A gem in a morass

Morass is a complicated and dangerous situation that is especially difficult to escape from or an area of low soft wet marshy land. In Bollywood it just means a storyline that went bad due to countless alterations and interference from all quarters imaginable (& otherwise) from the driver of the hero to the producer’s dog walker to the heroine’s bootlegger to the wife of the paanwallah who runs a kiosk opposite the main entrance to the studio where the film is being shot. So the storyline looks like a multicoloured quilt stitched together to include every rag donated by the multitude of people. No one gives a fleeting thought to what would happen to the overall impact as they can 12 reels or so of the movie. Bung in a song or two , add the usual, well worn clichés and you have a curious chimaeric animal that goes by the name of a completed Hindi movie. I stumbled across exactly such a horrific disaster called (of all the things) Vishwas while looking up a wonderful song sung by the Sultan of Soul, Mukesh.

Mukesh and KalyanjiAnandji gave us some truly unforgettable gems. So many of them have been filmed on apologies that passed for leading men, they shared a passable countenance that wouldn’t startle an infant at feeding time but that’s about all. These cakes of soapstone would never make you suspect they were there for their acting skills (?!?), for very simply they had even less of this nebulous quality than rain in the Atacama.

The movie Vishwas had the central premise of a woman who wants to get rich by any possible means (Kamini Kaushal) even when married off to a poor dope (Bharat Bhushan) who while mired in poverty can’t do much to control his wannabe-rich wife than give her an obligatory son who is quite naturally (for Bollywood movies) the male lead (Jumping Jack Jeetendra from an era long before Gulzar achieved the seemingly impossible and unimaginable feat of actually getting him to act. I don’t know if Jeetendra and Balaji Films approached Gulzar with the brief to get Tussharhope I haven’t missed out on an extra S- precipitating Gulzar’s retirement from the field altogether). Now the gold digger steals a diamond necklace and lets her husband take the rap and spend a few years in the cooler (I guess Bharat Bhushan thought this was fair for the hours of agony he inflicted on the ticket buying audiences over the decades) . The hubby emerges from the Government accommodation and finds no trace of the wife and a son to raise. A few decades later the same son falls for a beautiful young lady (Aparna Sen who later took to direction) and doesn’t realise the lass may be a decoy or beauteous bait to entrap him to a life of servility with his biological mom. The movie, otherwise quite useless has this gem of a song..

The song starts with a surprise, an actor with well oiled hair on the piano who is known in Bollywood for his ignominious prowess in sexually assaulting hapless women of all ages, sizes and background. Manmohan looks the part, I can’t imagine the villainous countenance ever mouthing niceties. Kalyanji Anandji concoct a classic composition. The lyrics are by Gulshan Bawra who frequently managed to somehow perform on-screen like Hitchcock in a brief cameo.

Another instance of a wonderful song in a movie best used to get hardened criminals to confess to crimes they have committed (as well as those they haven’t).

Stay safe, folks, stay healthy and happy. I will be lost thinking of a refreshing return to nature this Thursday.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

6 replies on “A gem in a morass”

Beautiful share , an immortal song sung so soulfully by great Mukeshji🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
With the intricate details given by you I am sure folks will enjoy it better 👌👌👌👌👌🙏🏾
Gulshan Bawra had written this song based on his own love affair he narrates on the radio👍👍 when KA found him mourning this event, gently advised him to pen down his feelings… I believe 👍and the result is this beautiful song👌👌👌

Liked by 1 person

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