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Thursday, 14 March 2013


The iconic Rekha (Indian movie superstar of yesteryears) sparkled and did one of her best work in Umrao Jan, a movie based on Mirza Hadi Ruswa’s book by the same name. My mum one time compared me to the Umrao Jan’s transitory nature, but I digress.

So, in the movie there is this one song when UJ travels back to her home town and is performing a mujra (private dance performance for the royalty back in the day) and there is a verse in the song that has always haunted me no matter where I have been. “ Tamaam umr ka hisaab, mangti he zindagi……” I don’t remember and don’t care much for the following stanza. The verse means that the life we live will ask for the accountability of what we have done with it. This might not be the most accurate of translations, but Urdu to English is not my forte, so what the hey!
“ Tamaam umr ka hisaab, mangti he zindagi……”, I think of this verse and I have to gaze into space and sigh. This accountability owed to none other than ourselves for what we have done and have allowed to be done unto us is such a herculean effort. WOW!

It is like theatre. For that short while, the props set, the costumes worn and the parts played are so life like. We convince ourselves, we want to( so bad), as to how the drama played before our eyes is real, and then the play ends, and we need to head back into the real world. We all seem to have these different sets with props and extras at different stages of our life, hoping against hope for the play to be real and last forever. And when we need to move onto a new stage, we again put all our energies into a new act, a new farce. The thing is, this would all be well and dandy if only, oh woe begone, if only we did not have to account for the weight of these acts in our lives.

“ Tamaam umr ka hisaab, mangti he zindagi……”, and the gaze into space outlining each and every crease on the actors face in that play, the twinkling of the eye, god even the lighting on that day and one sighs. A deep, long quiet sigh. I think all these words are an endeavour to explain the gravity and answer of that deep long sigh. One feels disconnected, and isolated in that sigh. It is heavy because it is pregnant with accountability.

It is not really possible to outline or even explain the sigh. What would one explain? No really, what would one? Because in the end the explanations are made to oneself and not to another, and who are we kidding? We know, we speculate, we introspect, all to waste. It’s gone.

So then again one shall be standing at a point in ones life, another notch on the tree, and here goes..

Tamam Umr Ka Hisab Mangati Hai Zindagi 
Yeh Mera Dil Kahe To Kya, Yeh Khud Se Sharmasar Hai….

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