“It is a test [that] genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
— T. S. Eliot, from the essay "Dante"
Lyricists have the power of enchanting and empowering you with words. As an ardent lover of music, I have personally felt enriched by the words of several great lyricists. It is with the humblest heart and greatest pleasure that I celebrate artists that crafted the words that shaped my life.
I am very excited and grateful to everyone who has helped me publish my book, “Poetry and Emotion on Celluloid: The Role of Hindi Film Lyricists”. I had recently gone to Oakville to be with my daughter Charu, my son-in-law Eshwar and granddaughter Myra. Eshwar set us up with his fancy camera and Charu and I participated in a video chat about the book. These videos are posted on my "Inspirations" page! Please take a few moments to watch!
We discussed a couple of topics particularly regarding my inspiration for the book. I have grown up on Hindi films and their songs. The lyricists have been my heroes. Songs and emotions are delicately linked together. My book honours these unsung heroes. My life’s journey through its various ups and downs can be summed very nicely by Anand Bakshi Sahab’s song from film “Piya ka ghar”:
“ye jeevan hai, is jeeva ka yahi hai, Yahi hai rang roop, thode gham ai thodi khushiya yahi hai yahi hai chanv dhoop”
“This life of ours is a mosaic of happiness and sadness and of travelling under the shade or the sun at times”
Charu asked me about the lyricists and their thoughts. For me the world holds the promise of new Dawn each day. As in the immortal words of Sahir Ludhianavi:
“Jab ambar jhoom ke nachega jab dharti nagme gayegi, vo subah kabhi to ayegi”
“There will be joy in this world. There will be peace and harmony and that morning will definitely come”
Her next question to me was about mindfulness and how can we be still in this frantic pace of life. I reminded her about being in this moment and savouring it fully. Javed Akhtar’s song from “Kal ho na ho” reminds us that there may not be another day or another moment. This moment is all that we have.
“Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi, chaav hai kabhi hai dhoop zindagi
Har pal yaha jee bhar jiyo, jo hai sama kal ho na ho”
"Life is changing right before our eyes, it brings sorrow and joy. Live each moment fully my friend as this movement is never going to return."
Lastly, Charu and I spoke about the emotions and relationships that I have included in the book. Charu is our oldest daughter. Our younger daughter is Madhavi. Charu has become a consultant and is working at McMaster University. She is also a mother of young Myra who is truly a bundle of joy at 21 months of age. Charu wanted to know about motherhood and how the lyricists have talked about this important phase of human life. While in my book I have included many songs and their creators who have talked about motherhood, I chose to share Anand Bakshi’s song from the movie, "Raja aur Rank". This is a very sweet song about the qualities of the mother.
"Ma bacho ji Jaan hoti hai
Wo hote hai kismat wale jinki ma hoti hai
Ye jo duniya hai
Ye van hai katon ka tu phulwari o ma
Tu kitni achhi hai
Tu kitni bholi hai pyari pyari hai o ma"
“Mothers not only give life but are also the lifelines for the children. They are indeed blessed who have their mothers and mother-like figures with them. Mothers protect us at every step, take care of all our problems”. This section on different songs about mothers is a homage to all the mothers in this world. I am blessed to have my mother and my mother-in-law, our two daughters and now our granddaughter."
In the upcoming blogs, I will continue my discussion of specific lyrics and lyricists and their impact. I hope you join me in this journey of appreciation and discovery of the musical pearls of poetry!