Friday, May 26, 2006

Dheemi aanch pe tu zara ishq chadha

My immediate reaction to Rang de Basanti was severe disappointment. So swayed was I by its theme, the build-up of the first half, the immense potential of the story, I was bitter at its eventual derailment. I didn’t dislike it so much as disapproved. Strongly.

Some time has passed, and with it comes moderation. I must admit that my aversion to the experience hasn’t eclipsed the beauty of Prasoon Joshi’s poetry in the film. Fresh, vigorous, spontaneous and so very evocative.

Listening to the songs now makes me realise that the filmmakers were completely seduced by the idea of spilling blood. There simply had to be deaths, multiple deaths, massacres. They were convinced: young alpaayashoos, insane moths flying into the flames; flickering licks of fire roaring into tall flames, young vehshis feeding it with their own selves, offering everything they possess to make one glorious blaze.

aye saala
abhi abhi hua yaqeen
ki aag hai mujh mein kahin
hui subaah, main jal gaya
suraj ko main nigal gaya
roobaroo roshni hai

I’m taken with the images in this piece. The bemused awakening, ‘ki aag hai mujhmein kahin’ is soon put in perspective – this is no ordinary fire in the belly, our young martyrs have swallowed the sun. And of course it will soon consume them:

aandhiyon se jaghad rahi hai lau meri
ab mashaalon si bhad rahi hai lau meri

In Khalbali:
ham lapakte saaye hai
ham sulagne aaye hai
ghar bata ke aaye hai
hai khalbali

we have come to burn,
we have left word at home…
there is no turning back.

Sacrifice, the colour of blood, self-immolation are recurrent themes: jin mein ho junoon junoon woh boonde laal lahoo ki…. Had I heard these pieces with any attention before I saw the film, I wouldn’t have blinked at the bloodbath that ensued.


Aside: AR Rahman who simply gets more and more brilliant with each composition is also a man who knows precisely what he wants. Naresh Iyer, who sings Roobaroo with Rahman, was a contestant in Channel V’s Super Singer. Rahman was one of the judges on the show, and in a very amusing twist, dropped him from the contest and offered him this song. He didn’t sing well enough to make the cut, but he had exactly the voice the composer needed, so that’s that and what’s what.


Cosmic Voices said...

thanks for the lyrics and the link for urdu dictionary.. me an lyrically challenged guy who can never get the lyric, no matter which language it is :-(

Sheetal said...

Cosmic voices: oh, you found the link useful! I realise not everyone understands Urdu but it's beyond me sometimes to translate with felicity.

Gayathri said...

When the rest of the world has moved on to Fanaa, I finally got aroung to seeing RDB :-) Just three sittings - not bad no, with Ruhi around ?! I can't get "Dhuaan Chataa, Khula Gagan Mera" out of my head. Ruhi and I have been slow-dancing to Tu Bin Bataye.. awesome!

Sheetal said...

Gayathri: Three sittings are not bad at all! Did you like RDB? Did Ruhi?

Anonymous said...

bakwaas blog. is se accha to na likhti to behtar rehta.

Anonymous said...

itna kyon analyze kartey ho madam ji...? dont get mad at small things...!!