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Monday, 21 June 2010

The last song

In the movie Ishara (1969), Amir (Waheed Murad) meets his soulmate Aliya (Deeba) but they must part when Aliya's guardian decides to marry her elsewhere. Amir paints a picture of the gate that has been closed on him thus, and on his own painting takes him elsewhere.

The fantasy song takes a step deeper into the artist's imagination. We entered his mind when the film started and now we are visiting his soul. The film turns from black and white to color, and we see archetypes of South Asian cinema rearranged to depict the spiritual realm. Consider this question as you watch the video:

The video is not sub-titled, so a basic translation of the song is being given here (chroeographers mime most of these lines anyway).
[Prelude]
My Love, do not be sad, life is the Tale of Suffering;
I am here, you are there, and the ruthless Time is in between.
[Intro]
We meet for the last time, so why not meet smilingly:
Put out all lamps of grief while we meet.
[Stanza 1]
Hide the tears in your eyes,
For God's sake do not burn you heart like this;
Today is a test on integrity,
Let's look into the eyes of Time as we meet it.
[Stanza 2]
Let's look at you to our heart's content today,
Since we must become estranged tomorrow.
Do not leave us yet,
Let's hide every suffering today while we meet.

11 comments:

Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

Wow, this is one of the most powerful songs of Maestro Sohail Rana, and I have always enjoyed this audio and video both.
Once the door opens to the inner world the black and white of the outer world vanishes and the color of inner world super imposes on everything. The prelude to the song is a dominant symphony which runs for about 3 minutes and is such a master piece. It has movements of search, togetherness, longing, waiting and meeting again, but meeting in two different spheres as both are distinctly in two separate circles or in two different planets. The realities were harsh in the outer world and the artist wanted to make things happen in the inner world where he is the master, but eventually it dawns on him that the there was no dichotomy in artists inner and outer world.

urooj malik said...

It seems that the song is indicating about the ending of an era and the starting of another period, which would be very painful as compare to the first song which had given Amir the joy, hope and trust on fate.

Standing outside the gate he was on the path that was enlightened with the street lights.

The gate suddenly opens and Amir enters into a new world, if its the world of his soul, it seems to go into darkness of hopelessness as his destiny that is Aliya is supposed to be gone. The change of the color shows the change of state and attitude. It looks that everything has become modern but actually everything looks mysterious and dark. Like the circle on which Aliya is standing has very dark colors and also she is on height as compare to Amir.

When Amir in the end tries to meet Aliya for the last time, suddenly all lights turn off and Aliya has to go without meeting him as there was darkness came between them, and then surprisingly the gate closes behind her and Amir is still inside the gate.

One more thing that is surprising is the pieces of art that are present inside that gate and making the environment more mysterious.

It seems that Waheed Murad has painted the picture of change of attitude of the artist towards the high literature where his real destiny is going far and everything including cinema and other forms of art are going to be affected by that.

Thinking said...

hmm...it is really a sad song...and makes me sad too...why in this world...people just cant let two people meet...why there are so many barriers...so many boundries...

And everyone is bound to it...rather stick to his own circle...

This songs showed...Aamir's faith...there is no difference between the "Ajj Achanak" and this song...as both have faith in it...

Though this one contains faith only in his heart...while in "Ajj Achanak" it was evident by others too...

Aamir has lost the authority over girl...but he still has faith on his LOVE and Devotion...

Thats why he saw the girl wanted to meet him too...he saw in his dream...that she wants him...but her circumstances are preventing her...

May be in his heart even in his dream he would have tried to figure out what are the circumstances who are preventing the girl to meet him???

hmm...it was a bit scary...cause it looks like...our good fate...and poor US...

Our good FATE always wanted to come to us but somehow the circumstances always prevent it to touch our hands...

May be because we are not coming upto the level of good fate....thats why both of them were on different height...Aamir was on the lower height while the Deeba was on upper height...

The gate was basically the opening of the way to our good fate or may be COLLECTIVE EGO...

We can find so many literary arts forms in this new colorful world...but our eyes were fixed on our FATE only...

We are used to black and white life...we have somehow find peace and harmony in our colorlessness...but when we see...or even think about our FATE....we always found colorful surrondings...

The question was....what was preventing them to meet eachother...? What is preventing us to meet our good fate...???

Basically it was the false guardian who dont like anyone in this world and dont want to see anyone happy around them...

They like people to suffer and feel miserable....

And thus it is the false guardian on our good fate....who is preventing(by all its means)to stop our (us and good fate) union.

We always think that our FATE will trigger our dreams into reality...we have faith on it...

Aamir got the faith in him...he can see his FATE...but the thing or the emotion or the action which requires Fate to trigger the dream to convert into reality...has been lost....

It is not an easy path....as shown in the last part that when they tried to touch Deeba was taken away...

Which means that...we should now start searching for another way to reach our fate...

hmm...I wonder...what that could be ????

Khurram Ali Shafique said...

There are nine people in each circle (eight choreographers plus hero or heroine), and nine stairs between the two circles. Very symmetrical :)

rIZ said...

First Amir drew the gate, it was his own creation. He(or may be his mind) then linked his painting with his imagination or dream. Then in the end he can not control the gate himself... :s strange!

Plus Amir cleared all the nine stairs for her in the end, but she got away... :s Maybe those nine stairs are the scale to measure time, When time came (Amir cleared stairs) something sad happened and she got away.

One thing is very interesting here! The gate is a symmetrical image, like you don't know that which side is the entry and which side is exit... just look from Amir's eyes, in the beginning when YOU entered the gate, your world was outside the gate (just look behind to get the feeling), now imagine you are looking at the gate but this time when you look behind, it is that stage. that stage has become your world now.

Komal Khan said...

Here comes the Ishara - the sign - when we move from Amir's outer world to the inner world that the change will happen. In my opinion this is as similar as the video Aaj Achanak reflects i.e. from now on everything would be changed.

Also in this video Amir paints his soul, means there is no difference in his thought and action. This reflects the nature of the real artist that his art is as pure as his soul which is not in darkness but has light in it.

Aaj Achanak is a song which reflects the happiness of achieving something however this song reflects the pain of something which is seemed to be losing but still in this video he sings My Love, do not be sad, life is the Tale of Suffering ... Let's hide every suffering today while we meet.

And the biggest Ishara is the change in film - from black and white to colour - which reflects the change in society which could be observed due to the presence of artists like Waheed Murad.

Connie L. Nash said...

The music, the voice and dancing is glorious...the smooth use of black and white and color perfection...the levels and way the various realms of inner/outer/past/present/future and beyond are used are genius and yet without self-consciousness which at first is anticipated...

How might there be the hidden as well as obvious Sufi and some dream symbols and reminders? the circling,whirling? The gate? The poetry is it not uniquely South Asian along with the interplay of Persia? And a few hints of other lands? (Greece, the West a bit?)

The hero is also not as free to seek his soulmate as he may indicate he is at first...

Perhaps he must choose between his future and vision as artist and his human love? Time certainly is key and yet other dynamics like geography are factored in...

Also the largest barrier may be where the two soulmates are in each their own inner development, spiritual or creative transformation...each their own awareness of the world and worlds around them?

I am most intrigued by the phrase, "Today is a test on integrity...and the plea to face Time...

Number Nine (the number nine, which has an important symbolic value in the Mevlevi culture,right?
I want to conclude by saying surely this is KEY to this clip and song?

Has nine been used in other places, art events where nine is deliberately used in staging or exhibits?

Space and Time - inner - outer and faith or lack of the same become ever so much more vivid than if they had been placed in a more obvious or didactic form.

The poetry and themes of love for another, for self, for society, for tradition, for place and most of all for the whole of life and the world reverberates, shimmers...

Somehow promises that the ending is still to come, that conclusions have not been finalized by these barriers...

Rida Salman said...

I'd firstly like to mention what i pointed out earlier. The ladies are not only attired like the swirling dervishes, their movements portray the same. Not like the stereoptype choreography.

Aamir steps into the realm of his inner world,and he doesnt go alone, he takes us with him too. What could be greater than letting someone be there with you in your inner world and see every color of your emotions? However, this is not just about love. This is a completely different level of love, faith and trials that Aamir is put through,a trial that we all are a part of now,more or less. From all that I have seen so far, this video is symbolically the best one.

karachikhatmal said...

ah!

the much maligned bezar is finally vindicated. the artist in amir has much to tell the world, but he finds himself like bezar, retracting into his own mind when the world around him doesn't make sense.

in other cinematic languages, any departure to song and dance must appear as fantasy. but in our cinema, it is possible to differentiate between a 'realistic' song and a 'fantasy' song. thus the earlier clip can be deemed to be set within the reality of the film's world, while the latter is set in the fantasy of amir's mind.

and whatta fantasy it is too. i love that it goes from black and white to color, as if to say that his pain seems to evoke much greater spectrum of emotions than his joy. and that for all that one attempts to include everyone, art is ultimately introspective (as well)

furthermore, while the actions are an extension of the lyrics in the first song, they are a contradiction in the latter. the lyrics, taken literally, are almost stoic. but taken with the actions they become tragic. thus the actions form part of the meaning, rather than being a mere translation.

robert said...

Greetings,

What a beautiful song.

To me, this differs from from Aaj Achanak in that the mood here is less overtly celebratory. It is as if the first depicts a bringing together of humankind, while this one is the longing of the mystic's heart, and the loneliness by which this can be felt.

Smiles during the day (to serve others), and tears at night, alone...two sides at the same time.

This is just my comprehension of it.

All good wishes,

robert

Ranu 802 said...

The first song depicts hope and success .The last one shows pain and hopelessness.