L-books – at least in the first and the last one since I find the covers so alluring – despite the saying you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover; well, I do!