The opening credit sequence of Gulzar’s Mausam (1975) takes us through the scenic beauty of Darjeeling. The music for this journey has a yearning about it – and yearning is quite the theme of the film and its songs. From the first words “Dil dhoondta hai” (the heart is searching), we slip into the nostalgic, compelling mood of the film. Someone, somewhere, somehow is searching for someone. The solo is an echo of a love that is lost but not forgotten.
Madan Mohan’s haunting music and Gulzar’s evocative lyrics ensure that we recognise the song later in the film when the characters Amarnath (Sanjeev Kumar) and Chanda (Sharmila Tagore) render a longer and livelier duet through playback singers Bhupinder Singh and Lata Mangeshkar.
This is when we see Amarnath and Chanda as young lovers 25 ago. Under the safe canopy of trees, they take long walks through green hills and look up to white peaks breathing clear air all around them. The camera captures the stars in their eyes, while the lyrics describe the reflection of stars on a dark terrace.
Such is the magic of that mausam, which now whispers all around a guilt-ridden, lonely, unfulfilled Amarnath as he walks the same way he did when he knew Chanda. From a distance, he sees himself and Chanda as young lovers, he hears their young voices and re-visualises their tender moments nestling in nature’s beauty. What is especially arresting about this sequence, which has faint traces of Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries (1957), is that there are moments of complete silence that wrap around Amarnath before the song bursts in on him again.
Both versions of Dil Dhoondta Hai offset each other and deserve a secure place in audience memory.
The quirks and perks of travelling with your hard to impress mom
We must admit that the jar of pickle always comes in handy.
A year ago, Priyanka, a 26-year-old banking professional, was packing her light-weight duffel bag for an upcoming international trip. Keen to explore the place, she wanted to travel light and fuss free. It was not meant to be. For Priyanka was travelling with her mother, and that meant carrying at least two extra suitcases packed with odds and ends for any eventuality just short of a nuclear war.
Bothered by the extra suitcases that she had to lug around full of snacks and back-up woollens, Priyanka grew frustrated with her mother. However, one day, while out for some sight-seeing Priyanka and her family were famished but there were no decent restaurants in sight. That’s when her mum’s ‘food bag’ came to the rescue. Full of juice boxes, biscuits and sandwiches, her mother had remembered to pack snacks from the hotel for their day out. Towards the end of the trip, Priyanka was grateful to her mother for all her arrangements, especially the extra bag she carried for Priyanka’s shopping.
Priyanka’s story isn’t an isolated one. We spoke to many people about their mother’s travel quirks and habits and weren’t surprised at some of the themes that were consistent across all the travel memoirs.
Indian mothers are always prepared
“My mom keeps the packed suitcases in the hallway one day before our flight date. She will carry multiple print-outs of the flight tickets because she doesn’t trust smartphone batteries. She also never forgets to carry a medical kit for all sorts of illnesses and allergies”, says Shruti, a 27-year-old professional. When asked if the medical kit was helpful during the trip, she answered “All the time”, in a tone that marvelled at her mother’s clairvoyance.
Indian mothers love to feel at home, and create the same experience for their family, wherever they are
“My mother has a very strange idea of the kind of food you get in foreign lands, so she always packs multiple packets of khakra and poha for our trips. She also has a habit of carrying her favourite teabags to last the entire trip”, relates Kanchan, a marketing professional who is a frequent international flier often accompanied by her mother. Kanchan’s mother, who is very choosy about her tea, was therefore delighted when she was served a hot cup of garam chai on her recent flight to Frankfurt. She is just like many Indian mothers who love to be reminded of home wherever they are and often strive to organise their hotel rooms to give them the coziness of a home.
Most importantly, Indian mothers are tough, especially when it comes to food
Take for instance, the case of Piyush, who recalls, “We went to this fine dining restaurant and my mother kept quizzing the waiter about the ingredients and the method of preparation of a dish. She believed that once she understood the technique, she would be able to make a better version of the dish just so she could pamper me!”
Indian mothers are extremely particular about food – from the way its cooked, to the way it smells and tastes. Foreign delicacies are only allowed to be consumed if they fulfil all the criteria set by Mom i.e. is it good enough for my children to consume?
An approval from an Indian mother is a testament to great quality and great taste. In recognition of the discerning nature of an Indian mum and as a part of their ‘More Indian Than You Think’ commitment, Lufthansa has tailored their in-flight experiences to surpass even her exacting standards. Greeted with a namaste and served by an Indian crew, the passengers feel right at home as they relish the authentic Indian meals and unwind with a cup of garam chai, the perfect accompaniment to go with a variety of Indian entertainment available in the flight. As Lufthansa’s in-flight offerings show, a big part of the brand is inherently Indian because of its relationship with the country spanning over decades.
To see how Lufthansa has internalised the Indian spirit and become the airline of choice for flyers looking for a great Indian experience, watch the video below.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.