October 21, 2014

Haider - an Untold Story of Pain & Sorrow

A doctor in Kashmir valley is seen justifying himself while trying to save the life of a militant; an act considered at par with treason. On being asked by his wife as to which side he was on, the doctor replies – ‘Zindagi’…… But in the eyes of the army, a surgeon being honest to his profession is labeled a traitor. Should a serving Doctor toe the lines of the establishment and confine himself in political borders or should he be on the side of ‘Zindagi’ is something worth discussion. But we will leave this Humanist Vs Nationalist debate for some other article. For now, let us move ahead with Haider, a thought provoking representation of the sad picture of disturbed Kashmir valley. 
Dr. Hilal Meer, a surgeon – played ably by Narendra Jha – is detained by the army for housing a terrorist. Kajaala (Tabu), shattered by the moving scenes of her bombed house, detained husband and an uncertain future takes refuge with Khurram Meer, doctor Saab’s younger brother and a lawyer by profession. The shady character of Khurram harbours dreams to win an election.
Shahid Kapoor plays Haider, who was sent to pursue his studies at Aligarh Muslim University lest he crosses the border someday. On returning from Aligarh, the only son of Kajaala and Dr. Meer is devastated at the sight of his bombed house, where memories of childhood with his parents are still afresh. Surprisingly, he finds his mother, bereft of sorrow, at his uncle Khurram’s house. Broken Haider vows to find out his missing father, who could probably be in one of the detention camps of Indian army.
Vishal Bharadwaj, the film maker has tried to entwine three different dimensions in a story and has been successful to a large extent in covering the contours of a vast subject. Of the three dimensions, one is a personal story of revenge and hatred. The second is of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a law which gives unfettered powers to the army in detaining or killing anyone in the name of maintaining public order. Third angle to the story is Shakespearean. As he does with all his work, Vishal adapts a Shakespearean play, ‘Hamlet’ under the backdrop of a tumultuous Kashmir.
We all know that bollywood has done a lot of work on Kashmir, the Army and Indo-Pak relations. Most of such works have been from Delhi’s viewpoint and we’ve always been comfortable watching the story from our side of the court. Haider is different in the sense that it confronts the complicated issue of Kashmir from the eyes of a Kashmiri. In doing so, it comes closest to the inconvenient truth of the valley and films the inhuman role of a controversial law. Haider introduces us to much more than just anti-pakistan nationalist rhetoric. For the average cinema-goers, discomforting words like AFSPA, half widow, crackdown, detention camps, disappearance, etc are new and leaves one pondering. Most of us would find these words – which depict the painful scenario of valley – tough to fathom in the free comforts of our independent confines.
A section of our society is offended with the film calling it anti-army and anti-national, but fact remains that nowhere in the movie is our Army shown in any unreasonably negative light. True, the movie has, I think, missed the intensity with which the militants could have been projected. Of course, the representation of separatists with respect to the army is relatively soft and imbalanced, which might lead some of the audience into believing that the film qualifies to be anti-army. The militants are showcased as partners to a positive character, Haider – the hero, by helping him take revenge of his father’s death. Though, their intention behind sympathising with Haider is more political than personal, but the articulation eventually puts them in a relatively softer light viz-a-viz the Army.
Haider successfully narrates the pain and sorrow of the people whose family members have disappeared under the garb of AFSPA and showcases the collateral damages of a political warfare at a personal level. Haider’s desperate search for his missing father ends with the entry of Irrfan Khan, who plays Roohdaar, an ex inmate in the same camp along with Dr. Hilal Meer. Handing him a pistol, the separatists exhort Haider to take revenge for his father’s death.
The cinema has many high points with powerful and hard-hitting messages. Especially the one at Lal Chowk where Haider enacts UN resolutions, AFSPA & calls for Azaadi is impactful. In another scene, a guy refuses to enter his own house and keeps standing until Roohdaar frisks him and checks his iCard. Powerfully and succinctly presented, this two minute satire clearly explains the state of mind Kashmiris are in.
The film, I felt, lacked in the portrayal of its female characters, be it Haider’s mother – whose intent to dig out her husband’s whereabouts seemed casual and showed no signs of grief post his disappearance – or his girlfriend – who was dumb enough to divulge important secrets to her Police father. Moreover, women in the film are shown to have no opinion on the political and social narrative of their highly disturbed surroundings. Does it mean that only the men in Kashmir feel the pain, with which the women so easily remain aloof and unaffected? If Vishal were to answer this question in affirmative, there’s reason enough for some over enthusiastic feminist to even call Haider an anti-women film. The satirical use of an english word ‘Chutzpah’ helps light up the scenes with humour, at the same time is able to send across messages that the film intends to. My only point of contention here is its pronunciation, which correctly is (hoo-tspa) and not (choo-tspa) as spelt in the movie. But you can obviously gauge the intent behind this mistaken pronunciation, which can be granted to an artist in the name of improvisation. The attempt to create humour out of the Kashmiri dialect seems unnecessary and could have been done away with.
Haider takes bollywood one step ahead in maturely articulating the pain and turbulence of Kashmir from a new perspective. Apart from a slightly stretched second half, Haider is to be watched for its emotional engagement with the audience and the seriousness which it brings to the political discourse of Kashmir from a pure Kashmiri frame of reference.

September 1, 2013

Movie Review: Prakash Jha's Satyagraha

An epic subject, a heavy star-cast and a proven director!
Yes, these are good enough reasons to draw initial crowds to cinema theatres but to sustain or leave a mark, the complete package has to stand-out. Unfortunately, one of the most awaited films this year is not here to stay. Satyagraha is an average movie, far below our expectations & arguably one of Prakash Jha's worst made presentations.

A tight slap on the District Magistrate's face by a common man boils into a nation wide agitation. But the manner it unfolds is unconvincing & at times, even the flow of scenes doesn't look natural or realistic. To make things worse, Salim-Sulaiman's poor background score too adds to the lack of audience connection. Satyagraha is powerful in bits & pieces but irregular & weak as a whole. To me, it seemed that far more than a logical narrative, the director tries to create high-drama screen shots for its posters.

The first half is a story of a retired school principal fighting against corruption to get his son's compensation, who died on duty. But, it takes a different turn after interval and metamorphoses into a vivid copy-paste of Anna's andolan. This is where the film loses steam becoming no more than a commentary of Anna-Arvind saga, that too in a haphazard manner. The Aam Aadmi Party has requested people to watch Satyagraha, understandably for its depiction of Ajay Devgan's character, inspired by Kejriwal.

With the class of actors present, the acting had had to be Good. Arjun Rampal & Amrita Rao were the only ones who seemed out of place in their respective roles of local bahubali & a widowed housewife. Manoj Bajpai brings the much needed comic relief and as always does complete justice to the corrupt minister's character playing his role to perfection. The best part of Satyagraha is the relationship shown between Maanav (Ajay Devgan) & his friend's idealist father played by Amitabh Bachchan. Diagonally opposite ideologically, the Devgan-BigB duo has surely been able to draw some viewer's emotions through their on-screen relationship. In fact, I did find audiences wetting their tissue papers in delight!

Satyagraha is a classic example how a lack of good direction cannot be complimented by any amount of super star-cast. Being obsessed with politics is not bad but we expect the director to infuse some freshness in a new subject which he terribly fails to do. In fact, its a khichdee of Gangajal, Aarakshan & Rajneeti and sadly, even a brand new subject like the anti-corruption movement somehow lacks originality.

Far more than anything, Satyagraha is an unhappy reflection of a talented director's complacency. Its high time Prakash Jha reinvents himself lest he gets stereotyped for the lack of a fresh approach & originality. Although a well-intentioned motive, but Satyagraha would be rated 2.5 out of 5 for poor direction & a confused plot!

August 29, 2013

An Emotional Letter to the Economist, Dr Manmohan Singh..

Dr. Saab Namashkaar..!!

Hope you are okay, healthy & kicking!
The Food Security Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha, but should I congratulate you?

No! I would rather congratulate Her Highness the visionary Sonia Gandhi for her Vote Security Bill. You know it better than anyone that its the worst time to undertake such a bill but you are helpless seeing the interest Her Highness has shown in it. Passing the Food Security Bill is good politics, passing it not is good economics. And we all know who wins the unfortunate battle of Politics Vs Economics, that too when the elections are lurking round the corner.

Sir, people have known me on social networking sites as one of your most vocal adversaries. I have hammered & bludgeoned you through my writings in letter & words for most of your tenure as the PM of India. But today, am in a different mood. I'm writing this letter to exhibit a different sort of emotion. Today, I sympathise with you & understand the predicament you must be going through. I know that when the world sleeps you remain awake to self-pity & imprisonment. Every morning while having the morning tea you helplessly ponder over India's deteriorating economy. You represent a 100 billion people but deep inside you are a loner. I know you might feel embarrassed reading this letter, thinking how could a young little chap decipher your state of mind so well.

Mr Prime Minister, I'm writing this letter to you based on some of my recent observations. In the Lok Sabha, Her Highness had to take the mantle into her own hands. She had to personally lead this initiative to get the bill passed because you, Mr Manmohan Singh, as a learned economist must not have been in its favour at this point of time. I know that you clearly understand the bearing such an act would take on the economy. Unfortunately for us, the highest moral ground you could take was to simply NOT BE IN FAVOUR because you don't have the guts to steer the government policy as per your discretion.

Today, the nation is in a fix. Investors, who once entered into the Indian market thanking your liberalisation policies of 90s, are fleeing our market. The Rupee has stooped so low that its shamelessly in position 69 with the dollar on the higher side. An economy which boasted of high Forex reserves, healthy account deficit, growth & robustness not very long ago is caught in a quagmire. You know the state of economy far better than me but you can't disagree my saying that the situation in India is of a crisis, an economic emergency.

Fortunately, the best person to sail us through these turbulent times is in the chair of the Prime Minister. You have done it earlier & most of us Indians are a fan of how you helped recover the economy in the 90s. I personally liked the manner you got the Indo-US nuclear deal done, infact that was the only time in your tenure that you looked in control of the proceedings.

Whatever the upcoming 2014 election results, there is no way you would be the next PM. And I must remind you that you'll go down in history as one of the worst Prime Ministers ever. Leave aside opposition or the media, your own party will discredit you, disown you once your term is over & every congressman will label all that was wrong with UPA rule as the PM's personal failure. This is what happened to Narasimha Rao & this is what will happen to you. History will repeat itself. I know you are not that bad a PM as the history books will project you, but you have neither acted with the dignity & style that a prime minister of the world's largest democracy should have.

This economic scenario might be a threat for India, but I see an opportunity in it for you. An opportunity to salvage what you've lost. An opportunity to establish that the countrymen's belief in you was not unfounded. Sir, doesn't your heart bleed to see people's loss of hope in you!

In a crisis like this, any country would die to have an economist at the helm of affairs. Fortunately, no Indian has a better CV than you have as an economist. This is the last ditch moment to rise above your helplessness & break the shackles that tie you. This crisis can be a saving grace & blessing in disguise to help you unburden. The Food Security Bill is through in the Lok Sabha & it might very well help the congress garner some votes but will surely take away the last bit of respect people have in you. If you show the courage to stand & speak, the country, opposition, the media will speak with you in the same tone. No Sonia or No ruling party can overrule what the PM wants & stands for. 

I really wish that the Prime Minister of my country gets a dignified exit with his head held high. And if you don't I'll continue bludgeoning you as my daily routine, you being my favourite object of ridicule!

You know, every Indian except the concerned person in power has a solution to any damn serious national problem. Giving unsolicited advice is our favourite pastime & I'm no less! So, Dr. Saab, I would conclude my emotional outbursts by advising you on how to resolve this economic crisis.

You have only two options Mr Economist..

  1st)  Stand up for what you believe in. Take your cabinet in confidence. Talk to Her Highness. Take the bull by the horn. Stall the Food Security Bill. Follow the principles of good economics, leave the rules of good politics aside. The power is with you. You are still our Prime Minister & the most able man to ride this crisis.


  2nd)   As your Commerce Minister has already suggested we might have to pledge Gold to save our economy as we did in 1991. My suggestion is why put the country’s Gold on collateral when we have so many highly qualified Gold Medallist economists in the government. Please collect your medals & we shall have enough Gold to sail us through. Furthermore, none of us would then say that your Gold medals are of no use.

So Mr Economist, take a stand or sell your Gold medals..!!

Yours critically,
Anupam Singh

June 24, 2013

Raanjhanaa: Love from the by-lanes of Benaras to Canteens of JNU

First things first. My parents were in Chandigarh this weekend & I requested them to watch a movie along with me. It was to be a historic family moment, for the last time I went to a Cinema theatre with Ma/ Papa was some 20 years ago. This time they weren't interested, but I insisted. And you know what happens when I insist!

  ...Only option before us was Raanjhanaa and glad to say, this singular option was worth it because my parents liked it!

Raanjhanaa showcases the two types of love stories characteristic of our India. First kind is the small town love stories weaved in the lanes by not-so-mature desperadoes, who run behind rickshaws, cut slit their nerves, get slapped by the girl but smile, recite shayaris claiming they've written it themselves and all such similar exercises. The other type of love story is of a more mature kind, one where the intellect & ideology makes you fall for someone. Where you think you are made for each because your thought processes are on the same plane. The first type is like the medieval bhakti movement, other like the European Renaissance. From the by-lanes of Benaras to the canteens of JNU, Raanjhanaa tries to explore both these genres of Love.

Barring some rare scenes where you find the film needlessly flat, Raanjhanaa is engaging in every bits & pieces. Its able to keep the audience engrossed enough not to know when time passed & its popcorn break. A good effort by Anand Rai given this is only his second directorial venture after Tanu weds Manu. Talking of Music, A R Rahman lives up to his high standards & also shows how music can be used to fast forward the story. I had grown a liking for Irshad Kamil's poetry since the days of Rockstar. Here also, Rahman's music coupled with Irshad Kamil's lyrics has successfully weaved a melodious combo.

With all his constraints & limitations of language & looks, Dhanush has given a superlative performance. He seems real, pure & true all through. For a tamil actor to play a benarsi pandit character, that too in his first Hindi film can be a challenging task. That challenge was eased to an extent by tracing Kundan, the character of Dhanush to Tamil ancestry. Its no hyperbole to say that Raanjhanaa is a dream Bollywood début for Dhanush. The story starts with him, ends with him & it shows him as the truest character. With a guy-next-door features, whatever his dialogues are he wears his heart on his sleeves. To me, the best narration was when Kundan, the sadak-chhap pandit while breaking all ties with his love, an affluent Muslim girl Zoya, played by Sonam Kapoor says, "Tumse pyaar karna Mera talent tha, Tumhara nahi."

Zishaan Ayyub delivers his one-liner punches with aplomb. His character of Murari, the hero’s best friend has again left an impact as he did in Mere Brother ki Dulhan & Jannat. To me, the disappointment was Mr Arvind Gaur, a noted theatre personality synonymous with issues of social concern. Gaur's role of a third-rate politician, that too not performed to perfection makes him the weak link in Raanjhanaa. Sonam Kapoor has done better than her previous assignments & looks refreshingly innocent in some scenes. Abhay Deol, the fine actor that he is, plays a short cameo with a strong screen presence.

The second half is not as brilliant as the first one, neither in terms of class, nor in terms of entertainment. Talking of the humour element, the first half is a laugh riot against the serious political backdrop of second half. But, post interval Raanjhanaa does take a good dig at sarcasm. The scene where a group of left-thinking students discuss from night till morning upon what to do of a thief they had caught in their campus & why, after all he became a thief is a scathing satire on some of the pseudo-intellectuals. The night long left-oriented deliberations led them to a conclusion that the thief's poverty & unemployment were the reasons behind why he was one. Ironically, when asked earlier, this was exactly what the thief had answered the moment he was caught climbing the hostel wall furtively.

The concluding scene with Kundan on death bed, alongside a weeping Zoya beautifully summarises the story you've been watching for the last two & half hours. A Love that never sufficed is more pure than one that reached its culmination..!!

I'll rate Raanjhanaa (3.5 out of 5)..!!

June 18, 2013

Nitish Kumar to set up the Janta Institute of Advanced Secularism !

Janta Dal (United), in a high voltage meeting at Patna, has unanimously passed a resolution to set up an Institute for excellence in Research & Certification in Advanced Secularism. The proposal was tabled by none other than Nitish Kumar and consented by every member of the party amid vociferous support by Ali Anwar. Mr Shivanand Tiwari, who has had an experience of working with the two most self-proclaimed secular parties of India, i.e RJD & JDU, has been appointed the director of the Institute. It is to be noted that all permanent staff vacancies at the university is to be filled by JDU cadre. The decision saw party leaders scurrying with expectations eyeing coveted vacancies of professors at the university.

Meanwhile, Lalu Yadav has claimed that this institute was his brainchild and that Nitishwa has stolen his idea. The RJD supremo said, "Nitish Kumar is a du-muhwa saanp. I had once shared this concept with Sharad Yadav & Nitish Kumar when we were together in erstwhile Janta Dal. This Nitishwa is a thug."

May 2, 2013

100 years of Indian Cinema - The Journey : Part I

It’s Friday evening. You come back from office tired of the past hectic 5-day drawn test match. You have a couple of off days ahead, which you fondly call “weekend”. This slang of a word has turned out to be one of the most adorable words of our generation. So much so that, in a poll for the most beautiful words, “Weekend” came second only to “Mother”. ;)

Now coming back to the point, what do you do to celebrate your weekend?
Yes, you've got it right! Majority of us plan a movie to relieve us of the work-stress & to have some quality time with friends & family.

Cinema has become an extension of our culture and it has taken a lot of perseverance & effort to elevate this medium to a level where it is today. In India, Cricket & Cinema have something in common. i.e, Even if you don't follow Cricket or Cinema, you cannot remain untouched by its impact. 

Today, Indian Cinema is completing 100 years of an exhilarating journey. Let us flip pages of the past to dig out the remains of history and understand the impact of those torch bearers whose untiring efforts have led Bollywood to become the biggest film industry in terms of volume.

For brevity sake, I'll discuss the article in a two part series. This is the first one dealing with initial half of our cinematic journey. From Dada Saheb Phalke's humble beginnings to the golden era where storytellers like Satyajit Ray & superstars like Raj Kapoor ensured an Intellectually vibrant as well as a financially sound film industry. Next 50 years of this journey will be covered in my column the next week. Till then, hope you like reading the first fifty years.

January 17, 2013

नागा साधुओं का रहस्य..

इलाहाबाद के संगम पर महाकुम्भ शुरू हो चुका है।  भारत के अध्यात्मिक प्रभुत्व का सबसे ज्वलंत प्रतीक, धरती पर आस्था का सबसे बड़ा मेला!  बारह साल बाद हो रहे इस वृहद् महासमागम ने पूरे विश्व का ध्यान अपनी ओर आकृष्ट किया है।  लेकिन जिस एक पहलु ने हम सबको स्तब्ध किया है,  वो है नागा साधुओं का रहस्यमयी जीवन और उनके त्याग-समर्पण का वृहद् दर्शन

मेरा मानना है कि कम जानकारी और रहस्य किसी भी चीज़ का आकर्षण बढ़ा देता है।  नागा साधु भी हमारे आकर्षण का केंद्र रहे हैं क्यूंकि सिर्फ कुम्भ के दौरान ही ये अपनी बैरागी दुनिया से निकलकर हमारी पूँजीवादी दुनिया से रू-बरु होते हैं।  ...अरे नहीं नहीं, हम इनसे रू-बरु होते हैं; इनको भला क्या मतलब हमसे!

January 12, 2013

Swami Vivekananda - the Youth Icon..!!

The moment you hear 9/11, what strikes your mind?

Yes, most of us, even today, vividly remember the imageries of dreadful terror attacks on America. 9/11 is symbolic to a brutal launch of terrorism on an international scale.

But today, I would like to sway your attention towards a positive global event - the introduction of Vedanta & Yoga to the world ignorant of India's heritage & spiritual prowess, i.e. the launch of Hinduism on an international level.

Interestingly, this historic day was 9/11, when the World Parliament of Religions of 1893 took off in Chicago and Swami Vivekananda, a young chap in his twenties, stepped onto the world stage and presented Hinduism, the mother of all religions with a tint of nationalist flavour & left the audience spellbound.

I wish we remember 9/11 for what Vivekananda offered to us, than what an act of terror & hatred gave us.

My introduction to Swami ji was through a

August 20, 2012

Humour is the Fodder of a thinking Society.

“Satire is the enjoyable compensation for being forced to think.” The title of my probing write-up is derived from this famous quote by Edgar Johnson. Yes, Humour is a fodder and I do mean it!

Our ability to communicate and express in the best possible ways differentiates us from other living beings. In fact, its the foundation stone of what we basically are - Humans. But, isn't it unfortunate that humanity's biggest challenge has been to regulate this strength to good intent?!

In the past few months, some very interesting observations from two different geographical co-ordinates of the globe reflect contrasting human behaviours. Lets have a look.

1. Britain: A campaign named "Feel Free to Insult Me" supported by many Parliamentarians demanding reforms in a Law that bans "Insulting words or behaviour" in public in the name of Free Speech.

2. India: Another campaign sarcastically named "Help, We're Insulted" supported by nearly all the MPs demanding removal of a historic Cartoon from NCERT text books in the name of Free Speech Abuse.

While we in India were facing an ignominious cartoon controversy, our counterparts in Britain were demanding to remove the word "Insulting" from Section 5 of their 1986 Public Order Act deliberating that the law caused many arrests & penalties to people simply making jokes. The world, in general, is trying hard to draw the realms of free speech and India, in particular, languishes in intolerance and dirty politics.

March 28, 2012

Sahir Ludhianvi -A Romantic Rebel..!!

Right from the era of Aristotle to these days there have been numerous attempts to define Poetry. Every Thinker, Philosopher & Writer has had his say but Poetry could never be defined to precision.

This ultimate art form has always had as much of impact upon me as any other artistic manifestation. Friends, I have something interesting to share. As a boy in high-school, I always believed Hindi Poetry was a fiefdom of writers from UP/Bihar until I grew up to know Sahir Ludhianvi. I grew increasingly fond of his lyrics. In fact, my yet-to-be-developed mind had so strong a conviction for all good writers belonging to Bihar & UP that i could have assumed Ludhiana to be somewhere near Bhagalpur, had my knowledge of Geography been any weaker.

Yes! Sahir was the one who busted my childish myth and further went on to develop in me an admiration for the pen of Punjab. I grew up through my teens and came to know about more such iconic poets. For me, it was a surprising revelation. This was the land of Faiz, Bulleh Shah, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Waris Shah, Amrita Pritam and so on. Mature & Learned, I looked out of Bihar and found people outside could also think!! You can pardon me, for those were my school days and it was a process of enlightenment.

My journey of understanding the literary acumen of Punjab could never have started but for this legendary lyricist of Indian cinema. Deliberating on writers & poets from the land of five rivers, or for that matter the Punjabi/Urdu literature is a topic I can never do justice with. Neither am I that qualified, nor have the authority. So, I would restrain myself to Sahir Ludhianvi and intend to shed some concentrated light on him. Sahir's indomitable personality is as much a topic of discussion as is his breathtaking poetry.

One of the legends of Urdu Poetry, he could easily touch & strike a chord with the audience with words deep and profound in meaning. Born Abdul Hayee on March 8, 1921 at Ludhiana, Sahir Ludhianvi too had his shades of grey, his imperfections which tendered beauty to an attractive personality. Sure, he was Arrogant, Egotist and an antonym of humbleness by the mildest of standards as the critics would say. But no one can deny the fact that he was an iconoclast, a crusader and a maverick. His roller coaster life can be best underlined by his own song "Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, har fiqr ko dhuwein mein udaata chala gaya." This composition from Hum Dono picturised on DevAnand succinctly describes his debonair life story.

From an ideological point of view, his was a voice against Capitalism, Supression, Corruption & Materialism. With such communist undertones, the Faizian genre was quite evident in Sahir's writings.

A tendency to fight for his beliefs and rights came naturally to him. He was the first ever song writer to get royalties from Music companies after a bitter struggle and his insistence on writing the song before its music was composed was against the usual Bollywood norms and tradition. He once demanded a rupee more than what was paid to Lata Mangeshkar and it was indeed for his efforts that All India Radio began crediting lyricists alongwith singers & musicians before playing a song. Sahir Ludhianvi was a crusader and that too a bitter(talkh) one for many. I must say his collection of urdu poetry is aptly titled -Talkhiyan.

Raj Kapoor starrer "Fir Subah Hogi.." was an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel "Crime & Punishment". Shankar Jaikishan, as usual, was the obvious choice of Raj Kapoor for this 1958 film. But, Sahir had other plans. He insisted on a musician who had read Fyodor's novel. Ultimately, Sahir's choice, Khayyam superceded and a highly acclaimed song "Woh Subah kabhi toh ayegi.." was born. The song showcases a huge contrast between reality and the poet's hopes for future.
"Jinhe naaz hai Hind par wo kahan hain.." and "Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai.." from Guru Dutt's Pyasa are sublime proofs of his contemplative mind at a very young age.

Talking of lyrics, words can not be arranged any better than in "Chalo ek baar fir se Ajnabi ban jayein.." from Gumrah(1963). The power of words manifested makes it my personal favourite. At the same time, this song also prompts me to talk a bit about Sahir's tumultous Love life.

Renowned Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam got her surname from a marriage to Pritam Singh, a Lahore merchant, but, she was best known as an ardent admirer of Sahir Ludhianvi. She left her husband and had a relation with Sahir which ended when Sahir fell for Sudha Malhotra. Heartbroken Amrita found solace in Imroz, a lesser known artist and Sahir remained a bachelor throughout his life.

Some of today's senior journalists recollect how during a press conference Amrita Pritam wrote Sahir's name hundreds of times on a sheet of paper. "Mann rey tu kaahe na dheer dhare.." so very well suits the fickle mind of the artist.

The biggest contribution of such classic writers is that they enhance the power of written communication and Sahir's poetry has truly created a benchmark for future generations. We had this song from Kabhi Kabhi "Main pal do pal ka shayar hun.." where Sahir further writes.. "Kal koi mujhko yaad kare, kyun koi mujhko yaad kare? Masroof zamaana mere liye kyun waqt apna barbaad kare." This was the only time he got himself wrong and the only point where I don't endorse his words because aur kuchh ho na ho, Sahir ko zamaana yaad zarur rakhega, chahe kitna bhi Masroof ho jaye......

March 20, 2012

Chambal to Kolkata: A Paradigm shift in Indian Cinema -Backdrop playing the Protagonist!

Every story has a backdrop, a background, a medium where the plot is set. And a good story teller never misses this integral build-up to the plot. A story is best when it can vividly describe the settings and sidings. He who has been able to create pictures and scenes in the beholder's mind, is surely one of the best in business.

These guidelines are just some of the basic rules of thoughtful story-telling.

But Wait! I recently watched two movies in a week's time. Tigmanshu Dhulia's "Paan Singh Tomar" and the other one was "Kahaani" directed by Sujoy Ghosh. Both of them with gripping storylines as have many other hindi cinemas been. Yet, there was something else about them that made me think & wonder.

January 15, 2012

अनंत आशाएं..

बड़ी रात हो गयी है
दूर दूर शांत सा
उम्मीद के उपहास सा
घनघोर अन्धकार है

पर हृदय में कहीं
इस दृश्य से परे
अजब सी है खलबली
प्रकाश ही प्रकाश है|

इस निशा की गोद में
जहाँ चाँद भी दिखे नहीं
वियोग हो समाज में
और आस कोई है नहीं

फिर भी हर स्वप्न में
संभावना अनंत दिखे
आस का सहर नया
सूर्य की किरण दिखे|

November 20, 2011

तेरा आना..

 नशीली आँख में बादल का छाना
तेरा आना है
अकेली रात में नींदें उड़ाना
तेरा आना है!

जो हम ख़्वाबों से भी फ़क़त इश्क कर बैठे
वो सपनो की स्याही से लिपटकर तेरा आना है!

मेरी हर बात में
एहसास में
हर सांस में ख़ुशबू
हरेक अलफ़ाज़ में जादू 
मेरी वो चाल बेकाबू हो जाना
तेरा आना है!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...