“He who cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Does not giving away anything mean being uncaring? Is it not possible that the feelings are inside, too afraid to be expressed?
Giving away is, of course, more likely about giving. Whether in love, or friendship, or the extended groups we belong to. It is also about giving the benefit of another’s existence. How often we deny that. To people. To our surroundings. To others. And by doing so we just add to the morass of time lost.
Today’s song is about the tricks of time. The film Anmol Ghadi had an inanimate character – a timepiece, a gift that that is a reminder to the separated lovers who later face each other in ways quite different from when they first met about that 'precious moment'.
When India and Pakistan are on another binge of ‘peace’, this film is a telling example of the denial I mentioned. Made a year before the Partition, it was banned in Pakistan after the 1965 war. Its main actors Noorjehan and Surendra had two nationalities by then – Pakistani and Indian. For over four decades it was not shown in the country where the actress-singer was as huge a star as she had been in India. So, Pakistan was denying one of their own her heritage. She was dead by the time it was re-released.
The song itself is sublime because of its subtle rendition. There is torment rather than tears. A couple of lines can be applied to the two nations torn apart:
barbaad main yahaan hoon
abaad tu kahaan hai
bedard aasmaan hai ...
(Ruined am I
But unscathed you are not too
How merciless is the sky)
Awaaz de kahaan hai – Anmol Ghadi
Movie: Anmol Ghadi (1946)
Singer(s): Noorjahan, Surendra
Music Director: Naushad
Lyricist: Tanvir Naqvi