I curiously awaited the screening of the movie “Ship of Theseus“, which had managed to elicit great remarks from leading directors of Indian cinema landscape. The film festival in Allahabad, organised by Dainik Jagran, provided me an opportunity to watch this movie. In eyes of Shekhar Kapoor, the movie marked the arrival of “a brilliant new filmmaker” while Shyam Benegal could not resist himself from stating that it’s a “rare film that engages your mind, emotions and senses in equal measure providing the viewer a cinematic experience that is both hugely entertaining and stimulating”. The movie was inspired from the dilemma whether or not the object remains same if its components undergo total replacement. In this movie the promising young director, Anand Gandhi, has interconnected three different short stories, each dealing with a different issue, but underlying theme remains the same. The first one dealt with visually impaired photographer, who lost her intuitive ability to capture striking images after a successful cornea transplant operation. The second story depicted an ailing monk, questioning life and death via his ongoing fight for rights of animals meant for conducting experiments during preparation of medicines. The third and the final story highlighted corrupt practices prevalent in medical world, wherein a stockbroker tries to place in dock persons involved in organ trade racket.
I am not the sort of person to go entirely by the rave reviews by big names from the world of cinema. In fact, even the sentiments of well-known directors fail to impress me. “Seeing is believing” has always been the principle which defined my approach, especially while anticipating the worth of a movie. And thus, contrary to the general consensus, I found the acting of Aida El-Kashef ( Aliya in movie as visually impaired photographer) and Farza Khan (Aliya’s live-in-boyfriend in the movie) absolutely horrible. The exhibition of emotions was synthetic and loud. Great movies do not begin that way. The agony that should have hit her, in the aftermath of loss of her intuitive abilities, never got reflected in her mannerism. The saving grace came in the form of crispy thought provoking dialogues: “Does reality exist when no one is looking?” It’s the deep concerns which the characters portray compensates the poor acting.
The movie gained substance with the arrival of crazy monk Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi). Not only humour element got elevated but even the thematic shortcomings got balanced due to superb acting skills demonstrated by Neeraj Kabi and Vinay Shukla ( Carvaka in the movie). This part of the movie successfully conveyed that contradictions rules the lives and a perfect life is healthy assimilation of contradictions. A person should not be too rigid while pursuing noble cause since it comes in the way of fulfillment of goals. It might also limit one’s ability to make better choices. The rigidity displayed by Maitreya is in the eyes of Carvaka- the lawyer who believed in learning arguments of both the sides- was not very different than fundamentalism exhibited by a suicide bomber! This lawyer, follower of Pastafarianism, induces great deal of pragmatism when he tries to create a fitting place for the contradictions. Anyway, Maitreya does impress us all when he places reasons above crude sentimentality!
Well, it’s crude sentimentality which always makes its presence felt in Indian movies. It’s not always the case that movies devoid of melodramatic elements manage to evoke mass attention. The average Indian cinema lover’s connection with melodrama is so intense that a director’s take on critical issue without this element is akin to self-goal in football! Anand Gandhi, at least, need to be credited for the fact that he manages to tell the story for Indians without being in awe of sentimentality! The last scene of the story showing the monk’s decision to live the life fully proves one thing quite well that healthy compromises for an elevated cause is not a bad thing. Well, the monk didn’t talk of Krishna’s Bhagvad Geeta but I feel the realization of monk is on par with view of Lord Krishna who in Bhagvad Gita stated that “every profession is world is tainted by some flaw”. So the summum bonum is: Healthy compromise should not prick the conscience!
The stockbroker’s case in the movie is pretty interesting but I need to differ from the reviews which have appeared in mainstream media and elsewhere that humour element in this part delight us. That’s not true. The humour appears as some sort of forced entry into a well structured plot. It also baffles me that reviewers have ignored some greater aspects related with this part of the movie wherein an young stockbroker trails the missing recipient of the stolen kidney! The reviewers failed to remember the heated conversation between stockbroker and his maternal grandmother, who happens to be progressive thinker, confined to ideological orientations spread in progressive literature churned out by the leftist. The impression she generates, and which irritates this guy working for American companies, is that one can pursue a noble cause only when one is in tune with such literature. The young stockbroker hits hard at her this “fallacious notion” when he tries to ensure justice for the poor labourer. The another myth which gets shattered ( and I really found it pretty interesting) is that fight for greater cause leads to its perfect attainment. Ask a real life hero and you would realize that he/she often feels cheated. The people for whom he/she comes to fight often leave their saviour in the lurch. The stockbroker wanted justice in real terms for this unfortunate labourer whose kidney got stolen for a rich foreigner ( the recipient). The labourer retracts from his promises after his petty interests get fulfilled. The protagonist has to remain contend with limited achievement.
In real life also we find that similar dilemma occurs. For instance, the moment one tries to make the purpose of education an extension of values, one has to face stiff resistance for all quarters of society, which feels that only purpose of education is to earn huge money, no matter if it means adoption of unethical means. The film does not end with a specific message but it does symbolically shows via the passage through the cave that life is full of immense possibilities, which allows nurturing of different perspectives. Hope we come to choose the one which best serves the cause of not only humanity but also our own personal causes close to heart!
भारतीय फिल्मो ने सौ सालो का फासला तय कर लिया है। ये अवधि काफी है इसके कुछ गुण दोषों पर नज़र डालने के लिये। भारतीय फिल्मी नायिकाओ के उत्थान पतन का जिक्र करना जरूरी है। भारतीय नायिकाओ के इस चरित्र को आधुनिक काल के दो अभिनेत्रियों मनीषा कोईराला और उर्मिला मातोंडकर के अभिनय ग्राफ पर नज़र डालने से बेहतर समझा जा सकता है। इसके पहले इस बात का जिक्र करना जरूरी हो जाता है कि जबसे भारतीय फिल्मे बन रही है तब से नायिकाओ का काम केवल पेड़ के आस पास टहल घूम कर नाचने कूदने का भर का ही था। अब भी कुछ नहीं बदला है। झरने की जगह स्विमिंग पूल आ गया है। पहले नायिकाएं कूल थी अभिव्यक्ति के मामले में पर जब से “वुमन ऑफ़ सब्सटेंस” का अवतरण हुआ तब से वो और अधिक बोल्ड हो चली है। कम कपड़ो में भी शालीनता की रक्षा की वकालत हो रही है। पहले महिला निर्देशकों, गीतकारो का अकाल सा था लेकिन अब ऐसा नहीं है। लेकिन इसके बाद भी ये कहा नहीं जा सकता कि नायिकाओ के स्पेस में कोई गुणात्मक परिवर्तन आया हो। जो स्थिति पहले थी वो अब भी है। या यूँ कहे कि अब जब पैसा बनाने की हवस, कॉर्पोरेट और माफियाओ का गठजोड़ अपने चरम उफान पर है तो गुणात्मक परिवर्तन की अपेक्षा रखना तारो का दिन में उगने का ख्वाब देखने के सामान है।
उर्मिला मातोंडकर और मनीषा कोईराला के करियर पर दृष्टि डालने से फ़िल्म में नायिकाओ के महत्त्व की एक दिलचस्प तस्वीर उभर कर आती है। मै मूलतः मेनस्ट्रीम सिनेमा की बात कर रहा हूँ। कला फिल्मो में तो हम देखते है शबाना आज़मी, स्मिता पाटिल, सुहासिनी मूले इत्यादि अभिनेत्रियों ने अच्छा काम किया और इसके साथ ही मेनस्ट्रीम सिनेमा में अच्छा काम किया। ये अलग बात है स्टार वैल्यू प्रधान मुख्य धारा के सिनेमा में इनके लिए ज्यादा कुछ करने के लिए था नहीं। सुष्मिता सेन जो कि एक्टिंग टैलेंट में ऐश्वर्या से कही आगे थी उनको तो आज के महिला निर्देशकों के उपस्थिति के बाद ज्यादा कुछ करने को नहीं मिला लेकिन फूहड़ अभिनय करने वाली ऐश्वर्या राय की झोली में कई बड़े बैनर की फिल्मे आयी। हर फ़िल्म में बकवास अभिनय करने के बाद भी आप बदन उघाड़े ऐश्वर्या को कैनंस फ़िल्म समारोह में देख सकते है। इसी से समझ में आ जाता है कि पॉपुलर सिनेमा में टैलेंट कम काम आता है कुछ और सतही समीकरण ज्यादा काम आता है।
उर्मिला ने मुमताज़ की तरह ही बचपन से फिल्मो में काम करना शुरू कर दिया। पिंजर और सत्या जैसी फिल्मो में काम कर चुकी उर्मिला एक बेहद समर्थ अभिनेत्री है लेकिन कैसी बिडम्बना है कि हमारी फ़िल्म इंडस्ट्री ने इन्हें बदन प्रधान अभिनेत्रियों में अग्रिम पंक्तियों ला खड़ा किया। इसके बाद वो राम गोपाल वर्मा कैम्प तक ही सिमट के रह गयी है। लेकिन आप उर्मिला की फिल्मे देखे तो समझ में आएगा कि वेस्टर्न वर्ल्ड ने जो एक्टिंग के मापदंड तय किये है उनमे उर्मिला शानदार रूप से खरी उतरती है। बल्कि उनसे बीस ही है क्योकि डांसिंग टैलेंट में अभी विदेशी अभिनेत्रियाँ इतनी सक्षम नहीं है जितनी की उर्मिला है। ये आपको तब दिखता है जब आप चमत्कार फ़िल्म में ट्रेन कम्पार्टमेंट में फिल्माया बिच्छू गीत देखते है।
अभिनय की जिस बारीकियो को उर्मिला ने “कौन” फ़िल्म में प्रदर्शित किया वो किसी साधारण टैलेंट से ओतप्रोत अभिनेत्री के बूते के बाहर है। इसलिए खेद होता है कि इतनी सक्षम अभिनेत्री को मुख्यधारा सिनेमा में बदन दिखाऊ दौड़ में शामिल होना पड़ा। एक सक्षम अभिनेत्री को रेस में बने रहने के लिए क्यों बदन दिखाने की कला में आगे रहना पड़ता है? ये परिपाटी किसने स्थापित की? आप कह सकते है बाज़ार की बड़ी पूँजी लगी होती है पर पूँजी तो हालीवुड की फिल्मो में हमसे अच्छी लगती है पर टैलेंट से वो तो समझौता नहीं करते! खैर आज की नयी अभिनेत्रियों को देखे तो कुछ एक नामो को छोड़ दे तो अधिकतर के पाद टैलेंट तो कुछ नहीं लेकिन बिकनी पहनने में संकोच ना करने के कारण वो मुख्य धारा में कामयाब है। यहाँ तक कि एक हाल की अभिनेत्री ने जिसने पहली फ़िल्म में साधारण औरत का किरदार किया था उसने भी अपनी अगली ही एक अन्य फ़िल्म में बिकनी में आगाज़ किया!
मनीषा कोईराला के उदाहरण से आपको ये समझ में आ जाएगा कि हमारे यहाँ टैलेंट की समझ और परख कितनी है। मनीषा ख़ामोशी, बॉम्बे, गुप्त, मन और अकेले हम और अकेले तुम में शानदार अभिनय करने के बाद हाशिये पर चले गयी। यहाँ तक कि उनको अपने को सुर्खियों में रहने के लिए निम्न स्तर की फिल्मो में काम करना पड़ा। साफ़ है कि उगते सूरज को सलाम करने वाली इस इंडस्ट्री ने मनीषा को तज दिया। आज कैंसर से जूझती मनीषा को इंडस्ट्री संज्ञान में लेना उचित नहीं समझती। स्पष्ट है ग्लोबल वर्ल्ड में जो पैसा पैदा कर सकता है चाहे चमड़ी बेचकर ही क्यों न बस उसी की क़द्र है। टैलेंट है तो ठीक और नहीं है तब भी ठीक अगर आप पैसा पैदा करने के समीकरण में फिट बैठते है तो। सनी लियोन और वीना मालिक का चमकता सितारा तो यही बताता है। उर्मिला और मनीषा के प्रतिभा को सलाम कि इस अंधे युग में भी टैलेंट के महत्त्व को बरकरार रखा।
दीप्ति नवल को हम हमेशा, रैकेट चलाने वाली के रूप में नही, वरन एक बेहद प्रतिभाशाली अभिनेत्री के रूप में याद रखेंगे।
दीप्ति नवल प्रकरण से मुझे काफी झुंझलाहट हुई। ये समझ में आने लगा है कि मीडिया का स्तर ना सिर्फ रसातल में चला गया है बल्कि ये अब किसी के साफ़ सुथरे दामन में कीचड पोतने का सबसे कारगर तरीका बन गया है। नहीं तो मीडिया को क्या जरुरत थी कि इस बात को प्रचारित करने कि दीप्ति को आख़िरकार “प्रोष्टिट्यूशन डेन” से मुक्ति मिली। जबकि मामला सिर्फ ये था कि उसने अपना पुराना घर कालोनी की सोसिएटी के कर्ता-धर्ता लोगो की बदसलूकी की वजह से छोड़ा जो उसकी निजता का सम्मान नहीं कर रहे थें।
दीप्ति नवल ने शायद बातो ही बातो में अपना दुखड़ा किसी पत्रकार सें क्या शेयर किया कि उसकी बाते तोड़ मरोड़कर मीडिया की सुर्खियाँ बन गयी। आप कह सकते है कि ऐसी बात चश्मे-बद्दूर के दौरान होने का सीधा सा मतलब ये है कि फ़िल्म को प्रमोट करने का ये स्टंट भर था। इस सरलीकरण के पीछे तर्क सिर्फ ये हो सकता है कि पब्लिसिटी कैसी भी हो फलदायी होती है। तो क्या एक समर्थ अदाकारा के इतने बुरे दिन आ गए कि चाहे सही में या झूठ में उसे अपने अस्तित्व के लिए ऐसे खबरों के दम पर निर्भर रहना पड़े?
माना कि ये भी एक कडवी सच्चाई है कि फ़िल्म एक्ट्रेस या एक्टर्स को बुरे दिनों में हर तरह के समझौते करने पड़ते है लेकिन ये स्वीकारने में बेहद तकलीफ है कि नियति ने दीप्ति को भी गलत राहो पर धकेल दिया। दीप्ति की कठोर प्रतिक्रिया मिलने के बाद ये समझ में आ रहा है कि ऐसा कुछ भी नहीं जैसा मीडिया दर्शा रहा है। ये मीडिया का सुर्खिया बटोरने की कला का नमूना भर था। दीप्ति नवल हमेशा साफ़ सुथरी फिल्मो में बहुत शशक्त अभिनय के लिए ही याद रखी जायेंगी। ये वाकई कलियुग है कि कोई किसी के उजले चरित्र से कुछ सीखता तो नहीं लेकिन उसके उजले दामन में कालिख पॊतने के सौ बहाने ढूंढ लेता है। ऐसे पत्रकार जो दूसरों की बदनामी पर पलते है ऐसे लोगो को पत्रकारिता जगत से बाहर कर देना चाहिए। इनसे पत्रकार नाम से उपजने वाले समस्त सरोकारों से कोई सम्बन्ध ना रखने दिया जाए। अगर मार्कंडेय काटजू कि बात माने तो ऐसे लोगो से उनके पत्रकार सम्बन्धी लाइसेंस को खारिज कर देना चहिये। बहरहाल पत्रकारिता के नाम पर जो तमाशे हो रहे है वो दुखद है।
I have never been die hard fan of Yash Chopra’s movies. His romantic angles mired in illicit relationship always left me appalled. He was a noted filmmaker having Midas touch for conceiving interesting themes, hinging around three people in one single relationship, either due to providence or chance. His penchant for such complex relationships, on par with illicit love affairs, could be gauged from the fact that barring his early years of film making when he made gems like Waqt, Dharamputra, Ittefaq, Mashaal, Trishul, Deewar and Kala Patthar, nearly all his movies in later years depicted adultery in one or other form. It can be safely opined that his movies, both explicitly and implicitly, promoted illegal relationships. That’s pretty unfortunate as filmmaker of his caliber should have been more sensible in application of his mind.
He had the brilliant ability to present romance with all its elements in grand style. The grandeur and colourful imagery noticeable in his movies takes away our breath. It’s true that average cine-goer likes to flirt with unfulfilled dreams and wishes as he/she enters inside the theater, and tries to dissolve the harsh realities in the silken world appearing and disappearing on the silver screen. Any average filmmaker is not very much interested in exposing his viewers to shades of realism. Yash Chopra understood this well and so in his movies we have characters, borrowed straight from Mills and Boon novels, flirting with their ladies against scenic backdrop. No wonder Swiss government honoured Yash Chopra for promoting tourism in Switzerland!
To make his romance stories gain some substance, he was but compelled to fall in the arms of “illicit relationship” so as to provide some shock value to his films. However, he lacked the ability to seriously contemplate over any issue, which demanded deep attention, but in the same genre his brother B R Chopra exhibited the art of serious presentation in an effortless manner. That’s why B R Chopra’s “Gumrah”, having adultery as central theme, depicted the conflict emanating out of such relationship quite well. Yash Chopra’s movies based on the same plot stand nowhere to pathos exhibited in Gumrah. Yash was more governed by the desire to emerge as a successful director in the genre of popular cinema despite being person of immense capabilities. He was a pure entertainer, who used “arrival of third person” as perfect masala element to make his movies mint money. That’s why we cannot contrast him with likes of Raj Kapoor. He failed to attain the stature of Raj Kapoor, who was also governed by the desire to emerge as great entertainer but with a difference: Raj’s sensitivity always managed to find a suitable cause, which under his brilliant directorial treatment ripped apart our emotions. In fact, lot is said about depiction of grandeur/ style in his movies but Gulshan Rai and Feroz Khan stand miles ahead of him even in this department.
Let’s take into cognizance “illicit relationship” – a dominant feature of his movies. He should not have roped in this angle unless he had enough reasons to substantiate his viewpoint. For instance, let’s take “Darr” promoted as a violent love story. What was Yash Chopra trying to demonstrate? That Sunny Deol (husband) has to be equally cunning, powerful and mad like Shah Rukh Khan (lover) to save his wife from the shrewd moves. The greatest irony is that evil gets checkmated by good doesn’t sound convincing in the end when evil enjoys the upper hand, dancing with some else’s beloved for most of the time. One of the salient features of movies made by Yash Raj Films has been that one has to be shrewd and street smart to emerge as a winner. Idealism is of little use in world dominated by market-oriented world, wherein end justifies the means. That’s the guiding principle of protagonists appearing in “Trishul” and “Deewar”. Aditya Chopra’s “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” highlights the same trait. The protagonist even as he is reluctant to run away with his beloved, enters into ridiculousness and pathetic gestures to woo his would be wife. The success of this movie is remark on the declining standards of a viewer’s approach towards cinema.
That’s the aberration which marred the movies churned out by Yash Raj Films. The movies having candyfloss flavour, embedded in synthetic sentiments, depicted a section of society, which barely depicted the real face of India. For instance, Salaam Namaste was entirely shot in Australia, talked about reunion of two lovers, caught in problems born out of “laid-back lifestyle”. Hum Tum, Mohabbatein, Dil To Pagal Hai and etc. turned out be old wine in new bottle. Even patriotic perceptions were effectively used in ”Chak De India” to keep the cash box ringing. The point is that Yash Chopra and his successors have realized this pretty well that market forces and not the theme of the movie, which ensures success or failure. The global world, which made the boundaries meaningless, opened new markets, and, therefore, themes also got focused on people who sustained these markets. Both Bollywood and Hollywood rely on stereotyped emotions to make their movies emerge as blockbuster. So scenic landscape, stunning faces, big cars and pulsating music became the essential ingredients of romantic movies be its made by Yash Chopra or anyone else from Hollywood.
Some might find it unpalatable, and unbearable as well, to treat his movies as promoter of illegal relationships. However, it’s not a misplaced belief when one becomes aware of the fact that cinema, life and society are intimately linked to each other. Chandni, Dhool Ka Phool, Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila, Doosra Aadmi, Darr, Faasle, Lamhe, Daag, Aaina, Yeh Dillagi and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan to name a few, more or less, had controversial themes, wherein secret lover or illicit relationship added a complex twist to the story line. It’s a cliche to state that cinema borrows its concept from society. The ultimate truth is that it borrows the clues from society, exaggerates them, turning them into saleable scripts and, in the process, creates scope for more distorted themes. In a combined research conducted by the ” American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the National Institute of Mental Health” to establish the negative impact of movies on youths in USA, it was clearly established that “just as every cigarette increases the chance that someday you will get lung cancer, every exposure to violence increases the chances that some day a child will behave more violently than they otherwise would.”
The point is when you are genuinely depicting the harsh realities of life, be it centered on illegal relationship, it adds a new dimension in your understanding but when you use such themes to carve unrealistic presentation, merely to ensure commercial success, it’s altogether a different story. Yash Chopra was more conscious of commercial success then ensuring a perfect treatment to a substantial story line. Ironically, Mahesh Bhatt also used illicit relationship as effective plot but he ensured that he remained close to the real life. Anyway, Yash Chopra makes me realize that attaining success is different thing than doing good work which makes difference in lives of people. He got success by promoting flawed romance, which served no greater cause other than ensuring flow of money.
साहिर मेरे पसंदीदा गीतकार रहे है क्योकि उनके गीतों में कोरा आदर्शवाद नहीं था और ना ही उनमे भटकाव भरी रूमानियत थी . भजन भी उनके कलम से निकलता था तो ऐसा लगता था कि जिंदगी को ही सच मानने वाले ने परम सत्ता से कैसे सम्बन्ध बना लिया ? कहने का मतलब उनके अनुभव का दायरा विशाल था और इस बात को समझना लगभग नामुमकिन है कि कैसे वे विपरीत छोरो पर विचरण कर लेते थे एक वक्त में ही.
अब ये गीत ही देखिये. भारतीय दर्शन की एक जबरदस्त झलक दिखती है इस गीत में. एक प्रोग्रेसिव शायर की कलम से निकला है ये दार्शनिक गीत. है ना ये अजूबा!! ये गीत मुझे बहुत रूहानी सुकून देता है. सच में ये जीवन एक साबुन का बुलबुला है कब ये फूट जाए कोई नहीं कह सकता. कब हम अनंत की यात्रा में निकल जाए इस माया को छोड़कर जिससे हम चिपके रहते है कोई कह नहीं सकता. इसी अनंत की रहस्यमय यात्रा की तरफ इशारा करता है साहिर का ये गीत. ये तो सब जानते है कि इसी अनंत की यात्रा की कहानी है हमारा भारतीय दर्शन.
संसार की हर शय का इतना ही फ़साना है
गीतकार: साहिर संगीत: रवि चलचित्र: धुंध (1973) आडिओ संस्करण: http://smashits.com/dhund/sansar-ki-har-shae/song-72665.html Pic credit: साहिर
अगर ये गीत इतना अश्लील ना होता तो आधुनिक गीतों की माला में शान से चमक रहा होता ..आश्चर्य है कि डेल्ही बेल्ली के गीत पे इतना हंगामा मचा पर अश्लीलता के सर्वोच्च पायदान पर खड़े इस गीत पर किसी की नज़र नहीं गयी..इससें तो यही समझ में आता है कि सेंसर बोर्ड नाम की संस्था को खल्लास कर देना चाहिए.
हा मै इस “कुत्ताप्रधान” गीत की इसलिए तारीफ करना चाहूँगा कि कम से कम इसने इस सच्चाई को सटीक शब्दों में दर्शाया कि कैसे आज की औरते /लड़किया मर्दों के गले में कुत्ते का पट्टा डाल कर कुत्ते की तरह दम हिलाने पे मजबूर कर देती है “इश्क ” नाम के हसीन फरेब में फँसाकर. वैसे आजकल के स्त्रीनुमा मर्द है ही गले में पट्टा डालने लायक.
बंध गया पट्टा, देखो बन गया कुत्ता
बाँध इश्क का पट्टा देखो बन गया कुत्ता
बंध गया पट्टा, देखो बन गया कुत्ता
कुड़ी ने डाली बोटी, दूध भिगोई रोटी
अजी प्यार से पुचकारा
पुचु पुचु बोल पुकारा
अजी प्यार से पुचकारा
पुचु पुचु बोल पुकारा
तुने समझा की लव है
तू इसका अब रब है
कभी बजी जो घंटी
डोंट वारी माय फ्रेंड बंटी
वैसे गीत के बोल समूचे में आप यहाँ देख और सुन सकते है:
गीतकार: लव रंजन
संगीतकार :क्लिंटन सेरेजो, हितेश सोनिक
गायक : मीका सिंह
Pics Credit: Pic One
Kishore Kumar was a master singer. A real legendary singer capable of making songs attain height of perfection. His range of depicting various moods was amazing, which immortalized the songs. He was able to infuse various moods in the songs with total ease with no trace of strain at all. The various moods included the songs depicting pangs of separation, songs exhibiting deep intimacy, songs highlighting grief and inspirational songs which made one to combat tragedies of life never-say-die attitude. It needs to be recalled that one reason why he was so successful as a singer lies in his perfect understanding of the sensibilities associated with the world of movies.He was a good actor and director as well and that really helped him making the songs gain extraordinary dimension.
When I contrast his singing skills, his total devotion and his mannerism with the current lot of singers, I must say I am highly disappointed. Most of the singers look less like singers and more like actors seeking attention. The emergence of so-called music directors have further increased the woes. The tune which is often clumsy arrangement of mechanical beats apart from being second rated version of original foreign number is often beyond the reach of average listeners. Hearing these tunes and mindless lyrics, it becomes quite clear that these songs have been written to generate money. They have not been written to generate emotions. Market and not artistic sensibility is behind the birth of latest movie songs. It’s also quite clear that yesteryear singers and musicians despite lack of resources produced memorable numbers. Today’s musicians in league with hi-tech technology are coming out with silly versions of RD Burman and O. P. Nayyar songs.
1. O Sathi Re
This song from Muqaddar Ka Sikander(1978)is a masterpiece. It depicts pain of lost love in such a moving manner that the listener’s eyes often turn moist. The song also unfolds the meaning of true love via the bonds of friendship. The protagonist has already lost his love but still manages to confess his love in front of his lady love.
Music: Kalyanji Anandji
This song from movie Imtihaan has always helped me to gain normalcy whenever depressive tendencies made me sad and dejected. The song made me believe that to keep moving is life. I have always been chased by personal tragedies but this song like pole star always showed me the right way. And yes, the dynamic presence of Vinod Khanna lends an added charm to the song.
Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
This number from Raakhi Aur Hathkadi (1972) is my personal favourite for its brilliant orchestration. It displays typical Bollywood romance. Nice exchange of words amidst bright flowers and greenery. The voice of Asha makes the song more memorable. I often find that the songs from lesser heard movies, picturized on lesser known actors are very good ones. This song is a real gem for love birds!!
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
I am in all smiles whenever I see this song. The song from Padosan (1968) unfailingly proves that Kishore was a great actor besides being a great singer. An amazing song the way it highlights the shades of true comic sense. Compare it with the present ones which are nothing but meaningless stuff comprised of double meaning words. The song is also special in a sense that people are bound to burst into a fit of laughter even if watched in a mute mode!!
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan
The song from Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) is very special one for me. The song conveys a great message not to defame the personas of Rama and Krishna. In just few words, the song connects us with the eternal teachings of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna in a sober way without giving way to loudness. A very pleasing soft tune. A superb rendering by Kishore Da is icing on the cake.
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
I have listened this Bin Phere Hum Tere (1979) song so many times yet whenever I find someone playing this song I immediately draw myself more closer to that musical soul. It has such terrific verses, which suggest that love is all about union of soul than union of bodies. The song projects the need of self-oriented love than love that is trapped in rituals and physicality. I must also remember that Indeewar wrote lesser songs but all songs which flowed from his pen always struck chord with the listeners. One thing more. Take note of the fact that this song is brainchild of Usha Khanna- a female music director!!
Music: Usha Khanna
Well, the song sung by a male singer is enough to overshadow the real female voice! How many duet songs can you find on this planet, wherein even the female version apart from the male version had been sung by the male singer? This song from Half Ticket (1962) is the rarest of rare songs. The funny gestures of Kishore kumar dressed as a lady and Pran, make the song more sweeter than Bengali Rasgulla. I wonder how many singers can even get close to such modulation of voice, forget about singing that way?
Music: Salil Choudhary
This one from Amanush (1972) is always on my lips. Not because I am a “tragedy king” but it’s because the song conveys a great feeling that come a point in life when all relationships lose the lustre. There is always a phase of life when beautiful life around us lose meaning. The song conveys the feeling of those sad moments in an extraordinary way. Kishore makes the song more impressionable the way he blended depth of his voice with the depth inherent in the verses. Kudos to Shyamal Mitra , Indeevar and Uttam Kumar. None other than Uttam Kumar or Sanjeev Kumar would have added so much dark contours in the song. And yes, Kishore was awarded Filmfare for this song.
Music: Shyamal Mitra
This song from Bombay Ka Chor( 1962) unfolds the grief of a soul turned into a helpless soul by the strange turns of circumstances and destiny. Kishore has sung this song straight from the heart, revealing the dilemmas found in such soul in a soul-stirring manner. The song is bit tragic in tone but seen from other angle the song laments about the life’s hollowness for a real soul. The true lover never finds love but all so-called lovers are always engaged in love making.
Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan
This song for a soul lost in the mysteries of life holds a great meaning. The song is must for all the people who wish to seek the true face of human life. The song in such a powerful way unfolds the emptiness which environs the human life. It also highlights ephemeral nature of life which appears so bright and beautiful. I also love the song for its unique picturization.
Music: RD Burman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Let’s not commit the fatal blunder of treating Shah Rukh as an actor.A film star may or may not be an actor !Some are under the illusion that Shah Rukh is a star but I have kept myself at a safe distance from all such illusions. The survival of such stars who are icons of crude acting only proves that even idiots if sponsored by Lord have the ability to project them as men of wisdom. His presence makes you believe in the fact that a little talent backed up by strong marketing skills shall make anybody attain stardom in our Bollywood.The present age Bollywood is dominated by people who though are lesser actors but not devoid of talent to make huge money all by themselves.The people who proclaim that Shah Rukh is an actor are really ignorant of the fact that star is a different entity than an actor.
It’s not necessary that all stars should be actors.At the same time,it’s also not necessary that all actors emerge as great stars in the long run. Well,if you are an owner of well built body with awesome cute face the chances to emerge as star becomes certain if you own a calculative mind as well.The likes of Shah Rukh Khans have intercepted this formula of success quite well and hence managed to play a long inning in Bollywood.I am in no mood to honour the survival instincts of Shah Rukhs.For me the acting abilities and survival instincts of Charlie Chaplin,Ravi Baswani and Raghubir Yadav inspire me truly instead of being swayed by the success of Shah Rukh Khan.These men who depicted great acting abilities were not the ideal figures,being devoid of awesome face, to carve a niche for themselves in the glamour oriented world of cinema but then they struggled hard and came to attain great heights.I know quite well that it’s impossible task for the present Khan Brigade to attain such glorious heights even if they desired to do so.
I have come to the opinion that in our times earning quick money via skin show has become the only desired aim of all human beings-the real Purushartha(aims of human life). That has made owners of real talent victims of psychological disorders. They have come to shun the race to glory in the very beginning as they know they would not be able to mould themselves as desired by lesser values. They would not be able to depict that life is name of compromises.That means they are out of the race to glory.It’s quite evident that in our times the attributes to attain success have changed.
Sycophancy,bribery connections with influential people and other such short-cuts are the most wanted elements to emerge as successful person in modern world.Recently,I read in an news item that postings done in important institutions like Railways are now not decided merit wise but money wise.Isn’t this a discouraging sign for candidates who burn the midnight oil to emerge successful in the competitive examinations. Needless to say that have we really bothered to honour real talented guys,the nation would have been on right track. At present,we have wrong people enjoying high profile posts while the right ones are languishing in some dark corner. They are involved in insignificant jobs.
His survival story conveys a wrong message to upcoming actors that to be successful you have to be more body oriented than soul oriented. It needs to be remembered that our success story should give rise to better values.We have to remain conscious about the type of values we are promoting.The success of Shah Rukh makes us the worshiper of false beliefs. Like to draw a parallel. The Gen-Next cricket lovers might worship Yusuf Pathan and Misbah as stars on seeing them hitting six and fours with ease but the people who have seen likes of Ricahrds, Sandeep Patil, Boder,Bothem and Kapil Dev hitting sky high sixes on great deliveries would dare not trea pygmies as stars.Having watched the flicks of Ompuri and Naseeruddin Shah,it’s indeed hard for me to watch the crass performance of Shah Rukh.He talks about ‘method acting’ but in reality is a poor performer. If one indeed is interested in seeing a superb performance one needs to watch Naseer’s acting skills in Draupadi Cheerharan scene from Jaane Bhi Do Yaro.He has made the scene so hilarious via his dialogue delivery.It was his sheer presence that made the scene a classic one.
At this juncture,let us intercept the difference between art movies and commercial cinema.These are two different forms of movies and I am sure difference between the two forms shall always exist as they represent two different type of viewers. In my eyes any art medium intended at establishing a rapport with the viewers if loses sight of the fact that it’s principal aim is to enlighten the viewers and not intellectual meandering then it’s better to part ways with such an art medium.There is no need to get used to intellectual shit promoted in the name of art movies. It’s time to accept the fact that Indian viewers are interested in meaningful entertainment.Amitabh Bachchan sometimes made a ridiculous observation that in Indian film landscape there is no scope for type of stuff made in Hollywood. I disagree with Mr Bachchan. We can definitely make better movies touching complex episodes that hit human life and ,in fact,new breed of modern directors are experimenting with interesting issues.
I am sure if a director is really interested in establishing a bond with the viewers via the message highlighted in the movie,then a director would have to be innovative enough to come up with proper cocktail of serious and lighter elements.The sixth sense of such a director should enable him to have fine balance of both type of elements apart from using better technique.The problem with Indian movie makers is that while making a movie they are involved in many vain equations dealing with the promotion of movies.That ultimately deviates them from primary task of shaping the theme of the movie.
We have all watched so many times Gandhi made by Richard Attenborough.It’s a wonderful movie.I am sure had we made the same movie,we would have either stuffed it with melodramatic elements ,leading to death of historicity, or we would have turned the movie into a documentary in an attempt to be close to the reality !I am happy the directors like Shekhar Kapoor and Rajkumar Hirani have understood this truth quite well that a movie should be fine blend of serious and comic elements in a sensitive manner.They have shown us how to blend the elements borrowed from art and commercial movies in a perfect way that not only entertain the viewers but also enable them to get lost in deep introspection.We have to further refine the art of presenting serious themes in viewer friendly manner.