Another of my favourites dies. Hrishikesh Mukherjee belonged to what they call ‘middle-of-the-road’ cinema. It shuns the trappings of glossy blockbusters or the occasional pretentiousness of off-beat movies striving hard to talk about ‘causes’.
Hrishida’s cause was subtlety, happiness, and that slight ache when the mouth turns dry but you are just short of crying.
I remember Musafir for the vignette pieces enacted by Dilip Kumar, Anupama for its silence, Satyakam for its deep sincerity, Guddi for being one of the few films to have tackled the subject of ‘coming of age’ so well, Mili for its fighting spirit, Bawarchi for its guileless belief in human bonding, Abhimaan for probing deep into a marital relationship without hovering over its head.
If I recall correctly, the director had once said that he did not show love scenes in his film because when his characters were in the bedroom, they closed the door behind them!
He did make several fun films too like Gol maal, Chupke-chupke, Budha Mil Gaya, Naram Garam, Khubsoorat…and they pretty much handled humour without the laughter being forced.
But Anand remains on the top of my all-time greats list. This film was one fine lesson about life – and its preciousness, death – and its acceptance, relationships – and how they can be formed with a mere smile, Time – and its ticking away, timelessness – and the lasting fragrance of what it leaves in its trail…
Maut tu ek kavita hai
mujhse ek kavita ka vaadaa hai milegi mujhko…
Doobtee nabzoun mein jab dard ko neend aane lage
zard sa chehara liye chaand ufak tak pahunche
din abhi paani mein ho raat kinaare ke kareeb
na abhi andhera ho na ujaala ho
na raat na din
jism jab khatm ho aur rooh ko saans aaye
mujhse ek kavita ka vaadaa hai milegii mujhko…