Monday, February 08, 2010

The Brave, New World of Piyush Mishra

The autocratic Hindi film industry, run by a chosen few, hates when loners, maverick at that, try to make statements. In a close-knit fraternity that swears by pampered legacy, proven formulas, muddled notions and big bucks, there's little room for non-confirmist views and waves!

No wonder, celebrities love idiots..the more idiots to idolize them, the more their vote banks and bank balance.

But some individuals care a damn.They dare to be different...and pay the price. If they survive the wrath of the lords and make their mark, it's poetic justice. Piyush Mishra is undoubtedly a sterling example. That he is actually a poet makes the justice even more poetic.

In the little celluloid space that's been alloted to him, he has done what others would not achieve in a life time (and yet win life time achievement awards by default-led design)

An NSD alumini, Mishra has subtly tailored his theatre sensibilites to the demands of the silver screen. While Maqbool and Gulaal are his career highlights, he has shown us he's capable of much more.

Gulaal was godsent for his versatality as a singer-composer-actor. Gulaal's songs form its soul. While the Rekha Bharadwaaj - Mishra duo create magic with the catchy, tongue-in-cheek "Raanaji Mhaare", there could not have been a better tribute to the great Saahir than Mishra's home-bred version of "Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye to kya hai".

Saahir's duniya was not a mere anguish of a stereotype celluloid lover. It was a bold condemnation of the hypocrisy that runs the world. Perplexed by the sheer force of Saahir's dejection, the world was quick to label it as "defeatist poetry".

But Mishra takes Saahir's verse to another level...he skteches the dilapidated structure, laments the ruins but goes beyond to call for salvage.

Palchin mein baate chali jaati hai hai
Palchin mein raate chali jaati hai hai

Reh jaata hai jo savera woh dhoonde
Jalte makaan mein basera woh dhoonde

Jaisi bachi hai waisi ki waisi bachaa lo yeh duniya...
Apna samajh ke apno ke jaisi uthaa lo yeh duniya...

No suicidal withdrawal, no sentimental worship..just a matter-of-fact appeal to take charge! With residual force!

The awesome lyrics should fetch him all the awards under the sun. What he has bagged so far is a Stardust Award - not considered a mainstream recognition. Yet, Stardust has done yeomen service by acknowledging the genius of Mishra.

Watching Mishra accepting the trophy was in itself a delight of cinematic proportions. Before the gathering of a largely superficial crowd, pompous celebrities and mindless anchors, Mishra rendered few lines of his "Duniya" with such devil-may-care zeal, like a true solitary reaper!

In recent times, lyricists and screen play writers have taken the lead in furthering the cause of meaningful cinema ...Swanand kirkire, Prasoon Joshi, Guru Thakur have all been superlative but Mishra is simply in his own league...

Fearless poet, soulful singer and above all, a great actor!

I am waiting for the day he makes his own films. Such abundance of talent is tailor-made for film direction.

May his tribe grow! Hopefully few well meaning producers would be willing to provide a green house.

PS: Mishraji, you should blog and tweet for the sake of your fans. Yes, you have arrived, but you need to reach out...for the larger cause, and to as many as possible.