Fragrance of Indian soil, values and art

Payal Ki Jhankaar is a lovable movie directed by Satyen Bose, based on the Indian classical music and Indian classical dances with a rural and simple backdrop, quite true to the Rajshri tradition. Late Tarachand Barjatya made it in 1980 taking erstwhile child artist Komal Mahuvakar in the lead role of a teenager village girl having inborn dancing talent in her. Another erstwhile child artist Alankar Joshi was taken opposite her. However neither this movie shows any romance between them, nor any opposite sex attraction of the teenagers of barely 15-16 years of age. This is a classic movie which touches the chord of the heart of all those who believes in the Indian Guru-Shishya tradition and who love Indian classical music and dances. It’s completely free from vulgarity, violence and meaningless sequences.

The story of Payal Ki Jhankaar (the tinkle of the anklet) belongs to an orphan teenager Shyama (Komal) whose only inspiration and motivator is her buddy Gopal (Alankar) who always boosts her morale to sharpen her inborn dancing talent and make it big in the world of music and dance. And she does it after getting proper education from a low profile Guru – Kishan Maharaaj (Arun Kumar) who teaches, not for money, but to develop new talent from among the youngsters who have the passion for dance. Staying away from all the pump and show, he prefers acting as an able jeweller for the young dancers, cutting and carving the uncut stones and converting them into beautiful and precious jewels. Shyama’s devotion to dance, her relentless practice and guidance and blessings of Guruji coupled with Gopal’s motivation lead her to win a high profile dancing contest between herself and an internationally renowned dancer, Veena (Surinder Kaur).Komal Mahuvakar has been a great classical dancer alongwith being a renowned child artist of the seventies. In this, the only lead role of her career, she has infused life through her innocent mannerisms and enchanting dances. She looks quite beautiful too and her on-screen chemistry with Alankar is extra-ordinary. Alankar and others have supported her well. The songs picturised upon her have been sung by Sulakshana Pandit. The voices of Sulakshana, Yesudas (for Alankar) and many others alongwith touching lyrics of Maya Govind, highly melodious music by Rajkamal and simply adorable choreography have created an aura which mesmerizes the audience. My favourite song of this movie is – Jin Khoja Tin Paaiyan. The other songs viz. Saari Dal Dai Mope Rang, Dekho Kaanha Nahin Maanat Batiyaan, Jhirmir Jhirmir Saawan Aayo, Sur Bin Taan Nahin etc. are also excellent lyric wise, melody wise and of course, choreography wise. The heart-winning dances of the movie were directed by Badri Prasad.

The movie depicts ages old Guru-Shishya tradition of India (Knowledge aspiring pupil living with the learned teacher with a highly emotional bond between them). The interactions between the characters involving the dynamics of human emotions like devotion, respect, affection, jealousy, competition, repentance etc. have been portrayed with utmost sincerity and naturalness, without going over the top even for a moment. As per the ancient Indian tradition, Shishya’s elevation to heights in the world is the real satisfaction and fees for the knowledge-imparting Guru. True Guru does not want anything else. Dr. Raahi Masoom Raza has written touching screenplay with impressive dialogues on the story of Govind Moonis.

This movie is a compact one (hardly two hours duration). It engrosses the viewer throughout and there is not a single boring moment in the movie. From beginning to end, the movie is studded with such scenes that fill the viewer’s heart with sublime feelings. The scene of reappearance of passion in Shyama’s dance upon sight of Gopal portrays innocent untold emotions which can only be felt. The last scene in which Guruji asks Shyama to dedicate her award to her childhood buddy, Gopal who has been her first Guru (motivator and morale booster), is simply superb.

The movie also gives a message to the young artists that running after name and fame before seasoning and sharpening your art, is wrong. One should not go for contests or public performances with incomplete or half-baked knowledge of the art. In my view, this stand taken by the narrator is exemplary for the talented but raw artists.

I recommend this movie to:

i) Viewers fond of watching neat and clean, simple movies based on emotional plots.

ii) Those who are interested in the Indian classical music and dances.

iii) Those who want to watch a good movie based on the ancient Guru-Shishya tradition of India.

iv) Those talented youngsters who want to make it big in life, having the passion but not the adequate resources.

This simple but heart-conquering movie was chosen as the Indian entry for the Oscars in 1980.

The moral of the story is – you maintain your passion, resources themselves will approach you. In other words, where there is a will, there is a way.

Do watch it to feel the fragrance of Indian soil, Indian art and Indian traditional values.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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6 Responses to Fragrance of Indian soil, values and art

  1. Trayee says:

    I will definitely watch the movie Sir..I have a deep respect in ancient Guru Shishya tradition of India and a great admirer of classical music and dance. Thanks for sharing..

  2. This sounds like a wonderful movie. Thanks for sharing the review 🙂

  3. Watched this movie long time back. Forgotten much of it. Thanks to your post, I will go for a re-watch.

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