Posts Tagged ‘India’

India 7: love and learning

February 12, 2010

John McCarthy:

Monday 8 February: Khajuraho
After the nightmare drive to Khajuraho it’s a surprise to wake up and find ourselves in a neat little tourist town. Low rise hotels line the roads into the centre, catering for every budget, everything from the basic-looking Hotel Gupta sitting a few yards from the road behind a dusty car park, to the Radisson, set back and shimmering white in green and shady grounds.

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India 6: a wise man at Sanchi

February 8, 2010

John McCarthy writes:

Saturday 6 February: Sanchi 

At the entrance to the site of the Great Stupa at Sanchi a Bodhi tree rises high, covered in bright green leaves and with multi-coloured prayer flags wrapped around its trunk. The story goes that it started as a cutting from the actual tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment over 2,500 years ago. Or rather that the cutting was taken from a tree in Sri Lanka that was taken from a cutting of the original tree which grew away off to the east in Bihar state.

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India 5: caves and custard apple variants

February 6, 2010

John McCarthy writes:

Tuesday 2 February: Bombay (or Mumbai)
Steering a sailing boat you are forever moving the tiller or wheel. To counter the effect of wind, current and waves and keep going straight you have to make constant and sometimes quite large adjustments. Steering a car on a tarmaced highway you should need only to move the wheel a smidgen to keep on track. So it’s a bit alarming that our driver from Bombay airport swings the wheel between 10 and 2 o’clock just to go dead ahead.  Mind you, his Fiat taxi is so old that it’s a wonder it goes at all. Still even if we’d been in this year’s limo we’d have got to the Gateway of India no sooner. The traffic in the capital of Maharashtra state is at times as fast and furious as elsewhere, but for long stretches it just crawls along. Read the rest of this entry »

India 4: blog – producer – writes

February 2, 2010

Seb Grant: Apologies once more, I’m afraid the blogging baton is once again in the clumsy grasp of the Producer.

Monday 1 February
By way of excusing the worsening syntax, can I introduce my new obsession: ‘keyword English’? Perhaps it’s obvious, but ‘keyword English’ is the employment of a very simple sentence structure when trying to communicate with principally non-English speakers.

So for example one might say, ‘Tonight evening. Where Go?’ or “Leave. Tomorrow. Six. Yes?’

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India 3: faith and fans in the rice bowl

January 31, 2010

John McCarthy: The Hindu Times, Chennai edition, has plenty of Tamil Nadu news and carries a report revealing that some of M.K. Azhagiri’s billboards have been breaking loose from their moorings and damaging people and property. One banner of the grinning minster landed on top of a rickshaw. Driver and passengers survived but the vehicle sustained some denting.

Saturday 30 January: Tanjavur
Happily there are no flying hoardings about when we film a sequence with a bicycle rickshaw bringing me to the Brihadiswarar Temple. Oddly the machine seems to go faster uphill than down. At first I assume that the driver just doesn’t want to let the machine run away down a long incline, yet when we indicate that a bit more alacrity would suit the filming he nods and gets up to start pumping the pedals for all he’s worth, but to little avail. When we want to do the shot on wide it seems right to get out and help push. The poor man’s life would be transformed with a little help from Messrs Sturmey & Archer. Read the rest of this entry »

India 2: traffic and the first temple

January 30, 2010

John McCarthy takes up the story of filming in India:

Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

Wednesday 27 January: on the streets in Chennai
It’s hard not to lapse into clichés talking about India — because the same things always hit you: the noise, the smells, the traffic, the colours, the chaos and all the people. Yet for all the excitement and shock you realise that there’s also an immediate intimacy about the place. You feel very obviously a stranger but because there are so many other folk dashing about their lives, somehow you get caught up in the throng and become part of it. Even in your own vehicle in a traffic jam. Read the rest of this entry »