Can Someone With Bollywood Knowledge Please Tell Me WTF’s Going On Here?

I miss Nami and Janhavi. They used to drag me to their houses to watch Bollywood films. I’d sit there watching people in very colorful costumes swirl around, and I’d listen to some very energetic songs, and be thoroughly mystified as to what was happening and why my friends were laughing their asses off. But then they’d pause the video and explain. For a few minutes, at least, I’d be able to vaguely follow the action, until it all got away from me again and I was left sitting like an ignorant lump until next they paused to enlighten me. One thing was for sure: anything I ever wanted or needed to know about Bollywood movies, I only needed to ask them.

But we’ve lost touch. And I haven’t many friends now who are in to Bollywood. And I haven’t been able to catch my friend R, who is a fan, outside of work for a while. So this video has thoroughly flummoxed me.

I know this must be several scenes from a film, but I haven’t the foggiest which film. I know there was a battle, and that was obviously Kali collecting blood in a bowl (hi, Kali! You’ll always be one of my favorite goddesses). I think the young dude looking on like a derp might be Krishna. And I know whoever the big brute at the end is got subjected to a mighty lecture before being finished off by the main goddess there. Outside of that, I can’t puzzle it out. I don’t know what events led to this, or what the lecture was about, or who everybody was. I have no idea if the song at all matches the clip. And I’m not sure why I’m intrigued, but I am.

So if any of you are Bollywood fans and can step in to take up Nami and Janhavi’s movie-‘splaining role, I’d love that very much. Also, you could, if you like, educate me as to your favorite films. Especially really good musicals.

Thank you, my darlings!

 

Goddess going after a god with a trident. I don't know who she is, but I bloody love her style.

Goddess going after a god with a trident. I don’t know who she is, but I bloody love her style.

Sunday Song: Love, Fate, Fertility, and Bagpipes

So as some folks celebrate a pagan holiday stuffed uncomfortably in a Christian suit, and some of us resist (or fail to resist) the urge to eat horrid hollow chocolate animals for old time’s sake, and the more adventurous among us wait for the Peeps to go half price so we can find ever more interesting things to do with them, I figure it’s time to get back to the real reason for the season: fertility! Well, spring and new life and sowing crops and such. I would encourage all of you with enthusiastic partners to (safely!) make like bunnies in honor of this season. Or, if you prefer and you live somewhere that’s experiencing the first flush of spring, get out and admire the new life springing (ha) up everywhere. In other words, if you have a chance to haz a happy, go seize it. I certainly intend to, once I’m done being extraordinarily lazy.

But first, let’s remember a Norse goddess of love, fertility, and fate, mostly because this song has got bagpipes in it and I know you lot love bagpipes.

Right. Now you’ve had your bagpipage, go play.

The Wolf in the Fault and Other Stories

I have to admit something: I may be an atheist, but I’m also a complete sucker for Norse mythology.  When I shared my home with cockroaches, I even sacrificed them to Odin.  It’s somehow more satisfying that way.

Every Thursday, I squee with glee, because I know it’s Thorsday at Lockwood’s place.  I love all of the old Norse gods and goddesses, their monsters and giants, their epic tales and their strange Nordic sense of humor.  A good portion of my writing has been inspired by them.  The imagery, the poetry, all of it’s just perfect for creating something fantastic.  Seeing Lockwood’s posts on the subject brings back all the delight of discovering that non-Greek and Roman mythology kicks serious arse.

Last Thorsday, Lockwood had a bit up on Loki, which inspired David Bressan to delve until he came up with a connection between Norse mythology and earthquakes.  The rest, as they say, is the History of Geology, which in this installment shows the mythical connection between the dire wolf Fenrir (Fenris, if you prefer) and earthquakes (and sparks a little reaction of its own).  Before professional geologists, earthquake science went to the wolves, eh?

Ragnarök obsesses one of my main characters, Chretien Pratt.  The twilight of the gods provides a fitting metaphor for what the world faces in this series (I’m not nice), and imagery of Fenrir swallowing the sun at the end of all things haunts him in his unfinished origin story, where he’s learned he’s fated to speak the world’s eulogy:

I dream of nuclear winter, ash like snow covering the bare branches of blasted trees and shrubs, broken walls of houses, pitted concrete and melted asphalt where streets and cities used to be.

There are no people here, just the great wolf Fenrir swallowing the sun.  When I look at him, I see that he has Jusadan’s gray eyes, and he is weeping.

***

Fenrir’s mouth burns from the heat.  The sun is halfway down.  Only a sliver lights the landscape now, and it’s thin and cold like watery gold moonlight.  Ash drifts down; heavy, silent, bitter.  I smell charred wolf flesh, old decay from a billion rotted bodies, the burned-ozone tang of radiation.

Shades of the dead fill my vision for a hundred thousand miles.  I only see a fraction of them here in this charred shell that used to be a city park, but they represent the totality.  Through them, I see all the rest, and all of them hear me.  I stand on the crumbling edge of a fountain whose statue melted into the pool halfway through the war, hand clenched around the handle of a scythe sharp enough to slice the quarks from a photon.  I have to speak, but I still don’t know what the words are.

I never wanted this.  I never wanted to be the last, and now I am forever.

Someday, we’ll talk about Odin as well, who has the unfortunate fate of being munched by Fenrir there at the end.  Did I mention I’m not nice to my characters?  Well, the Norse were really not nice to their gods.

That’s probably why I love them so.

Passing Observations: All About Odin

Today is a good day for Norse mythology. It’s not only Odinsday (Odin = Wotan = Wotan’s Day), it’s the 9th. 9 is a number sacred to Odin. Nice symmetry, there.

Since I can’t actually honor the god with human sacrifice, as such is illegal (and would be a silly thing for an atheist to do anyway), let me just share with you one of my favorite bits from the Eddas:

The Lord of the Gallows

I hung from that windswept tree,
hung there for nine long nights,
I was pierced with a spear,
I was an offering to Odin,myself to myself.

-Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Norse Myths

And he did it all for knowledge. Fucking awesome, says I.

Look. Just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good myth, all right?