I got chance to see the film Pakeezah when i was quite young. Every frame was recorded on my memory-the mental-scape.
All the emotions felt by the Meena Kumari ji on screen were felt by my brain cells also.
She was such a persona that no space will be enough to write about her. Now At the age of 40 I think of many dimensions of those memories.
Those women really suffered a lot. They were on one hand were exploited by men and on the other hand ill-treated by the women of that time, which caused them double agony.
Well, if one says that they exploited men, then I would say it was not fault of these women.
One has to see the Umrao jaan, the film by shri Muzaffar Ali, who had lineage connection with the Nawabi culture.
Whenever I go to Lucknow, which is my birth place, I regularly go to the Kesar Bagh. From there a way leads to the Kathak Kendra and Bhatkhande music college. On the way we can see the Baradari and on both side are the remains of old Lucknow style of buildings. There is also a gate from which I used to come from the Golagunj.
At the Kesar Bagh chauraha on the road leading to the Baradari, there is one gate, There is wriiten something which i could not ignore. But i tried to peep inside. Just in case to get a chance to see Muzafar Ali. Once I asked someone at the gate that when I can see Muzafar Ali ji. He said he is not here and he did not know when he will come to Lucknow. At that moment I come to peace with the ground and consider myself lucky as atleast I was able to touch the gate of building which many time houses Shri Muzafar Ali ji.
But whenever I see Umrao Jaan movie I find that the places are familiar to me. Some scenes look like as if shot in Chota Imambara or some other such places. Then there was a scene where Umraao was in Kanpur and she sang the song at the birthday of nawab’s son. The place I search was a house/building we find near the jajmau bridge on Ganga. While going to lucknow from jajmau on left side of road was a white building of the old style- I thought that the shoot must have been taken place there. So much admiration I had for the film. After Pakeezah the Umrao jaan was the only film, which I considered of that standard. There was art, music, dance, drama, literature, architecture, creativity, Culture, all the emotions were there-love, pity, envy, hatred. There is another movie UTSAV, but i realy dont know whether it was a succes story or not- two different views are taking rounds. For me that was also a movie worth preservation and it was a work of art. Had it been made in SANSKRIT- suppose- then what would have happened?. As if the Iyer( or the iyengar???) film the SANKARACHARYA. it was amazing film- i had seen it on doordarhsan early 80s. the concept of dualism was explained.
I really wish I could meet Shri Muzaffar Ali ji and ask him to take me in any dance sequence.