Dream-weavers of the cinema

The magic that the make-believe world of cinema weaves worldwide is an accepted way of life in these times. The actors become so huge in their fan following that they are given the status and title of superstars. It is the same in the developed and not that developed countries. Despite the differences the two countries have had since partition, the outpouring of sentiments was equally acute in both India and Pakistan when Rajesh Khanna (RK) passed away three days ago. He was the magic ingredient for Bollywood films made in the 60s and the 70s.There is hardly anyone from that era, with particular reference to women, who was not smitten or enamoured of the Khanna charm. Even those who belong to the post-RK generation still sing and hum the songs that he enacted on screen and made us fall in love with Kishore Kumar’s voice. People are the same everywhere and the language of music and literature overcomes all divides and negativity. In the last 30 odd years, the pull of Kishore Kumar’s songs has not faded which is also why RK, who was filmed singing them, never faded from memory. On his death, each and every glorious song was played on the electronic media as a tribute and it has not been possible for anybody to be able to pick just one as the most favourite.It is, probably, not possible for the West to comprehend the role poetry plays in our culture and thus our tendency to resort and/or hide behind verses whenever expressing any feelings. The breaking in to song in most movies made in the subcontinent is an extension of this phenomenon. Poetry set to music is the way to express joy, love, pathos, and grief - the whole spectrum of feeling. It is woven and embedded so deeply into our culture and tradition that we indulge in it almost unconsciously. It is evident from the tappas at our weddings, or the kalaam of our Sufi saints, or the marsias of Anis and the works of Allama Iqbal and so on.The 60s and the 70s gave us a range of film music, epitomised by the Kishore-Khanna combine, that remains a part of our personal emotional lives and, to date, most of us cannot set on long journeys by road until our CD collection in the car contains all the golden songs sung by Kishore. Not just that, there is no sing-along musical evening possible until there are the eternal favourites, which everyone sings with the singer of the evening while remaining lost in thoughts about the lost or cherished loves of their own lives. “Chuu ker meray mun ko kiya tu nai kya ishaara”, or “rhim jhim ghiray sawaan”, or “hummey tum sai piyar kitna ye hum nahi jaantey” are equally hummable like scores of other compositions of that time. These superstars of yore will remain an intangible part of our growing years and happy nostalgic memories.Ramazan is here and one hopes for a month of respite from all that we see around us in the other 11 months. The noisiness and argumentativeness of our talk shows will be replaced by the new breed of equally talkative TV evangelists, who will try and show us the correct path with the same verve. Somehow, the soothing sense of spirituality has begun to get lost behind the commercial aspect of ratings and the competition between which channel gets watched more at Iftar and Sehr. There is also the ad on social network pages in which Veena Malik is inviting people to join her on some channel in doing asthaghfar in this holy month. If it is authentic, then the leap from bare-all to TV evangelist has been quite a big one and rather rapid - don’t you think! But then it’s all about ratings and the best of the best cannot top Ms Malik for ratings!Apart from the TV evangelists, who move into prime slots on all channels throughout this month, there are two other professions which also do equally well in Ramazan. One is the community of tailors. Every man, woman and child, along with their aunts, like to wear new clothes on Eid and are dependent on tailors, in most cases, for the purpose. With the population increasing as it is doing and accompanied by the lack of electricity, one can foresee the mayhem and the mad rush by the end of this month on the darzis, so the earlier one gets the new clothes out of the way, the better it will be! The second group of people, who are indispensable at the end of Ramazan, and to whom we remain hostage to celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, are the happy members of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. They have the nation just where they want them on the 29th eve of the holy month and really relish their minutes of annual fame! I have never seen elsewhere such long-winded preambles to the simple query of the moon having been sighted (with the naked eye) or not.Postscript: The brazen daylight robberies by dacoits looting banks have increased to a freighting level. The police seem to be quite helpless in the face of this onslaught. Perhaps, they are very busy in trying to reduce their pot-bellies. Makes sense! Only when they are able to run as fast as the dacoits would they be expected to catch up with them physically. What about the mental dexterity? There is need to shed some cotton wool from there too - ASAP.The writer is a public relations and event management professional based in Islamabad.Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com 

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