I don’t watch too many Hindi movies and the ones I have really cherished have been from the 70s and 80s where some of the most sensitive, poetic films were tenderly rendered. From these films were also some of the memorable Hindi songs ever recorded.
The dismantling undercurrents in my life in my life today reminded me of this song from Gulzar’s film, Ijaazat (1987). The song is sung as a poetic letter where a woman asks her ex lover to return some of her things that are still with him. But this is not about books or cds or even money. This is what she asks for…
… those few rain-soaked days and nights they shared. The time they stood huddled together under one umbrella, getting half wet, staying half dry. Her rain-soaked body might still lying by the bedside night… send that back, she says. Return my things to me.
She reminds him of the 116 moonlit nights; the mole on his shoulder; the fragrance of mehndi, the small squabbles, the promises. Remember them, she tells him. And send it all back. Give me back all these things, she says…
For those who understand Hindi, it goes like this:
Saavan ke kuch bheege bheege din rakhe hain
Aur mere ek khat main lipti raat padi hai
Vo raat bhulaa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do
Mera kuch saamaan tumhaare paas pada hai…
Patjhad hai kuch… hai na?
O patjhas main kuch patton ke girne kee aahat
Kaanon main ek baar pahan ke laut aai thee
Patjhad kee vo saakh abhi tak kaanp rahi hai
Vo saakh gira do, mera vo saamaan lauta do…
Ek akeli chhataree main jab aadhe aadhe bheeg rahe the
Aadhe sookhe, aadhe geele, sukha to main le aaye thee
Geela man shayad bistar ke paas pada ho
Vo bhijwa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do
Ek so sola chaand ki ratain, ek tumhare kaandhe ka til
Geeli mahendi ki khushbu, jhoot mooth ke shikwe kuch
Jhooth mooth ke wade sab yaad karaa do
Sab bhijwa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do
Ek ijaazat de do bas, jab isko dafanaaungee
Main bhi vaheen so jaungee, main bhi vaheen so jaungee…
Since hearing from you, I have wept inconsolably for a day and 2 nights. Now I am thinking, if I had to ask you for something back, what would I ask for? Things you could never give me.