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On life’s purpose.

Jeevan ka Abhipray

Last Sunday was the launch of my book "Poetry and Emotions on Celluloid: Role of Hindi Film Lyricists". With God's grace, my friends and well-wishers, the launch went very well! A few years ago, if you would have asked me about the launch or publishing of my book, I would have been clueless. I love to write and do that over weekends and in my free time. Of course, I always dreamt and envisioned that my book would be completed one day. I am so glad that it can now be read by many people such as yourselves.

In this blog, I would like to focus on one of the chapters that I have written in the book, called "life's purpose". Writing about the poets and lyricists and sharing a few of their songs helped me with my own life's purpose. Life consists of two main aspects "of doing" and "of being". Each one of us is struggling to keep a balance between these two pillars of life. Most of us are so busy in the "doing" aspect that we forget ourselves and our "being". This disallows us from savouring the present moment as we jump onto our next task or project. Living in the past or the future has become a way of life for so many of us. Poetry and good creative writings allow us to just "be"... to be still and inhabit the present moment completely. This is also known as being mindful. Reading and reflecting on the songs of these great poets helped me in my journey of "being", and of becoming mindful.

Although I shared many songs that remind us about the present moment, its presence, and the dualities of life, today, I'm going to highlight a song that is part of this chapter. It is also one of my great favourite songs!

The song is by Sahir Ludhianavi from the film "Hum Dono" one of Dev Anand's classic films. The film had a good story and acting from the lead actors but in my opinion, its incredible success and acclaim can be attributed to its beautiful poetry by Sahir and melodious music by Jaidev. This song was sung by Mohamed Rafi, one of the greatest singers in our film industry!


Main Zindagi ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya:

Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya

Har phiikr ko dhuein mein udaata chala gaya

Barbaadiyon ka sog manana phizool tha

Barbaadiyon ka jashn manaata chala gaya

Jo mil gaya usi ko muqaddar samajh liya

Jo kho gaya main usko bhulata chala gaya

Gham aur khushi mein fark na mehsoos ho jahaan

Main dil ko us maqaam pe lata chala gaya


This song has life's philosophy summarized in three stanzas. Sahir Ludhianavi had the talent and knack to use the film's situation and character to share some of the greatest truths in life. The song starts with the hero affirming that he truly takes life as it comes and goes with the flow. The metaphor of dispelling all anxieties and worries and letting them go up in a cloud of smoke is very interesting. The next stanza shares the optimism of the hero. He says there is no point in lamenting my losses, instead, I believe in celebrating my losses. This is certainly not an easy task. The poet says I have accepted whatever fate has given me and I have forgotten whatever I have lost. In the last stanza, Sahir talks about the Gita philosophy. Krishna has told us in the Gita that a person who is not affected by sadness or happiness has achieved a steady-state of mind. In this stanza, Sahir uses the same philosophy and says that I have brought my mind to that state where neither happiness nor sadness can affect me.

So friends, I leave you with a lingering question: is this the true purpose of our life?

We all will face successes, failures, losses, and gains. Each of these states whirls a storm of turbulence in our lives. Remembering this song might help us to anchor ourselves and to remain untouched by the dualities of life.

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