New Delhi: “Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon, pal do pal meri kahani hai…” — this iconic song from Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Kabhie Kabhie has struck a chord with so many over the years. That it still holds a prime place in the hearts of music and poetry lovers was proved Saturday when former Indian cricket team captain M.S. Dhoni made it his farewell song.
When Dhoni announced his retirement from cricket Saturday, he did it in classic Bollywood style by posting a video montage of his best sporting moments with this song playing in the background. Dhoni had also sung it during an interview in 2019.
But what is it about this song sung by Mukesh that has captured the imagination of millions?
Written by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by Khayyam, the song appears in Yash Chopra’s 1976 blockbuster hit Kabhie Kabhie, starring Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee, Nitu Singh, Waheeda Rehman and Rishi Kapoor.
The story revolves around lost love reunions and estranged family members spanning two generations. It starts with Amit (Bachchan) falling in love with Pooja (Rakhee), but they are unable to marry. They go on to have families of their own and have children (Rishi Kapoor and Nitu Singh, respectively) who coincidentally meet and work towards uniting their parents.
The film was a hit for many reasons, including the fact that this was a reunion of Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor on screen after Deewar. But it was the soundtrack that was a crowning jewel of the movie.
This song is sung by Bachchan’s character, who is a struggling shayar, right in the beginning of the film. Sahir Ludhianvi’s philosophical lyrics dwell on life’s ephemeral nature and the importance of living in the moment.
Many see the song as a personification of Ludhianvi, who had reportedly inspired the plot of the film with a poem. Amitabh, who plays a poet in the film, also recites the poem that talks about how fame is temporary and the world is too busy to remember a poet who is gone because his place will be taken by someone else.
Not surprising then that a song with such legendary influence was used by another legend to say that his cricketing career has come to a close.