White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Calm Old Man vs. Angry Young Man

Tyler Durden said in Fight Club "We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact." This realization hit the members of a secret society in the netherworld of the capital of Indian cinema long before Durder, or even Brad Pitt was born.

The greater fraction of Indian cinema frequenters in the 70's sought escapism in Indian cinema like a pimple faced straight male teenager seeks Playboy. Thus it should be no surprise that Amitabh Bachhan with his Angry Young Man image, fighting the parasitic system was considered nothing less than a God to the average Joe, or Jai, in this case. However, not too many living people are aware of a cult that thrived in the underbelly of civil society back then - one that worshiped another great persona, possibly greater than any screen persona Mr. Bachhan could ever conjure up. The mere fact that this star's popularity has stood the rigid test of time, even as Mr. Bachhan needed to grow a goatee to win back his fans, is testimony to his unfaltering luminance.

Anyone who has followed Avtar Kishan Hangal's career closely, will agree to one thing without a doubt - the fact that the man's visage, and thus by extension, the man himself, is timeless. A recently discovered memoir of Mrs. Hangal, found in the ruins of modern day Sialkot reveals much about the young Avtar. Mrs. Hangal remembers the overcast day in 1917 Sialkot when the entire neighborhood had gathered at the Hangal shack to behold the newborn baby with so many lines on its forehead and wrinkles on its face that it resembled a cross and zero board. Over time, the lines and wrinkles only increased and Avtar's childhood friends started calling him Babyface, an ironic nickname that has stuck on since. Avtar was only 14 when Alam Ara was released, but he was dumbfounded by the imagery depicted by the leopard skin and bear fur costumes used in the movie. This is what spurred him to become a tailor. The Archaeological Survey of India reveals that he had been a tailor for more than thirty years before deciding to try his hand at Indian Cinema and that Rishi Kapoor actually apprenticed under him to prepare for his role of Akbar the tailor in Amar Akbar Anthony. All I can say is that the tailoring world's loss was a gain for Indian cinema.

While Bachhan was creating social unrest with his roles, Hangal was carrying the torch of Gandhigi into new decades, long before the term had been coined. He was teaching the downtrodden Indian man of the 70's to lay on his back and suffer the beatings of the powers that were, and the power of tears to the sister of the Indian man of the 70's who always provided her honor to the same powers on a platter, because the common man and his sister, are by design, helpless. 1975 was a landmark year for Indian cinema with the release of its blockbuster Sholay. Gabbar Singh's dialogs, glittered with creative rustic swearing, made it into the musical collection of every warm-blooded Indian adolescent. Hangal had his fans too, but nothing sums up his low-key style more than 'Itna sannata kyun hai bhai?'



Don't let the quietness of the man fool you. Hangal has political connections that will make a Dalit leader proud. Former PM P V Narasimha Rao is widely rumored to be his identical twin in political circles, albeit from different mothers. The very fact that Balasaheb Thakerey, that modern day Sherlock Holmes when it comes to identifying the inner goodness of people, had screamed for a boycott of his films in 1993, for wanting to visit his birthplace, which happens to fall in Pakistan, proves how much he unconsciously undermines the Balasaheb's authority with his mild visage and generally calm exterior in his very own cage, err, den.

He has completed 131 films which is more than what Bachhan has done if you don't include his beardless, post Sridevi era, and can even be seen providing well-meaning advice to great-granddaughters-in-law on TV serials these days on topics ranging from marital bliss to political empowerment of women. Hangal's favorite poem is Tennyson's The Brook, and much like the subject of the poem, "for men may come and men may go, but he goes on for ever."

Image: Chakpak.com

6 comments:

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? said...

Hangal and The Brook!!!

Killer...dada killler!!! :D hhahahahhahaa

rohmen said...

The Edward Norton quote got me thinking like nothing else has for a while.

ArSENik said...

@WIAN: Lol...thanks.

@Rohmen: It was actually a Brad Pitt quote. It's one of my favorite quotes. No one embodies it more than Hangal ;)

am said...

"We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact."

You call this a realization. Rohmen has started thinking. I'm both amused and curious.

ArSENik said...

After years of drudgery under British rule, most of the Indian people, well the optimists anyway, and of course optimism was a prerequisite for all members of Hangal Secret Society, assumed life would be really rosy after Aug 15, 1947, only to be unpleasantly surprised.

ad libber said...

This man was awarded a padmabhushan...probably for just sticking around long enough. This man is our only link from the very beginning of Indian cinema to modern cinema. Your post reminds us all of his importance. Thank you.

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