Sep 4, 2009

Steam funk

Some weeks ago, I was sitting in the evening bus back home when it began to rain. The conditions were sufficiently heavy for condensation to appear on the window panes. As is inevitable when presented with a damp canvas, doodles began to materialise, literally out of thick air.

This reminded me of two movie sequences that used the drawing board of the window-pane (not considering shower doors or other glass panes merely providing 'steamy' vistas). One is in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, where a suddenly serious Hattori Hanzo, confronted by 'The Bride', writes the name of their arch-enemy. The condensation doesn't drip, perhaps suggesting a fog created by means other than water or just multiple takes. It's a little too perfectly etched, though.

The second, however, is more naturally crooked. This is the opening scene of a film. The first shot opens on a blurred background, bluish in colour. A dull noise accompanies the frame, which you realise is the sound of rain. The Bombay rain. A hand reaches out behind what turns out to be glass, and there is cackling.

The hand proceeds to draw a scraggly line to our left, and begins to fill out a rectangle. Followed by diagonals and two more. lines. It's a horoscope. Of Mumbai's. This a police van, and inside it are Sadik Chikna and the Inspectors Pandit & Purohit.

Thus brilliantly, in a haze of condensed air, in the jungle of Mumbai, does "Maqbool" unveil.

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