Jeremiad : I was reminded of this wonderful (but less used) word early today morning. Jeremiad: means a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes. Why did the word suddenly pop into my head today morning? I really don’t know the answer to that. I have been in a happy frame of mind since months now, and nothing that could evoke the word has happened of late. The word reminded me of a beautiful song from the mid 50s. One where the amazing musical score is always a memorable one. A movie which was a rare flop for the producer Mehbood Khan.
Amar was a movie way ahead of its times, which was one of the first (and very rare movies) that showed Yusuf Saab (Dilip Kumar) in a villainous role. A movie which actually had a good script and storyline, and had a brilliant cast that included Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Nimmi , with Jayant (Amjad “Gabbar” Khan’s father), Murad and Mukri in supporting roles. Naushad composed one of his best scores in a memorable and long career, and some great acting as well. The movie going public did not like two aspects that actually made the movie different from the usual “masala” films and the movie flopped. Mehboob Khan’s labour of love which was worth a watch was lost in the flow of time. Thankfully it is available on YouTube. If any of you hasn’t seen it, go ahead and watch it. Amarnath , a lawyer ( Dilip Kumar) is driven by a strong sense of social justice.He is engaged to a beautiful social worker (Madhubala). He has met a milkmaid, a beautiful petite young woman, Nimmi and has flipped for her charms. Madhubala has graduated from “Vilayat” (the favoured destination of the rich and the famous those days for getting educated) and is a strong advocate of social justice and helping the poor. One night, after attending a local Mela, Nimmi is pursued by the local baddie (Jayant) who has his testosterone working overdrive. In a bid to escape him Nimmi runs into Dilip Kumar’s house for refuge and safety from the Goon. A thunderstorm begins and Dilip Kumar ends up raping her. The sorry deed having been done, the hero’s conscience torments him as he tries to hide his crime and proceed with his engagement to Madhubala . She now senses something is amiss, but cannot figure out what it is. As it always seems to happen in Bollywood where the producers/directors/ scriptwriters seem to be convinced women are reflex ovulators it is revealed that Soniya is pregnant. She refuses to name the father of her child and is now shunned as an outcaste by the villagers as being amoral. Jayant manages to figure out who the father actually is and wants to avenge her. He ends up dying by his own hands. Dilip Kumar is now accused of the murder but the truth does come out. The villagers want to lynch Nimmi who is now supported by Madhubala, who ensures that Dilip Kumar actually marries Nimmi and leaves the village. That unusual ending was not appreciated by the audience of the day who would have loved to see Dilip Kumar go away into the sunset with Nimmi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWF1LTWEUV8
Shakil Badayuni‘s lyrics touch the soul, and he justifies why he was one of Naushad’s favoured lyricist. Always such a pleasure to get awed and inspired by a great poet and his/her wordcraft skills. Lata Mangeshkar, all of 24 or 25 when she recorded the song, is on song (pun intended) and the song (and the sublime quality of her voice is just overwhelmingly unforgettable). How I wish the lady had not sung utterly forgettable junk like “Sun Sayaba Sun” just attracted by the lure of filthy lucre which at that stage of her career and life meant nothing, really. (She frankly seems worlds away from this genre of immortal melodies while playing to the gallery in the late 80’s and 90’s). Unlike the great SMG, she couldn’t quite retire when on the top of her game. Vijay Merchant put it best: ‘You should quit and have people ask “Why” and not wait till they ask “Why Not”?’ An opportune moment lost for most people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXGO7lWItOs
Have fun guys, stay safe and stay healthy. Stay happy and away from the Chinese.