Thursday 14 February 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 45

Love is in the air
14.2.2013, Mumbai

Once again it is the day to remember love. Listed below are my few favourite romantic moments in Hindi films.

I remember the magnetic Meena Kumari expressing her woes in ‘Ajeeb dastaan hain yeh...’ in Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayee. On a moonlit night and in the middle of the sea, the heroine and her friends are celebrating the marriage of a colleague (Raaj Kumar with Nadira). It’s a tragic moment for the heroine who has all along silently loved the hero. Her conflicting emotions are effectively portrayed through her brilliant close-ups.

There is mischief in Shakeel Badayuni’s ‘Tere husn ki kya taarif karoon’ in Leader wherein the writer encourages the lovers to flirt with each other before admitting to attraction. Adding to the magic is the emotional rendering by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar and later, the palpable chemistry between Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanti Mala.

In Saraswati Chandra Nutan plucks the flower from her braid and attaches it to her letter addressed to her fiancĂ© ‘Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein...’ is more impressive than any of the red roses or heart-shaped bouquets available at the florists. In the same film, the hero singing ‘Chandan sa badan...’ in praise of her beauty and her unabashed response to his praise is erotic.

On a slightly regressive note but deeply effective is a blushing Mala Sinha confessing to contentment in marriage to Dharmendra in Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s lyrics ‘Aap ki nazaro ne samjha...’ in Mohan Kumar’s Anpadh. The line, ‘ji hame manzoor hain aapka ye faisla...’ is about total surrender in love rendered by Lata Mangeshkar in music composed by Madan Mohan.

It is interesting how love transforms in every decade. In the 50s love was often unrequited; in the 60s love was about commitment and had to end in marriage. In the 70s it was about self esteem, in the 80s about parental opposition, in the 90s about parental approval, in 2000 about friendship and 2010 about entertainment.

The feeling has been consistent just the way of expression has changed and that is why Mani Ratnam’s Guru is different from Viddhu Vinod Chopra’s Parineeta and Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai is different from Imtiaaz Ali’s Jab We Met.

Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat was different from Kamal Amrohi’s Pakeezah and Yash Chopra’s Lamhe from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdaas or Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodha Akbar

That is the beauty about love. It means different things to different people at different times!

Bhawana Somaaya/

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