Vaah, vaah, wow… what a song… your exultant parents, others of their generation, and today even we shower superlatives on songs such as this one:

Or then again, this one…

There’s yet another song that crosses my mind, as do a zillion others…

I wonder… was it Raj Kapoor’s charisma that camouflaged the nuances of the lyrics; or did Manna Dey’s outstanding classical singing sway audiences to such an extent that we all overlooked the subtle — but not quite latent — nuances of Hasrat Jaipuri’s “Kahin daag na Lag Jaaye“, or even Sahir Ludhianvi’s blatant lyrics for “Laaga Chunari Mein Daag“!  Asha Bhosle is renowned for her playback for the ‘vamps’ performing cabarets or mujra – both, memorable and mesmerizing. Mukesh is renowned for pathos and ‘virah‘ in his songs but “Kahin daag” is something else. 😉 Shankar Jaikishan, Roshan, and Naushad — all of them outstanding music composers. So, did their creative talents mesmerize us all, or did  Madhubala’s beauty blind us collectively while she courted Prince Salim defiantly, challenging even Emperor Akbar of the Mughal era. Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition of Shakeel Badayuni’s classic & classical “Pyar kiya toh darna kya” continues to haunt us (although it may not feature among her ‘haunting melodies’), especially when young couples flaunt their ‘love’ with similar defiance in the face of all adversities – from parents, and society.

So, what’s my point? Well, that’s precisely it. Here’s the raison d’être for this post. Why do parents resist what is inevitable. This is especially the case in the Indian context. We attempt to closely guard our ‘sanskriti‘, our eastern ‘values’ regarding ‘virginity’, ‘chastity’, ‘purity’, and selective ‘love’.

Perhaps even as adults we don’t quite get it. On the one hand we expose our kids to films that depict ‘love’ as pure, although sexual connotations are loud, clear and obvious for all to see. On the other hand, films, lyricists, writers, singers or the creative team can hardly be blamed for what is rampant in society – not just today, even in a past era – we like to refer to it as a ‘golden’ era… be it related to films, poetry and music of the late ’40s through early ’70s, or literature from the era of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya – who lived between 1876 through 1938! He wrote “Devdas” in 1901 though it was published only as late as 1917 – almost a 100 years ago! At least three films have been made based upon this novel, a story about unrequited love — in fact, love that does not culminate between marriage between that couple. In fact, society, parents must be held responsible for their sad parting, and eventually a tragic ending. A story of betrayal, unrequited love, parental pressure, society’s hypocrisy… but all of this is reality, even to this day. 100 years can hardly change the status quo. Men and women, young girls and guys will fall in love… why, even guys are now allowed to woo other guys, and girls marry girls… so, shouldn’t we all move on?

Ismail Darbar’s compositon, Shreya Ghoshal, Jaspinder Narula sing; for Sameer’s lyrics — Shah Rukh Khan & Aishwarya Rai in a sensuous scene, an exultant mother rejoices, while society scoffs a virtuous ‘milan’ thanks to a cultural divide.

Finally… I agree, this divide must not be crossed… no matter how attractive, or endearing the terrorist may seem – within borders, or across borders… must not be blinded by their charm.  🙂 😉

Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics; Shaan & Kailash Kher sing to Jatin-Lalit’s music; Aamir Khan & Kajol charm us in Fanaa (2006).

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One thought on “A social commentary… hypocrisy, or hurtful reality?

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