pippala leaf

July 19, 2005

Paheli…..a beautiful Indian folktale

Filed under: Movie — MBN @ 4:29 am


Paheli reminds me the Malayalam film ‘Njan Gandharvan’ by the late Malayalam director Padmarajan. Both these films derived their themes from local folklore. Stories of Yakshi and Gandharvan were indispensable part of my childhood days. Kottarathil Shankunni’s classic Ithihyamala introduced me to the world of spirits, ghosts and exorcism. Like any other child I stood in awe of these extraordinary world of celestial beings and great magical powers. Their adventures fascinated me. The stories told by my mother of her real-life encounter with the ‘other world’ filled me with fear and excitement.More than fear these Indian spirits invoked in me a curiosity about them. I found them more or like human beings. For Indian mind nothing exists as an ‘absolute good’ or ‘absolute evil’. Good and evil are relative terms. Therefore Indian gods and ghosts have human like qualities. They think like any other human being. They also have limitations and their worlds have their own rules. I learned that even Indra, lord of the heaven, is not above these rules. Indra is a position with a fixed term (like President of a country). Once the term is completed the current ruler steps down and another eligible one takes the position as Indra. As in Paheli, in the Malayalam film


a celestial being falls in love with a mortal. The film depicted the predicament of the celestial being who was torn between the love for it’s beloved and the rules bound by the other world. For a while Paheli took me back to my childhood fantasies.



  1. I loved the world of spirits too, as a child..

    so…bottomline…..for someone who loves that world of fantasy…..is the movie worth a dekko? 🙂

    Comment by Sunil — July 20, 2005 @ 10:01 pm

  2. Sunil, I liked the movie. Excellent photography and songs. Story narration drags at sometimes..but still it took me to my old fantasies.

    Comment by Old Path — July 21, 2005 @ 4:26 am

  3. I still love the world of spirits — the world of fantasy — would it exist anywhere? – definitely in the minds of authors and readers of the fantasy books..

    but, I digress..

    I enjoyed reading through your blog.. and thanx to your blog, you have stoked my interest in this movie..

    Comment by sathish — July 22, 2005 @ 7:10 am

  4. wish you had the “mail to” option so I can just send her this post instead of cuttting and pasting.

    share please when you write good stuff 🙂

    Comment by tilotamma — July 25, 2005 @ 3:22 pm

  5. Tilo,

    You are right. In the malayalam movie ‘Njan Gandharvan'(1991), Nitish Bharadwaj (who played Krishna in Mahabharat serial) acted as the Gandharvan, the celestial being. It was indeed a beautiful movie. Also I turned on the ‘mail to’ option.

    Comment by Old Path — July 25, 2005 @ 11:39 pm

  6. thanks – I have been trying to get nancy to do this for a long time.
    Her blog is amazing don’t you think?

    Do drop in at mine too………

    Comment by tilotamma — July 26, 2005 @ 12:28 pm

  7. ‘Nagmandala’ by Girish Karnad is also very similar. Here the hero is a snake (rather than ghost) and he changes form, to become the husband. It was made into an interesting Kannada movie starring Prakash Rai.

    Comment by Prithi Shetty — August 22, 2005 @ 3:43 am

  8. Prithi…I have high regards for Girish Karnad and I will try to see the movie…hope I will be able to find it in our local library. Thank you for your comments

    Comment by Old Path — August 27, 2005 @ 11:52 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: