Darkness beckons me, As does light


It is rare that I write about Gujarati movie songs. That is mainly because nothing much memorable has been produced in recent decades. Gujarati movies are by and large an embarrassment in terms of production values, cinematic logic, performances and narrative structure even though the state abounds in some brilliant literature.  It was only serendipity that led me to what I think is perhaps the best Gujarati movie song. At any rate, it is for me. For now. Superlatives have become fickle.

The song is from the 1970 film ‘Kanku’ directed by Kantilal Rathod. It was composed by Gujarat’s leading name Dilip Dholakia, sung by Hansa Dave and written by Venilal Purohit. I just happened to notice the lyrics under its YouTube video which begin with ‘Mune andhara bolave, Mune ajwala bolave’ and instantly started singing it. It is extraordinary how one’s brain retains information and plays it right back without any thrashing, unlike my old Toshiba laptop where the gap between a command and action is getting longer by the day.

The song captures a wistful mood and yet retains its essential melody. The way Dholakia opens and concludes it with the strains of what sounds like a combination of the violin and the mandolin gives it a lovely musical parenthesis. It is a nice little piece on either side of the song. I also like the fact that Hansa Dave’s voice does not become shrill. She was an accomplished singer and a popular name when I was growing up. The song played in a loop last evening for about an hour or so. The opening lines of the song by Purohit are evocative as is the rest of the song. Interestingly, while translating the first line, I ended up writing the following poem in English, or whatever it is that I wrote. Other than the opening line, the rest of the theme is mine. The trigger was certainly Purohit’s opening line. So here is to him, Dholakia and Dave.

Darkness beckons me

As does light

Should I yield

Or should I fight?

Questions play seek

And answers hide

One borne of doubt

The other fright

Lost as I am

In the forest of doubt

Where the sun rises

Ever so slight

At dawn my mind

Is set

Like an eagle

On flight

Darkness beckons me

As does light

–Mayank Chhaya


About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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