Bollywood: Classic Love Sagas Inspiring Poetry
My poetic tribute to two timeless romances of Bollywood which swept me off my feet in my girlhood days, Ek Duje Ke Liye, and Silsila.
Ek Duje Ke Liye: The Mad Lovers’ Refrain
Note: My poetic tribute to the love story between the South Indian guy Vasu and the North Indian girl Sapna portrayed in K. Balachandar’s classic film Ek Duje Ke Liye, starring the phenomenal actor Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri that had swept me off my feet in my girlhood days in the 1980’s.
The ocean didn’t swallow the soft, crushed silk
Of two lovers’ refrains. In its surging waves,
In its gushing, bleached surf,
it returned the mangled bodies
Of lovers, once frolicking in its frothy bubbles.
The ocean, and its postpartum body chose to dissect
The volatile breath, the birdsongs and the tsunamis
wreaking havoc in their ghazals and rhyming couplets,
in mismatched language.
For once, when trudging along those shores,
Vasu, the dreamy-eyed youth
Had met Sapna, his paramour,
the manicured coastline had woven
one hell of a beautiful conspiracy.
The ocean knew it all,
The corset of proprieties,
the boundaries of race, language, community
The molten agonies brewing within their red hearts, leaking,
As their alliance became a forbidden, burnt out poem.
The ocean knew they would come back to the same coastline,
Following their self-inflicted estrangement,
when one-year had become a fatal line-break,
altering the course of their destinies.
The ocean had known it all, their mad refrains
Inside the crumbled walls
of the dilapidated skeleton of the house
Which smelt of their silken vows of a life together,
which was never meant to be.
Who said, however, that the two thirsty souls,
in the consummation of a marriage
might die anyway, reeking of the fat, the flesh
and the stinking, clenched teeth
of a so-called ‘conjugal bliss?’
The ocean had taken it all—the love letters
that Vasu had written to his Sapna,
which he never posted,
which spilled and spattered, all over their crushed, bleeding bodies
like broken elegies, the tattered sari
which blew away in the frantic wind
like the lost honor and virginity of a maiden
who had held on to it like a flickering flame,
tossed and turned over by the trespassers at the sea.
For once and for all, the ocean had consumed
their platefuls of words,
Usurped them, only to return their dead, liberated selves
to a vain, verbose world
Where the music of their light beings didn’t matter anyway.
An Ode to Silsila: The Star-Crossed Lovers’ Tale
Note: My poetic tribute to the passionate, all-consuming love between the two star-crossed lovers in Yash Chopra’s romantic film Silsila, which had set the silver screen on fire in the early 1980’s.
Betwixt the twists and turns of life’s uncertain miles
The pastures of love had tempted with a painterly vision.
‘Love’, the oft-committed, dazzling sin testifying in its fullness,
‘Love’, the beguiling light, irresistible, blinding,
One that soon engulfs in its maddening darkness.
The scent of their silken touch, the frantic movements of pleasure
In their entwined bodies, unraveling, squirting, unabashed,
Out of their neatly packed matrimonial boxes, to whisper
The esoteric lyrics of a seductive, silken reunion that lingers,
Tears to shreds, burns to ashes the salt and pepper of domestic bliss.
A pair of star-crossed lovers, seeking a pound of solace in
The lyrical ferocity of their swan songs.
The mad refrain of the desperate artist lover,
Sucking the moonbeam of her jingling bangles,
Nibbling on the wafting fragrance of his paramour’s body,
A scorching story of the boundless seduction of old flames
While estranging domestic ties, and the sad, silent tears
Of a demure, resilient bride, waiting to reclaim him,
Sowing his seed of a once vowed proximity.
And she, on her turn, carrying those lovelorn songs still
In her bone and sinew and blood, pan-seared in the surging lust
And love, melting, like the old, familiar salt in his luscious wants.
Her other man, bonded in vows of a holy matrimony waited,
For he too knew, the smell of her lover would wane away
From her chiffon drape, in the inevitable downhill climb,
The destiny of this perfume-soaked, transient saga of love.
‘Love’, the salt that perhaps had stung in their lips still
Would strive to settle in its familiar homely mooring,
From where there would be no leading astray, after all.
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