Bazaar(1982) and the Meer Ghazal

“Kis kambakth ko pata hai ki woh yahaan kya kar raha hai!”

So asks Smita Patil in one of the emotional sequences of the Hindi movie Bazaar, profoundly referring to the purposeless existence of everybody around. And in return I felt like asking her the same question, “What were you doing in this film?”

This movie was written and directed by Mr Sagar Sarhadi, the only one he has directed till now(thankfully!). For the uninitiated, he has an impressive resume having written either the dialogs or stories of many Yash Chopra movies (Kabhi kabhie, Silsila, Faasle and Chandni). It was released in 1982.

I would assume Mr Sarhadi understood his limitations as a director early enough and stuck to what he does better, writing. Because the movie has a good story for sure, and may have a social relevence during the late seventies or early eighties. The film has a great cast too, Naseeruddin Shah, Farooq Sheikh, Supriya Pathak and Bharat Kapoor. (Ms Pathak went on to win a Filmfare for best supporting actress for this movie.) But the movie is one dimensional, and fails to create any sympathy for the characters, purely because life is portrayed as so depressing, characters so helpless, the tone of the movie so pitiful that one almost cannot sit through the movie. The story is based on poor muslim women of Hyderabad who were being sold off to rich and old Arab businessmen.

So why am I still writing about this movie? It is because it boasts of a magnificent and haunting soundtrack from Khayyam. Whoever says the Eighties did not have quality music must listen to this soundtrack.

While so many great Ghazals are part of this movie and became so popular, it is a pity that the movie almost does not deserve them. “Phir Chhidi Raat baat phoolon ki” sung by Talat Aziz along with Lata is a Ghazal by Maqdoom Mohiuddin. It is also picturised quite beautifully on Supriya Pathak and Farook Sheikh. “Karoge baat to” by Bhupinder has heart touching melody and music.

And this brings me to write about my personal favourite ghazal from this movie.I always wanted to see what kind of setting and picturization Meer Taqi Meer’s ‘Deekhayi diye yun’ might have. In my opinion it is one of the most haunting songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Such a great composition did deserve something more than the usual party farmayish song setting presented in the movie.

Not many Ghazals have found place in the mainstream music, even less from Meer. But this particular ghazhal was re-used (with two different shers) by Roop Kumar Rathod, in the movie Viruddh(2005). (Incidentally Viruddh has another Meer Ghazal “Ghum raha, jabtak ke dum mein dum raha” sung by Sonali Rathod.)

For those who like this Ghazal from Meer, it will be interesting to know that it has 14 shers in it. And ‘Deekhayi diye yun’ is not even the matla(the first sher). It is the following:

faqeeraana aa’ye sadaa kar chale
miyaaN Khush raho hum du’aa kar chale

It is debatable how many shers were from Meer originally, because some shers(from others, along the way) just get along so nicely with the Ghazal that it eventually becomes a part of it. You can find the whole Ghazal and a nice discussion about it here.

The maqta(last sher with signature of the shayar) has very simple words and a profound meaning, uniquely Meer!

kaheN kyaa jo poochhe ko’yee ham se Mir
jahaaN meN tum aa’ye the kyaa kar chale!


5 Responses

  1. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  2. Dude,
    You have no clue. I’d suggest you stop putting on this pretentious tone and making such big proclamations.
    Instead, try a look in the mirror, not at your cotton kurta but

    apne andar jhaati maar ke dekh
    tu kaun hai


  3. @Idetroce
    Thanks for the comment. I would be very glad to know the points you disagree on too. Regards!

    Get off my blog if you so hate it.

  4. wah wah

  5. Such movies are not even made today. The values of realism, sensitivity, relevance have almost been forgotten. So the criticism contained in this article is difficult to appreciate. And the party farmaish scene is spectacular. It is an essential scene and not just a song and dance sequence as is being suggested by the author. The suitor makes up his mind to have Supriya and no other as his bride in the course of that evening. It effectively transforms her destiny.

    Yes, the music is spectacular. But unlike today’s movies it’s not the only noteworthy thing in the movie. It enhances and does not distract. The author, like most critics now, is concentrating on the music as if it’s something apart from the movie. You don’t need a movie setting to appreciate Meer. He adds to the movie and you appreciate the movie more because of Meer.

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