Indian Solitary Reaper – Baharon Mera Jeevan Bhi Sanwaro – Aakhri Khat
Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound……..
Wrong lines??? No. Lata, happens to be the Solitary Reaper which William Wordsworth is talking about. The quintessential Lata song!!! Brimming with desire for an as yet unknown lover, and the hope that that lover will appear someday. Lata’s voice effortlessly travels in the course of the song. It seems to travel and echo in the valley, just as Wordsworth says –
O listen! For the Vale profound……
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands………
Lata’s voice portrays a yearning, aching with loneliness. It is soft, gentle, melodious, and imbued with hope of meeting the beloved!! And what a beautiful song it is. Written by Kaifi Azmi and composed by Khayyam, it is a song that tugs at the heart strings. The strings of Santoor and sitar mingle in the beginning and spread the aroma of love. While the melancholy flute adds the sweetness all along the song with the zestful tabla!!
Baharon mera jeevan bhi sanwaaro
Koi aaye kahin se, yun pukaaro
A typical Khayyam number from Aakhri Khat (1966), directed by Chetan Anand. Aakhri Khat is an excellent example of storytelling by Chetan Anand. It was selected as an official entry for the Oscars that year, but sadly the prints did not reach on time. The film also marked the debut of Rajesh Khanna. Talking about the film, Rajesh Khanna said in an interview that the last scene of the film was the most challenging one for him. He was required to look pensive, haggard and disturbed and Chetan Anand did not let him sleep for 3 consecutive nights to get that look.
The song has Lajjo (Indrani Mukherjee) singing to herself in the valley, dreaming about someone special to arrive in her life and fill it up with love as the valley is filled with her yearning voice. She takes the help of the spring season, which has enveloped the already beautiful valley, to convey her feelings to the rightful person.
Tum hi se dil ne seekha hai tadapna
Tum hi ko dosh dungi, ae nazaron
Blaming the beautiful nature and the countryside around for the restlessness in her heart, she is expressing the nervousness, the anxiety for that person who still hasn’t come in her life and yet she awaits.
Rachaao koi kajara, laao gajara
Lachakati daaliyon tum phool waaron
Lagaao mere in haathon men mehndi
Sajaao maang meri, ya sidhaaro
Her mind now is very agreeable for that someone special and she wants to look presentable for that moment with kohl in eyes, flowers in her hair, mehndi on her hands. She requests the low hanging branches to shower flowers. She’ll be like the new bride, when her love arrives, completing her look with the vermilion in her hair parting.
Dreaming of her future with that unknown, she knows that when this person arrives she won’t be able to walk away from him. Hoping, wishing, dreaming and waiting. A desire, an anticipation for the beloved whom she hasn’t seen.