Gulzar Special : Libaas – an unseen experience. Hear it now!

Posted: August 18, 2011 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, Gods of Cinema, songs & videos, Special
Tags: , , , , ,

This is an old post by Pavan Jha. And since it’s Gulzarsaab’s birthday, we thought it would be nice to revisit it with the post. All thanks to @p1j who also runs the website GulzarOnline. Experience it NOW!

Libaas remains one of the most special Gulzar movie for me. Its an Unseen film for me, still I can feel the film like any other films that I have seen. I have read the film [It is based on a short story of Gulzar titled “Seema” published in Ravi Paar] and I have also “heard” the film [thru the songs and dialogues on cassettes]. It was almost as good as seeing the film…

The intensity of script and characters can be felt in the dialogues. Three main characters Sudhir [played by Naseeruddin Shah.. brilliant again as a Theater Director who puts work as the top priority and treat relationships as secondary], Seema [Shabana Azmi, the rebel wife of Naseer, She is more of a character for his director husband than a wife] and TK [Raj Babbar, an old friend of Naseer, [total contrast to Naseer’s character] who visits Naseer after a long time and woos Shabana. He is more of a bubbly and charming character].

The story starts with a theater group, which Naseer is struggling to setup. Shabana is Naseer’s wife and is also the leading lady in his production. The film starts on a lighter mood with a few funny moments with Utpal Dutt (dubbed by Johnny Lever after his death), Anu Kapoor and Naseer.

Utpal Dutt introduces the leading characters in the opening scene…

Drame me bhi miyaan-biwi ke role karate hain aur ghar pe bhi wahi..bore nahin ho jaate ek hi role karte karte”…

For Naseer, Theatre is life, much more than anything else..

Khana banana bhool jaaogi to bardasht kar loonga par apni line bhool jaaogi to kabhi maaf nahin karoonga..”..

Though Shabana behaves like a subordinate all the time, she has other demands too from the life.. One of the most important scene of the film speaks all….

Shabana (at home) : Main baal katwa loon.. chhote karwa loon, achhi lagoongi..

Naseer : to hayvadan ki padmini ka kya hoga, aur khamosh adalat ki leela bainare ka?

Shabana : Matlab Padmini aur Bainare mujh se jyada important hain..Mujh mein hamesha apne characters hi dekhte ho.. Kabhi mujhe bhi dekha hai?

Naseer : Are tumhare andar to saara jahaan dekhta hoon

Shabana : Dialogue mat bola karo har waqt.. tumhare liye to mujh se jyada theater important hai na.. I know if you have to choose between theater and me.. you would choose theater.

Naseer : Seema, theater sirf tumse hi nahin, mujhse bhi jyada important hai.. ham dono baad me aate hain, aur theater pahle introduction to the characters completes with the entry of Raj Babbar, a businessman and an old friend of Naseer…

Shabana : Bada hi betakalluf dost tha aapka, is tarah to pahale kisi ko nahin dekha aapke saath…theater me to sab subordinates ki tarah behave karte hain

The story develops and restricts to the three main characters, their egos, the bondage and the break in relationships. The focus is on the character of Shabana.

Naseer : Ghar me rahti to ghar bore karta tha, theater me ho to theater bore karta hai.. Hamesha wahaan rahna chahti ho jahaan nahin ho, aur jahaan ho usase kabhi khush nahin ho.. You always want to be somewhere else, not where you are.. and you even don’t know where you want to be

Shabana stops doing theater and starts spending time with Raj Babbar..

Gulzar saab like a master craftsman draws parallels between the characters of his film and Mohan Rakesh’s Adhe Adhure using the play being prepared by Naseer and his theater group..

Also the scene where Naseer comes to know about the affair between Shabana and Raj Babbar, and he talks about it with Raj-Shabana is brilliantly handled.. (atleast it “sounds” so).. What happens next should be left undiscussed, hoping the film would release some day..

Music makes Libaas more special film.. It was the last film that Panchamda did with Gulzar saab… Also it was only the second and the last time Panchamda sang with Lata [for kya bura hai kya bhala]…Music of libaas is a kind of a sequel to Ijaazat. The album contains only 4 songs, all top class, including a superb Pancham composition “Sili Hawa Choo Gayee”, a typical gulzarish song, beautifully rendered by Lata. “Khamosh sa afsana” a duet by Suresh and Lata, “Phir kisi shaakh” is the next version of “Khali haath shaam aayee hai” in the mood and rendering, and “Kya bura hai kya bhala” is a lively group number [a bit of qawwali touch]…

Libaas was never released in theaters though it was shown in a International film festival of India in 1992.

Jitne bhi tay karte gaye, Badhte gaye ye faasle

Meelon se din chhod aaye, saalon si raat leke chale

We all hope it will see the light of the day.. some day… amen!

  1. Rohwit says:

    Was thinking of this movie early morning today. Why can’t we crowd fund it? If not to 1000 theatres, let’s do it in niche territories? Always ready to be useful

    Na tumne kaha hota remains a close fav but ‘sili hawa chu gayi’ is what Gulzar sahab is to me…always

    Happy birthday sir….and thanks to you and pavan dada for this lovely blog post

  2. I remember reading a Gulzar interview in Stardust a *very* long time ago (late 80s) where he said, “I don’t like the way Libaas has turned out so I will not release it. The loss is entirely mine.”

  3. darkndusky says:

    gargling se jee mat lagao….Uff gulzar ji….aurton se shaadi nahi karni chaahiye 🙂 Naseer, Faroukh, Sanjeev Kumaar, Saed Jaffrey….kis kis ko ye phateechar dil dete phiren….sirf Gulzar ji ke havaale kar dete hain.

  4. darkndusky says:

    Raj Babbar is the rascal in the movie. He has had enuff practice in real life too wooing Smita after Nadira. Must be easy on screen :))

  5. Aditya Pant says:

    It played in film festivals around 1991-92. I still remember the date I watched it at a film festival in Bangalore – January 19, 1992.

  6. R.L.Mishra says:

    इस फिल्म में मैं मुख्य सहायक था
    इस फिल्म क़ा रिलीज ना होना बहुत
    दुखद है ….बीते पल जो डायलाग के
    ज़रिये सुना अच्छा लगा ………..
    ढेर सारी बधाई भाई के जन्म दिन पे

  7. nikita agarwal says:

    Are you honestly leaving it that way? Please post if they ll release the movie..

  8. Anil says:

    friends please do tell me where i can watch or download this movie…

  9. Amjad says:

    plz anyone can tell mee how i can watch this movie…

  10. Suguna Dewan says:

    Can we watch/download this film from somewhere? It’s not available anywhere 😦

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