Few months ago, I have watched a Pakistani Art movie “Mah-e-Mir” starring Fahad Mustafa and Iman Ali. The film must be place in parallel cinema category (Art movies are usually called parallel cinema movies). From the point of view of box office collection and public reception, the film is a flop. Half the audience left the cinema before the interval, rest boringly finished the film. For people like me ( A self-proclaimed critic and lover of art movies) the film was an un usual delight. Although there were some technical deficiencies in direction and effects but story was fabulous. There were flash backs and lengthy technical discussions on aesthetic, art and poetry. Fahad Mustafa has played the role of young ambitious Modern poet who is sick of popular poetry and publishers. He was barely making his living by working for a newspaper. The external circumstances like terrorism and inequality disturbed him. Poetically he was concerned with “Gham-e-Doran”. Besides external circumstances there was an existential crisis brought by a girl. So he had “Gham-e-Ishq”, “Gham-e-Rozgar” and “Gham-e-Doran” at the same time.
Then an aged critic introduced Mir Taqi Mir to him. He was astonished to find that Mir in his own time has also suffered from all thee crisis. And on the face of all these troubles Mir produced immortal poetry. The imagery of Mir’s poetry has not died after centuries. Even Ghalib had paid his tributes to the famous poet
Rekhta ke tum he ustad nahin Ghalib
Suna hai agley dor main koi Mir bhi tha
Reading Mir’s poetry is an unusual delight. The simplicity and depth of the verses is unmatchable. Just check
Dekh ke dil ke Jaan se uthta hai
Yeh duwaan sa kahan se uthta hai
Gor kis dil jaley ki hai yeh falak
Shula ik subuh yah se uth ta hai
Yun uthey aaj us gali se hum
Jesey koi jahan se uth ta hai
Ishq ik Mir Bhari pathar hai
Kab tujh na tawaan se uth ta hai
Some other beautiful verses
Nazuki us ke lab ki kya kehiay
Pankhri ik ghulab ki si hai
Mir was a rebel against established norms, authorities and institutions. He wanted to protect his individuality at all costs. He was against religious extremism and when extremist asked about his religion. He rebelliously answered them
Mir ke deen-o-dharam ki kya poochtey ho Un ne to
Kashka kheencha, dair main betha , kab ka tark-e-islam kya
Mir was not an atheist but a Sufi, he was not an extremist.
Tar daamni pe hamari na jaeyo aey sheikh
Daaman nachor dain to farishtey wuzu Karen
He was a lover of beauty, wherever he find
Mir kya sada hai Bemaar huwey jis ke sabab
Usi Attaar ke londey se dawa letey hai
He believed in the love of humanity and claimed that “Ishq “is his religion.
Sakht kaafir tha Mir jis ne
Mizhab-e-ishq ijaad kya
In the film “Mah-e-Mir” biography of Mir is presented in an excellent way with his poetry. Our young poet found solace in Mir. Another concept which was discussed in the film was the eternal conflict between “reason” and “Emotion” in our life. Why sometimes individuals and nations succumbed to the beast of madness. Why sometimes “Wehshat” , “Junoon” , “Dewaangi”, and “ Madness” take control of our life. “Wehshat” of Mir was caused and triggered by the “Moon”.
In current troubled times, the “Wehshat” is caused by fundamentalist ideas. The unleashed beast of terrorism is creating havoc in the country. In Mir’s time there were wars, famine and lawlessness. His beloved city “Delhi” was plundered by bandits and invaders. But he immortalized his sorrow or “Huzn” in his poetry. That’s what great art is all about.
Sadly such deep movies have no place in our popular cinema. We love to watch cheap Bollywood movies with item songs. We adore movies with bikini clad girls, items songs with double meaning sentences, masala story, no message, no acting, no moral, and no pure beauty. We have no patience for quality poetry, novels, drama, paintings, and films. Therefore, to the producers of “Mah-e-Mir”, Please stop producing quality movies.