hindi film music

In the travel song in Hindi films, not all journeys are about love

‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is about finding the right partner, but there have been other quests too in Hindi cinema.

The life-as-a-journey theme has been played out in a great many Hindi film songs – Suhana Safar is a popular, happy sing-along choice, as is Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana. The dominant emotion is one of reassurance and positivity. Life is beautiful, just look around you.

In Yun Hi CHala Chal Rahi from Swades (2004), a dishevelled fakir sings of the joys of life during a road trip with a US-returned scientist who is on a quest of his own.

Play
Yun Hi Chala Chal Rahi, Swades (2004).

Ye umr waqt raasta guzarta raha; Safar ka hi tha main, safar ka raha: It’s all about the journey in the song Safar from the August 4 release Jab Harry Met Sejal, composed by Pritam and written by Irshad Kamil. Singer Arijit Singh’s come-to-bed voice accentuates the blithe, living-in-the-moment vibe – Kamil’s play on the word rozaana is particularly suited to Singh’s drawl.

Play
Safar, Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017).

Pritam and Kamil have been down this track before, in Ali’s Jab We Met (2007). Two young people, looking for different things, find their paths crossing until they finally find each other. Aao Meelon Chale is about the realisation that often, the journey is so much more fun, and the destination doesn’t matter anymore.

Play
Aao Meelon Chale, Jab We Met (2007).

But there have also been poignant numbers about difficult journeys and turning points.

In Maachis (1996), a group of young men set out to join an armed movement, their trek through mountains and valleys punctuated by memories of home. Lyricist Gulzar and composer Vishal Bhardwaj put together a wistful number about a journey and all that you leave behind.

Play
Chod Aaye Hum, Maachis (1996).

There’s more revolt, and dangerous journeys, in 1942 A Love Story (1994), one of RD Burman’s last film albums, written by Javed Akhtar and sung by Shivaji Chattopadhyay. When an underground freedom fighter is discovered and killed, his grieving daughter must flee to safety and continue the struggle. Her fellow traveller, also a revolutionary, leads the way, singing of the difficult way ahead but reminding her that the dark times won’t last forever. There will be a new dawn soon.

Play
Yeh Safar, 1942 A Love Story (1994).

Further back in time, in Silsila (1981), love bloomed amid Amsterdam’s tulips and Lodhi Garden’s lesser flora, to be quickly followed by a season of separation and despair. Fate, as it often, does, brings the lovers together again, but it’s a different time now – domestic situations have changed. Will it be a rebellion against norms and traditions, or will be sacrifice, letting go of your heart’s desire? Shivkumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia composed this evergreen number, written by Javed Akhtar. Love is a journey too, and you can never be sure where you might end up.

Play
Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum, Silsila (1981).

In Umrao Jaan (1981), a Lucknow courtesan flees the attacking British, arriving in Faizabad, her childhood home. It’s not a happy homecoming – she must find patrons in a new city, and although she finds her family, they won’t have her back on account of her profession. This is a place where she is no longer in charge of her life and destiny, and where there are “dust storms as far as the eye can see”. Here’s an Asha Bhosle classic, composed by Khayyam and written by Shahryar.

Play
Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston, Umrao Jaan (1981).

While on journeys, here’s a poignant, stirring ode to nation and patriotism. This Hemant Kumar number, composed by Naushad and written by Shakeel Badayuni, was a favourite in schools and often played before and during assemblies, presumably to inspire young minds. At a time when narrow notions of patriotism are being shoved down throats, young and old, Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe from Gunga Jumna (1961) is an excellent reminder of what the national project was always about: justice and equality for all.

Play
Insaaf Ki Dagar Pe, Gunga Jumna (1961).
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.

Play

To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.