Saawariya – A timeless story of unrequited love

Very few movies have poetic feel to them. The 2007 movie ‘Saawariya’ was one of it.

Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story – White Nights, Saawariya is a tale of a recluse stranger in search of love and a girl in wait of love. When their paths cross, love is about to blossom. Unrequited love stories have their own beauty and the beauty lies in its sorrow, separation, tears and melancholy. Be it the ‘The English Patient’ or ‘Lootera’, the theme of tragic love is common in them. The premise of this story is set in a fairy tale like city where there is no hurry, chaos or hatred. In this fairy tale like city arrives Ranbir Raj an aspiring but jobless musician who is in search of a rental accommodation. He befriends a prostitute named Gulabji. Unlike others, Ranbir treats Gulabji like a friend. On Gulabji’s reference, Ranbir manages to get an accommodation at a house of an old lady named Lilian.

While roaming on a dark night, Ranbir stumbles upon a beautiful girl on a bridge waiting for someone. A damsel in distress, the girl on the bridge is chased by a mad woman. The girl on the bridge seeks refuge and help from Ranbir. Ranbir rescues her from the mad woman. Ranbir and the girl strike a bond on the lonely night. Here he discovers that her name is Sakina and she stays with her blind grandmother. Ranbir is smitten by her natural beauty and innocence. Love blossoms in heart of Ranbir.

Though Ranbir and Sakina keep meeting like love birds, there is only a bonding of friendship between them. Ranbir tries to confess his love to Sakina but discovers later that she is in love with someone else and is waiting for his return so that they can get married. Hearing this, Ranbir decides to part away from Sakina.
Sakina has no clue about her lover’s return. Ranbir promises to search for her lover.Despite several attempts, Ranbir is unable to trace the whereabouts of Sakina’s lover. In this midst, Ranbir has a faint hope that Sakina may reciprocate to his love.
When Sakina realizes that there is no point of return of her love, she decides to reciprocate to Ranbir’s emotions. By a strange unfortunate irony, Sakina’s lover returns and now Sakina’s emotions are torn between Ranbir and her long lost love.
Realizing her dilemma, Ranbir big heartedly bids farewell to Sakina. Sakina connects with her love. In these four nights of friendship, Ranbir’s world changes when he meets Sakina. Now he is all alone. His days and nights are lonely again.
The hopeless, aspiring loner is back to his melancholy

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story ‘White nights’ is timeless in it. Director Sanjay Bhansali picked this short story as subject for the musical love story he was about to direct. Embellished with magnificent sets, stunning art direction, melodious soundtrack and a soulful performance, Saawariya was a critical let down. This visually engaging tragic love story is times ahead in terms of storytelling. Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor made their debut with this timeless love story. Sonam’s portrayal as Sakina is unforgettable and there is a nostalgic feel to her innocent face. Ranbir’s role as the melancholic musician will win your heart. The heart breaking moment in the movie is the climax where Ranbir lets Sakina go with her long lost lover. It is difficult for a man to see his love in someone’s arms. Saawariya is a memorable movie that is not formulaic filled with typical and clichéd Bollywood drama. What appealed to me in this movie was the larger than life performance of veteran actress Zohra Sehgal as the old lady Lilian. This was one of the last soulful performances of Zohra Sehgal.

This article is not a review, but reminiscence of a heartbreaking love story faded away from the minds of people. Motion pictures like Saawariya are made only once. The word ‘Saawariya’ is derived from the word ‘Saanwra’ which means dark complexioned. Lord Krishna is sometimes addressed as Saawariya. Even Radha had to wait long for return of her lord Krishna. Sometimes one lifetime is not enough to experience the joy of love. Saawariya is about waiting in love for several lifetimes.

For those who have penchant for tragic romances, Saawariya is a visual engaging experience that will stay in their minds for eternity.

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Khullam Khula: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored – Biography review

For people, the cinema actors are larger than life. They are demigods who adorn the wall of every cinema lover. The craze of fans for stars is hysterical. Legendary actor Raj Kapoor was one star who took nation by storm with movies like Awaara, Boot Polish, Mera Naam Joker, Aag etc. The legacy started by Prithviraj Kapoor was continued by his next generation kids – Raj, Shammi and Shashi. Among the crowd of these star studded family, a small kid made his work noticed in Mera Naam Joker. Though Mera Naam Joker flopped, the kid aspired to make it big on silver screen one day.

In the 70’s a chocolate boy debuted on the silver screen with his romantic venture – Bobby. Rest was history. He was Rishi Kapoor, son of the legendary Raj Kapoor. Bobby’s success made him an overnight romantic hero and heartthrob of generation. His debut in movie was a fairy tale story, but his struggle-some journey to maintain his success in Bollywood was not a bed of roses.

Every Friday, a new movie releases and a new star is born. Rishi Kapoor’s debut movie – Bobby made him a talk of town. But his second movie ‘Zehreela Insaan’ was a disaster. Here his real journey began to sustain his image in the unpredictable Bollywood. In his official biography ‘Khullam Khula’ Rishi Kapoor recounts his early years, his rise to stardom, break up, cold vibes with Amitabh & Rajesh Khanna and his second innings as character actor in Agneepath, Kapoor and Sons, Student of the year etc.

What intrigued me to read was the prologue written by his son Ranbir Kapoor, the current heartthrob of today’s generation. In the prologue, Ranbir reveals his strained relationship with his father but still respects him as one of the great actors of the Indian cinema.

The prologue conveys a lot about Rishi Kapoor as a human, caring husband and a doting father. What makes this biography worth reading is its friendly tone that breaks the ice between the star and the reader. Here Rishi Kapoor is more of a human and less of a star who recounts his childhood days, his first movie as a toddler in Shree 420 and second movie as a teenager in Mera Naam Joker. Through this biography, we learn a lot about the legendary Raj Kapoor and his passion for cinema through the eyes of Rishi Kapoor. It is a treat to know about Raj Kapoor’s fondness for movie making and his struggle to make RK studios a leading banner in movie making. Post the success of Bobby and his fairy tale wedding with actress Neetu Singh, Rishi’s career witnessed a dark phase when his ambitious movie – Karz didn’t fare up to his expectations. He literally went into depression and was unable to face camera. It took him a plenty of time to come out of his dark phase and re-emerge as an actor. This biography is not just about Rishi Kapoor, it is also the story of his family, his co-stars, music directors, choreographers and the big movie banners that supported him through his journey. Apart from talking about his successful journey in Bollywood, he also spills the untold stories about his breakup with his girlfriend Yasmin Mehta, his cold arguments with his close buddies – Jeetendra and Rakesh Roshan. He even admits about the rejecting the negative role in Darr which eventually went to Shahrukh Khan.

A rare pic of Rishi Kapoor with his family. (The little Ranbir Kapoor looks super cute)

What left me tear eyed was the story of R.D.Burman whose music was getting unnoticed due to the entry of new generation music directors in 90’s. He once requested Rishi Kapoor to get him some work. Though R.D.Burman was financially stable, it was the idleness that was bothering him. Sadly R.D.Burman couldn’t make a second innings and died a quiet death in 90’s. What a sad phase for this legendary R.D.Burman. Rishi Kapoor was miserably written off every time a generation of actors arrived in movies. Despite the stiff competition, Rishi Kapoor survived in the race. The epilogue is written by his wife Neetu Kapoor about her journey with her husband. It is very heart touching to read that epilogue. To the world, he is a star, but for the family, he is a difficult man to handle who lives by his own terms. We knew Rishi Kapoor as a star, but now we know him personally as a human who is eccentric, outspoken and a reserved gentleman.

His second coming in Do Dooni Chaar, Agneepath, Student of the year, D-Day, Kapoor and Sons fetched him lots of praises. Among all the movies, Karz and Yeh Vaada Raha are my favorites which were based on English Novels. Karz was based on Reincarnation of Peter Proud while Yeh Vaada Raha was based on Danielle Steels’ novel – The Promise.

The biography ‘Khullam Khula’ is an honest effort by Rishi Kapoor to write down about his journey as an actor. It is really worth the read to know about the 70’s star whose legacy is been continued by his son Ranbir Kapoor.

In memories, love always lives forever

‘In love there are no boundaries’ – quote from movie ‘The English patient’

There are two types of lovers in this world. First one is the flamboyant, optimistic guy who is ready to go till the end of the world to win back his love. Second one is the melancholic, introvert lover who is deeply in love but is too shy to express his feelings to her. Some people stay with their love till their last breath while some live in their memories of their beloved. The 1996 movie – The English patient was a timeless love story of a Cartographer (Map maker) named Almasy, now a disfigured patient recollects the memory of a doomed affair which not only left him for dead, but also claimed the life of his beloved. A painful tragedy, The English Patient was about encountering love in the most unusual places and situations. They say it is the heart that does the choosing, not you. Sometimes I connect myself with Almasy – the character from The English patient’ because for a lone lover like me, memory is only the safe place where I can meet my love without any fear of restrictions of world. It is not that a one-sided lover doesn’t have guts to express his love. His courage is boundless. It takes courage to see sweet heart in someone’s arms happily. It takes courage to swallow your disappointments and move away from her life.

the-english-patient-1996-movie-poster

‘Ek tarfa pyar ki taqat hi kuch aur hoti hai … auron ke rishton ki tarah yeh do logon mein nahi bat’ti … sirf mera haq hai ispe – lines from movie ‘Ae Dil hai mushkil’

Ranbir’s character ‘Ayan’ in movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is really relatable to every melancholic lover. His love for Alizeh (played by Anushka Sharma) is so intense that he stays with her as a friend till the last moments of her life. The life’s most irony is that we love the person who ignores the most and ignore the person who loves us the most. Love lands us in awkward situations where expressing emotions is more difficult than taking a leap from a high cliff. O. Henry’s last leaf became a source of inspiration for the 2013 movie – Lootera. Again a story of star crossed lovers separated by fate and situations. The winning aspect of the movie Lootera was its climax when Varun (played by Ranvir Singh) creates a leaf out a paper and ties it on a branch of a tree. As long as the leaves are on the tree, his beloved will live till that period. The hero creates a fake leaf with a view so that his beloved will live a longer age, gazing at that leaf. Though he is not a painter, he creates a masterpiece that will increase the life span of his love.

Based on O Henry's last leaf, Lootera was a timeless love story

Based on O Henry’s last leaf, Lootera was a timeless love story

Someday I too want to create a masterpiece for my love. A painting that Rose cherished in her heart, a masterpiece that Pakhi gazed every day from the window (reference to the movie Lootera), after all love is all about living in memories. As for now, I have to live in memories of my love, recounting every beautiful moment of her presence that unknowingly glowed up my face and made me feel younger regardless of my age.

‘Mohabbat karna hamare bas mein nahin. Uss mohabbat se door chale jaana woh hamare bas mein hai’ – lines from movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’