"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal in Mani Ratnam’s DIL SE (1998) - (DID YOU KNOW Facts of Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing)

22 Aug, 2018 | Did You Know!

One of those classics that got their much deserving praise and a respectable status in the history of Hindi cinema years after their dismal performance at the box office, DIL SE is probably the most loved and cherished Shah Rukh Khan movie even among the youngsters, who had not even reached the age of adolescence in the year of its release in 1998.
Largely remembered as well as represented by its outstanding soundtrack (by A.R. Rahman & Gulzar) much more than the content, performances or execution, DIL SE was the third film in maestro Mani Ratnam’s thematic trilogy revolving around communal hatred and terrorism post ROJA (1992) and BOMBAY (1995). But as an amazing contradiction, the third better part of the series didn’t work even when it was originally made in Hindi as the director’s first Hindi film, whereas the earlier two were both dubbed Hindi versions of their Tamil originals. 
Much more lyrical in narration as well as an artistically rich film riding high on its visually poetic expressions, DIL SE was certainly ahead of its times, owning to the fact that the subject is more relevant today, even decades after its release and a complete change of generation.
Co-produced by Mani Ratnam, Shekhar Kapur and Ram Gopal Verma as India Talkies (being the first and last film of the banner), DIL SE had its protagonist going through the seven phases/shades of love as explained in the ancient Arabic literature, beginning from attraction (hub), infatuation (uns) and love (ishq) to reverence (aquidat), worship (ibaadat), obsession (junoon) and death (maut). The specific Urdu words denoting the same can also be found in the lyrics of “Satrangi Re” – passionately sung by Sonu Nigam and penned by Gulzar.
Apart from its melodious music the film had a worth appreciating cinematography (Santosh Sivan) and a fabulous sound design (H. Sridhar) for which it deservingly won two reputed National Awards for the year 1998. And then it had a chain of first appearances too as it was the mainstream debut film of both Preity Zinta and Piyush Mishra, along with being one of the early major movies of Tigmanshu Dhulia as a dialogue writer (also featuring in a scene). Plus it even had a rare but not much talked about cameo by the famous Indian painter Manjit Bawa, who was based in Delhi, where the film was majorly shot in many of its known locations.
Coming to the core subject, DIL SE also featured the works of two legendary poets of our past namely Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal, wherein one was prominently there in its hit soundtrack, whereas the other remained hidden in its exceptional background score and was probably never mentioned in the reviews or the media write-ups published later in the subsequent years.
Once again incorporating Ghalib’s couplet in the lyrics (post ‘Dil Dhoondhta Hai’ in MAUSAM), Gulzar paid a loving tribute to the poet using one of his most famous sheyr/verse in the song “Satrangi Re” that even had the ‘takhallus’ (poet’s name) in it as,
“Ishq Par Zor Nahin Hai Yeh Wo Aatish ‘Ghalib’
Jo Lagaye Na Lagey Aur Bujhaye Na Baney”
(No one has any control over the feeling of Love, 
It’s like a spark of fire that neither can be ignited nor doused at will.)
Further, its exceptional background score, that in reality served as a strong backbone of the experimental project featured another hugely famous sheyr/verse of Mohd. Iqbal also known as Allama Iqbal as,

“Sitaaron Se Agey Jahaan Aur Bhi Hain,
Abhi Ishq Ke Imtihaan Aur Bhi Hain”
(Beyond the stars, there are many more unknown worlds or territories.
There are many more tests of passionate love in the path ahead.)
The verse melodiously composed by Rahman and energetically sung by Sukhwinder Singh, is repeatedly used in the narration playing in the backdrop more than thrice in the film and has a haunting melody that stays in your mind for long, provided you catch it while watching the film noticing its powerful cinematic impact. In fact, the melody was the only thing I had in mind moving out of the theater after watching its first night show on the Friday back in 1998 and I remember it even today after decades of watching movies and listening new music.
However, in case you really didn’t remember hearing anything like that in the film, then do watch it again and feel the magic when Sukhwinder sings it in all the major tension filled sequences featuring Shah Rukh and Manisha.

Cheers!  (Bobby Sing – 22nd August 2018)

(Note : The write-up also forms one of the chapters of my upcoming book DID YOU KNOW Vol. 2)

Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

Also available 
at Flipkart, Infibeam and Notionpress stores (in India)
And at Amazon-com and Amazon-co-uk abroad.
The E-book available at Amazon Kindle, Google Play, I-Books and Kobo.
Hope all friends opting for it have a good time reading.

Tags : Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal in Mani Ratnam’s DIL SE (1998) by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, DID YOU KNOW Facts of Indian Cinema by Bobby Sing, Lesser Known Facts about Hindi Cinema, Hidden Facts about Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing
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