Weaving words in a philosophical mosaic

Sudhirendar Sharma*

Modern day living has little place for ‘philosophy’, which is often considered a domain of those who view life beyond its daily ordeals. Yet, there is limitless flow of thoughts of the enlightened minds in circulation on social media. Other than for sharing within our social circle, I am not sure if such thoughts stick with us. There is fleeting comfort in reading them, however, but that is about it. 

One reason (perhaps not the only one) why we don’t connect with ‘philosophy’ is because the term is alien to us. It is that heavy loaded term which is associated with hair-splitting experts and/or those who are at a tangent with ordinary life, in thoughts and actions. You will often hear people say about such characters ‘yaar, bahut philosophy jhhadta hai’ (tosses philosophical words/statement). Even before making a sense of what is being said, we are quick to close doors on ‘philosophy’.

Contrast it with its synonym ‘Darshan’ (Hindi equivalent of philosophy), which seems closer to us in its meaning. It means ‘viewing or something that can be seen, and hence such an acceptance of this term. Darshan pulls wisdom or wise words from higher echelons to ground level such that a large number can connect with it. Metaphors and phrases are often the simplest version of ‘darshan’ – you get to make sense of deeper thoughts through simple illustrative words. 

Our film music has done wonders in making listeners get musical taste of philosophy (darshan). The power play of words has seen entire philosophies written using fluid, everyday language that listeners could not only relate to but find it easy to memorize. My sense is that this process of simplification of complex philosophical ideas makes such songs enduring in their appeal. 

फ़ल्सफ़ा प्यार का तुम क्या जानो is one such number that I intend discussing with you. Not many may remember it but it is as simple as it could be, but with deeper meanings. While the ‘mukhda’ of the song gives an over-arching sense of philosophy of love, the ‘antara’ unfolds the concept further. रहती दुनिया में वही रहता है मरकर ज़िन्दा, प्यार के नाम पे जो जान दिया करता है is self-explanatory about the eternal value of ‘love’.

Further, love can be interpreted in many ways – from worldly to divine, and from sublime to ridiculous. Hasrat Jaipuri connects these divergent dimensions by connecting Laila to Meera – प्यार शीरीं ने किया प्यार ही लैला ने किया, प्यार मीरा ने किया प्यार ही राधा ने किया. The poet feels that both forms lead to the common goal – प्यार हर रंग में लोगों को सदा देता है, प्यार के पर्दे में हम सबका ख़ुदा रहता है. 

The point I am trying to bring home is that philosophy can be meaningful to everyone provided the words are simple, and can connect with people. If some love the words, some others may enjoy the total composition. However, I must say that we ought to develop a sense of words, their usage and meanings in getting a better sense of popular music.


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