Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Of Sampooran Singh and Other Demons

Four years. Four long years. That's what I've waited to write a small piece celebrating the decay and degradation of India's most famous and most quoted Hindi song lyricist, Sampooran Singh 'Gulzar'.There were ample evidence for having this cruel glee. After all the man who gave us poems like "Raahon Pe Rehte Hain" had started to write ,"Personal Si Sawaal Karte Hain". I waited for the day when some big mouth would declare "Gulzar is finished".

And 'He' proved me wrong. For every 'Personal si Sawaal' there was one 'Jaage Hain Der Tak'; For every 'Beedi Jalaile' and 'Phoonk De' there was one 'Dil to Baccha Hain Ji'. In between Gulzar came back with his ghazals which in an age where 'simplification' and 'spoon-feeding' are the rules of the game, remained unabashedly closer to classical urdu. And with use of phrases like 'Kinare ka Phandar' or 'Aankho se Anshoyo ka Marasim' that makes an urdu illiterate like myself scratch his head, he just showed the world of showbiz where fickle is the new name of being 'classic', how the tricks of old world can remain timeless.

I could go on bitching about Gulzar. Bitching coz other than Mr. Robert Zimmerman ,he is the only man whose pen gives me the feeling of being impotent with mine. Why I can't look at the mmon and think of it as a shinning cup of a beggar hanging around neck of the sky? Why I can't look at life and think of life as the light of heaven and fire of hell at the same time?
Someone tells from my heart: That is not possible. In this fucked up flow of life, in this aging universe there is only one ageless Gulzar. His observations, his words that he shows and meanings that he does not, his wit, his word play, his ability to paint an entire canvas within two simple lines of a couplet...only once in thousand years the God of art can create someone like Sampooran Singh Carla. In the world of urdu poetry there was Mirza Asad Ullah and there is his self-proclaimed servant Gulzar, what lies in between is just the space where people of very limited or no talent like this writer keeps on bowing down in utter awe. So, with all the envy in my heart and all the devotion in my soul I keep on discovering different era of this immortal genius. I dive in to his RD era, to his Jagjit Singh collaboration, to his Rahman and Bishaal era and these are some of the pearls that shine thru my tired night:

"Hey Lau Zindagi, Zindagi Noor Hain,
Magar is pe Jalne ki dastur hain."

"Jal Gaye Jo Dhoop Me to Sayaan Ho Gaye
Aasma Ka Koi Kona Thoda So Gaye
Jo Gujar Jaate Hain Bus Us Pe Guzar Karte Hain"

"Jaane Kya Soch Kar Nahin Gujraa,
Ik Pal Raat Bhar Nahin Gujraa"

"Ik Kwaab Tut Jaane Ka Ehsaas Hi to Hain
Thodi Si Raat aur...Sehar...Paas Hi to Hain"

[Holy Fuck...Holy Fuck...Holy Fuck. If Orwell ever read the 2 lines above, he might skip taking the pain of writin 1984...well most of it or the pain of writin Keep The Aspidistra Flying...all of it]

mujhko bhi tarkeeb sikha kuchh yaar julahe

aksar tujhko dekha hai ke tana bunte bunte
jab koi taga toot gaya ya khatam hua
to phir se usme bandh sira koi jor
aage bunane lagte ho
tere is tane mein lekin,ik bhi ganth
girh buntar ki dekh nahi sakta hai koi

maine..to buna tha ik bar ek hi rishta
lekin uski saari girhain...saaf nazar aatee hain

mujhko bhi tarkeeb sikha........

Keep discovering Gulzar Sahaab. Time for me to discover his introduction to Mirza Ghalib. Once again.

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