Sunday, October 03, 2010

Revisiting 'Beladingala Baale'

I happened to watch 'Beladingala Baale' ('Lady of the moonlight' in Kannada) last night, a 1995 classic by Sunil Kumar Desai, about the hero – a famous chess player and his emotional liaison with an elusive female caller who claims to be his biggest fan. During the course of their month long interaction, she gives him several hints and clues that are aimed at challenging him to deduce who she is and where she lives thus putting his skills as a 'grandmaster' to test. A very well written story, in my opinion. Something Kannada movies are rarely famous for. As a way to try and capture the essence of the emotional roller coaster the male protagonist goes through, I ended up penning this piece of poetry. I have absolutely no idea if I was successful or not even remotely close, but these were the images that came to me as I tried to get into the hero's shoes.

Ablaze, with the sanctity in your voice effervescent,
Simmers my soul now;Rising each moment
Like a phoenix from the smoldering remains
Of self-pity that is mine. O Lady of the moonlight!
In the bubbling depths of your optimistic timber
Lies awake a sliver of hope, of love, of friendship,
That echoes back to me a mirror so tender
I fear for its death as despair confronts me to slip.
In my mind reside a million puzzles, while I,
The cautious farmer guarding his fruiting crops,
Water them with the words you radiate tonight,
Looking up at you, my moon, my stars, my sight.
Embrace me, love, for I have the game of life to win,
Erase my fears away from coherence, gently,
Caress, with the tenderness in a victorious spin,
The seed of our bond that is yet fragile, deep yet thin.
Bring to me the image so immaculate, of yourself,
Wrapped in the cocoon of an insane man's reveries,
And speak on – spill forth the words that deconstuct me,
For I dread the silence that ensues between your melodies.
Sing to me, love, the song of a precious rose,
That surge through my veins screaming 'Now! Or never!',
Eager, anxious, snaking its way to your eternal prose,
My lady of our moonlight, tonight I am yours forever.

I am amazed how some movies redefine themselves in both context and philosophy when I see them at different points in my life. The last time I remember seeing this movie was about 5, maybe more, years ago. Back then I cannot recall looking at the story as a way to explore platonic relationships by juxtaposing them against a physical framework. Back then, the fact that the hero finds himself in a relationship with this anonymous caller merely based on the powerful auditory element in their emotions, did not seem like a fascinating aspect of being able to find true love. But now that I am married and in a real relationship, this theme suddenly jumped up like a rogue wave smashing itself against a boulder and splashed me all over. There were so many metaphorical references I could find this time that I am now convinced that if I wait a few more years and see 'Beladingala Baale' again, I am sure I will find more relevance in its essence that now might seem rather unlikely. For that, I cannot wait.

5 reflections:

G.Bhaskar said...

This mvoie didnt work because it was ahead of its time. Today if edited slightly better it would have been superhit I think.

ShaK said...

@G Bhaskar

True. BB was a movie that was catered to the Kannada intelligentsia which was such an un-Sunil Kumar Desai thing to do given his genre. But I think it did get critical acclaim for its unusual storyline. You must admit it was quite fresh and definitely original.

Thanks for the words,mate.



Pallavi said...

I feel that after Puttanna Kanagal , it was Sunil kumar desai who really gave us movies worth watching , movies which goes beyond limits of time. And w.r.t belandhingala baale, the movie was just made perfectly the way it was in novel; these days movies based on novels will have either different climax or some thing which director feels that it would match the current audience, but this movie is really unique one :-)

schumanth said...

Hey I came across this blog searching for Beladingala Bale. I loved the movie. One of its kind. Also i liked the scene where GM Prabhakar (Avinash) accuses GM Revanth (Ananth Nag) of hypnotism. This scene i believe was inspired by the similar controversy in the World Chess Championship of 1978 between Korchnoi and Karpov. This shows how well Desai had done his homework before the movie. I am sure he would have read a lot about chess. Also in one of the scene we can see the previous world chess champions like Bobby Fischer , Garry Kasporav..etc. Shaks i am trying to compile some trivia related to Kannada films like the above and put it somewhere. Can i expect any help from your side.??

Anonymous said...


The movie was adaptation of kannada novel which shared same title. The Kannada novel was in turn translation of telugu novel. During starting movie introduction, this was mentioned. I've read the kannada novel. Best of its kind! Many clues and turns were missed in movie. Nevertheless, this is one of my best adaptation of novel to movie.

- Jagadish