Raah Pe Rehte Hain – A Nomadic Heart – Namkeen
Surrounded by apprehension and heartache, trying to find an escape, through a road which leads nowhere. The moments of resentment, contentment are nothing but memories. The memories thaw your heart time and again. It thrives by travelling to different lanes and bylanes of these memories. The same wanderer heart enjoys the travel more than the destination itself. A reflective, yearning heart. A nomadic heart!!!
“Raah pe rehte hain, yaadon pe basar karte hain,
Khush raho ahl-e-watan, hum toh safar karte hain”
The above lines of the song sound as the life anthem of a truck driver Gerulal, which is played by Sanjeev Kumar in Namkeen. A born natural actor, he always understood the requirements of a role. His moist eyes, his expressive face, often conveyed the messages which most of the actors could not even with best given dialogues. He had amazing pair of eyes which were windows to his true and natural self. With a gentle twitch on his face he could change the mood on the entire screen. He elevated brainless dialogues to an art form. Even at the pinnacle of his career and at a young age, he had no inhibitions of wearing the salt & pepper look of the ripe age. That’s called confidence. An intelligent thinking actor for all seasons. No wonder Gulzar depended on him so heavily when it came to films like Namkeen and a song like Raah pe rehte hain.
Travelling along the path which is snaking through the lush green hills, Sanjeev Kumar who looks no less than a truck driver, is ruminating on his memories and moving ahead. The peripheral meaning of the song might be about travelling, but it also has a philosophical side which is about going ahead in life, move on. To enjoy this journey called life. To stay satisfied with the surroundings while you are travelling. The purpose of the song being to enjoy the journey in whatever circumstances. Whatever life throws in your way take it in your stride and move on. Jal gaye jo dhoop mein to saaya ho gaye, Aasmaan ka koi kona odha, so gaye, Jo guzar jaati hai bas uspe guzar karte hain.
Udte pairon ke tale jab bahti hai zameen, Mud ke humne koi manzil, dekhi hi nahin, Raat-din raahon pe hum, shaam-o-sahar karte hain – The road glides under the wheels, there’s no time to look back at think about the past. What is left behind is already gone. Find solace in present, for this is the place where the sun rises and sets.
Aise ujde aashiyaane, tinke ud gaye, Bastiyon tak aate-aate, raste mud gaye, Hum thahar jaayein jahaan, usko shahar karte hain – The times of despair, one might be shattered. But the moment you want to take a break there might be another diversion in the road. Stay anchored where you are.
Sanjeev Kumar reflects the feelings throughout the song. And he’s not even lip syncing. But he seems so disillusioned, as if for real. Gulzar at his philosophical best has yet again used the beautiful quote originally written by Wajid Ali Shah –
“Dar-o-deewar pe hasrat se nazar karte hain
Khush raho ahle-watan hum to safar karte hain”
The lyrics are so well supported by Pancham’s music and Kishore Kumar’s pensive voice. They bring the deep rooted philosophy so easily on your lips. Adding another dimension to the song. The song sets in with violins and guitar. Greeted by Kishore Kumar’s resonating voice. Of course Pancham’s signature tune is not be missed. His music notes follows one after another as if the music is also travelling with us. Pancham’s music giving euphoric experience along the path.
A song which elevates from the status of being an insignificant one to a one offering deep ethics and outlook towards the journey called life!!