We were The Midnight’s Children. Well, not exactly. For we were born around the time, give or take a few years this way or that. The Fateful Midnight which was at once glorious and nightmarish. We were far too tiny tots at that time to comprehend its profound significance or what ‘ a tryst with destiny made long years ago’ was and what it entailed ‘ to redeem it, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.’, – the redemption about which our elders used to talk spiritedly now and then. But we were fortunate to see the sincere, self-effacing people,- there were many such to be found those days, who fired by idealism, were selflessly engaged in the unenviable but glorious task of the redemption. Some of them, we were fortunate to behold, in flesh and blood and some in the ‘ News Reels’, which preceded the movies those days. They sought and tried their best to neutralise or neuterise, ‘ in full measure’, the unscrupulous, scheming and detestable ‘Lafangaas’, that lurked in the corners.
The news reels of the Film’s Division of The Union Govt., preceded not just the Hindi, or Telugu movies, but the Wild West and ‘Red-Indian’, King Kong, Tom and Jerry and Mickey Mouse matinee movies too that we were fond of. The exotic matinees used to be called, ‘anna-kanee, or baeda-ardhana-movies’, ( ‘tuppenny, two dime movies’ so to say..), My elder brother used to take me along now and then to the Wild West and cartoon movies, besides other movies, serious ones and hilarious ones , like Naastik, Bhai Bhai, Bhagambhag, Tooffan aur Diya etc., too. I also remember to have seen movies like The Train to Pakistan, and Bhowani Junction relating to those times. But I am digressing.
One of the many memorable songs that my brother Bobby used to sing soulfully, ( he was just in his early teens then) to us younger kids in those nascent decades, and which I immensely like to this day is , ‘Dekh tere sansar ki haalat ‘, by the great Hindi writer Pradeep from the 1954 movie ‘Naastik’, The movie depicts the vicissitudes in the fortunes of the survivors of an unfortunate family consequent to the fateful Midnight but also due to certain social aberrations which prevail to this day.
Here is a link to a detailed review of the movie. The review also contains a translation of the said lyric into English.
And here is a You Tube clip of the song for you.o