Sunday, October 15, 2006


In the 196X film Guide about two tragic lives (and lovers), the divine Waheeda Rehman lip-syncs (while the equally divine Lata Mangeshkar sings) the dilemna she sees before her:

Aaj phir jeenay ki tamanna hai, aaj phir marney ka irada hai
Today there is still the desire to live, today there is still the intention to die

On the other hand, Habib Wali Mohammad somewhere around the same time gives voice to a different concern:

Marney ki duaen kyun mangun, jeenay ki tamanna kaun kare
Why should I pray for death, (but) who has reason to desire life?

Both lines reflect an internal struggle - to choose between living and dying. But where in the former, Waheeda is tempted by each option - the possibilities of life, the escape of death, Habib reflects the reality of true despair - no hope at all, whether in life or in death.