animesh kumar

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“The past, future and the ‘present’ all can exist together.” Mr. Ashok Kaul, director of the movie Bhagmati, said to me.

He read my earlier posting on the same topic and was impressed so much so that he called me up to clarify some of my primitive doubts about the movie. And he did clarify it. What I didn’t understand earlier was ‘the fundamental premise of the movie’ that the past, future and the present all can exist together.

I know this is hard-to-grasp-concept. But, for a moment, shed your framework, your boundaries, your physical margins, and think: what is time? And how do you calculate it? If there were no ‘time’ would you have any past, or any present, or even any future?

This man, Director Ashok Kaul, had a real mature thought before he went further into making a movie out of it. The girl who seemed to be the reincarnation of queen Bhagmati wasn’t actually a reincarnation, because at the same time, the queen Bhagmati also lived, in some other time frame – in Stephen Hawkin’s word, a conflict between two time-frames – and both, the girl and the queen, meet each other, in the conflict zone. The queen is about to die, after living a happy life with the one she loved the most; and the girl is about to find the love of her life. The king, Quli Qutub Shah, sitting by the bed, staring at his dying love, talks to the girl and urges her to let go of her reluctance and live a life. Living is the most difficult thing.

This was a little confusing at first. Later, I took it somewhat abstract. Then, after talking to the Director, and after he elucidated the concept, and the basic premise, I understood it.

And today, I re-watched the movie and everything seemed to fall on places.

He was right. It’s all in our own brain; all the limitations are only in our brain.

This was not physics; this was metaphysics.

Yesterday, I watched ‘Banaras – a mystic love story’. Here was a babaji, played by Nasir, died a hundreds years ago, but the main protagonists of the movie could see him, and converse with him. The past and the present together lived in unison. And they created a future.

But both movies didn’t click. Why?

“May be, because the movie was made for a target audience and couldn’t reach them; may be, because the movie was vilified by the word of mouth, may be it was done intentionally; may be, the movie couldn’t explain itself properly…” the Director said.

My solutions:

1 >> If a book was written, I mean a melodramatic sort of book, before releasing the movie, making the target audience understand the basic premise, things would have improved. In a book, you can say things more easily – words are more puissant than anything under the sun.
2 >> If the movie was made in English, the untargeted audience could have been separated out, and with little marketing things would have improved.

I understand that, like a book, a movie – at least of such kind – is a very personal thing. Made for oneself, for similar souls, not like family drama for the masses! But still, if no one reads what you have written; your efforts are wasted, ignored. The worst thing to face in this universe is ignorance. Either love me, or hate me; never ignore me.

This movie has stood for the ‘past’ which we are ignoring for so long.

There is so much to write on it. But I am at a loss of words. Some ideas are better not be explained, since they need the first hand experience.

Not everything can be written down on a paper and read by others.
It was very nice, and enlightening to talk to a man of such pure, mature and grave thoughts.

Thanks for calling Ashok.

Written by Animesh

April 8, 2006 at 1:53 am

Posted in Diary

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janmantar ke kalantar mein
mrityu to kewal madhyantar hai.

jo jeevan hum jee lete hain,
jeevit uska ek-ek pal hai,

beeta kal bhi aaj kabhi tha,
aaj hi aane wala kal hai,

punarjanam bhi kya hai,
keval, jevatma ka sthanantar hai.

nashwar jag hai,
prem amar hai,

prem se hi jeevan mahan,
prem mein bhut, bhavishya na kuch bhi,
prem to kewal vartaman hai.

Rough translation would be something like:

In the journey of soul,
Death is just a passing aisle.

Life that we live,
Remains perpetually alive.

That, which is past now,
Was present then,
Resurrection is what?
Only transfer of soul.

This world is ephemeral,
Love, only, is eternal.

Love makes life great,
Love is no past, no future, nothing,
Love is only the now, the present.


How does it feel? Romantic…eh?

The above lines are taken from the movie, Bhagmati – the queen of fortunes, which is based upon the (eternal?) love story of Bhagmati and Quli Qutub Shah, dating 400 years back in history of Hyderabad, yet another in the flock of historical films.

There is a much-hyped history professor, who keeps chanting about the significance of history. In the end, he uttered above lines. In the beginning, he spoke a great deal on history. History is past; history is present, history is future. One who gropes only in past limits oneself for the universe is linked with the chain of events capable of unfolding anything of the past and the future. One who understands past can certainly understand the future. Ah! That’s romanticized. Perhaps, a similar school of thought has endorsed: history repeats itself.

So here is a movie that envisages the glamour of history. The director, Ashok Kaul, says: “When I sat in Quli Qutub Shah’s tomb I could feel the vibrations of their romance.”

The movie seemed to me a hotchpotch of everything you can imagine – animation, drama, links, mystery, treachery, villains, heroes, beauties, culture, traditions, good-men, bad-men. And above all love. Eternal love, as they put it.

“This story was almost parallel to the period of Salim and Anarkali and just a few years before the Taj Mahal was built,” adds the director.

I had read a great deal about this movie, that it would tell how Hyderabad got its name?, that it’s India’s first live-animation combination film, that it has Hema Malini shaking legs on classicals, and everything. I was tempted to watch it, but nothing out of these things could leave an impression on me. What I liked most was the concept, or say logic, that tried to justify the links between past and future, and of course present. That seemed romantic, that’s fine I guess, sometimes you got to lose your control, your physical pillars to support the metaphysical existence of things. I did that. And I enjoyed.

But, the movie could have been made more beautiful, more enthralling. It was a nice attempt, but remained only an attempt in the end. It lacked gravity, the pompousness that it needed very much.

The life theory, resurrection of men, agelessness of love, morality and devotion of true men, was all seemed to be derived from religious texts. Had they mixed some pickle in that, the movie would have created a rare rapture.

Also, the film seemed to be a little digressed. I couldn’t understand what it tried to depict? Whether a plain love story, or a movie-with-a-social-message, or a mixture of both? The ending line was “Let’s begin tomorrow with universal love”. Well…that was confusing.

Do you remember the serial “Bharat Ek Khoj” that was telecasted on Door-Darshan years ago? That serial used to leave me very empty every Sunday. It made me ask so many questions that I started fascinating the un-fascinating. It was then that I began to love history. Today, I know, I live history and I appreciate its importance, perhaps that’s why I appreciated this movie. And moreover, I am a sort of a mystical person, who dabbles a lot in inexplicable stuffs, and circular logics. You might not like this movie, but perhaps, you might appreciate what it said about history.

Try once!

Written by Animesh

January 23, 2006 at 12:38 am

Posted in Diary

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