There are many romantic songs in Hindi cinema talking about the union, the blessing that love is, the rosy moments and even the dreams of a happy ending as well. These songs instil so much love and all butterflies in our stomachs that for a moment we all start craving for that ‘perfect love story’. Similarly, there are also melancholic songs in our films that depict the pain of separation, lost love and in some cases, the sorrow of never being able to meet the beloved. Hindi cinema has the songs for all the moods and emotions – love, anger, sorrow, comic situations, anxiety, rebellion, motivation, patriotism etc. It has also has given birth to some wonderful lyricists and music composers who have created such beautiful gems that have always stood the test of time. Even if we go back to the Golden Era, we will realise that the quality of soulful songs in Hindi cinema was prevalent amidst some ridiculous songs and since then, it has been the norm.
But let’s come back to the current scenario of music in Hindi cinema. Over the years, we have seen remixes emerging as a new trend in the music industry. I’m sure many music lovers who understand the depth and soul of any song or music are totally against this culture. It again takes me back to my previous point that I made earlier and proves it as well, that the quality of soulful songs has still maintained its own place among some really disastrous soundtracks.
In the beginning I talked about the kinds of moods and emotions that our songs portray. I wrote all the ‘popular emotions’ that become the subject of the songs. But there is one emotion, there is one feeling which is not captured much. Actually, not one emotion but two. These two emotions are hope and regret. I really don’t think that there are many songs written by our lyricists that capture both the emotions together. Either a song has been all about ‘what ifs’ and ‘I wish’ or it has been about all the desires or wishes that the protagonist wants to come true. But when I think about it, there is always this one song which comes first in my mind and that is “Phir Le Aaya Dil” from Barfi! (2012).
Barfi is directed by Anurag Basu and boasts of a wonderful cast which includes Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and a new face Ileana D’Cruz. Ranbir Kapoor plays the title character while Priyanka Chopra portrays the character named Jhilmil and Ileana D’Cruz plays Shruti. The film’s music is composed by Pritam and the lyrics are written by the charismatic poet and lyricist Sayeed Quadri.
Sayeed Quadri was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on 3rd October, 1965. He got his first break as a lyricist in the 2003 film Jism starring Bipasha Basu and John Abraham. Including this film, he has decorated many such films with his beautiful words like Murder (2004), Paap (2003), Rog (2005), Zeher (2005), Gangster: A Love Story (2006), Jannat (2008), The Train (2007), Awaarapan (2007), Life…In A Metro (2007), Billu (2009), Bhool Bhulaiyya (2007) etc. He has also won the Filmfare Best Lyricist award for Murder. Quadri pens down emotions with great sensibility. In Phir Le Aaya Dil, he pens down the emotions of hope and regret gracefully. He brings them together as if they were long lost friend who are meeting each other after a long time, much like the premise of this heart-wrenching song which is my personal favourite. This song has three versions, each sung by brilliant singers Rekha Bhardwaj, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Arijit Singh. Each version is capable of stirring your soul and feel pangs of emotions just like Shruti does.
This piece is my attempt to break down this song lyrics by lyrics and analyse it.
Phir le aaya dil majboor, kya keeje
Raas na aaya rehna door, kya keeje
Dil keh raha, use mukammal kar bhi aao
Wo jo adhoori si baat baaki hai
Wo jo adhoori si yaad baaki hai
In the opening lines of the song, we notice how beautifully the poet has described the inner feelings of Shruti as she meets Barfi (Murphy Johnson) by chance in Kolkata, only to find that he is now happy with Jhilmil. She is unhappy in her marriage. She is hanging somewhere between sorrow and happiness. But it seems she cares the least about it at that moment. She is happy as the destiny or say, the heart has brought her to her beloved Barfi once again. She accepts the fact that she was missing him deep in her heart and it was impossible for her to stay away from him for this long. Her heart makes a call. It asks her to resume and finish what was left behind in the past due to harsh circumstances.
Karte hain hum aaj qubool, kya keeje
Ho gayi thi jo humse bhool, kya keeje
Dil keh raha, use mayassar kar bhi aao
Wo jo dabi si aas baaki hai
Wo jo dabi si aanch baaki hai
In the first stanza, the lyricist does the magnificent job of portraying Shruti’s mix emotions of regret and hope through the wonderful play of words. In her heart, Shruti accepts her mistake of leaving Barfi alone for better prospects as she married someone else, only to realise where her true happiness lies. Now, as she meets him again, she is full of hope that a reunion is possible. Her heart asks her to make that long lost hope available once again and not to suppress the flames that are still there for her beloved.
Kismat ko hai ye manzoor, kya keeje
Milte rahein hum badastoor, kya keeje
Dil keh raha hai, use musalsal kar bhi aao
Wo jo ruki si raah baaki hai
Wo jo ruki si chaah baaki hai
Sayeed Quadri describes the happiness and anticipation in Shruti’s heart in these lines. Shruti understands why all of this happened. She declares that it is destiny that wants them to meet over and over again no matter how far they wander. In this way, she is hopeful that even the universe wants her to reunite with Barfi. Her heart also tells her to continue on this path which she had left to walk on in the middle. It further tells her to continue on with her desire to be with Barfi, telling her that her feelings are not invalid at all. This is love which, for a moment, ignores the reality and wants to dive into the ocean of numerous possibilities. Here, I can’t help quoting the famous lines from The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
“Phir Le Aaya Dil” is a wonderful song brilliantly capturing the emotions of a lover hoping to reunite with her beloved although she is fully aware of the reality. Sayeed Quadri has exceptionally penned down the lyrics choosing the right words to explain Shruti’s dilemma. It is the beauty of this song that we all relate to her character in the song and even feel the pang inside our hearts that she goes through. The beauty of the song also lies in its visual treatment. Apart from the beautiful locales of Kolkata and the taxis and a tram, the video of the song will slowly let you enter in Shruti’s heart. The way it has been choreographed, it will tell you more about her emotions more than the lyrics could, as silence conveys more than the words ever can.
You can watch the beautiful video of the song and enjoy it here: