I believe some people are blessed with extraordinary talent. Quoting Gulzar himself that “A writer is more a writer by practice than by skill”, yet one cannot justify the exceptional imagination he has weaved in some of his songs as a lyricist.
Take this beautiful song from Khamoshi. It was released in 1969 – when Gulzar was 35 years of age. I feel like “chullu bhar paani mei dub jao” when I think about what I have achieved in my life of 35 years.
It is from a film which was praised for some of its brilliant songs and melodious music. And from the humongous list of wonderful Gulzar songs, i could not find any better choice to place on top of my list.
This song is haunting. It is beautiful. It is melodious. But apart from it, this 50 years old song created an entirely new paradigm of imagination. It is impossible yet its beauty makes it all believable.
Just take the first two lines:
हम ने देखी है उन आखों की महकती खुशबू |
हाथ से छूके इसे रिश्तो का इल्जाम ना दो ||
सिर्फ एहसास है ये रूह से महसूस करो |
प्यार को प्यार ही रहने दो कोई नाम ना दो ||
It is a sheer courage to start the song with such outright contradiction. How does one “see” the fragrance? And the next line is a step further where Gulzar says “don’t touch it with your hands”. The opening deeply expresses the facets of love and its fragrant beauty. But at the same time the words are so simple and honest. Its magical.
Even the stanzas are carved out with utmost purity by the wordsmith.
प्यार कोई बोल नहीं, प्यार आवाज नहीं |
एक खामोशी है सुनती है कहा करती है ||
न ये बुझती है, न रुकती है, न ठहरी है कही |
नूर की बूँद है, सदियों से बहा करती है ||
मुस्कराहट सी खिली रहती है आँखों में कही |
और पलको पे उजाले से झुके रहते हैं ||
होंठ कुछ कहते नहीं, कापते होठों पे मगर |
कितने खामोश से अफसाने रुके रहते है ||
Every expression – be it the “पलको पे उजाले” or the “खामोश से अफसाने” or the “नूर की बूँद है, सदियों से बहा करतीहै” are proofs that some of the most complex feelings can be expressed with the simplest of the words. Gulzar gives an outlet to the varied moods and emotions one goes through in love. But he intertwines it all together so charmingly that it becomes a single thread, a continuous flow, an unbreakable vow. It appeals equally to all – be it a love struck youth, a curious learner, an average music lover or a linguistic scholar.
The movie Khamoshi was also a milestone in many other ways. Its considered one of the best performances of Waheeda Rehman. The story of the movie was very unusual and different. And the music by Hemant Kumar was also melodious. The combined effect of all of it makes this song an unforgettable and magical phenomenon. It is the ultimate writing goal for amateur poets. It’s the best comfort music for Indian film-music lovers – like me.
Songs are always meant to express, not impress. But this song does both – effortlessly !!
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