In a well kept archive, the 70 mm larger-than-life dreams of many a director and visionary find abode. Year after year, they add to an already Himalayan stack of film reels. Some are taken out time& again, and the dream relived. The others are banished to the quoted realm of failure, nestling spiders and their intricate webs. In this banished realm of dust, cobwebs & anonymity there may lie a masterpiece, which was never recognized as one. But the haze will fail to mask its sheer brilliance from one who has the ‘eye’ for it. Saawariya turns out to be one such ethereal dream, an amalgamation of madness & brilliance.
The world of Saawariya is dark& gloomy, yet light & mirthful. It is multicolored in its vibrancy yet monochromatic in its hue. This is a place you know cannot exist, a place ever changing, crackling with energy and at the same time static & still, just like the fantastical possibilities our dreams throw up. And yet, there it is, with its other-worldly-yet familiar magical mood. In this ephemeral world live two ordinary-yet-extraordinary people.
The peals of Sakina’s laughter & the melancholy of her sobs claw at Raj’s heart. Friendship brings them together and soon he falls in love with her, well knowing she’s one with another. He is the quintessential good guy, one you would want to adore and at the same time chide for being naive in love. He is innocence & charm personified, and serenades Sakina with his honest-to-goodness voice. Masha Allah! Still, he’s human, and in a moment of weakness when he realizes his affections might go unreciprocated, he burns the letter from Sakina to her lover and sabotages her hopes of ever meeting her ‘stranger’ again.
Lost on umeed, she turns to Raj for support, and in the bargain, maybe even starts loving him.
You want to scold Raj for trying to woo the girl of his dreams by such nefarious means, but his sincerity & true love pull your raised hand back. Saawariya becomes the story of two youngsters with their own interpretations of love and how far they are willing to go to win that love. In this play of emotions, your sympathy starts drifting towards Raj. In spite of what he’s done, you wish he would become one with Sakina. He almost does, until Sakina’s past comes back to catch up with her. And in that one penultimate moment, Raj is wiped clean from her memory and left there, heartbroken, watching the boat sail away with her & her ‘stranger’ in it. In that instant, your heart breaks too. You hate Sakina for having left someone as pure as Raj, who but committed only one folly to save his love. The pain of losing it is felt not in Raj’s words which he does not utter, but in his silence - pleading, begging, cajoling her to stay. A moment’s hesistation, and she’s gone. He’s alone once more and his life becomes clouded by the hue pervading the landscape – blue. You feel the sadness dragging you down. But you know that Raj is a good chap – ek Allah ka banda, and that he will be back soon, with his guitar, his soulful voice, his carefree dance and his unmatchable love. In that moment of emptiness, a smile comes across your face knowing that he’ll be all right…
Doli mein bithaake
Sitaaro se sajaake
Zamaane se churaake
Le jaayega ek roz tera udaa ke jiya