Wednesday, April 25, 2007


My blogging glands (yes we are the glandy biologist-types) suddenly become active only when I am in a time crunch and should be doing something else! Well, that is the story of every procrastinator that ever lived.

Having recently watched Woody Allen's Annie Hall, I was reminded of two lines of one of my favorite Hindi movie songs.

A side thought: Indian film music doesn't give much emphasis to lyrics. Given that the dominant style in Indian music is the vocal style, this is a rather surprising state of affairs but as it is and has been, Indian music specially film music sorely lacks aesthetics in terms of lyrical quality often falling into predictable traps of the "dil-vil-pyar-vyar" variety.

Anyway, the song in questions is, a love song that has intrigued me for as long as I can remember , from this movie Aandhi, with lyrics by Gulzar. Directed by Gulzar incidentally, a rather boring movie with a i-get-paid-for-looking-like-a-moron Suchitra Sen. To me the only draw to the movie was Sanjeev Kumar. Having chosen career over family and blah, Suchitra Sen , a politician , runs into hotel manager husband Sanjeev Kumar after ages. Old feelings emerge and blah and they sing this song:

Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa nahin,
Tere bina zindagi bhi lekin zindagi nahin.

(shikva= regret/ misgiving/ complain , zindagi= life)

While the rest of the song is typical Gulzar and IMHO nothing spectacular, I love how these two lines capture the relationship of the lead pair so concisely.

Loosely translated these lines would go:

Life would be perfect without you in it ,
Life would, however, not be life without you in it.

(G (not Gulzar) is going to disagree with this translation. We have argued over this for as long as we have known each other but oh well, my blog so .....:) )

Notice how there are times when the fact that ten million people care fades in front of the seeming nonchalance of one person. Times when say on a birthday, the fact that that one wish did not come irks more than the hundred others that did come. Times when every achievement seems a little less happy because the everyone who is happy for you does not include that one person. Times when you are left wondering if it is all in fact a trade off for an otherwise full life.

But melancholy and over-dramatization is, of course, the essence of life! Everybody needs a "shikva" character in their lives and till the real shikva character does show up, we shift this burden from one relationship to another looking for the perfect shikva. For, how else are you supposed to know that you have found "true love" , unless shikva obligingly acts as the yard stick?