This is a question I have been asking myself eversince I knew what asking relevant questions were By – Ali Peter John
I have been trying all my life and I have still to come to any conclusions. That’s why when I pray to god, I sometimes stop and ask myself if there is a God who listens to my prayers and then continue praying in the hope of some God listening to my prayer.
That is why when I see man planning things by time and planning great things in the years and a time to come, without knowing that sometimes tomorrow never comes.
That is why I stopped in my tracks and even laugh at man making the most ambitious plans, only to see them falling by the bay side as time moves on.
These thoughts come to my mind as I think of what I consider one of the major films made by Yash Chopra almost fifty years ago, a film called Waqt which was the first multi starrer of Hindi films.
Yash Chopra, a die- hard fan of the poet Sahir Ludhianvi had changed his mind from becoming an ICS officer to do anything in films after he had read the poems of Sahir.
He had succeeded in telling his father that he would try his luck to be a director after being trained by his own elder brother, B.R. Chopra.
He proved to be a good director with his very first two films, ” Dhool ka phool” and “Dharma putra”.
He was very good at making friends and soon had all the big stars working then as his friends.
His next film, “Waqt” was based on a script written by Akhtar ul Imaan,who was to be the father in law of Amjad Khan. The film could be called the first modern lost and found film.
The most impressive scene starts when the rich head of a family has a celebration at his bunglow and gives vent to his feelings about his ambitions for his three little sons there is a family astrologer who scoffs at the head of the family and uses the symbol of holding a cup and time it takes for the cup to touch the lips and how anything can happen in that time.
And suddenly there is an earth quake followed by total destruction and the family is seperated.
The head of the family becomes a destitute. One of the sons is adopted by a rich man who is also a criminal.
The other son is adopted by a business man and only the younger son who works as a driver and lives with his ailing mother are seen as the sole survivors and there is no trace of any other members of the family.
How the family comes together in a dramatic court case is what the story which is all about time and its wild ways are all about.
Time has played it’s games which the entire unit of the film. B.R. Chopra who was the producer and Yash Chopra who was the director are dead.
The lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi and Ravi are also dead and so is the writer and all the other technicians like Kaygee , the cinematographer and Pran Mehra, the editor.
The film had some of the most popular star of the sixties. There was Balraj Sahni who played the head of the family and Achala Sachdev who played his wife.
Suniel dutt, Rajkumar and Shashi Kapoor were the three sons. Sadhna and Sharmila Tagore were the leading ladies.
Rehman who was a regular in the films of Guru Dutt was the villain , Madan Puri was his hench man and there were many other minor roles playes by known faces.
Today, when I look back, I see all those stars and actors as a part of a glorious past. They are all dead and gone into eternity all god, time and destiny know where they are.
The only living witness to the saga of the making of the cult film is Sharmila Tagore who was a newcomer when the film was made.
And I wonder why no one in this age of writing biographies and tracing the history of films are not trying to recreate the magic that Yash Chopra had worked in “Waqt”.
Like Rajesh Khanna used to say during the last few years of his career at every function or meeting he was invited to, ” Woh bhi ek daur tha, yeh bhee ek daur hai” and like the same Rajesh khanna said in the film Anand, ” Ham San rangmanch ki katputliyan hain Yahaan kaun kab uthega kissi Ko kuch nahin pata hahaha”.
This is the umpteen warning to all those who are caught in the clutches of time to treat time with respect because when time decides to disrespect you , it can only be the end of time for you.DHOKA DIYA