Updated: Jul 31
Disclaimer: This is going to be a long blog. At least, longer than I usually write. I just know - for a fact - that it'd take a lot of words to encapsulate my feelings in this post. Let me just put it this way - I'm not focusing on brevity here. This one's going to be as raw as it can get. :)
Every time someone asks me to watch a video - even a short one - or a movie, they know that I won't see it. I've never been a big movie buff. Movies have never enchanted me. At least, the movies released today will never ever be something I can (even think to!) watch without cringing over it. I must say, some movies, before anyone (from the Bollywood fan club) boycotts my blog.
Perhaps, I belong to this generation where fast-paced and mostly unauthentic stories, over-the-top VFX, and mediocre acting have replaced (and, in fact, are preferred over!) the soul-stirring, poignant stories, and class-level apart acting. But, I prefer the latter.
To be honest, I do think I'm old school (when it comes to cinematic or musical choices that I make) because of the relationship and endless interactions I had with my grandparents. I remember the good old times when I used to play Antakashri with my grandmother. She had a favorite song - "Man Dole Mera Tan Dole". I remember the little steps that she used to do while singing, and the little me trying to emulate her. Whereas my grandfather could give tough competition to anyone out there with his soft, melodious voice. My favorite of his would be - "Pinjre Ke Panchi Re". I swear it is like I can hear this song in his voice, even now when he is living in some other dimension.
The crux of what I have been blabbering about is - that my grandparents have had a strong influence on my choices. And, they stand still to date. Of course, some perspectives changed because of how I - as an individual - looked at the world and perceived the world with my vision & my sense of understanding.
My love-hate relationship with the movies. Hmm, it is more hate than love. Although Hate is a strong word. Let me just re-word it, it is more dislike than love. First and foremost, I do not have an attention span of 2.5 hours. I can read for 2.5 hours, but no way can I sit to watch something in one place for 2.5 hours. So, this is an entirely personal issue. Second of all, the charm of Indian Cinema is long gone. Story? Direction? Music? (Don't get me started on music; I can write a book on the damage being done to music!) Acting? Ah.
So a few weekends ago, out of nowhere, I decided to watch a few old classics.
And, so I watched Pyaasa and Anand. Tell me how could I not fall in love with the simplicity (and yet so much depth) in the storyline, characters, music composition, direction, and how the entire story fell into place by the end of the movie? Pyaasa and Anand are two of the finest in Indian Cinema - and they are the best for a reason!
"Babu Moshai zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi " - the heart of the movie, Anand. Given the always-filled emotional tank in me, it shouldn't be a surprise that I was left in tears by the end of the movie.
Pyaasa, on the other hand, is such a powerful story. And, need I say anything about the music of the film? Johny Walker's expressions in the song Sir jo tera chakraye are better than the entire Bollywood industry collectively! The soothing voice of Rafi Sahab and the lyrics of Sahir Ludhianvi complemented so well, and this had to be a masterpiece.
Just before anyone of you starts assuming that I'm writing this as a "film critic" or something, let me be clear that I hardly care about any of the new movies. It is just that certain movies take you away from reality, and you're suddenly dreaming to be in the world portrayed in the movie. That was the charm of the movies that changed the trajectory of Indian Cinema!
Some (read: only a few!) movies bring out the best experiences because you see the honesty in the art being made. Honestly, I don't see that happening as much in the Bollywood movies now. It is all about the controversies, the all-so-modern tactics, and the biographies. There's a lack of originality, and perhaps - at the risk of calling it out, a lack of talent as well.
If you have not yet watched Pyaasa, and Anand, I'd highly recommend you to! :)
Till then, I'll contemplate over - ये दुनिया अगर मिल भी जाये तो क्या है!