Monthly Archives: January 2014

!!BALLEWOOD!!

Go back up. Read the title. Make sure you don’t think it says “!!Bollywood!!” Now look back down. Your man could smell like Old Spice.

 

If you don’t know those commercials, this has undoubtedly been an awkward intro for you.

 

Guys. It’s been a few months now that I’ve had the TINIEST obsession with Bollywood. But it’s kind of over now. I have moved on. But it’s okay! Let me explain what has happened.

 

Here, let’s set the scene. You’re just outside, I don’t know, Amritsar, Panjab, admiring the mustard fields.

 

wearing your nicest Patiala salwar

 

eating some saag and roti, yum.

 

When, all of a sudden, you get some saag stuck in your throat (wow smooth I didn’t even know that was possible). You cough. Your companion of choice

 

asks you, concerned, if you need some water.

 

“Paani cheye?”

 

kajolface1 kajolface2 kajolface3

EVERYONE. SPEAKS. HINDI. IN INDIA. EVEN IN PANJAB.

Not saying you do, Mickey Singh. You good.

“Thx.”

 

Okay, not everyone spoke Hindi in Panjab.  But A LOT of people did. And I wouldn’t even be that mad, right? If it weren’t for the fact that Panjabi is a dying language. But it is…so…

 

kajolface3

 

And, I mean, I get it. Hindi is to India as English is to America. I definitely speak more English than Panjabi, and I am Panjabi. So how critical can I be to Panjabis in India who speak Hindi? But I guess I was just expecting to hear more Panjabi, at least in Panjab, you know? And after visiting Panjab, I gained such a huge appreciation for Panjabi culture and the language, even more than I had before. And there’s obviously nothing wrong with non-Panjabi cultures, IT’S NOT THAT, OKAY? It’s just that, Panjab, atleast the state in India, is so tiny compared to the rest of the country.

panjab

And while I was there, it just kind of hit me how possible it is for Panjabi culture in India to kind of be washed away and forgotten, because it’s such a small part of the country, geographically. So basically I’ve become that auntie at gurdwara that tells you you must speak Panjabi, beta. That’s the whole point of what I’m trying to say, summarized into one convenient analogy.

 

And so now that I’m back in da states, I’ve kind of been watching Panjabi movies a little more and Bollywood movies a bit less, because of the bigger appreciation I have for all things Panjab.

AND GUESS WHAT.

I ❤ THEM.

THE…PANJABI MOVIES. YEAH OKAY. YOU GOT IT.

No, they’re not usually as high-budget as Bollywood movies, and yes, they can be somewhat corny, on occasion. But like, who doesn’t love corn?

No? k.
So one of the movies I’ve watched is called Chak Jawana.
I actually saw this before I left for India. It’s all about this dude and his friends in Panjab who do drugs and drink a lot and how drugs are ruining their pind (villiage) and Gurdas Maan comes to help. Drugs are a huge problem in Panjab, so I loved the message of this movie. The corn factor in this one can sometimes be a tad high, but it’s totally worth it. You will cry. Wait when did this turn into a movie review.
I also saw Sadda Haq before I left for the homeland.
It’s depicts the Sikh genocide of 1984, and it’s pretty great. Sad, but really really good, and much needed, in my opinion. And while most of the movie is serious, there’s a really cute song in it!
Ooh, no subtitles….well “Naina” means “eyes.” So….that’s that part.
As you can see, it’s not a Bollywood-scale dance number, but it’s still really sweet and enjoyable!
Another movie I saw before the trip was Long Da Lishkara <3333333333333333
I haven’t seen the whole thing, but it’s kind of an older one and it’s soooooooo great so far omg. My mom first saw it when she was a young lass, and she loves it too. And did I mention IT MADE GURDAS MAAN FAMOUS?!? Like he’s not even the main guy in it, in fact he plays a hermit-y guy, but he sings so well throughout the movie and tugs at the heartstrings sooooo incredibly much, that everyone was like WHO DAT.
This is his best-loved song from the movie, and possibly his all time best-loved, “Challa.”
GAHHH IT’S SO BEAUTIFULLY SUNG AND THE MUSIC IS BEAUTIFUL IT’S LIKE A CLASSIC PANJABI TUNE AND THE LYRICS ARE SO SAD AHHHHHHHEOIGJKLD.C
OKAY. Now that I’m back, two of the Panjabi movies I’ve watched are……….Jatt and Juliet and Jatt and Juliet 2

And I guess they really did me in. I am now in love with Panjabi movies. These two were so hilarious and great, and there’s just no going back for me now. Plus, I found out (thanks to the internet) that, just like there’s a name for the Hindi/Mumbai movie industry– Bollywood–there’s a name for the Panjabi movie industry. And it’s Ballewood.

I DIED. IT’S SO PERF.
“Balle Balle” is like a Panjabi phrase you say when you’re like, dancing, or if something good happens lol. BALLEWOOD. I JUST CAN’T.
I was so excited when I found this out that I even edited the “Cinema of Punjab” wiki page to mention “Ballewood” but I guess someone unedited it or something,  idk. Idk how Wikipedia works.
Anyways guys, I don’t know what it is. Maybe I love hearing people speak so much Panjabi. Maybe I love that they show Panjab. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t need subtitles to watch them. But Panjabi movies are my thang right now ❤ I would ABSOLUTELY recommend them to you guys, but I haven’t run across any versions with English subtitles 😦 So if you don’t know Panjabi, this might hinder your ability to enjoy them, just a bit. But hopefully they’ll start making them with subtitles? That’d be cool! Then more people could enjoy them!
Okay, imma peace out. Bye the way, I’m still trying to think of a way to finish telling you guys about the trip. But at the same time, I’m wondering how much you guys want to hear of it? I mean, I could write posts on posts about the trip, and I’d love too, but is that what you guys want? Do you have anything you for sure want me to talk about regarding it? Or any suggestions on the best way to blog about it?  LET ME KNOW! PLS!
Bye ily 🙂
-M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE SWAGGY SARDARS OF PANJAB

Aight. So while I was in Patiala, Panjab, I saw. SO MANY. Fashionable sardars. A sardar is a Sikh who wears a turban. Like, Patiala in general is so stylish. I got two of my suits from there and some shoes and everyone’s dress was soo on point. But at one point I just saw this guy with a plaid shirt and a sweater vest and a red pagh riding a bike and it was like the swaggiest thing I’ve every seen and I was like yo. I have to start documenting this. And so the pictures you see I took over the course of about an hour during which I resolved to take a picture of every swaggy sardar I could capture. It only lasted an hour because I soon realized that there was no way I could get them all. But here are a small fraction of the sardars of Panjab. Some of them had style, others had swag, and each of them had it going on in one way or another. Annnnd some of these pictures have no sardar in them at all, but the internet is being funky and I can’t delete them. Okay, enough of my technical woes. Enjoy the swag!!! 🙂

-M

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I’M BACK AND THIS TIME WITH AMRITSAR

what

 

 

I was looking for “I’m back” gifs and I stumbled upon this and I was overcome with frustration over not having put this in my last post before I left that I just abandoned the gif hunt.

ANYWAYS. GUYS I’M BACK. I WENT TO INDIA. I WENT THERE. AND NOW I’M BACK. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I HAVE TO GO CHANGE MY ABOUT. AGHHHHHH.

It was amazing!!! I don’t really know how I’m going to go about blogging about the trip, because there’s soooooooo much I want to talk about. But one of the things that’s been sticking in my mind the most since I came back is Amritsar. So why not start there 🙂

So we were in Amritsar on the 3rd and 4th days of our trip. (AM I REALLY SAYING THIS RIGHT NOW IS THIS FOR REAL WAS I REALLY IN AMRITSAR WHAT IS THIS REAL LIFE?!!??) We landed in Delhi (WHAT??), stayed the night there, drove to Chandigarh (NA-UH!), which is the capital of Panjab the next day, drove to Amritsar the following morning, and drove BACK to Chandigarh the following day. Lorrrrd have mercy. I’m tired just typing it!

We were pretty tired by the time we got to Amritsar, but we were also excited 🙂 We had planned on quickly stopping at our hotel, matha taiking in Darbar Sahib, and driving 30-40 minutes to Wagah border, then driving back to Amritsar and spending the night there. But parking was really hard at the time so we decided to just go straight to Wagah and skip the initial matha taiking. Wait Wagah was amazing btw. How am I supposed to not talk about WAGAH RIGHT NOW OMG

M CALM DOWN STAY ON TOPIC

YOU’RE RIGHT VOICE OF REASON YOU’RE RIGHT.

Okay we will talk about Wagah soon. But Amritsar was amazing too 🙂 Sooooo we got to our hotel after coming back from the border, and we quickly changed our clothes and walked to Darbar Sahib. Our hotel was literally less than a minute’s walk from Harmandar Sahib. It was awesome. And the two guys who were working there at the time were very nice and really respectful towards my grandparents and one of them gave me the wifi password and idk you just always share a bond with a person after something like that. Okay, so after enjoying a couple minutes of wifi, we walked to Harmandar Sahib. Yup, we walked. Our hotel, Hotel Darbar View, was true to it’s name. It was maybe a 100 feet walk to Harmandar Sahib, like how perfect is that?! PLUS OMG, mine and my brother’s room had a balcony–

looking out from the balcony

looking to the right from the balcony

looking down 

Do you see why I loved this city? Or am I being irrationally obsessive as I usually am in all aspects of life?? Idk! It was so…magical! 

Okay sorry. So we walk to Harmandar Sahib, and my bro and I see the most significant gurdwara in the world for the first time ever.

It was sooooooo beautiful. Everything is worked out really well, it’s super clean and everything. You go in and matha taik and then you can just kind of chill. You can sit and listen to kirtan or do paht or just take it all in. Yes, we got to go upstairs, and it was amazing. There are spiral staircases and original walls and you can even go on the roof, which is amazing. 

The next day, my grandparents, my Massi Ji and I all walked to Harmandar Sahib at dawn. It was the most beautiful thing. I know I keep saying that over and over but I have no idea how to describe how it felt. I mean, first of all, it’s a holy city. And when you get to Harmandar Sahib, it’s just so big and there’s such a sense of unity. Everyone sits and takes their shoes off together and everyone is super chill and, in the morning, they had cha for whoever wanted it in different colored cups–free of charge, obviously, because that’s how Sikhs roll– and when you look up there are pigeons flying and kites and the moon setting and the sun rising and you can hear the kirtan and your bare feet are freezing and yet somehow it feels good…

I think it’s time to let the pics do the talking.

Night visit:

 

A memorial dedicated to shaheedis (martyrs) from the 1984 Sikh genocide…the entire place was actually a huge complex consisting of so many beautiful buildings…this was the first we saw. 

Close-up of the memorial. That’s all stone-work.

Another close-up…I loved the carved khandas.

Inside the memorial, notice how cool the ceiling looks.

Entrance to the main building!

Nishaans, which are our flags.

People doing seva (selfless service, which is part of Sikhism) polishing the metal.

Up close!

Getting prashad.

On the walkway.

Almost in!

Dawn visit:

Walking there from our hotel.

Cha!

fam-fam

religious pigeons

the moon!

I love me some minarets. 

Leaving Harmandar Sahib…the sun was up!

Hotel Sapphire, which was right next to our hotel.

We were walking away from Harmandar Sahib and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures…the entire city is so beautiful. 

I missed the shot, but this man came out of his house or shop and gave this stray dog some food…only time I saw that in India.

Y’all know I’m a sucker for religious diversity <333 Amritsar is full of it!

A nihang!

Our gali (street/alley)

At some point I just started taking pictures of everything…

…this is all over the span of maybe 15 seconds

From our balcony again 🙂

And yeah 🙂 That was Amritsar, guys. We weren’t even there for 24 hours, but it somehow managed to be my favorite city. I loved how you could see things written in  Gurmukhi and Urdu and other languages all over the place, I loved the nice people, the atmosphere, andddd it was pretty cool knowing Lahore was maybe an hour’s drive from us. They say Lahore and Amritsar are twin cities…one day I’ll be able to judge for myself 🙂 

Well you guys, that’s it for this week. I MISSED THIS! IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK! How did the automatic postings go, by the way? Did they work? At first I thought they didn’t, then I thought they might have, then I was like wait what I thought that was a post I published myself, and now I’m just confused. But hopefully it was okay? I can’t wait for next week’s post, I have sooooooo much to tell you guys. Like I don’t even know how I’m going to do it. I even have stuff I’ve wanted to post since before I left, AND next week is a gurpurab, AND Valentines day is coming up and lawd knows I have to do something special for that bc it was such a hit last year…we are in for a crazy few weeks 😛

I can’t wait 🙂

M

P.S–I thought about it for a couple days, and I agree with the coalition…#pAnjab

P.S.S–It’s okay if that didn’t make any sense to you…MAYBE I’LL POST ABOUT IT UGH SO MUCH TO POST ABOUT AHHH

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