Faltered Footsteps – Ruke Ruke Se Kadam – Mausam
1975, the year when Hindi cinema screen was flaming red with an inferno of films like Deewar, Dharmatma, Aandhi, not to forget the big ball of fire, Sholay. Then there were some subtle flames which burnt brightly – Chhoti Si Baat, Chupke Chupke, Khushboo, Geet Gata Chal, some mythological torches – Jai Santoshi Maa and some fireflies – Nishant. Amongst these there was a soft, glowing lamp which spread its warmth in the audience then and it is continuing to do so even after 40 years. Mausam by Gulzar. A twisted love story of neglected promises and ruined lives. A saga of complex human relationships in a sensitive way. Sanjeev Kumar being the power performer is just fantastic as he portrays the grief and guilt stricken person. But it is Sharmila Tagore who steals the show as Chanda, who is innocent, sweet and naive and Kajli, who is blunt, crass and totally unbelievable.
Mausam tells the story of Dr. Amarnath Gill (Sanjeev Kumar), who returns to Darjeeling after many years and decides to look for his past love, Chanda (Sharmila Tagore). Though Chanda is dead now, he finds Kajli (Sharmila Tagore again) their daughter trapped in a brothel. He leaves no stone unturned to rescue her from this quicksand. Brings her home, trying to restore her to a normal life. Kajli, unaware of the fact that she is his daughter, assumes his love and attention in a wrong way. She starts caring for him with all the womanly feelings. But then she realises that he doesn’t reciprocate her love in the same manner and decides to leave the place. While still in double minds she croons –
Ruke ruke se kadam
Ruk ke baar baar chale
Qaraar deke tere dar se beqaraar chale
Taking some faltered steps, half hearted and ambivalent, I’m leaving this place which has given me so much solace. But now that I leave, I leave discorded to give you some solace.
The introductory guitar piece gives you the idea of those discorded feelings she’s experiencing taken further by violins. Lata – Madan Mohan and ghazal, need I say more? And cherry on the cake, Gulzar’s lyrics.
Subah na aayi
Kai baar neend jaage
Thi ek raat ki ye zindagi guzaar chale
She was expecting dawn every time she woke up from the sleep. Meaning she was hopeful about the love she was experiencing. But the dawn eluded her, destroying all her hopes. Thus, discontent and withered, she wants to end that night, the life she was looking forward to. Her joys were short lived – Thi ek raat ki ye zindagi, guzaar chale!!
Uthaye firte the
Ehsan dil ka seene par
Le tere qadmon mein ye karz bhi
She’ll always keep in her heart, the favours done by him. But she is setting him free from her, unbound and unconfined, free of any obligations or even liabilities.
The song serves you the aural ambrosia. Gulzar, Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar have certainly woven this warm woollen shawl for an autumn evening!!
Here is another version of the song which was composed by Salil Chowdhury for a Bengali film Laal Pathor (1964), the song is rendered by Mubarak Begum!!