Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dil Gira Dafatan—Of Good And Evil

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi-6 is a fabulous film. I have loved it every time I have watched it. It has so many layers, and so many metaphors. I have to write on it soon. Last night, I got an epiphany to listen and watch its songs. Delhi-6's music is one of A.R. Rahman's finest compositions. Arziyan continues to be on the must-play list of music lovers, but I really like Dil Gira Dafatan. Not only because of its soulful lyrics, but also because of its fabulous picturization. It reminded me a lot about Satrangi Re from Dil Se, on which I have written (link) that it is one of the most beautifully choreographed songs ever.



Dil Gira Dafatan begins when Roshan wakes up and sees the Statue of Liberty in Delhi-6. Then, he opens a door, and enters into a sort of a mysterious place. This is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's utopia where there is juxtaposition of New York and Delhi, of Times Square and Chandni Chowk. It is difficult to say if we are witnessing the New York-ification of Delhi, or the Delhi-sation of New York. The line between reality and fiction is blurred as signified by the blurring of the screen during the length of the song. There is overlap of modernity and tradition, and of Western and Indian culture. At one point, Roshan is running but he is unable to move forward, while others around him pass by. Is he standing still or running away? Is this a dream or a reality? Even the past and present seemed to have merged, where Roshan's father and mother are sitting in the car with Ali Baig, just like the old times, but he also sees the present—Bittu and the other people whom he met in Delhi. This duality also in some ways point to his own dual identity, where he not only belongs to both India and the US, but also his lineage from two different religions, where he is the son of a Muslim mother, and a Hindu father. There are Ram Leela processions and hip hop dancers; the jalebi contrasts with the Starbucks coffee. The film is set in Delhi-6, the most likely place where there is likely to be a clash of cultures. 



This dual theme continues when we see Hanuman flying through the air. Hanuman is the lovable monkey god, who devoted his life to Rama and Seeta. At the other end, we see a reference to King Kong where Roshan (dressed in a black monkey mask) and Bittu are on the top of the Empire State Building. King Kong, a giant monkey, terrorized the city of New York and had climbed the Empire State Building. The entire film Delhi-6 is based on the theme of monkeys, where we see Hanuman during Ram Leela, and a mysterious kaala bandar in the second half. It talks that there is a good and evil in each of us, and Hanuman and King Kong depict that contrast. 





At one point, there is a man with a mirror and Roshan sees a reflection in it. The mirror theme is also present throughout the film where it conveys the message to look within yourself. But in also points to some sort of a wonderland, like Alice In Wonderland. Alice was able to a fantastical world by climbing through a mirror into the world so that she can see beyond it. It was Through The Looking Glass. Similarly, this is the ideal state where Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra takes us on the flight ROMPD6, where ROMP point to his initials and D6 refers to Delhi-6. The ROMP signify that this was his wonderland. This is where he wants his characters to be. Bittu was compared to a trapped pigeon in the song Masakkali; she is finally free as signified by the flight of the white pigeon here. This is the world where Roshan feels at home. It is his ideal hybridized state where he feels the most comfortable.  



In the mirror, Roshan sees Bittu sitting on a rickshaw. Then, he sees a portrait of Bittu being painted. Then, a few seconds later he enters the canvas, and there is no one else around except only the two of them. This painting has shades of impressionism, as that of Claude Monet.  


The lyrics by Prasoon Joshi are deeply evocative and beautifully explained. I love the line on seepiyon ke honth se moti chhalak rahe hain.

Dil Mera
Dil Gira Kahin Per Dafatan
Jaane Magar Ye Nayan
Teri Khaamosh Zulfon Ki Gehraaiyaan
Hai Jahan Dil Mera Uljha Hua Hai Wahin
Kho Gaya

Tu Magar Hai Bekhabar 
Hai Bekhabar
Dil Gira Kahin Per Dafatan
Kyon Goonj Rahi Hai Dhadkan
Jaane Magar Yeh Nayan

Sipiyon Ke Honth Se Moti Chhalak Rahe Hain
Ghazalon Ki Sohbat Mein Geet Bhi Behek Rahi Hai
Samandar Lehron Ki
Lehron Ki Chaadar Odh Ke So Raha Hai
Per Main Jagoon 

Ek Khumari Ek Nasha Sa 
Ek Nasha Sa Ho Raha Hai
Tu Magar Hai Bekhabar
Hai Bekhabar

Dil Gira Kahin Per Dafatan
Kyon Goonj Rahi Hai Dhadkan
Jaane Magar Yeh Nayan

Kushboo Mein Lipata Mausam
Teri Khaamosh Zulfon Ki Gehraaiyaan
Hai Jahan Dil Mera Uljha Hua Hai Wahin
Kho Gaya

Tu Magar Hai Bekhabar 
Hai Bekhabar
Dil Gira Kahin Per Dafatan

In an interview, Mehra has said that Delhi-6 was his attempt to remake Aks. Now, it all makes sense, the use of masks, the theme of evil and good, and the use of mirrors in Delhi-6, because Aks also dealt with these issues. The word aks means reflection. Delhi-6 might not be perfect, but it is heartening to see that a filmmaker has given a lot of thought to his film, which is so refreshing these days because everyone seems to be chasing the 100 crore collection at the box office without giving a thought on how to make a good film. 

I have to write a detailed post on Delhi-6 soon exploring some more wonderful recurring motifs and themes, including that of Ramayana in the film. Hopefully soon.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Zare zare me usi ka noor hai, jhaank khud me woh na tujhse door hai, ishq hai usse to sabse ishq kar, is ibadat ka yahi dastoor hai."
—Delhi-6

1 comment:

  1. You have done it yet again. So Beautifully observed & explained. Stay Blessed with 'Sherlock Holmes' Eye' Dost. Ameen! 😊

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