जीना तो उन्हीं का जीना कहलाया
जीना तो उन्हीं का जीना कहलाया
जो भी बिना चु-चा कर के
पानी पी के चले गए…चले गए..
While Jaaga Jasoos will be the brave movie that very few saw and everyone should see, it will, always be the movie with this song.
‘Khaana khaake’ is a song that begins in a moment of frivolity and then just like so many other light moments in the movie, takes a sudden deep dive into the many lessons that life chooses to sprinkle around you, but never hit you head on with. Ranbir’s character walks into a house party where everyone has had a bit much to drink and as many of us have done in the past, waiting for the door bell to ring, only to lie to our nosy neighbours that our noisy party is over. What begins as a standard excuse that everyone is done with the party and are gone, turns into a song in what is a momentous moment for Hindi cinema. Yes, I know it’s just a song, but remember this moment as the time Hindi cinema decided to break into a song just for the fun of it and it truly was fun. This was no inane moment of intimacy turning into a song, or a montage to help the writer avoid actually writing in more scenes, or that boy growing up, or a song thrown in to avoid something technical which would involve a set of skills missing in the writer or just a tool of progression. This was truly a moment of genius like the climax of ‘Ek Main or Ek Tuu’ or when Aakash in Dil Chahta Hain learns that he is in love through the opera or when Karan in Lakshya points at the mountain that refuses to allow him to win or when Mohan sees the boy at the Railway station. These are moments that for whatever little time changed Hindi cinema, or in reality, elevated it for a few brief moments that will always outlast the other nonsense that it endures.
‘Khaana khaake’ is another one of those moments. As the song progresses it quietly segues from just being a group of friends having fun and taking a dig at each other to it actually meaning something profound. Like at many house parties we have been to, a moment of humour generally mixed with alcohol turns into a discourse of some kind. The song begins with a rather clichéd take on life about it being temporary and that everyone is just going to enjoy the party, have some booze, eat some food and leave. And then as the song seems ready to return to its initial course, a small bit is slipped in. A bit about how finally it is the ones who manage to quietly, without much fuss, drink some water, have some fun and leave the party are the ones who seem to live the most complete lives. It made me stop and think and look at my life around. At any point in time it has always been about the commitment, about driving for the cause irrespective of everything else. It could be work, my friends, my family or love. The cause always outraced life, my values took a backseat over any relationship and when that was shattered, I never moved on but allowed those tattered ends to bother me till I found new purpose in the people around me. In the song they talk about how everyone leaves the party, except for Ramu Kaka who stays back to clean up. In a way we are all surrounded by the ones who quietly have a cup of water, enjoy the party and leave and the others who choose to or are bound to stick on to be the torchbearers or the holders of vacant hope. The song wasn’t meant to entertain, it was intended to educate and hidden in a movie that wasn’t designed to enlighten, it sure did more than that.
The song will be forgotten soon and so will some of these questions. But at every point in your everyday, maybe it will never hurt to really ask yourself if you want to choose to be the guy who quietly made his mark, left few fingerprints, drank his cup of water and left the party or be Ramu Kaka, the man who holds the ends together desperately, sometimes failing others but always failing himself or just being the man who loves cleaning up after it’s all done. You see, maybe the songwriter didn’t intend it, but when you choose to startle an audience right in between a movie that will go down as a little unknown classic, you unleash the mind and with it, many questions of the way you live and the choices you make.
Watch the movie. Hear the song. Think about life.