Monday, August 28, 2006

Death, a Poem and a History Lost

Maut to ek kavitaa hai,
mujhse ek kavita ka vada hai milegi mujhko,
doobti nabzon mein jab dard ko neend aane lage.
zard sa chehra lekar jab chaand ufaq tak pahunche,
din abhi paani mein ho, raat kinaare ke kareeb,
na andhera na ujaala ho, na abhi raat na din.
jism jab khatm ho aur rooh ko jab saans aaye,
mujhse ek kavita ka waada hai milegi mujhko.
- From the movie 'Anand' .

Roughly Translated as:

Death is but a poem,
And I have a promise from a poem that I would meet her.
While pain sleeps in slowly sinking veins,
and a scar faced moon reaches its peak..
While the day is yet in the waters and the night at the shores,
It would be neither too dark nor bright, not yet day nor night,
When the body ends and the soul breathes its first,
I have a promise from a poem that I will meet her.

The fantastic thing about Hrishikesh Mukherjee was that most of his movies were about the ordinary Indian in an ordinary day to day life facing extraordinary circumstances and this made his genre of movies very endearing to the masses. A genre that is lost today in exaggerated grandiloquence, designer clothes and NY locales.

Anand was probably the one movie which brought the biggest lump in my throat while watching Rajesh Khanna smile in the face of death. Milee, Golmaal and Chupke Chupke had a pristine sense of humour and Abhimaan was a brilliant musical that doesn't lose its authenticity on the silver screen.

Now that Hrishi da is gone, I wonder if the newer generation would even know that such fantastic movies were ever made. I belong to a generation that has watched these movies at the behest of my parents whose time these movies belong to. Would movie goers 20 years later ever know there was something called Eastman color? Would they know about Guru Dutt? Will they ever see the beautiful faces of Waheeda Rehman and Madhubala in black and white? Or is it our duty to make sure they do?

I believe we all act as historians in all aspects of life. Our views, opinions, memories and biases are a legacy that has been given to us for refinement and preservation. It will be given to those willing to listen in due course of time.
So I shall speak of the passing of a Legend.


Pollyanna said...

I can't think of a more fitting tribute. :-)

Sandy said...

I'll make sure my children watch his movies for sure ...

A DVD-collection of his movies is a must for this purpose.

Nice tribute

Saturday Night Takeout said...

Very very nice post. Really.

Anonymous said...

Good post dude!
It is a perfect description of his movies. "Ordinary people having ordinary lives and experiencing extrodinay circumstances"
Chug on!

Lalbadshah said...

@pollyanna, pi: Thank you, Thank you very much! :)

@sandy: Yup.. definitely gonna start a collection as soon as I can afford one :D.

@Jeevan: Yes. Still think he is one of the best we ever had. Thanks da!