Film Ghazal

A poignant self abnegation

A beautiful ghazal from Lal Qila sung by the one and only Rafisaab

I first heard this song in the early 60s when we were at Hakimpet near Secunderabad.

Even at the time, I was very impressed with the poignant notes struck by the great Rafisaab. To my mind very few singers could manage such sublime singing with an apparently calm voice and yet convey such immense depths of raw pain, the palpable pathos is all engulfing, almost smothering even the most flippant of listeners.


It is from a storyline that romanticizes and fictionalizes the history around the first war of Independence of 1857, when various Indian regimes and forces fought separately against the invaders/looters from England. The lack of unity did the Indians in as well as the insane adherence to the “rules of war”. The Brits resorted to all manners of treachery and barbarity to slaughter the Indians and were of course aided and abetted in achieving this goal by the Indians, in a manner similar to eulogising and deifying the Mafiosi today.


Lal Qila was a movie directed by Nanabhai Bhatt. A relatively low budget movie, it had Jairaj & Nirupa Roy as the lead pair. The movie is about the last days of the last Moghul to “rule” India, Bahadurshah Zafar.


By all accounts, Bahadurshah was quite the wimp, being more interested in exercising his poetic drives rather than dabble in affairs of the state (too mundane for his taste anyway). He notionally ruled the vestiges of the Moghul empire. But even he felt the pain of the loss of a kingdom and the attendant deprivation of all the trappings of power .


The amazingly haunting Musical composition at a deliberately slow tempo is by an unsung genius. S N Tripathi. His immense worth was never quite recognised nor celebrated as much as it should have been.


Poignant, thoughtful cry from the very soul, it will keep me engrossed for the day. Have a wonderful Sunday, folks


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India