AS A FORERUNNER TO AUGUST 15, INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY A FRIEND MAILED ME an old film song from the 1959 filmDidi, sung by Asha Bhonsle, Sudha Malhotra and Mohammed Rafi.
The song, ‘Humne Suna That Ek Hai Bharat‘ (We heard that India is United’) summarises India’s recent history – its journey from a struggle for Independence marked by unique principles of non-violence and civil disobedience to dynasty rule, caste rivalry and communal disharmony, not to speak of the dirtiest politics imaginable.
How meaningful were old songs! From those soulful songs that touched hearts to today’s shouting and meaningless cacaphony of ‘lyrics’ without harmony is a similar journey of deterioration.
It was a film that starred the late Sunil Dutt. Can any reader remember the film? Or the name of the first boy on who was shown singing the song?
2019 – A NEW YEAR has arrived. Today, January 1, is the day of promises to oneself, New Year resolutions, bucket lists, and plans…a day of greeting everyone you know and even strangers.
This will be followed by unfulfilled promises, resolutions broken, lists that remain on paper and plans that remain in the mind. This is a pessimistic view. Some people do make a new beginning, start implementing resolutions and try to make the new year a happy one as desired
In my case, the last quarter of this year would mean completion of 80 years of age – one more year of a vigil at the exit gate of life, waiting for it to open. The boastful ‘unstoppable’ is slowing down and a decision is to be taken on whether to continue till 80 or make it ‘stoppable’ now — neither acclaimed if continued nor missed if stopped.
This post is being written, perhaps, due to the Indian belief that what happens on a new year day or a birthday will happen throughout the year – which explains why some celebrate these days by feasting and wearing new clothes.
Writing this is, however, not to ensure that this would continue for the year but an acknowledgment of the fact that I have lived, from the age of 16, by writing, with no great achievements in the past and certainly none likely in the few weeks or months that remain. That is the story of most. not all, people on earth.
And yet we wish each other a Happy New Year and celebrate the occasion. The famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1937-1984) who migrated to Pakistan during Partition (to start Communist movement there, but was frustrated due to his failure) asks what is new in the new year or how it is ‘happy’.