Reading Gulzar – Beeti Na Bitaai Raina

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

This has been a long time coming.

I think the blog hasn’t been updated for a while now (a month to be precise), but that hasn’t really been for a lack of trying. A couple of pieces that I have been working on are taking an impossibly high amount of time to get done with. As such, not quite able to head anywhere with my own words, I have decided to return to the relief and comfort of those of Gulzar.

There are a few songs where the singing of the words surpasses their poetry, if you know what I mean. Usually, the latter is so good that if you were to sing it (and I am assuming here that you’re as bad a bathroom singer as any), you’d still find joy. You’d find joy in merely reading the poetry. But the rare songs I refer to are those where the poetry’s meaning and emotion is enhanced by the manner in which they have been sung. They will be beautiful if you read them, or make your best un-donkeybray effort at singing, but they won’t be as beautiful as the original, shot-on-film, sung-by-the-gods song itself.

This film, Gulzar’s ‘Parichay’ has both these kinds of songs: there is the former of the rich poetry, and this, the latter.

When you listen to the song, or rather, watch it, you’ll see how Lata Mangeshkar and Jaya Bachchan begin the song more like a narration, like singing a song you knew the words to but thry don’t really mean anything personal to you. For a song that is inherently sad in its words, watch the latter smile and enjoy the singing. Then, watch how Bhupinder’s voice and Sanjeev’s introduction to the scene adds the feels to it, like moments beginning to form out of the mist of memories. You know this is more than just a collection of words for him. This leads beautifully to the second verse, by which they’re both emoting, yearning for the filling of a common void.

It is subtle. It is, in fact, aspiration.

Incidentally (and sadly, for it highlights the dearth we’ve had of actors of his ilk in Hindi cinema), Sanjeev Kumar who plays Jaya Bachchan’s father in this song was cast opposite her in ‘Anamika’. Incidentally, again, R. D. gave the music to that film too!

Film: Parichay

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Aanewaala Pal

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Today, August 18, He celebrates His birthday.

Some 80 years ago, the Maker gave Hindi literature and cinema a gift like no other – Sampooran Singh Kalra was born in Deena, Punjab, now in Pakistan.

He brought the love of words to our cinema, has celebrated the greatness of love in everyday objects and deeds, and then mocked its fickle nature too with more than a snide, pithy remarks. The moon, the rain, the birthmark on the shoulder of a loved one – nothing was not sacred, nothing not revered. We may not have the poetry, the music, or even the singing of yesteryear, as popular wisdom will have you believe, but this man, this icon, this institution still writes. Still gives us dreams!

Whereas there’s no dearth of His writing, I selected this evergreen song to commemorate today. After all, the ephemeral nature of Life, its momentary beauty, and toying with its myriad mirages – I believe this is what He probably finds most joy in!

Film: Golmaal

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Kishore Kumar

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Mera Kuchh Saamaan

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

A succession of pain interspersed with a little melancholy and even less joy: this is what most relationships result in, don’t they? How much do we suffer, how much do we pray for the endurance, the lasting of something, which we ourselves aren’t sure of? I, as always, speak on the basis of what I have seen. And what I have seen is that man has the highest faculty for survival. Nothing else, not love or loyalty, not desire, nor ambition. He lives for living, for continuing to live. As and when things demand change, he changes. It may seem inhuman, it perhaps is the epitome of selfish thought, but it isn’t because we’re cruel, self-centered animals. It is because we’re human.

And if it is this humanity that gets us to move out of situations we don’t have the courage to see through, it is also this humanity that forces us to remember the past and cry out for a little mercy. Each tiny moment of love, each everyday act of care – the shadows of all of them haunt us and doom us to our solitude. Everyone who has walked out on a loved one and still longs to meet them, if only to say thanks, and knows he can’t… everyone such knows the horrendous pain that looking back on those moments bring.

And that is what this song does: look back on those moments. I doubt there are many who haven’t lived what is described here, who haven’t remembered these described moments long after they’re dead, and who haven’t cried a little in memoriam.

Film: Ijaazat

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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