Words Worth!

It’s only words and words are all I haveTo take your heart away…crooned Bee Gees in their seminal classic single Words way back in 1968.

 

Make no bones about it. The tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words. Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Words, they have the power to build people up, confine people to where they are, and break people down.

 

 

It may not be an exaggeration to say that words create worldsRemember that words are free but how we use them is what may cost us dearly.

 

Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.”Yehuda Berg

 

Acknowledging the power of spoken words is a fundamental building block to many self-help as well as mainstream therapies. For what we say out loud is a guide to what lies within us. If our talk is critical, cynical or destructive, then we tend to find we think about ourselves in a similar way.

 

Words connect humans to one another, navigating across time and space, in a profound and impactful way that nothing else can achieve. The written word allows for the sharing of ideas, philosophies, memories, events, and stories.

 

As one scholar puts it, “writing codifies speaking, thus turning words into objects of conscious reflection”. In other words, writing ideas makes them more concrete to us, and by mulling written words, we are better able to internalize and understand them, and to allow them to affect our behavior.

 

If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. That is what inspired the adage ‘ Silence is golden ‘.

 

The power of words in history can never be under estimated. Words have transformed nations be it the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence. These texts show how the simplest of things – nothing but paper and ink – can be imbued with immense power by those who forge them.

 

Then there are the works of fiction and tales of writers like Dickens, Austen, Twain, Hemingway, Woolf, Orwell, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, and so on that have been enjoyed and admired throughout the ages. They continue to exert great influence over society right into the modern era, performed on the stage, adapted for the screen, and studied in great detail by readers worldwide.

 

Imagine the world without newspapers, dictionaries..vast swathes of the public would have been uninformed, literacy levels would not have found some of it’s feet that it is comfortably standing on now.. the works of Mary Wollstonecraft helped to lay the groundwork for the feminism of today, while iconic figures of the past like Martin Luther King Jr made use of their own writing abilities to bring to life a more equal and understanding society.

 

Great philosophers like Socrates, Kant, Plato, Descartes, Hume etc used their works to help us change our conception of the world around us. Political musings and journaling helped us understand the French Revolution or the American Civil War without which those key events could have played out differently.

 

Written words continue to hold great power, even in the digital space. Short messages and personal stories shared across social media led to the rise of massive global movements like the Arab Spring,  Me Too and Black Lives Matter, while aspiring authors continue to share their tales on a bigger scale than ever before.

 

At a time when all of us can head online and get our message across to millions at one go all over the world, the power of words have never been greater.

 

The human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will run wild and cause you grief. Words are seeds that do more than blow around. They land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day. Not exactly the kind of diet that you would savor.

 

ENDS

Getting HysterLyrical: A Feeble Attempt: Deciphering Gulzar!

Disclaimer
Ardent, hardened fan. Pardon the unabashed bias.
Only a select few songs written by Gulzar covered in this post. The first six in the playlist I ran into.
Other noteworthy,iconic contributors like the Music Directors, Actors, Directors, Singers etc discussed fleetingly only, if at all.
It’s Only Words ‘. As went the Bee Gees written and sung classic. And in our context, given a memorable second homecoming by my immensely gifted, impossibly shy nephew Abhinav, on the two occasions that he let himself to ‘relative’ scrutiny. The other occasion being a real wake up call ‘ Hello ‘, originally called out by Lionel Richie.
Dusk is fast approaching. I am at my customary dusktop. I mean desktop. Giving it my ride of place. Seeing the crimson orange of an aggrieved sun going down seething, seeing a world doing the same old, same old. Almost calling out, ‘ Rise Above ‘, tomorrow is another day. Even it has conceded that orange is the new black. And ready for stranger things, sacred games and all of that.
The hiss of the bluetooth speaker concealed the eager anticipation- bliss was on the way. His Masters Choice.
First off the block, rolling in ambled elegance was ” Mera Kuch Samaan Tumhare Paas Pada Hain ” from Ijazat : If permission marketing was to be accorded a pride of place, this would be it. Never before has an inanimate object like ‘ samaan ‘, carried so much weight. The sheer power of gravitas. And a scintillating Asha readily giving into a discerning audience’s Croon Bhari Maang. The lyrical audacity of something that is staggeringly prescient, a mighty countercultural anthem of resistance and resilience. As if he was on a mission to humble pathos. Humbled! Kylie, if I were to be in bed, I was sure to have ‘ Tears on My Pillow ‘.
(Caveat: Gulzar was also the Director of Ijazat. So, him having a free hand, would be more than a pen or a pun. It would be a gross understatement).
There was no time to recover as the next was our very own. Yes. ” Koi Hotha Jisko Apna, Hum Apna Keh Lethe Yaaron ” from Mere Apne. Apne as a thought is big enough and Mere Apne makes it Machiavellian. Such a war of words in the battle of the mind. A relentless avalanche of angst, where desolate meets desperate, but to no avail. Begging the question, is it great expectations or a humble, easily addressable request? Was it a point of  view or a point of no return vulnerability? Vignettes of loss and life unfold. Nudging us into wilful introspection. Questions remain!
BTW, how can anyone wear tight pants, a non descript shirt, ride a hopelessly dilapidated, too tired looking Atlas bicycle(that had done its savage rebellion against any form of design thinking), sport dusty chappals( as if a deliberate ploy to look comprehensively impoverished) and still look like a million dollars plus? I really don’t know but we could have asked Vinod Khanna(RIP).
It was getting past supper time by now and what got dished out next was savoury in every sense. A breezy belter from Namkeen: ” Raah Pe Rahte Hain, Yado Pe Basar Karte Hain “. And to imagine this was written several years before Ryan Holiday’s seminal book ‘ The Obstacle Is The Way ‘.. a weary traveller and concurrently where(y) traveller..romanticising the ‘ make do ‘, questioning the very deeply rooted idea of ‘ domicile ‘, a gentle reminder that the most expensive, ‘ moveable ‘ but non transferrable piece of real estate is one’s ‘ memory ‘. ” Aasman ka koi kona, thoda so gaye ..” this is not writing, it is rioting to say sky is not the limit..heaven can wait!
This para would be incomplete without the mention of another brilliant actor Sanjeev Kumar(RIP). His nonchalant, effortless, freewheeling manipulation of a Tata 1210 Truck(with NO Power Steering) in rain and throwing caution to the GPS wind, no holds barred, was the real inspiration for Ratan Tata to buy out Jaguar Landrover some years back. It was truck by chance. Where there is a wheel, there is a way.
Have you ever tried out wholemeal buns with cheese spread (as if sent by Whats App) on it? Well it tastes like saw dust with a lavish dose of water. That was my dinner done and well, dusted. By this time, I had reconciled to the fact that this evening was ‘ different ‘. Like this hum dinger that followed from Khamoshi: ” Woh Sham Kuch Ajeeb Thi, Yeh Shaam Bhi Ajeeb Hain “. A rocking the boat prose that finds comfort at the shores of poetic fluidity. High on hope on the one hand( a peace of mind to be falling on your lap), while being higher on hopelessness on the other, a radical candour that blended apprehension, tentativeness, expectation, vividly echoing a so near, yet so far feeling. The first two stanzas if you observe closely in the song are taking a juxtaposed stance, a first ever probably in Hindi film song writing. It was Khamoshi talking. And the silence was deafening.

By now even the playlist had a premonition of my fate at dinner and offered something utterly therapeutic. In the form of ” Tujse Naraaz Nahin Zindagi Hairan Hoon Main ” from Masoom. If innocence in its purest virgin form could drum up a reservoir of guilt, nothing could have explained better. A stark reminder that our collective memory always tends towards amnesia and erasure especially of periods scarred by shame. The human propensity for appearing rather than being. How one of your biggest assets ie a smile can appear as a burden of liability. मुस्कुराऊं कभी तो लगता है जैसे होंठो पे क़र्ज़ रखा है. ​Whoa!

Prime Time was setting in on Television and the options were not exactly mouth watering. Kumkum Bhagya, Alladin, Naagin 4 (at it’s serpentine best against common sense) and Suryavansham’s 843rd re run on Set Max. And of course, Say Yes To The Dress. The risk averse me took the easier option. Staying true with Gulzar. And it was only a question of time before ” Aane Wala Pal Jaane Wala Hain ” from Golmaal streamed in. Something about capturing life in a moment. Starting a movement. Acting as the emissary of time. एक बार वक्त से, लम्हा गिरा कहीं.. probably one of the most landmark lines written. Re iterating The Power of Now as Eckhart Tolle would have called it. Living in the moment. Not clinging onto our various illusions of stability and permanence that allow us to go on averting our gaze from our finitude, from the fact that we too will one day be washed into the impartial waters of time. Period.
Time to hang up on this post. To the Word Play of the Wordly Wise, the Word Smith, to the every Word’s Worth it. Respect. Gulzar. The Czar.
ENDS
PS: Just received “ Br(e)aking News “. SONY, the Japanese brand, is planning to sue a lot of song writers who have been using ‘ SONY ‘ in every 3rd line of their song for Copyright Infringement. Just a heads up!