Introspective melodies Rajesh Roshan Romantic Duets

The pursuit of happiness…

Everyday, I step out of my home, go down the lift, start my car, and drive on the streets of Pune. I never speed while driving, I just go slow to see the faces of people around me, going about what they need to do in their lives, rushing to work, in a haste to get ahead in the day, vendors trying to sell their wares (the din especially pronounced on Wednesdays and Sundays as I always go through the flea market that Punekars refer to as Juna Bazaar), autorickshaw drivers driving painfully slowly, scouting for passengers for the first paying customer of their day (the “Bhoni”), and so many of the rest, seemingly just lost, making random, apparently disorganised almost Brownian, never ceasing movements. Everyone is going somewhere without getting anywhere.

I see unhappy faces, even when they are smiling; they are silently seething within, weighted down by the burden of their daily lives. People running around, losing patience, and never really getting to be themselves. I see parents dropping their kids off to school with a happy face, mothers and fathers waiting at the pickup points with the heavy sack the tiny tot needs to carry to go through the necessary ritual of schooling. Maybe the parents will enjoy the few moments of relief when the kids are on their way before they get into their own routines. These same parents were unhappy being alone/not getting married/ when they were not having kids and now that the kid(s) are here and growing up, they are unhappy now that they cannot live their lives to the fullest, the way they used to when they were unmarried/or just married BC (Before Children).

I usually see the fat porcine man in his Merc being driven to work, but always busy arguing, even haranguing with someone on the phone, maybe his spouse or parents or subordinates or superiors. He is busy earning the perks and baubles he just seems to have ignored what he already had.

The other day I suddenly halted at the traffic light, the one busy intersection and now I had more than a minute to observe the world around me without having to think of the suicidal maniac who wants to fulfil his dream of dying under my car’s wheels.

I see a Royal Enfield stop beside me; the guy is wearing a 2 day old stubble, ruggedly handsome and has a PYT riding pillion, but I don’t see any signs of intimacy. She is engrossed in her phone (isn’t everyone in the pillion position these days) and he is desperately waiting for the light to turn green; I think maybe he is getting late. Maybe he has to drop the wisp-like beauty (time they got seat belts for pillion riders who want to stay busy with their smartphones) before backtracking and going to his own workplace, he looks really on a short fuse.

I suddenly hear a loud sound of what passes for music these days, a cacophonous import from the Land of the Impure bleating like a traumatized goat from his home country while the din that is called muzic blares out at the top of the 1500 PMPO installed in the souped up autorickshaw with mini disco lights, a flag of a political party (that is famous for collecting the scum of the earth, the dregs of society) and the driver who could pass for a drug-hazed rocker who hasn’t washed himself in years, but the passenger is clearly disinterested, his noise cancellation headset seems to protect his unused brain from the unbearable cacophony as he is lost in his smartphone.

Suddenly I am distracted by a little girl in rags selling flowers; she taps at my car window and impulsively I do something unusual and quite unlike me, I open the window glass, enchanted by her innocent bewitching smile. She asks me to buy the bunch of fragrant flowers. I love sonchafa and watch hundreds them bloom and spread their fragrance at my weekend getaway. The kid asks for ₹80, I somehow get my wallet out by contortions without untying my seat belt that’d be better suited for a circus, pull out a ₹100 note and hand it over to the child in rags. The child smiles as expectedly I tell her not to bother with the change, as I notice from the corner of my eye the light will turn green any moment, I hurriedly take the bunch of flowers and put it on the seat next to me and within those seconds, I see the girl happily hopping with a wide smile, giving the money to her mother. She keeps it in her jhola and gives the girl another bunch, while she goes back to breast feeding her baby (I sense a shiver down my spine as I realize the mother is just a teenager and already has 2 kids!) and making more flower bunches; I see a satisfied face for now.

On my daily journey the only satisfied faces I seem to see are of the underprivileged and the poorest for whom, the only thing that matters is getting the next (square or otherwise) meal (a luxury of sorts) and finding a cover (a sheet of blue plastic or a torn down banner of a political party or a flex from a hoarding) under which they can seek a modicum of protection from the elements, and not being beaten off the streets by the cops, thugs and others even more deprived than they are. They are far removed, blissfully unaware of the so-called luxuries the fake, ad-fuelled reality has to offer.

While I was driving that day and after buying the flowers that I gave to the suitably surprised old Chacha who directs the cars in the hospital car park, I was reminded of this wonderful song from a fabulously enjoyable movie called Khatta Meetha.

Khatta Meetha was made by Basu Chatterjee in the post emergency period. The film has an ensemble cast with Ashok Kumar, Rakesh Roshan, Bindiya Goswami, Pearl Padamsee, Deven Verma, David, Ranjit Chowdhry (Pearl Padamsee’s son in real life, who debuted in this movie), Preeti Ganguly (Ashok Kumar’s youngest daughter who got plenty of roles when overweight, but didn’t find too many takers when she lost some 50-60 Kg)
,Pradeep Kumar and Iftekhar.

At the Filmfare Awards that followed, Deven Verma (Ashok Kumar’s son in law in real life) was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role for the film, but won it for Chor Ke Ghar Chor.

The brilliant musical score is by Rajesh Roshan , one of his many memorable ones.

The movie is a loose adaptation of Yours, Mine and Ours, and I don’t want to dilate much on the plot. Go see it, it will be time well spent. Believe me.

Ashok Kumar and Pearl Padamsee are just brilliant.

This song, written by Gulzar and sung by Kishoreda and Latadidi is kind of a theme song for the storyline.

थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रुरत है
ज़िन्दगी फिर भी यहाँ खूबसूरत है
थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रुरत है

जिस दिन पैसा होगा
वो दिन कैसा होगा
उस दिन पहिये घूमेंगे
और किस्मत के लब चूमेंगे
बोलो ऐसा होगा
थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रुरत है

सुन सुन सुन हवा चली सबा चली
तेरे आँचल से उड़ के घाटा चली
सुन सुन सुन कहाँ चली कहाँ चली
मैं छूने ज़रा आसमां चली
बादल पे उड़ना होगा
थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रुरत है

हमने सपना देखा है
कोई अपना देखा है
हमने सपना देखा है
कोई अपना देखा है

जब रात का घूँघट उतरेगा
और दिन की डोली गुज़रेगी
तब सपना पूरा होगा
थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रुरत है
ज़िन्दगी फिर भी यहाँ खूबसूरत है
थोड़ा है थोड़े की ज़रुरत है

Basu Chatterjee wrote the story, screenplay and directed this beautiful movie, one of the many he made on the entrapped and vastly neglected middle class in Indian society. I just love the way Kishoreda’s voice soars in the song. Latadidi sings beautifully in this unforgettable duet.

Have a wonderful day and week ahead, folks. Try to spread the happiness once you find it…. Everyone could do with a dollop of it.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

18 replies on “The pursuit of happiness…”

Dr.Pervin Keki.Surti phd. CASM 567-678 39611in alternative medicine Independent postdoctoral researcher in neurosciencesays:

God bless you always… Our respected Dr. Saheb.

Liked by 1 person

Very well described. A typical roadside scene, quotidian, in almost all busy cities in our country. The song is so beautiful, the lyrics, composition and singing, all!

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The narrative on the streets of and city is the same sirji — in Mumbai too a mad frenzy to go somewhere — not knowing where exactly — and yes,the stark reality of real poverty was seen by my younger daughter working as a teacher in”” Teach for India “” NGO in a municipal school — she would invite 15-16 kids for a meal every other weekend — some biryani+ wafers and a cold drink — abject poor kids from slums of Dharavi — the smilles on their countenance made it everso worthwhile and my wife or i would drop them back to their humble huts in our cars– a very simple statement from a mere 7 years old child left me speechless “” Achha aaj maloom pada ‘ Amiri’ kaisi hoti hai”” — my daughter would visit their homes and come back in tears– saying “” that 7 year old has a daily meal of 2 parle glucose biscuits — how can i ever go to cafe mocha again and order a Rs 185 /- cold coffee with icecream — it taight
her such valuable lessons and is too. Sorry a bit lengthy msg

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Interesting write up..
खूप सुंदर गाणे…..
खरे आहे…. स्वतः आनंदी असणे आणि इतरांनाही आनंद देणे ही खूप मोठी कला आहे जी फार थोड्या माणसांना अवगत असते..

नाहीतर बरयाच लोकांचे स्वतः चे आयुष्य उत्तम चाललेले असूनही दुसर्‍याबद्दल असुया वाटण्यात तसेच दुसर्‍याच्या आयुष्यातील दुःख, कमतरताच सतत दाखवून स्वतः चा मोठेपणा मिरवण्यात जातात…..
दुसर्‍याची सुद्धा मनापासून स्तुती करणे ही फार थोड्या लोकांना जमते……
या गाण्याच्या निमित्ताने बरेच विचार, आठवणी आणि आलेल्या अनुभवांना उजाळा मिळाला….

माझी आजी आंम्हाला नेहमी सांगत असे…” जर आपल्याला कोणाचे चांगले करणे जमत नसेल तर निदान त्याचे वाईट तरी करु नये”…..
” नेहमी चांगलेच बोलावे”….. आणि आनंद द्यावा ….घ्यावा…..

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रोजच्या धावपळीतले तुम्ही बारकाईने टिपलेले क्षण आणि नमूद केलेलं गाणं दोन्ही खूप छान

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I mistook the bridegroom Rakesh Roshan for a young Amithabh Bachann, in the Khatta Meeta shot displayed. Nice music and song. A fine review, thanks Doctor 🙏

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