Hindi movies have always been remembered for their music, if not anything else. Down the years, the glorious tradition of Hindi film music has always been a part of our way of life, whether it be bands playing at marriages or wannabe Kishore Kumars and Asha Bhosle's trying their luck at the dime-a-dozen talent searchs. Lyrics, to me however, are at the heart of Hindi music. Through lyrics, one can convey the whole gamut of emotions: be it love, tragedy, happiness. You name it and Hindi movies have always had a song for each occassion, that too with the most appropriate words. Great poets like Sahir Ludhianvi (the badshaah of tragedy), Majrooh Sultanpuri, Pradeep (with the immortal 'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon') and down to Anand Bakshi, Gulzar etc. have embellished silverscreen with the most heart-touching lyrics.
Recently, however, this trend seems to be dying out. As with fast-food, today seems the day of fast-lyrics. Lyrics are churned out instead of being written (samples like 'Tu mere sapnon ki rani hui, tu meri prem diwaani hui' etc abound in today's movies). No wonder then, we remember the words of the old melodies of the 60s and 70s rather than the fleeting words put together today. But as with any dark cloud, there is always a silver lining. Hence, presenting below, are five of my favorite poems of movies released this decade. These are enough to prove that good Hindi poetry is still a part of Bollywood today.
These are, in no particular order:
1. Ladki Kyon Na Jaane Kyon Ladkon Si Nahi Hoti (Hum Tum): The fact that Men and Women simply belong to different planets has been illustrated with vivid and real-life examples. You listen to the song and realize that how true it is. Lines like "jeene ka tumko dhang sikhlati hai, tumhe janwaar se insaan banati hai " or " woh sharmati hai, kabhi chupaati hai, ladki jo haan keh de, use nibhati hai " describe the arguments and feelings between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend. Notice the superb one-liners in between in the voice of the lead actors. Simply written.
2. Kuch to Hua Hai, Kuch Ho Gaya (Kal Ho Na Ho): Another simple but truly oustanding poem. Describes the feelings of your first time in love to the T. Sample this: 'cheeze main rakh ke bhool jaati hoon, bekhalayi main gungunaati hoon, ab akele main muskuraati hoon' or 'dhyaan ab apna jyaada rakhta hoon, sochta hoon main kaisa lagta hoon, aaina ho to dekh leta hoon'. How very true na ? I have actually had friends on campus sitting in front of the mirror and ensuring they are tip-top before going on a date. A song that anyone in love can relate to.
3. Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera (Swades): Simply put, this poem raises goose pimples. It may not be quite in the league of that stunner 'Chitti Aayi Hai' (Naam, 1985) but its still quite superlative. Now I have never gone out of my country for work but even then, whenever i listen to this song, deep down in my heart, my country calls me. Now I cannot imagine my friends/relatives working in all corners of the world not being touched by this. Friends in US, Singapore, UK and elsewhere: answer me truly. Doesnt this song pull a string somewhere deep down ??? One line that stands out: " tujhse zindagi - hai yeh keh rahi - sab to paa liya - ab hai kya kami - yunh to sare sukh hai barse - par dur tu hai apne ghar se - aa laut chal tu ab dewaane - jahan koi to tujhe apna maane - awaaz de tujhe bulaye - wohi des'.
4. Chale Chalo (Lagaan): The poem of the underdog. One that urges you to keep fighting all odds. Very well composed. 'Baar baar haan, bolo yaar haan, apni jeet ho, unki haar haan' or 'koi na ab roke tujhe, toke tujhe, tod de bandhan saare, mila kya hoke tujhe nirbal tu hi bata' . The kind of words that you want to hear when you are feeling really down.
5. Mitwa (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna) : The feeling of denial and the pain it causes have seldom been captured so beautifully. Dont we all remember the time when we loved someone but were either ignorant or scared to admit it. 'Yeh ho jai unkahi, yeh jo hai ansuni, wo baat kya hai bata !!!' or 'teri nigahen paa gai raahen, par tu yeh soche jaao na jaaon, yeh zindagi jo hai naachti to, kyon bediyon main hai tere pao' urge to let go of our inhibitions and express ourselves. Amazing song !!!
Couple of other close contenders: 'Yeh Taara Woh Taara' (Swades), Kal Ho Na Ho (Title song). Also had my Punjabi been better, 'Yaar Mangiyasi' (Kaante) might have figured in the above list.
Its not coincidence that ALL of the above songs are written by the same person. Javed Akhtar personifies good and simple poetry in Hindi movies today. Alongwith Gulzar (who comes second only because of his excessive use of Urdu - a language i hope to understand someday and hence appreciate his poetry), he has kept the flame and legacy of Sahir Ludhianvi, Pradeep etc alive.
Would love to hear your feedback and opinion regarding this !!!