Song Sketch

Koi Nahin Hai Kahin – Kinara – Shoring Up Life

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Whenever life hits the lowest level of its existence, faith is the only solution. In fact, faith becomes the foundation and support of one’s life. It is the time when everything you want is outside your comfort zone. But your passion, focus and drive can shore you up to a calm bank. Moments of frustration, moments of depression make you question life and its existence. Sometimes even your identity looks vague.
Aarti (Hema Malini) is facing somewhat the same situation in Gulzar’s Kinara (1977). She loses her fiance, Chandan (Dharmendra) in a car accident. And it is Inder (Jeetendra) who is somewhat responsible for the accident. While he’s trying to deal with this situation, he faces another grim one. Aarti falls down the steps in a scuffle with him and loses her eyesight. With a feeling of guilt and remorse, Inder wants to help Aarti come out of the situation. He’s drawn towards her. Inder masquerades as Prakash and tries to support her in all possible ways. Learning and continuing with her dance is one such way. Any form of art is the support system of life. Aarti is a gifted dancer and trying to make a comeback on stage. Prakash tries his best to support her, her biggest hurdle being her eyesight. This particular song is her comeback and she starts confidently. But she loses her balance and sense of direction just after the start and is numbed and repelled. Prakash again comes to her help. But here we see the subtlety of Gulzar’s direction. Prakash doesn’t help her physically to find her spot on stage. He starts singing to help Aarti go with the flow and be on her own, giving her the much needed confidence. Bhupinder’s aalap gives the time needed to come to her senses.

Aa aa aa aa …..
Koi nahin hai kahin
Sapnon mein kyun kho gayi…

The lines aiding her to come out of the numbness, the frozen state on the stage that she’s experiencing. And Aarti slowly defreezes gains confidence, going with the flow.

Phir aankh nam ho gayi
Phir koi yaad aa gaya hai
Roshni kam ho gayi
Kinara milega yahin, milega kinara yahin, yahin re….

The lines indicate towards her past, the gruesome accidents. The trauma of losing her eyesight and her fiance in the accidents. Gulzar keeps the lyrics short and subtle. Not elaborating on her feelings but reminding her to shore up her life, her existence – Kinara milega yahin. A typical Gulzar feature where the title of the movie comes in an antara instead of mukhda.
His lyrics get special treatment when the music is given by Pancham. Their synchronization is wonderful. Highlighting the words yahin re yahin re…it is here that she has to find her life. It is here that she will get all the needed support, it is here that she will find her identity. The use of ghungroos too has been hesitant in the beginning, showing her confusion and hesitation.
Hema Malini’s face expresses the battle she’s fighting inside. Being a dancer in real life must have helped her not just for this song but for the entire film. The trauma, the hesitation, the vagueness, the identity crisis, losing her confidence all the gamut of emotions and she has brought them out wonderfully. She is more graceful and beautiful sans her mannerisms, thanks to Gulzar.

Baat thi khwab ki
Khwab mein beet chuki hai
Khwab doharaate nahin
Zindagi sapna nahin re, zindagi sapna nahin, nahin re…

The second stanza is to bring her out of her past and face the present which is welcoming her with open arms. Coaxing her to come out of the trance she is in. The traumatic days gone by are in the past. And life doesn’t depend on those days but it is about the present. The present, her dance, her art, her passion and her drive to learn more. Bhupinder Singh’s stretching and dragging the lyrics literally feel like they are pulling Aarti out of her situation with the affirmation – khwab doharaate nahin, zindagi sapna nahin, nahin re…It can also be assumed that if the first stanza is about her fiance, Chandan, the second stanza is about her present, Inder/Prakash.
Pancham once again takes the inspiration from Baap ka Maal – Katha diye ele na….for this semi-classical number.

Pancham also gives a modern touch to the song in Bangla.

He has accentuated the song with small aalaps in between to give you the feel of a classical dance. It is further enhanced with the bols by Gopi Krishna towards the end of the song. Hema Malini’s footwork here is worth noticing. Ample use of ghungroos, sitar, tabla stamps it as a classical dance number too. But there’s a Pancham stamp in it too. Use of santoor, sarod and jal tarang. Even if it is miniscule, it shows the fragile state of Aarti’s mind, Inder’s determination to support her and ignite her passion for the art once again.
Hema Malini’s expressions change gradually as her dance progresses. It is as if she has found the flow of her life, arrived at her destination. Her feelings are shored up and she’s determined to shore up her life and stay in harmony with her soul and spirit.
Because just as Maya Angelou has said – “A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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