At one point in Gulzar’s Ijaazat, …
Well, I am uncomfortable with the movie. It is about Man A meets Woman B, who then disappears, so A marries Woman C, but the marriage disintegrates under the shadow of B and misunderstanding from C, and C goes off into exile and A has a heartattack. B nurses A, and then A think of reconciling with C, but C sends him a letter release him from his marriage (a permission, Ijaazat). But A throws a fit about how B ruined it all, and B runs off, has an accident and dies.
And finally, one day, A and C happen to meet at a station somewhere in the middle of nowhere. C’s husband turns up at the station to pick her up, but before she goes, she (in the words of wikipedia) touches A’s feet as a plea for his forgiveness and for his permission (Ijaazat) for her to leave him, something which she had not received the last time they had separated.
Anyway, at one point in the movie, before the marriage has broken down, A reads out a mail from B, which then turns into a song:
Anyway, the letter goes something like:
Mera kuch saman tumhare pas para hain, woh lota do.
ek dafa woh yaad hai tumko, bin batti jab cycle ka chalan hua tha. humne kaise bhuke pyase becharon si acting ki thi. hawaldar ne ulta ek atthani deke wapas bhej diya tha. ek chamanni meri thi, woh bhijwado
A few of my things remain with you, please send them to me.
Remember, how we once were fined for cycling without a lamp? Remember, how we acted like we were starving? In the end, the policeman gave us half a rupee and let us go. A quarter of a rupee was mine, send it to me.
And I love that letter. The four line sketch of the incident tells us how long their history was, and how difficult it was to let go.
I love the moment in the movie when the man reads out the letter. Unfortunately, I don’t find the song itself interesting.
There is a similar problem with a more recent song, which I have mentioned earlier, elsewhere. I heard about the song before I heard it, so while I love the poetry of the lines, I do not enjoy the song.
Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai
Main kisi pul sa thartharata hun
Tu bhale ratti bhar na sunti hai
Main tera naam budbudata hun
You pass (me) like a train, and I shake like (the) bridge (beneath it). Even though you will not listen/hear, I murmur your name.