Saturday, July 06, 2013

A flower. A woman. An opera. ... Mallika!

"What can you not write about?????" wrote my friend, Sudha, in an email, after she read this post on non-veg.

Feeling awesome with such feedback, I asked her, "so, what other topic do you want me to blog about?"

"About pretty women."

To quote Barney Stinson from How I met Your Mother, "Challenge accepted."

Thus, this post is about Mallika. 

Of the various flower names that I can think of, Mallika works the best as a name for a pretty woman.   

Mallika is the Sanskrit word for jasmine.  Now, wouldn't you agree that Jasmine is a pretty name for a beautiful woman? 

Perhaps you suggest "Rose."  But, then a rose should remind you that there are thorns too.

A lotus is pretty, but the pond is typically never appealing to look at.  

On the other hand, a pretty flower like hibiscus cannot work as a woman's name--it is quite a mouthful to call her hibiscus!  People might then shorten that and call her "Hibi."  Nah! 

Mallika is apt for a pretty woman. If you prefer the English name, well, Jasmine also works.  

In the Thamizh language, Mallika might be shortened to "Malli," which is also how the flower is often colloquially referred to.

Perhaps that is why the opera, Lakmé, has that second character named, yes, Mallika.  Not hibiscus!

Years ago, when we were new in Bakersfield, and I was beginning to explore the operatic world, a much older friend, David, gifted me with a CD of Lakmé.  And talked about it.  Up until then, the only Lakmé I knew was the cosmetic product line in India; who knew there was an opera by that name!

And then David played the duet from Lakmé--the "flower duet" and I fell in love with Lakmé. The opera that is.

From the old country, where pretty much every movie was always a musical, here is a lovely melody; even if you can't follow along with the lyrics, note the jasmine decorating her hair, on the floor, ...

I wonder whether Sudha will be impressed! ;)


Ramesh said...

Sudha will be more than impressed. She will marvel !

Aha - that was your love, was it. There were of course a lot of Mallikas around those days :)

Yes, I know you are a purist, but surely if you feature the flower duet, Yanni and his Aria must deserve a mention. Perhaps along with British Airways for having popularised Lakme. Love this opera, but hadn't realised that there was a Mallika involved !

Sriram Khé said...

You are way off, Ramesh. I was never after a Mallika. Check with my classmates--they will confirm that and also tell you the correct name ;)

Oh, I guess I missed those British Air ads ... wait, was that in India or in the UK?

BTW, I got a response from Sudha ... and I quote here:
"Impressed???? AM JUST AWE STRUCK....
You can write on any topic.. Agreed."
Mission accomplished!!!

Most read this past month