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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Reading Gulzar – Filhaal

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is, arguably, no escape from the ephemeral nature of Life.

We sail on a sea of motion, where the tides of Time and Chance decide our destinations as much as the forces of Will and Desire. Life is lost and found in the finite moments of tranquility that exist in the storms that ravage, ceaselessly, these waters. And we are all, always, fighting for these moments.

Which is why, at times, it seems prudent to forget the big picture, let go of the dream of the golden shore of destination that awaits on the other side. They will come, yes; but for what it is worth, we could always breathe a little. Make do with the simple pleasures that abound in the featureless commonality and redundancy of Routine. Love ourselves a little.

We know not when the wind will change its course, we know not what the weather gods decide, we can never foresee what the next moment will bring. But if we enjoy what we have, when we have it, no joy is too small to be celebrated.

I have written earlier of Gulzar’s celebration of everyday objects, occurrences, and experiences (here and here, for your reading pleasure). This piece, instead, is about everyday sentiments.

Film: Filhaal

Music: Anu Malik

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

Continue reading

Her

Her (Click on the image for source.)

Her (Click on the image for source.)

Shakespeare once wrote a play that he couldn’t name. Ultimately, he went with ‘As You Like It’, leaving his audience to name and interpret what they saw the way the saw fit.

Now, yours truly is humble enough to recognise he’s no Shakespeare, or even comes close. But he was in a quandary quite similar with this post.

Let me know if you like the name, and, of course, the poem itself. It is something very different from what I usually write, and she who I’ve to thank for this will know how grateful I am to her.

Continue reading

Reading Gulzar – Humne Dekhi Hai

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

To open this series, there was but one choice! Forgive me, but I simply know not another of Gulzar’s verse that is as terse, as restrained, and yet, so infinite in its verity. A haunting, harrowing plaint that mocks relationships, and asks us to love. Without deliberation, without definition.

Sage advice!

Film: Khamoshi

Music: Hemant Kumar

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

Continue reading