Moments – dwelling in the past, dreaming about future and living in the present. It is like a never ending journey. And it is the emotions that keep oscillating between these moments. Sometimes it feels like pausing the memories and rewinding to the happiness that was yours. Photographs usually stir up many memories, many moments from the past. But those clicked inside your heart stir up a whirlpool of emotions. A whirlpool where the moments you cherished keep coming back to you in circles. You keep moving in those whirls, absorbed in those moments. And those very moments linger in your mind. Finding shores of happiness.
Kinara (1977) by Gulzar, one amongst pearls like Khushboo, Aandhi, Parichay, Namkeen, Koshish!! A story with pathos of love, the apprehension of being in love. The confusion between guilt, self reproach and the love blossoming at the end of this. Kinara, is one such story of emotions stirred up in a whirlpool. Inder (Jeetendra), arrives at the picturesque town of Mandu. The place where stones tell the love story Rani Roopmati and Baaz Bahadur. The relics of Mandu, the pillars, the broken walls, the exquisite ruins reflect that romance. Inder comes face to face with Arti (Hema Malini) while she’s humming by herself and collecting some papers which are scattered all over the place by the sudden gust of wind. Inder finds himself drawn towards the melancholy eyes of Arti.
Arti is a famous kathak dancer and in love with Chandan (Dharmendra). A history professor by profession, Chandan is doing research on the love story of Rani Roopmati and Baaz Bahadur and is keen on publishing a novel. However, Chandan dies in a car accident and unfortunately Inder is responsible for the accident. The guilt ridden Inder is determined to bring happiness back in Arti’s life. While doing so, he wants to help her in publishing the novel. One day Inder finally confesses to Arti about the accident and she’s perturbed by the news. There’s a tussle between the 2 while Inder is trying to pacify Arti and she falls down the stairs. The accident leaves her in another dark world, she doesn’t want to meet Inder and hence, goes away without informing him. Her absence disturbs Inder, who tries to find her but in vain. The pangs make him miserable. His uncle (Dr. Shriram Lagoo), tries to sort out the situation. Gulzar has used this character as if it is Inder’s self reflection. His uncle asking him whether he has guilt or love about Arti, throws him into self reflection. Inder is not aware of his feelings towards Arti. He only knows that the moments spent with her still linger on in his mind.
Jaane kya soch kar nahi guzra
Ek pal raat bhar nahi guzra…..
Through the entire night that passed, there’s this moment which lingers on. No matter how much I try, the moment remains with me.
The prelude is just a bit of lone santoor descending like an eventide. And Kishore Kumar’s reflective voice bursts into the song. Gulzar’s word play begins. Usually a moment is supposed to pass in a jiffy, but here it is lingering. While Jeetendra ponders, the santoor is there to remind us.
At the interlude we have the full toned violins joining the santoor and a sonorous taar shehnai. These are all as if giving way to his thoughts about Arti.
Apni tanhai ka auron se
Na shikwa karna
Tum akele hi nahi ho
Sabhi akele hain
Ye akela safar nahi guzra
Jaane kya soch kar….
And that Auron by Kishore Kumar takes the cake in the entire song!! Look at the way he gracefully curves that word. The gamak!! The ornamentation of the song. It shows the trust Pancham had in Kishore Kumar. While he’s doing so, sarangi puts up its head suddenly with the tender tabla beats, another Pancham highlight – expect the unexpected.
There’s no use complaining to others about your sadness, loneliness. You are not the only one who’s facing it. The others might be facing more than you. (Gulzar might be referring to the confession of the accident here by Inder. To become guiltfree he reveals everything to Arti, but Arti faces more sadness, loneliness with confession). This makes him more guilty and even more lonely. And it is this lonely moment that has got stuck up.
Do ghadi jeene ki mohlat toh
Mili hai sabko
Tum bhi mil jao ghadi bhar toh
Ye kam hota hai
Ek ghadi ka safar nahi guzra
Jaane kya soch kar….
The 2nd interlude is marvellous again. The way guitar has been used in the song, representing something happy about the moment. May be love finally crawling inch by inch on him. The vibraphone alerts you with this news and a guest appearance by a saxophone surprises you. Lingering in love!! Just then the santoor overlaps and we’re brought back to the reality.
Life is altogether so short for everyone. Just like 2 moments. Then you meet in one of those moments and it gets reduced to one!! A lifetime seems short when you are near. That moment lingers on forever. So very Gulzar. It is so difficult to come out of his word maze. He builds that delicate shoreline of lyrics for his characters.
Jeetendra sans his jumping jack image and Hema Malini sans her trademark sighs, are a delight to watch. Her skills as a dancer are highlighted aptly. Music being one of the highlights is a chiselled masterpiece. Pancham musically matches the maturity of Gulzar’s direction piece by piece. His piece de resistance mixing and matching. Whether instruments or various raagas. His mixing is thorough. The song at one point might sound Yamanish while next instant it might sound a bit Kedarish or you might find a tinge of Khamaj. Yet if you close your eyes and listen, it’ll give you the feel of a thumri. Amongst the instruments he has used – santoor, sarangi, violins, guitar, taar shehnai, vibraphone, saxophone and the tabla. Each instrument gets its independent space in a song of 3 and half minute. And yet they are in tune with each other. Just as Inder’s thoughts for Arti. With just that tabla and that special moment lingering behind!!
Here’s another version of the song with different lyrics in the antara by Gulzar. This non film version rendered by Sabita Chowdhury was recorded by Salil Chowdhury for All India Radio in the 60s.
Also the audio version of the song having a small commentary by Gulzar!!