CINEMA IN VERSE- A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT SMITA PATIL.

Over the course of my essays in the last three years and counting, I have made my love for the great Smita Patil’s unparalleled artistry evident.



From ARTH to UMBARTHA, AKALER SANDHANEY to BHUMIKA, ALBERT PINTO KO GUSSA KYU AATA HAI? and TARANG, from GAMAN to AAKROSH, ARDH SATYA to CHIDAMBARAM and DEBSHISHU, even her swan song in the form of WAARIS among others, I feel blessed to have watched her repertoire cover languages, social backgrounds and experiences. Even the variety of genres and narrative styles are diverse.

A carrier of multiple worlds in a remarkable decade old journey, her contributions to Indian cinema remain emboldening for someone like me.

So in recognition of her other performances, I choose to once again use the verse form to delineate her journey in several of her iconic avatars.


Here, they are.

  ***
SARVASAKSHI(1978)

NOTE : first up, there are hardly any Google images  or uploads of this underrated Marathi gem on YouTube but it’s available in perfect HD on DISNEY+HOTSTAR(for Indian viewers) so please make a point to watch it there.

But first a gallery tracing her myriad avatars.

**

SARVASAKSHI

The inner eye
is the last sometimes
to oversee one’s own downfall.
But I saw a lucid picture of change.

For I saw progress
cross paths with superstitions
and you, kindly teacher,
were the mouthpiece
while I,
willingly ensconced within this mansion,
within the village’s inner circle,
was the conscience,
willing to rise above my station.

Man and woman,
engulfed by two different worlds;
we now know that the future
is in our hands.
And so let us take our first steps
and raise our consciousness.

And take the young ones with us,
making this remote corner rise from its infancy.

***

SUTRADHAR (1986)

Sutradhar Movie || Smita Patil Emtional Scene || …: https://youtu.be/UnDvbiWOhKE



A tale of tales.
A crusader among slumbering bedrocks.
That’s the choice I made for myself.
I chose you,
your mind above sallow, fickle ideology.

I should have known
that I was always expected
to follow behind
and stick to your side,
an enforcer of patriarchy.

Now I make my choice
and draw the line
& leave your ego at the threshold.
I now choose myself,
my reason above your exhortations.

***

GHULAMI(1983)



We are all enslaved by our virtues and vices,
both genders victimised by
agendas beyond our control.

We cannot choose the circumstances
of our birth
or the life ahead,
to build ourselves up.

This,
we can proclaim:
To be children of the soil,
equals in spirit and mind.
The last of the desert’s sentinels,
guarding our forts
of an united soul.

**

TEESRA KINARA (1986)



The big city is a sea of temptations.
Losing one’s self is easy
when you are one amongst the crowd.
But inviolable was I
when I was back home
and determined am I,
now that you have brought me
to this concrete jungle.

You dip your feet in the ocean.
I continue to measure
the depths of my desires
with facts of life.

This is our shore
and you have gone missing,
in the melee of undertows and high-tides.

I am still here,
always holding my head high
without bowing to your whims.

The big city is but a rear-view mirror
for me.
My truth tells my very own story.

**
THIKANA(1987)



Home is where the heart is.
Where mothers and daughters
sleep on each other’s laps
and cut chapped lips with words
sharp as a sickle
or the ways of this world.

This is Home.
A brother’s journey starts here.
A family rebuilds itself within its walls.
And I see the good with the ugly,
boarding with both inside.

***
SHAKTI(1982)



Power is overrated,
a concept pitting man against man
while the world and its conscriptors
conspire to set apart
fathers from sons.

The real power is one of loyalty,
of generations imbuing life
with unvarnished truth.

Trust me when I say it,
the real power is in looking back
at all events
and never choosing only the rosy pathways.

Truth is life.
Life is truth.
As we all learn,
ultimately.

**

AKHIR KYUN? (1985)



Why should a woman cower
or be an orphan,
without her own home
or a room of one’s own?

Why shouldn’t she voice her opinions
or be expected to serve,
among others,
flattery,
food on the table
and only pearls of motherhood
to society’s gatekeepers?

Why should she be chosen first
by a man
and be discarded for the fleeting
cross-currents of youth?

**
I offer my life as an alternative,
a hard-won triumph against the odds.

I give you my life story
as an exemplar
and a gospel of self-independence.

For I did it forty years ago,
so there’s no reason why you
should choose to shear your own dignity today,
in the here and now.

I give you the freedom to write
your own tale,
as I did mine,
pulling out the truths,
hard facts,
pains and joys
out of the body, mind and soul.

**

AMRIT(1986)

Mera Gham Kitna Kam Hai (HD) – Amrit Songs – Raje…: https://youtu.be/VxafxedS2R0



Silver strands,
Golden years,
inextricably linked together.
By the pangs
and the little joys
we share.

We are friends,
forever defined by our years.

**

2 thoughts on “CINEMA IN VERSE- A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT SMITA PATIL.

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