February 07, 2007

Gypsies

Korathi, Lambaadi, Banjaaran- whatever the name, they always get a second look from us.

The movie - Caravan ( not to forget the Dilbar song with Aruna Irani) romanticized them. We have also had Kollywood use them:
- Khusboo's tribe in Swayamvaram ( the movie was shot in 24 hrs I think)
- Jooth ley Jooth ley, lambaadi paat ley ( love the tune, not sure about the lyrics or movie)

Have you ever noticed how beautiful those women are : in their gher- waale skirts, swishing about as they walk and backless cholis and large bracelets. A little bit of soap and shampoo and they could give the sultry sirens of Bollywood a run for their money.

In Chennai, you either see them garbage picking with long iron rods in hand or selling colourful bead trinkets, chains, ear rings, bracelets. Their children do not go to school. They end up uneducated, poor and filthy.They are bi/ multi lingual but it is probably not polished enough to be of commercial value to them. It is invariably the women who are into business. Some of them are into false hair sale and a few still offer to predict your fortune. What about their own future?

They are looked upon often with distrust by the "sophisticated" people. It is said that they are also exploited as farm labour. A sorry plight.

But it may just be what I see as an outsider, a mere spectator.

13 comments:

Orchid said...

Yes- I think they are a perfect definition of the fashion term -Bohemian Chic!

beenamma said...

Thought I would finally write! Have been enjoying reading all your blogs and every time there is a pic of Anush kutti, it is an added bonus!!!

starry nights said...

Interesting,.

artnavy said...

Orchid/ starry- tnx for dropping by- this post seems to have generated little inteerst :-(

I truly feel so bad for them

artnavy said...

beenakka- good to know u stop by and you read all the stuff i write

do u read the comments as well?- u & rad got mentioned a few posts ago by me....:-)

I take a bow

itchingtowrite said...

i used to love this song too.. movies and books hav glamorised gypsies/ circuses, country life. but in realiy, they lead a very hard life.
i often like to say that on a visit to a village, one might find a farm or a hut very cute and quaint. but none of us can really live that life though! being used to all the luxuries

Has to be me said...

Ya it is a sad plight indeed. There r many others too like them in india...all cos of poverty.

artnavy said...

your r so right itchy & h2bme

Usha said...

I have also been amazed at their beauty when you get past the dirt and unkemptness. And it is true of gypsies everywhere - is it the colourful things they wear or their lifestyle?

mommyof2 said...

interesting post:-)

Alan said...

Your posts with little insights to Indian life are always very interesting.

Rebus said...

I doubt, living in Delhi for long I know the word clearly, almost every rag-picker girl seems the same, a nomad; but, hmmmph, backless cholis amd large bracelets only reminds me of Rajasthani women; though gypsy or not their fate remains the same.

artnavy said...

usha- i guess it is their mix of innocence and wisdom that comes from their lifestyle??
tnx alana nd mommy of2