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Break-ups can be so sexy. So many of us realize what our love relationship has been all about only when it is time to break-up. We crash into nothingness and discover how many books, movies and web series we have been neglecting all along. We find the time to attend to our toe-nails and other friends.
Some lovers never discover their feelings or how to express them till their relationship reaches the point when the other is ready to say, “No, thank you, I must leave now.” The departing lover often gets his/her first dose of real attention from the other at this time.
KUCH NA KAHO
The break-up of my first romance was almost scripted into our relationship from its very beginning. First year of college coinciding with a first love and the first year of post-graduation coinciding with the realization that we had many journeys in us that would take us to destinations that were not going to co-incide. Not now, and perhaps never.
At exactly that time, came Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 1942, A Love Story with Javed Akhtar, R. D. Burman and Lata Mangeshkar collaborating to create Kucch na kaho, kuchh bhi na kaho, a tender break-up song that gave words to my loss. It was a sadness laced with gratitude for what the love had brought with it when it had enveloped and protected us.
“Ours dreams fall through the sieve of time. Noone else knows what this has meant, there is only you and there is only me. Let this moment stand still here.”
HUMNE DEKHI HAI UN AANKHON KI MAHAKTI KHUSHBOO
We are a society who have traditionally not given centre space to our love lives. Love remains a 4 letter word, that is often flung at us as an accusation that one must defend oneself from.
Humne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mahakti khushboo, written by Gulzar and sung by Lata Mangeshkar is that gentlest of songs that asks for true love to be let off the hook. It is a song that almost says, never mind the relationship, just let me keep my love as I know it.
Pyaar ko pyaar hi rahne do, koi naam na do. “Love is not words, it is not a voice. It is a silence, that listens as well as speaks…”
TADAP KE TADAP KE IS DIL KI AAH NIKALTI RAHI
What’s a list that doesn't honour that which is raw and unadulterated and brings with it the familiarity of deeply felt heartache?
Tadap tadap ke is dil ki aah nikalti rahi sung by Vinod Rathor for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is my all time favourite break-up song because it expresses unashamed passion - letting it all hang out, without restraint. It is the fearless voice of the lover, speaking straight to the creator, bypassing the rest of the world who are but mere bystanders in this dialogue.
This is an expression that defies the judgement of silence and death. It screams at the sky, embraces rock bottom, lets the tears roll, and remains nattily dressed throughout, even as the lover cries that he has been looted and ruined in love. Kitschy and true.
Tadap tadap ke is dil ki aah nikalti rahi
mujhko sazaa di pyaar ki aisa kya gunaah kiya
ki lut gaye haan lut gaye…hum teri mohobbat mein
IK KUDI JIDA NAAM MOHABBAT
In other break- up scenarios, we discover to our shock that being by ourselves - dressing up, eating alone, laughing with friends, staying up till our smartphone crashes on our nose - is quite a fantastic love affair in itself. We didn’t know we could define this freedom from despair and independence from uncertainty as love, but by God, it feels like the real thing.
Ik kudi jida naam mohabbat, the Punjabi song written by Shiv Kumar Batalvi - resurrected recently in the film, Udta Punjab – is a great song about finding love within ourselves.
Ik Kudi speaks to the inner waif in me - the flower girl, the free child who is still in touch with her essential self. One with nature, with the creator, with love itself. Among other things, raising my daughters and watching them play has given me a second chance to know the inner child in me.
KABHI HUM KHUBSURAT THEY
Punjabi and Urdu are the two languages of my grandparents - the languages of the undivided Punjab that both my parents come from. Raising my brothers and me in cities far away from where they grew up, English and Hindi became the only languages that were considered relevant for us. As a young adult, I realized I pined for Urdu and Punjabi and would feel deep connections to poetry and song in these languages even when I didn’t have the vocabulary to express my own self in them.
Kabhi hum khubsurat they sung by Nayyara Noor is a song about rediscovering self-love that makes my soul come alive. It stirs something in deep recesses where stories of my childhood and lost cultural legacies are buried. This is also an intensely visual song. You will see ponds and butterflies and the first light of morning slicing through a courtyard. You will see a mother and a child, and one of them will be you.
Listening to this rendition makes me realize how we can receive meaning from songs even when we don’t understand so many words.
Naye din ki musafat rang main goondi hawa ke saath khirki sai bulaati hai…humain maathay pai bosa do… “Give me a kiss on my forehead.”
Break ups are the most intense time in some relationships. Sometimes we need the shock of loss to bring up all the feelings that we have kept hidden from our own selves.
Go ahead, be inspired and break up with your love. I highly recommend it.
Tune in to the playlist of all of Natasha Badhwar's Sexy Saturday Songs here.
Natasha Badhwar is a writer, film-maker and media trainer. She is inordinately fond of break-up songs, especially the one that features shattering chandeliers and Salman Khan in a desert storm. Natasha is the mother of three children who are almost old enough to soon offer us their own list of Sexy Saturday Songs.