Ukigusa Monogatari. The desert begins abruptly at Sam. Vegetation suddenly gives way to sand dunes. But even before we got there, we knew it was just around the corner.
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The last few hundred metres to Sam are lined with colourfully bedecked camels, waiting for tourists to emerge out of their camps for a trip into the desert. At Sam, we went around looking for camel- drivers with mobile phones. We found four young men. They weren’t dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire, the colour we were looking for, but they would have to do. There had been riots in Jaisalmer that day, and there weren’t too many camels or tourists around. My driver was Salim Khan.
UKIGUSA MONOGATARI (1934) Tweet Tweet Film details Featuring Takeshi Sakamoto Ch Yasujiro Ozu's Ukigusa monogatari A Story of Floating Weeds Criterion DVD Review Yasujiro Ozu Ukigusa monogatari A Story of Floating Weeds Criterion DVD Review Yasujiro Ozu Ukigusa monogatari A Story of Floating Weeds Criterion DVD Review Yasujiro Ozu. Berlin International Film Festival - official website. European Film Market Berlinale Co-Production Market Berlinale Talents World Cinema Fund. Get this from a library! Ukigusa monogatari = A story of floating weeds.
The camel was not his own, it belonged to his seth. Did the mobile also belong to his seth? No, the mobile was his, but the seth paid for a 1. Anything above that, he had to pay himself. About 8. 0% of the camel- drivers had mobile phones, he told me. It was good for business.
A mobile does the work of one man, he said, mobile ek aadmi ka kaam kar leta hai. The hoteliers would call the seth and let him know how many camels they required and at what time. The seth would in turn get in touch with them on their mobiles. It was good for emergencies too. Foreign tourists preferred to spend some time in the desert, and would be dropped off at a spot, to be picked up later at a notified time.
Occasionally, they would wander off by themselves, and lose their way in the desert. A mobile came in very handy at those times. We passed by a group of colourfully dressed banjara women making their way through the sand. Who are these women, I asked.
They sing and dance for the tourists, he told me. Do they carry mobiles too? No, they didn’t. The music of the banjaras followed us through the air as we rode into the desert. When it refused to carry any more, Salim played some songs on his mobile. Which service do you use, I asked him. Airtel was good too, but everyone he knew was on Hutch.
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And Hutch- to- Hutch was cheaper. The others had been questioning their respective camel- drivers too. Vinoo’s told him that thanks to the mobile, they didn’t feel the hospital was distant any more.
Their village was ten kilometres inside the desert by road, and five kilometres by camel- back, Salim said. We stopped for a while on the sands. Rakesh’s camel- driver took out his mobile and made a call.
Do you know what he just did, Rakesh asked me. He saw a cow enter his field and called up someone to ask him to chase it away. In the distance, we saw another camel- driver riding up to the cow in question. Mobile technology at work.***I wanted to scout some traditional Rajasthani villages with mud houses for possible mobile stories. Alambhai suggested Ossian.
A Story of Floating Weeds (. It won the Kinema Junpo Award for best film, the third consecutive year an Ozu film won.
So on our way back from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, we took a detour to take a look at Ossian. We passed by the mud houses, but they didn’t make for very interesting settings. Most of them had solid houses attached to them. Alambhai told me that the villagers had money these days and were investing in proper houses.
We also passed a group of wandering metalworkers by the roadside. Their belongings and children spilled out on the street, as the men worked the metal and the women took care of the rest. We pulled over to ask if they had mobiles, but they didn’t. We reached a market- place of sorts outside the Ossian bus- stand and stopped to take a look. It was a dusty road, tiny shops lining it on both sides selling all sorts of things. All sorts of people and things were thronging the street. Men in bright yellow turbans and jewellery around their ears, a Muslim oiler with a white cap and a long- flowing white beard, potters, tractors, cows, womenfolk in colourful sarees, jeeps.
A farmer in a bright yellow turban showed us the mobile phone he had in his pocket, but he didn’t have much to say about how he used it other than the fact that he did. The Muslim oiler had a long conversation with Vinoo on how his machine worked but didn’t have that much to say about his mobile phone. Ravi came up to me and said he was not having much luck either.
People had mobile phones in the village but seemed to be putting them to the most mundane of uses. I had a feeling that we would find a story here, it was just a matter of finding the right person, preferably one in traditional Rajasthani attire. And then, out of the blue, it hit me. The story was here, but not in one person. It was in the village.
I looked around, and indeed, it was. Three mobile telephony towers loomed on one side, another one was on the other. Shop fronts were advertising mobile phone services the whole two hundred metre stretch of road. Almost everyone seemed to have a mobile phone here. A few shops had proudly displayed their mobile phone numbers on their facades.
One of them had an office number and two mobile numbers. I went up to the shopkeeper to ask which of the phones did customers usually call. The land phone is dead, he told me. Everyone used mobiles here. Almost everyone had one, some even had two.
A man standing next to me at the shop comfirmed the fact. In his hand, he carried two mobile phones. Mobile phones came to the village in 2. BSNL. Now everyone was here, he said, giving me the chronological order in which they all arrived. Airtel, Hutch, Reliance, Tata. But BSNL was still the best, he said.
The two mobile phone numbers listed on the fa. Almost every auto we saw had been gaily decorated inside and outside. And from our experience with autodrivers in Bombay and Bangalore, there were bound to be many with mobile phones. Babulal’s taxi (as autorickshaws are called in Jodhpur) had shiny red interiors with white seats having floral patterns on them and steelwork on the outside. We asked him if he had a mobile. He had, and we asked him to take us around the old city, the Blue City where all the Brahmin houses are painted blue. The Blue City ran around the base of the Meherangarh Fort that sits atop Jodhpur.
Our autorickshaw made its way up the tiny alleys that run through the old city. The roads started getting narrower and narrower. At one point, we had to wait by the side to allow a camel cart to pass us by from the opposite side. Babulal’s taxi lurched and veered to allow bikes and other taxis to cross us from the other side. Tiny shops and houses lined the alleys on both sides. We passed ladies in colourful sarees, blue walls, turbaned men, mithai shops, Marwari jewelers, saree shops, paan shops, cows and donkeys, temples, ornate doors, aluminium shutters, men playing cards, priests, advertisements on walls, signboards, old havelis, little shops in holes in the wall. It helped him in his trade.
He had a few businessmen and shopkeepers who called him regularly to transport goods. He said having a mobile made more sense than waiting for hours at the taxi- stand for a customer. Now they only had to call him and he could be there in ten minutes. They paid well for the service, so it was more than worth it. Babulal also found the phone useful for his other regular clientele – schoolchildren. Anxious mothers could now call him and arrange for their kids to be dropped off elsewhere if no one was at home. There were only advantages to having a mobile phone, he felt.
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