#24 – Luka Chuppi
How does one react to death? Yes, there will be sadness. After all, someone who was close to us has departed for a better world. Yet, at times, there’s denial too. We do not accept that that person has gone, and hold on that much longer. Poetry comes out more beautifully when it expresses sadness, I feel. But to take those words, add a tune, and keep those emotions is tricky.
If music has the ability to touch one’s soul, then this song definitely is one that proves that right. “Luka Chhupi” from the movie “Rang de Basanti” is one of my favorite songs. It’s not one that makes me happy, but then again, music isn’t always about happiness. It’s an expression. Her son has died, but the mother does not accept. The lyrics make the situation into a game of hide and seek, where the son is hiding and the mother asks him to show himself, tired of searching. Lata Mangeshkar and AR Rahman have rendered the song so beautifully that it makes me sad hearing it each time.
The part of the lyrics I love the most?
Kya bataoon maa kahan hu main?
Yahan udne ko mere khula aasman hai
Tere kisson jaisa bhola, salona jahan hai
Yahan sapno wala
Meri patang, ho befikar, ud rahi hai maa
Dor koi loote nahi, beech se kaate naa
It’s the second verse in the song, where the son replies about the place he’s in (heaven). It translates to…
What do I say of this place I’m in, mom?
Here I have the open sky to fly freely in,
Like your stories, this world is innocent,
A beautiful dreamland it seems to be
My kite is (I am) flying here without worry
With no one to steal or cut the string
The song was longlisted for Best Original Song at the Oscars. It didn’t win, but I know it deserved that nomination. The way the song ends is another thing I love a lot. It ends with the son telling his mother that though there is a lot there in heaven, he feels alone without her. AR Rahman, I doff my hat to your musical genius behind this song.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason, 24th Nov, 2016)