Category: Writing

Posted by aakarsh. 27 April 2005, 3:13am
There was a time when poetry in indian film songs, hindi especially, had reached the pinnacle.Sublime. there were highly talented writers, who embellished the music with sheer brilliance. it was a Golden age, for poetry..ofcourse, none would dispute that it was the same for music too.almost every famous writer had loads of talent, expressive and striking. my own favourites are many.
Mehboob Khan's films had two standard cues. Naushad's music and shakeel Badayuni's poetry, both of them going hand-in-hand. Shakeel Badayuni was traditionalist, while Majrooh touched all forms. Sahir and Kaifi Azmi had brilliant touch , in everything, but most importantly on issues(for they were communists).Shailendra was another genius. Rajinder kishen adorned some great music. It was indeed a Golden age. little known is the fact that some non-lyricists too, tried their hand at writing and did some remarkable work. like Naushad's ghazals, which he released later during 90s or kishore kumar's common-man lyrics in Jhumroo. Salil Chowdhary is regarded as one of the greatest writers in bengali literature.
the lyrics during 50s-60s were more or less similar, in quality. be it Mughal-e-Azam or Dil Ek mandir, they oozed out melody, through words. how else can one explain "zakhmon se bhara hain kisi majboor ka seena" , in mughal-e-azam.Majrooh on the other hand , adapted himself to all levels of poetry..from highly artistic ones to commercial ones. way back in 50s, he came up with :

hamare baad ab mehfil mein afsaane bayaan honge,
bahaarein humko dhoondenge na jaane hum kahan honge..

isi andaaz se jhoomega mausam..gaayegi duniya.
mohabbat phir haseen hogee, nazaaare phir jawaan honge..
bahaarein humko dhoondenge na jaane hum kahan honge..

madan mohan composed the music for those lines, with ever-lasting melody and lata, as usual, excelled. today i cant figure out the inspiration behind those lyrics. was it madan? or lata? well, the lines befit Majrooh himself.

instead of sticking to romantica, they reflected the times too. Sahir's Pyaasa or Kaifi Azmi's Kaagaz Ke Phool (both guru-dutt-s.d.burman combinations) had some brilliant lines. and they are still remembered today. but way back in 50s, Raj Kapoor's Boot Polish had lyrics like " teher zaraa oh jaanewaale..babu mister gore kaale..kab se baithe aas lagaake..hum matwaale..polishwaale", with kids singing this song. one particuklar line, in this song goes like "you pay a temple-priest more, when he chants some sacred chants..and pay us a mere trifle when we polish your shoes". though i didnt watch this film, believed to be a classic by raj kapoor, the moment i heard/understood these lines, for the 1st time ever in my life, i sat there in silence. i had to clap for Raj Kapoor( and the lyricist ofcourse) for the nth time. much before that, many songs from Raj Kapoor songs did impress me. in jis desh mein ganga behthee hai, the song "aa ab laut chale" had lines:
"aankh hamari manzil par hain..
dil mein khushi ki mast leher hain..
laakh lubhaaye mahal paraye..
apna ghar phir..apna ghar hain.."

they touch a different chord. take sahir's strong rebuke at mohd iqbal's "saare jahaan se achcha..hindustan hamara" song, by writing "chino arab hamara..hindustan hamara..rehne ko ghar nahi hai..saara jahaan hamara..footpath pe so rahe hain..har naujawaan hamara", in the film "phir subah hogi".Ofcourse, his Pyaasa stands tall.Guru Dutt got some brilliant lyrics for his films.

some small-time lyricists too, like Neeraj did remarkable work, perhaps to compete with the giants. When Prithvi Raj Kapoor disapproved raj kapoor's romance with nargis, Hasrat Jaipuri wrote "kisi nargisi nazar ko dil dhenge hum" for one of raj kapoor films, to tease him. and still, raj kapoor didnt change the lyrics.
The only lyricist , from the later generation who managed to achieve some quality happens to be Gulzar. in many ways, he broke the barriers and brought in non-poetic expressions to adorn his nuggets.having started out with "mora gora ang laile" in Bandini, he wrote many songs for hemant kumar during late 60s, like "tum pukaar lo..tumhaari intezaar hain" or "hawaaon pe likhdho..hawaaon ka naam". some classic expressions he used are unmatchable like in :

"humne dekhi hain..un aankhon ki mehekthi khusboo..
haath se chuke ise rishthon ka ilzaam na do...
sirf ehsaas hain yeh..rooh se mehsoos karo..
pyar ko pyaar hi rehne do..koi naam na do".

the quality of lyrics did come down a lot , during the 80s era. perhaps only a Javed Akhtar managed to maintain some quality in the lyrics. In many ways, he is a traditionalist too, because his lyrics profuse flowery metaphors. post Akhtar, none of the contemporary lyricists really made mark, as lyrics became monotonous. and highly crass. Sameer, one of the leading lyricist today, once went to Majrooh and showed him his lyrics so that he can try his luck in films. Majrooh , after reading few, threw the pages out of his balcony. The same lyrics were later used in a film and sameer shot into fame. That reflects the declined standards.
S.D.Burman and Majrooh were apprehensive about the lyrics of "chod do aanchal zamana kya kahega", for they felt that people would find it vulgar. today the song is a to 90s, we had contemporary lyricists writing "meri choli choti hogayi".

well, giving one example after another(there are 1000s..), i think i can write a book instead of a small blog. Also, i am already expected the ire of some readers, who might carp about the size of this, i have to end somewhere. but let me finally disclose what prompted me to write this blog. It is here below : a Classic song from film "didi"(1959), sung by suman kalyanpur and Mukesh.


tum mujhe bhool bhi yeh haq hain tumko..
meri baat aur hain..maine to mohabbat kee hain...

mere dil ki meri jazbaat ki keemat kya hai..
uljhe uljhe se khayaalaat ke keemat kya hai..
maine kyon pyar kiya..tumne na kyon pyar kiya..
in pareshaan sawaalon ki keemat kya hai..

mujhko yeh bhi na yeh haq hai tumko..
meri baat aur hain..maine to mohabbat kee hain...


zindagi sirf mohabbat nahi..kuch aur bhi hain..
zulf-o-rukhsar ki jannath nahi..kuch aur bhi hain..
bhook aur pyaas ki maaree hui is duniya mein..
ishq hee ek haqeeqat nahi..kuch aur bhi hain..

tum agar aankh churaao to yeh haq hain tumko..
maine tumse hi nahi..sabse mohabbat kee hain..


tumko duniya ki gham-e-dard se phursat na sahi,
sabse se ulfat se hi..mujhse bhi mohabbat na sahi..
main tumhari hoon yehi..mere liye kya kam hain..
tum mere hoke raho...yeh meri kismat na sahi..

aur bhi dil ko yeh haq hain tumko..
meri baat aur hain..maine to mohabbat kee hain..
tum mujhe bhool bhi yeh haq hain tumko.

this is what i call...sheer poetry.when i ask myself where are lyricits like these today? Kaifi Azmi reminds me, "bichde sabhi..baari baari".

Current Mood: Amazed
Current Music: Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jaao

Posted by aakarsh. 14 April 2005, 11:38pm
these days, there is a clamour of silence.

there was a time when every person i met,
affectionately asked "how are you doing?".
"what a nice habit, it is", i thought,
to greet a person like that.
but strange that people change their habits.
people dont change..neither do i..
but habits do, along with time.
the same people, greeet the same me..
these days, when they ask "what are you doing?",
i feel a clamour of silence within...

Current Mood: Irreverent
Current Music: enakku piditha paadal-ilaiyaraaja

Posted by aakarsh. 08 April 2005, 12:18am
getting back to something which you've left long ago isn't easy.and when it comes to writing, it is really similar to herculean task..though it is far-fetched to use that phrase. but sizing down the laziness and oiling the mind to re-produce the same quality/genre of work is really a demanding task.

we all are inveterate bloggers.every human being is. only few dare to chronicle them in note-books while others taste the blog in their minds and forget it.thinking itself is blogging, perhaps in its primitive form..yet, evolved.the only asset of blogging is that the thought lies in front of you. it separates the entities. you look at yourself when you read your own blog. the you is observer..of the character "yourself".thoughts caged in mind, on the other hand, follow a different pattern altogether.they are like thought leading to another..and before you realize..a train of thoughts collectively describe/define your state of mind at that particular stage. well, this is definitely not a page ripped off from the upcoming journal of a psychoanalyst but i am just trying my hand..or differentiating between thinking and blogging. the latter is termed as the new fad, a revolution in the world wide web. thats true.the internet, today, is an anarchic place where you can put up anything.

but what is it which made it a fad? the primitive version of blogging did have its intermdeiate version too..writing..and when i say writing, i mean penning down of thoughts in a note book. people could have always used their moments of solitude to pen down their thoughts, just as they blog now. but writing was never a fad, only because it is/was more personal..or private. no one read them..even if the writer wanted it to be public. and somewhere down the journey, people wanted to break loose...they wanted to bare their thoughts, genuine,pseudo, hypocritic or even careless..whatever kind they may be of..and derived some sort of primal pleasure..whatever, for creative guys, internet-blogging came as a boon..and for non-creative served as a good hone their communication abilities..

sometimes i wonder if pages of a note-book of a blogger and his blog do have the same content...also, i strongly feel that something essential lacks in a blog. perhaps the human mind becomes more conscious when keying in a blog.but still, i must accept that blogging did seduce people..much more than writing opened doors. it built which a writer could see himself. and knowing people and their thought processes came as an added incentive. finally one might wonder, who has time for all this? may be..but many do.probably they prefer to invest their solitude in blogging but i still feel, writing stands in a different plane. the best analogy i can draw to justify : writing is similar to a hand-written letter while blogging is similar to e-mail.

but think of it, isn it ironical that i am putting this on a blog rather than in my note book. thats another advantage of blogging : you can be your the best.

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: yeh wohi geet hain--jaidev/kishore kumar

Posted by aakarsh. 05 March 2005, 11:09pm
when my friend told me that the movie "page-3" shocked him, i could understand what he meant. from what i heard,the film explores the "behind the scenes/parties" of the social circles of mumbai on rivetting & realistic lines.the news papers proclaimed that it is one of the hardhitting films on the subject no one dared to touch before.and when i watched the film yesterday, i found it anything but hardhitting.
here comes another director,Madhur Bhandarkar, with oodles of hype around him.when he made "chandni bar", it won tabu a national award and then, bhandarkar was touted as the post-cursor to ramgopal varma.though i didnt watch chandni bar, i felt the comparision a little too much. how can our media or our people put him in the same space which is given to varma. Varma today is a film-maker with experience,while this man is just 1 film old. this is the problem with our page-3s of newspapers. instead of 15mins of fame some people deserve, they give him 15 years of fame. or say, such directors buy that fame, as depicted in his own film.

the film page-3 lacks coherent storyline.the characters are defined superficially but not instrinsically.and there is no direction in the story. he just shows what-happens in the social-parties attended by the rich and the famous. the gossiping of women,smoke,drinks, promiscuity,masks,casting couch,gay couples,drugs.. blah blah blah...c'mon, just by picturising such things doesnt make a film. they can as well be shown in some documentary.if bhandarkar wanted to call his film "hard-hitting" just by juxtaposing the antics of celebrities at a funeral, along with a party attended by them on the same night or instances showing a couple making out in a car on a party-nite and child-molestation by business tycoons, then i must say, u and i can make better films and brand them "hard-hitting".

looks like bhandarkar enlisted few things he wanted to cover in the film and put a female-journo in the role of the protagonist watching all these things. so we have her roomie who aspires to be rich, smokes and even marries an oldie for dollars. then, we have the journo's gay-friend who plays around with her boyfriend.and her actor friend who, gives sermons about safe-sex during the day and gets an aspiring actress pregnant and asks her to swallow the chill-pill.agreed, that an attempt was made to be realistic and i must say that it looks real too.but where does the director fail? its about the thread along which the story moves. the director is fascinated only by the instances. he shows all instances in random fashion, the incidents which make you go "oh! it is like this! shit".infact there are many elements which the director fails to touch.but come on,for someone who reads newspapers daily, this film is no revelation.following every frame of this film, i was able to predict what the next scene would be and i was wrong not many times.

the film was supposed to comment on the oscillates between satire and seriousness and doesnt succeed in either of them.and finally, the ending is something which every damn soul with little brain in his head can predict. putting things back to square one and call it "a comment on the system". so we have the same cop, who continues to be a party animal and same women bitching around with business tycoons and the same aspriring actress pufffing away with the same producer who once terrifies her with casting couch,.excuse me, was bhandarkar referring to the recent scandal he got himself into(upcoming model preet jain recently accused him of cheating her, by not giving her a role inspite of sleeping with him).whatever! he must understand that showing few instances, howmuchever raw & realistic they seem, doesnt make a needs a coherent storyline which can convincingly and consistently rivet such instances into the plot.but yet, bhandarkar succeeds to have his space in page-3, through his page-3, much like the very same characters he has shown in this film.
performances are uninspiring.very shoddy screenplay.about music, the less said, the better.
and finally, i dont find it shocking at all.

during 80s, govind nihlani made a film named "party".watch it if you can. it talks more sense, though on political overtones.

Current Mood: Dismissive
Current Music: we can make it you & i...

Posted by aakarsh. 26 February 2005, 8:29am
if chethan sharma could write a book about his life, so can i? this was the 1st thought, or say, a fleet of thoughts which piled up as i was flipping through the pages of the book "5 point somone". tracing the story of 3 intelligent chaps who screw their IIT careers, falling for grass, vodka and floyd(what a combo right) and ofcourse a girl too, the book is quite comes with a tag-line "what not to do at IIT". the title befits the story perfectly because all the 3 fellows manage only 5 point plus GPA, on a 10 point scale.finally each of them wake up late and 2 of them, somehow make it to the road of success. chethan bhagath finally gets to knock the door of the prestigious IIM-A( maan!the very name beats my ego..that i feel like giving a shot one more time).
we all look back at our life.quite often that too.we talk about our experiences.write about tehm in mails.and if talent wakes up, we end up writing books.Autobiographies.why do we do that? if i ask UG, he would say ,"because man doesnt want to die..he wants to continue life..even after he tries to live through all these things..". well, though i partially agree, i am no UG.i am just like anyone, trying my best not to cross the line of self-indulgence but occassionally managing to fail in that, that i write mails paraphrasing the thoughts moving through the corridors of my mind.but reading that book did push that thought ahead.

i am no chethan bhagath, but his life is not too different from mine. excuse those doses of grass,frequent sips of vodka(although i like it) and ofcourse a girl, the rest of it seems quite similar.sorry, it seemed quite similar.but i know, i cannot write the same story again.especially when writing something autobiographical itself doesnt run down well. i dont know why, i have often resisted it a natural opinion, but it was alsoechoed well in the period flick "hey! ram", where vasundhara das(sss...she looks seductive isnt it) asks her husband kamal haasan if he would like to read "my experiments with truth" and he retorts back with a "i dont like semi-fiction". watching it, i had this put up this proud smile on my face as if i wrote that dialogue myself. though i didnt, i was happy to see my thought voiced out on screen. we are that way right. we like it when we find something about us on screen.
UG says "all biographies are lies" and "all autobiographies are double lies".i dont agree with it and at times, we cant even disagree. perhaps he was not good at euphemisms but whatever,i would give a better deal to biographies over the latter.but think of it, are not my mails little autobiographies? they are. that should remind you that geminis contradict themselves a lot.i am no exception.what more, i even encourage people, close friends to write down something about their daily down stuff and things like that.dont let your thoughts evaporate into nothingness, i am i not coaxing to write your own mini autobiographies?...i do right..but why is it that no one ever writes some crap like that for me to read on...may be pple are too self-conscious about what they write. i am not, which is why i am writing this. pointless.purposeless. still, it attempts to drive the point that aakarsh likes to write a lot, even though it doesnt make much sense, atleast for now.

Current Mood: Preachy
Current Music: nickelback-someday.

Posted by aakarsh. 15 January 2005, 5:27pm

6:30am...quite an odd hour..for a person living in throw sleep aside and key in some nonsense on this blank page...which after few clicks gets into the blogs..and then..1 or 2 replies... i wonder sometimes, what are these blogs for...its like pulling out a page out of your scrap book,and pinning it up there..for the entire netizens to watch on on..would it be too much to call it self-indulgence..i dont know..

i read strange blogs sometimes..pple write abt everything...well..thats what blogs are meant for actually..but what abt the masks we wear here..we can write a lot..but we dont..we write what we feel like..not what we ought to..bbut who cares...its all personal choice..still..more than blogs..i see strange masks sometimes..i dare not condemn that..because i wear masks myself..i dont know which mask i am wearing now..while i am keying this..i care not..

I have many masks --- for a day, for a night,< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

And evening for an instant delight.

Some for my people, some for the stranger,

Some for the guest and some for my companion.

Keeping varied masks under my eye,

I change disguises for every phase of my life.


All masks of mine bring with them,

Only small surprises, trivial smiles,

Impotent anger and some simple joys.

With them, I know,

I talk with my people, strangers,

I watch the stars and at times talk with the skies,

And lose myself in a throng of thoughts.


My days move from one mask to another,

And from the depths of disguise,

Some try to know me, while,

Others knowing, prefer me masked.

If at times I feel my identity lost,

I try to find myself looking along,

The moving mirrors of my life.

And I see lots of broken glass,

Here and there.

Of what use is seeking answers from a mirror?

That too

Current Mood: Dismissive
Current Music: composers breath

Posted by aakarsh. 03 January 2005, 3:51am

the time has come...finally...
light raging through the night sky,
just like rays of energy at a vengeance...
tearing up all the clouds...
dejected clouds give in vain,
not letting down even a drop of rain...
the stars opening their eyes wide,
till the rain of light pours down endlessly,
into every home of every miserable dwelling...
nobody knows why the stars are angry,
but i see the night filling itself with light,
till it is dissolved in light,white light...
and then, nothing remained...

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: Ilaiyaraaja

Posted by aakarsh. 31 December 2004, 10:13am

the twilight is losing is breath,
another death awaiting...

evening desires dissolving away, unfulfilled,
in the seeping currents of crimson breezes.
each moment mounting on the next,
just like that thought of yesterday and tomorrow,
playing with the ruins of today...
like all moments, these too appear fleeting...
i know not what they mean, when they sing in harmony,
"another death awaiting..."

the night came in just like a lady,
a beautiful lady, bathing in the stream...
the silent stream of dimming darkness...
dressed in the moonlight robes,
with stars woven on the edges of it's skirt,
she walked away repeating,
the same song i heard before,
"another death awaiting..."

in my room, the freshness of the dawn,
with all the langour of the summer,
embraces me to wake me up...
the night, the lady, the twilight,
the moments of thought in conflict,
all are gone, with the same farewell greeting...
leaving me alone, with yet another day which sings,
"another death awaiting..."

Current Mood: Relieved
Current Music: raag panthuvaraali

Posted by aakarsh. 26 December 2004, 2:13pm
the day , with the noise of this earth, drowns in the night, with a silence..

the outcry of the sea is buried in the lips of its own waves.can it hide mine too? then, will it splash on any shore? whose?


In every battle, someone or the other will stand by you, will help you out to embrace victory...but there is one battle, one long battle all through your life,which you need to fight out yourself, alone...and that battle is with you own self..within your ownself..


This darkness seems as a fluttering flag of fire with its sparks sprinkled on the sky as stars...


The night kissed the fading day,

and whipered in its ear,

" I am like your mother.

I shall carry you,for a while,

in the womb of my darkness,

to give you fresh birth

and a new breath..."

-- aakarsh.

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: blues