Don’t get me wrong. I am huge fan of Gulzar Saab’s lyrics ,my favourite being Humne dekhi hai unn aankhon ki mehekti khushboohaath se chuke usse rishton ka ilzaam na do sirf ehsaas hai yeh roohse mehsoos karo pyar ko par hi rehne do koi naam do.
In recent years , however, I find Gulzar Saab straining to remain young at ‘art’. His lyrics in recent times border on the bizarre, and are as cryptic in their attempts to stay youthful as Rahul Gandhi’s stubble which hides less than what it is supposed to. Gulzar’s lyrics in ShaadAli’s Kill Dil was ridiculously disembodied.
Gulzar Saab’s belated descent into juvenilia continues unabated withRangoon where the songs attempt to recreate the film world of the 1940s with words and images that appear to be ripped out of a Grimm fairy tale were it to encompass an ethos and flow of unchecked callowness.
I tried to be tolerant when I saw Kangana Ranaut wielding a whip to the sound of Bloody hell.
It was a sobering trip back in time. Then there was something that sang ‘Mere miyan gaye England’, an obvious hark-back to ShamshadBeghum’s Mere piya gaye Rangoon. All this careened too eagerly towards cuteness to embrace the periodicity that the film strives to.
And now there is something called Tippa, a song so outlandish in concept that the cuteness quotient gets drowned in a barrage of ill-fitting words that run helter-skelter like headless chickens while the chick in the flick, Kangna Ranaut, does her naughty tricks in a vintage train(detailing too obvious) and on top of the train(detailing non-existent).
Shahid Kapoor responds with frosty indifference to Ranaut’s flow of exuberance. A kind of Hai hai yeh majboori of the 1940s (the period when Rangoon unfolds) if only Kangana in the rain was as tempting as Zeenat Aman in Roti Kapda Aure Makaan.
Is Shahid thinking what I am thinking: what on earth do these words mean??? Are they meant to be nonsensical rhymes from a poet who once wrote Din jaa rahe hain ke raaton ke saaye apne Sali ve aapiuthaye? I had hours of discussion with the Bade Dinon Ke Bard(a.k.aGulzar) on the use the world Sali(cross) and aapi instead of ‘aap hi’.
What would I discuss with Gulzar Saab about Tippa in Rangoon? Maybe the fascinating use of onomatopoeic images like Tippa andPhar-phar pharmaish. Or maybe I could ask him why Kangana is heard singing in two voices, that of Sunidhi Chauhan and RekhaBhardwaj, in the same song?
Absurdist drama in song form?