Jaaney Kis Ki Thi Khataa Yaad Nahi…

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Cinema, Friends, Letter, Literature, Media, Music, Musings, Poetry, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

A childhood friend wrote on his facebook wall, “If you want peace in the world, remove a country called Pakistan from the map.” This statement did trigger a virtual debate between my friend and me. Though the debate lost focus after a while, my preoccupation has been the hatred between the people of India and Pakistan for each other and the tensed relationship.

The immediate voice which echoes in my heart whenever I listen to the name Pakistan is that of Anand Bhai (Patwardhan) who in his magnum opus War and Peace says “Pakistan my neighboring country is like a mirror in which I see both my beauty and my ugliness,” which I have always believed to be true, from whatever little I have read and heard of Pakistan.

Recently at the Jeevika film festival I met Nirmal Chander, whose documentary film ‘All The World’s A Stage’ was being screened in the festival. As Nirmal and I were having lunch I asked him if he was working on some film currently he said “Yes,” and out of curiosity I asked him what was the film about. “It’s about a taxi driver whose greatest dream is to see Taj Mahal.” I dint know how to react because I felt it was not such an interesting subject for a documentary.
But being unable to bring the conversation to an abrupt end, for the sake of asking I asked him, “Where does this driver stay?” Nirmal said, “Pakistan,” and there was a shine in my eyes. What a beautiful documentary it would turn out to be, I wondered and started calculating in my mind as to how many dimensions can be explored with the story of the driver in the centre of the documentary. Unable to control my curiosity I started shooting questions to Nirmal about the driver. Nirmal said that he had shot in Pakistan already and was trying hard to make arrangements for the driver to come to India and see Taj Mahal. “But it doesn’t look like happening because after 26/11 which has intensified the tension between the two countries.”

This statement by Nirmal reminded me of my conversation with my friend Jitesh Sundaram in Mangalore. That was my first tryst with Jitesh. I was interviewing him after his Ghazal concert. In the course of interview Jitesh and I became friends and started discussing about Ghazal, poetry and music. He was singing many ghazals on my request and later on showed me some snaps of his with Ghulam Ali, when I told him about my love for Ghulam Ali. He knows Ghulam sahib personally. I asked him to let me know if Ghulam Ali came to India to perform anytime. “I don’t think that’s going to happen ever. The troubled relationship between the two nations has made it impossible for him to come to India,” Jitesh said. Saying so, Jitesh started singing the Ghazal penned by SufiTabassum and sung by Farida Khannum “Jaaney Kis Ki Thi Khata Yaad Nahi, Hum Huye Kaise Juda Yaad Nahi.”

My friend from Karachi, Yahya Hussain recently informed me that he had got seat in Pondicherry University for his masters in International Relations. I was overjoyed. My friend was coming to my country from my neighboring country which was being seen as an enemy country by many of my countrymen. But due to visa problem Yahya couldn’t come to India. He is doing some other course in Pakistan. What was the problem in getting visa, I need not say.

Yahya, a couple of years ago had sent me the letters written by Sadat Hassan Manto to his Uncle Sam. In a community on orkut Yahya had said that he had the copies of the letter. I mailed him immediately and within a couple of hours the letters were in my mail box. How excited I was then! My excitement was because I had made a friend who belonged to the so called ‘Enemy Nation’ and because I had received the letters of Manto.

Sadat Hassan Manto is not an unknown name to people who are in love with humanity in total. One of the most painful things for Manto was to leave Mumbai or the then Bombay which he loved the most. India being ripped apart was too much of a trauma for Manto. And as one of his relative said in an interview that is published in the book BITTER FRUITS, “Manto died long before his death. He died the day he left India.”

Manto died waiting for the good old days to return. Will they return? Will Ghulam Ali come to India and perform and will I be able to listen to Ghulam Ali live? Will Yahya come to India? Will I be able to meet Yahya and discuss Manto face to face? Will the unknown driver of Pakistan come to India and fulfill his dream of seeing Taj mahal?

Ah.. Taj Mahal- the epitome of love and also a grave!!!

Jaaney Kis Ki Thi Khata Yaad Nahi, Hum Huye Kaise Juda Yaad Nahi!
– Sufi Tabassum.

10 September 2009

1 Comment

  1. Vistasp Hodiwala said,

    Lovely post Sahil and so very true!

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