Song Sketch

Vatana Ve – Pensive Parables Of Partition – Pinjar

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Nothing good has ever come out when there is a division between a house, a relationship, a nation. The scars of the terrible incident remind you of the torture that one goes through it. The memories of it always remain fresh in your mind and haunt you till the very end.

The movie Pinjar (2003) shows the Hindu-Muslim turmoil during the partition of India in the year 1947. It is based on a Punjabi novel (of the same name) written by Amrita Pritam. This song shows the ordeals of innocent people who lost everything during this time. They had to leave their hometowns and relocate to another in the midst of riots. Hundreds and thousands of lives lost and many a women were defiled leaving them dead inside. The children lost more than their loved ones; they lost their innocence at a very young age.

This song, composed by Uttam Singh and penned by Gulzar, is a depiction of the chaos that the people felt; both outside and inside. The people who witnessed the partition only got pain and sadness.

Vatana ve, o mere yaar vatana ve
O my motherland, my beloved motherland

It starts with this melancholic note by Roop Kumar Rathod which is almost a tearful address to the motherland. And this line sets the somber mood, carried till the end of the song. It features the main artists of the film and the trauma each is going through. It is lip synced by Sanjay Suri who is seen in a refugee camp along with others.

Bat gaye tere aangan
Bujh gaye choolhe saanjhe
Lut gayi teri Heerein
Mar gaye tere Raanjhe

Your courtyards are divided now
Your kilns are doused
Your maidens are disgraced
Your victors are now killed

He says to the motherland that now that the division is done, people are moving out of their houses to go to some other place forever. The flames in the once-aromatic kitchen are now extinguished. The daughters of the country who once filled the lanes with their laughter are now disgraced and the brave boys who once roamed carefree are now killed mercilessly.

Kaun tujhe paani poochhega, fasle seenchega
Kaun teri maati mein thandi chaanv beejega

Who will take care of you, who will water the crops?
Who will cover you and provide you cool shades?

He goes on to ask the motherland a question that if they are killed like this, then who will remain to look after the country? What would a country be without its people?

Bairi kaat ke le gaye teriya thandiya chhanva ve

The invaders have chopped off your boughs and have robbed off your pleasant shades

He asks that who will take care of the forests, which once provided the gentle shades? The enemy has cut off the branches and has stolen those shades. It means that the people are being killed and the essence of the country is stolen from it.

Hum na rahe toh kaun basayega tera veeraana
Mud ke hum na dekhenge aur tu bhi yaad n aana
Gitte kanche baant ke kar li katti, vatana ve

There will be no one to restore your lost glory
We will not look back at you; even erase you from our memories
We have fought very badly and like kids have divided our stones and marbles
After the game ended in a fight and cut off all the ties of brotherhood
O my beloved motherland…

Few people started this game of marbles and fought with each other. Now, just like children, they have decided to divide their marbles and part ways forever. However, children often forget fights and mend ways. But these people, who were friends once, have become sworn enemies and would never come back together.

Uttam Singh, who has also lent vocals for this song, keeps the arrangement simple. He has let the music flow slowly and not let it interfere with the mood of the song and the story that it tells. The use of flute and sarangi doubles the effect of sadness and bitterness of the song. The lyrics, too, are simple yet meaningful. Making understand such a big tragedy through simple everyday words and references is something not everyone can do.

The director, Chandraprakash Dwivedi, has just shown the scenes of the refugee camps and the people suffering silently in them. It feels as if there is never going to be an ending to this sadness and pain; it will stay forever, live forever.

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