August 17, 2007

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

In the 60th year of our independence, I came across this article in one of my old saved texts, written by Sudhir Mishra, the director of this beautiful movie. Living in Bihar where around half of the movie is based and where like me, the three main protagonists rediscovered themselves every single day, the thousand desires of a forgotten generation seemed to reach out to me. The Generation that they represented was a generation before mine but letting go of the past is something that we Indians are not very good at.

To India, my Native land... Derozio knew what he was talking about.
Here is the article...
"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India shall awake to light and freedom..."

That was India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, addressing the about-to-be independent nation. Panditji, as he was fondly called, was getting a bit carried away and committing a horological error. When India awoke to "light and freedom", the world was NOT asleep. It was, for instance, 2 in the afternoon in New York.

However, most in my father's generation overlooked these minor aberrations. They loved him and believed in the "light and freedom" angle of his dream. They needed to. Because there was 'darkness' all around. More than a million had been killed during the partition of India and they had inherited an impoverished nation from the British in more ways than one.

By this time my elder brother and sisters (not that I had any) went to college in the late '60s, the Nehruvian dream had faded and India was being crushed under the weight of a thousand desires.

A Maoist inspired extreme left movement had erupted in the eastern state of Bengal and the long suppressed lower caste of India were finally reacting..

This is the story of my imaginary siblings' reaction to those times. And as I tried to tell the story, certain characters emerged and surprised me with where they wanted to go. It became a story of how one begins life in a certain way, but how it takes twists in ways unimagined. Of how the 'worst' can be in the 'best' and how the 'best' resides in the 'worst'.

So while it may be the story of a generation I idolized and saw dissipating, a generation that I still have faith in, and which will gasp one more time before dying, it is also my story. Because the best and the worst of India also resides within me.
If someone is interested further, here is another article.

1 comment:

Surendra said...

This reminds me of a beautiful Gazal By Jagjit, by the same title (Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi).

Its available on net. Do listen to it.