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Song: Awaara

Movie: 7 Khoon Maaf (2011)

Composer: Vishal Bhardwaj

Singer: Master Saleem

This song is an ode to a nomadic existence, its about those who are not anchored (in body and soul), but hope to be. Gulzar uses a dried/withered leaf of a tree as a metaphor for such an existence. He uses the symbolism of how this leaf is carried away by the wind and has no place to call its own, as is evident in these lines :

1) na shaakh jude na jad pakde, mausam mausam banjara

2) jhonka jhonka ye hawa, roz udaye re

3) koi thah na mili na hawa na zameen

There is a sad melancholy to the poetry and hence is not about all the nomadic souls on this planet. It is only aboutthose souls specifically who aren’t nomadic by ‘choice’ but by ‘circumstance’.

Vishal’s composition is also steeped in this sadness. His choice of instruments and the tempo is in sync with Gulzar’s words which describe the frenzy caused by a wind that is blowing this leaf – tossing and throwing it all over. The use of Veena along with the percussion instrument (not sure what the instrument is) creates the effect of a stormy devastated landscape (in my head of course, others might not agree). The singer, Master Saleem sings it in a pitch just higher than normal, and blends in a tinge of desperation in every line. Together, it renders an effect of pleading while wailing  (no scientific musical critique this, just an observation).

Coming back to the poetry, I am especially in love with the last stanza where Gulzar is at his best in arranging the words in a wonderful rhythmic fashion without making the structure look deliberate. Sample this:

khole dhoop kabhi, ghole chhaon kabhi
kabhi pankh bane, bane paon kabhi 

In the first line the khole (to open) and ghole (to dissolve) are apt verbs for the opposing subjects they are used for: Dhoop (Sunlight) and Chaoon (shade) , respectively. In the second line, the structure could have been: “bane pankh kabhi, bane paon kabhi” and yet retained the essence of the meaning he is conveying. But instead, he chooses to put the verb “bane” side by side: “kabhi pankh bane, bane paon kabhi”. This repetition makes the line more lyrical and rolls off quite elegantly from ones tongue.

On a side note, I love this song when I am in the middle of a long run, it whips me and my feet in a frenzy and I feel like I am chasing a wandering leaf which is just a tad beyond my reach (or maybe I become the wandering leaf)!

awaara awaara
awara awaraa awaara
hawa pe rakhe sookhe patte, awaara
paon zameen pe lagte hi ud lete hain dobara
awara awaraa awaara…

na shaakh jude na jad pakde
naa shaakh jude na jad pakde
mausam mausam banjara
awaara awaara awaara
aawara awaara awaara….

jhonka jhonka ye hawa
jhonka jhonka ye hawa, roz udaye re
jake daar gayi wo to beet gaya
jaaki maati gayi waka meet gaya
koi na bulaye re
rut rang liye aayi bhi gayi
muthiyan na khuli berang rahi
sookha patta banjara
awaara awaara awaara
aawara awaara awaara….

haule haule ye hawa
haule haule ye hawa, khel khilaye re
khole dhoop kabhi, ghole chhaon kabhi
kabhi pankh bane, bane paon kabhi
dhool dikhaye re
koi thah na mili na hawa na zameen
na umeed ugi na dilasa kahin
udta jaye bechara
awaara awaara awaara
aawara awaara awaara….