Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rumi and the rock star

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing, there is a field.
I will meet you there."

~ Rumi

Last night a bunch of us friends had been to watch the just released Hindi musical drama RockstarI had been looking forward to this since months because of the soul-stirring music of the legendary A.R. Rahman which is accompanied by the sonorous vocals by Mohit Chauhan and the poignant poetry of Irshad Kamil. One absolutely intoxicating trio that is! Now with all the Academy adulation and international accolades post Slumdog Millionaire, the home country had been missing the quintessential Rahman for some time (strange, that I should be talking from that perspective sitting here). His sheer brilliance lies in creating tunes where rhythm after rhythm the music just grows on you and crawls into your soul till you are left with nothing but raw, scathing emotions.

That said, I'm currently mulling over something rather perplexing. The Sufi ideology that pain and heartbreak are the utmost important ingredients for creativity is where the major plot of the movie whirls around. An artist, of whatever form his/her art is, must undergo a powerful emotional catastrophe in order to get truly inspired. That is where I got stuck, and still am. What if there is no internal conflict? How much pain is enough pain? Till what extent does one push oneself and the boundaries? Or should one just wait for the elusive muse of creativity?
In the movie, as an aspiring rock star, Jordan must let his heart ravaged and torn by the ruthless claws of love and rebellion. An Indian, albeit a bit patchy take on Jim Morrison, Rockstar portrays Jordan's tumultuous journey as he lives through it all - love and loss, fame and fortune, destruction and disillusionment. By the end of the movie, when the closing credits were rolling and Jordan was reciting  the above quoted Rumi lines with a gnawing intensity, I could no more feel the world around me. Nor could I see it well with a pair of blurry eyes and a tight face. Yes, I do cry at movies but this one just went a tad further and woke up a sea of dormant emotions in me. Some other day I'll sing their moods here, but not now.

Here is one of the jewels from Rahman's eternal collection. Jordan, with his newfound success and staggering popularity, is unable to understand the ways of the world. He laments his inability to articulate the beauty of emotions surrounding him - "Jo bhi main kehna chahoon, barbaad kare alfaaz mere..." (Even though I try to say something beautiful, my words make it mundane and trivial...)

And yes, from now on I am a Ranbir Kapoor fan, stamped and certified. The boy sure has blossomed and how. He has so eloquently eternalised Jordan that it is difficult to get the character out of my head. He just sits there in his military jacket and Afghan pants airing his angst while I croon the songs again and again. And again.


  1. beautiful post,A.R Rehman is very talented person,thanks for sharing that post.

  2. Lots to think about here. Last week I was speaking with a very successful author and playwright who told me that during the writing of some works she becomes physically ill - vomiting, terrible headaches, nightmares etc. It seems that the suffering doesn't necessarily have to be historic!

  3. Sunny, couldn't agree more.

    Pondside, thank you so much for sharing that. You are right, from what I've studied of the poets and novelists, suffering need not be always historic.

  4. Wonderfully put together. And 'Rockstar' does evoke those dormant emotions !!

  5. I will sincerely hope there's a meeting place for all of us......in this life or beyond.....am tired of disbelieving.....

  6. Sumit, thanks for dropping by!

    hellraiSEr, it so does! Thank you for the compliment and the visit as well.

    pansyboy, I am not an optimist either... I'm sure there must be a field like Rumi's, somewhere, someday.

  7. Suman correct,,fortunately it seems to me that i have found someone who understood the movie and the theme and the cinematography and the best part that how the lyrics of each song is connected bits by bits which itself narrates the whole story.Truly i admire the lyricist for the wonderful lyrics and the singer for singing so beautifully the strangest and so diffficult lyrics of the song HAVA HAVA, and no doubt the musician too deserves the credit.

    Starting from the Rumi's verse to and till the end at the Rumi's verse, each scene and each song is connected, You mentioned "jo bh main kehna chaahoon barbaad karein alfaaz mere' quite correctly.Even sadda haq song's lyrics goes quiet according to the movie and the character portrayed and hava hava too and at last Naadan Parindey, about which he Jordan says in the sadda haq song where he was looking for those birds(of course heer) and and calls her through naadan parindey song but as the theme was based on Rumi's verse so does it ends on it as the world always keep judging people and do not let them live, that's the reason they could not meet here in this world but waiting to meet somewhere in the field beyond all the ill concepts of the world.
    One more thing that i liked was the depiction that how enthusiastic was Jordan to become the rockstar, and how eagerly he wanted to break his heart but when the situation came for him to breakhis heart forever when heer goes into coma, he ask khatana singh that he does not want his heart to get broken and he just want heer and nothing else, thats the real part of the story.Its too easy to say things but very difficult to implement in real life situations.


  8. mr. A.R Rehman and Ranbir kapoor has made me not only love rumi, but also love all his poetry. its beautiul

  9. honestly i feel really sorry for the people who couldnt see beyond the music of the movie. who missed the beauty and the depth of the story. surely the characters, the musician and the narrator were soo deeply inspired that they got the message across to people who can ACTUALLY see the creativeness of the movie.

  10. You have totally captured the emotions i felt when watching this movie! Ranbir Kapoor did such a brill job - can't stop thinking about this movie - and the music is so amazing!

  11. what a beautiful post, Suman! I came across your post rather late, as you can see :) but its beautiful, the way you've described Rahman's music..I loved Rockstar too..it's a dark movie, not many ppl can understand the essence of that movie..you either love it or hate it..but that's because the movie stirs such emotions in you..:)

  12. The movie touches the soul in ways unexplainable to the mind. I do feel pain does go hand in hand with creativity but so dose love and its magical beauty.

    the characters, the music, the whole whole setup...the story line...the emotions...everything lead you to see beyond whats just visible on a persons face...what lies deep within us all is what is our reality. The passion we are all born with...the gift we are blessed with.

    my personal favorite it "nadaan parinday" ... as it connects to my personal self very deeply...we all fly in search of that thing we believe is what will complete us.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts...enjoyed reading it.

  13. I just randomly got to this blog. I started reading it. And I loved one sentence from it, "How much pain is enough pain ? " Truely amazing and it makes me think !

  14. Very True Suman ! Same here but have not so beautiful words like you have to explain the emotions. Great work all the RocckStar team, Specially Ranbhir , Nargis & ever best A.R.Rehman.

  15. Very True Suman ! Same here but have not so beautiful words like you have to explain the emotions. Great work all the RocckStar team, Specially Ranbhir , Nargis & ever best A.R.Rehman.

  16. I love this quote as well. The movie was nice as well, but the Rumi connection made it all the more special...


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