By some form of coincidence, this song – ಯಾವ ಮೋಹನ ಮುರಲಿ, is playing a lot more these days – sometimes on my phone, sometimes on the radio. For some reason, this song always reminds me of the US, even though the movie is shot in and around San Francisco, along with that iconic shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from the other side of the Bay(around the Fort area). The sense of yearning and longing in the music goes perfectly well with the lyrics, and of course the amazing vocals of the Late. Raju Ananthaswamy and Sangeetha Katti. (a poem by Gopalakrishna Adiga, apparently written for this movie?)
In the movie though, the song plays in the background as Hema gets married to Akshay Anand, while Ramesh Aravind, who also loves her, stands by. It is almost as if the song is about someone leaving one’s own shores and heading towards a promised land of plenty where things are expected to be better. In some ways it is the equating of a woman getting married and moving to her husband’s place with the greener pastures of life.
I refused to narrow it down. I always felt that the idea of a woman leaving her home and making a new home with her husband was used as an stand-in to depict the broader picture of greener pastures. The signature line ‘ಇರುವುದೆಲ್ಲವ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಇರದುದರೆಡೆಗೆ ತುಡಿವುದೇ ಜೀವನಾ?’ was my key line signifying the idea of greener pastures and the eternal search for them. Indeed, as per the poem, this constant restlessness and the need for greener pastures is what defines life itself. Indeed, the whole movie is about greener pastures – one moving to the US, the other following as his wife, one refusing to give in to the desires of that. The second then moving back. Although, a case can be made of the last move – that of Hema returning to India – as another search for greener pastures. A previously lived place is no longer an existing pasture anyway and is always something new to move to, to continue seeking whatever you were seeking.
Of course, it is obvious why the whole idea of greener pastures and the constant moving or desire to move appeals to me. Sometimes it is about resisting, sometimes it is about giving in, but it’s there all the time.
ಒಲಿದ ಮಿದುವೆದೆ , ರಕ್ತಮಾಂಸದ ಬಿಸಿದುಸೋಂಕಿನ ಪಂಜರ;
ಇಷ್ಟೇ ಸಾಕೆಂದಿದ್ದೆಯಲ್ಲೋ! ಇಂದು ಏನಿದು ಬೇಸರ?
It’s one of those days, when you just can’t seem to get anywhere. There’s the rain pounding outside, the stifling heat. And having to do things that fall under the category of things that need to be done, not necessarily something I want to be doing. But that’s what growing up is about eh?
The call of greener pastures will always be there. How many can you answer? How many do you let go? How many do you have to let go?
And how many will cause regrets at odd moments for the ones that could’ve been?
ಮರದೊಳಡಗಿದ ಬೆಂಕಿಯಂತೆ ಎಲ್ಲೋ ಮಲಗಿದೆ ಬೇಸರ;
ಏನೊ ತೀಡಲು ಏನೊ ತಾಗಲು ಹೊತ್ತಿ ಉರಿವುದು ಕಾತರ.
Such is life eh?
The full version here:
And the song: