August 11, 2010

Gods of Small Things

‘Udaan’ just recently won three awards at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy, the largest children’s and youth film festival in the world. Apart from winning the second place in the Campania Regional Council Awards based on the results of the juror's votes, the film won the Audience Choice Award for Best Film and the award for Best Music Score. Director Vikramaditya Motwane is glad for Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya – the music director-lyricist duo, whom he calls ‘the unsung heroes of the film’.

Following is my favourite song of the film. Please note the poetry:

चढ़ती लहरें लांघ ना पाए, क्यों हाँपती-सी नाँव है तेरी
तिनका-तिनका जोड़ के सांसें क्यों नापती-सी नाँव है तेरी
उलटी बहती धार है बैरी, कि अब कुछ कर जा रे पंथी.

जिगर जुटा के पाल बाँध ले जो बात ठहरी जान पे तेरी शान पे तेरी
'हैय्या हो' की तान साध ले जो बात ठहरी जान पे तेरी शान पे तेरी
चल जीत जीत लहरा जा, परचम तू लाल फेहरा जा
अब कर जा तू या मर जा, कर ले तैय्यारी
उड़ जा बनके धूप का पंछी छुड़ा के गहरी छाँव अँधेरी
तिनका-तिनका जोड़ के सांसें क्यों नापती-सी नाँव है तेरी

रख देगा झकझोर के तुझे तूफानों का घोर है डेरा
भँवर से डर जो हार मान ले कहे का फिर ज़ोर है तेरा
है दिल में रौशनी तेरे, तू चीर डाल सब घेरे
लहरों की गर्दन कस के डाल फंदे रे
कि दरिया बोले "वाह! रे पंथी, सर आँखों पे नाव है तेरी"

This has to be one of the best written songs of the year. I still wonder whether any popular award function in India has the guts to honour the lyricist for this. The music of the film is not only apt, it is catchy and you fall in love with the songs within a couple of hearings. Sadly, it is next to impossible to listen to these songs. T-Series did not release too many copies of the audio CD. I have failed to buy one in spite of visiting all leading stores. FM Channels will play everything but the songs of ‘Udaan’. They don’t listen to the songs to select them; they look for ‘names’ associated with the songs. Any FM guy would reject the songs of 'Peepli [Live]' if the name of its star-producer were not attached to them. But they played, and the audience loved, and ‘Menhgayi Daayan’ is one of the top rated songs on Radio Mirchi today. But those Amit Trivedi numbers that could have easily been popular due to their inspiring rhythm, easy melody and beautiful lyrics are just nowhere to be heard. This link will take you to the lyrics of other songs from the film. We can easily say that Amitabh Bhattacharya is one of the best in the business as of today. Only, not too many people know him. And this really makes me sad, and angry.

'Peepli [Live]' is already generating positive reviews. But for me there are some things of significance beyond the product. And it is the fact that this ‘small’ film is being produced by one of the most powerful men in the film industry. That is the triumph for the film. Aamir Khan has proved to us that you can use your name to sell almost anything. This fact will remain true even if the film is not too well-made, because its marketing has already done the trick. And if it is a decent product, Aamir’s decision will only gain reputation. Sadly, even if it is a brilliant film and is commercially successful, I doubt it will make producers like Yash Raj Films stop making films they make and turn their attention towards content and originality. And if 'Peepli [Live]' fails, I can already imagine these ‘Gods’ of Hindi commercial cinema laughing on Aamir’s ‘stupidity’.


  1. I think Udaan will have its fair share of positive surprises at filmfare next march!

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  3. ever since the last year's Zoya Akhtar award, i consider Filmfare sold and that Amir Khan is quite right not to attend them. Udaan may or may not be awarded in its own land of origin, it will however be duly and rightly awarded everywhere else. this is what happens to great Indian films, either they get a cult following after 5 decades or they get appreciated everywhere else, and no "shame" or sense of responsibility reaches the "esteemed jury" of these "estemed awards". Udaan will fly everywhere it deserves to fly. We will still watch and make movies like "Houseful" a "hit".
    but the times are coming and the tides are changing. Amen.

  4. "2010 is turning out to be fabulous at the movies. Avatar, Ishqiya,Inception,Udaan and now Peepli[live] " - picked from a review on the web !!! Awards (home-grown ones) will wake upto it in due time ,but not before shunning years of degenaration .. For now the movie is hitting all the right notes :)

  5. Hey Priyadarshi! Your comment here proved to be prophetic. 'Udaan' truly won the maximum number of Filmfare trophies this year!!!