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SARANG -The Peacock

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Direction, videography Susan Sharma

Music  Joi Srivastava

Watch the full film at the link

About The Flim

This is a video presented at two levels. It is a film on the Indian peafowl shorn of legend , folklore and mythology- a film on the live bird. It is also a film which visualizes two prominent Hindustani raagas' Sarang' and 'Megh'.

'Sarang' in Hindi, is a word which has multiple meanings, one of which is the peacock. Some of the other meanings given in the dictionary are, sun, clouds, frogs, snakes etc. All these form an integral part of the natural habitat of the peacock and form the backdrop for the pea fowls featured in the film.

The peacock is a fine example of much that is Indian in idiom, music and rhythm.

The film is a sensitive portrayal of the bird's relationship with nature, its habitat, and its interface with the earthy village landscape.

It is also a tribute to the music it lives and dances to, be it the classical ragas or the clouds and the rain.

The peacock was declared India's National Bird in 1963 but few, if any, films have been devoted entirely to this magnificent bird.

This 22 minute documentary examines the Indian peafowl from hatching to adulthood through a story told by the camera. Peafowls are found in abundance in large green stretches in many parts of Northern India. The film is the result of observing and photographing pea fowls in their natural habitat for a period of over one and a half years. Location shooting was done in the Deer Park and Tuglakabad Fort areas of New Delhi.

  • Where do peahen incubate her eggs?
  • What colours are there on a peachick?
  • Do peahens eat snakes?
  • See what the camera has to tell.

'Sarang' is also a Hindustani raag. 'Vrindavani Sarang' is visualized in the courtship dance of the peacock in the film. The soulful rendering on the violin was composed by Joi Srivastava who also uses 'Megh' raag to visualize the rainy season.

Visualzing Hindustani raagas through paintings was a tradition in India in the 17th and 18th century. The miniature painting schools of Pahari, Kangra, etc. specialized in 'Ragmala Paintings'. Peacock figures appeared in many of these paintings accompanying a woman, lovely in herself, but restless with longing. Peacock is used as a symbol of the absent lover. The flowing rhythmical lines and simple unaffected naturalism of these paintings are highlighted as a finale to the film.



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