Against the backdrop of a handful of rustic,art deco pieces of furniture sat a dozen rifles. In some distance,the British Flag rested on a table. Another corner of the room had been used to recreate a courtroom. The stage was set for the drama that was to unfold. Soon enough,to the instrumental version of the title track,the cast of Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey made their entry. Dressed as revolutionaries,they introduced their characters,concluding with a chant of Vande Mataram .
Ashutosh Gowarikers forthcoming film,Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey based on Manini Chatterjees book Do or Die retells the story of the nearly forgotten revolution of the 1930s,the Chittagong Uprising. The music launch in Mumbai earlier this week was hence planned to suit the theme of the film,with guests dressed in a thematic red-and-white combination. In his inimitable style,Gowariker,the first one to take the stage,introduced his film,recounting how,back in 2001 when he had first read the book,he was both awed and angered. I was in awe of the fact that 64 young revolutionaries planned and executed a simultaneous raid on the armoury of police and auxiliary forces in Chittagong. The anger stemmed from the fact that this key historical event,where a school teacher Surjya Sen (played by Abhishek Bachchan) led the attack,had been unknown to me all along.
Chatterjee,Editor,National Affairs,The Telegraph,too resounded Gowarikers emotion,citing it as the reason for having consented to write the book when approached by the publishers. However,the political journalist had another reason driving her. A key revolutionary and one of the only two women to take part in the uprising,late Kalpana Dutta (portrayed by Deepika Padukone) is Chatterjees mother-in-law. Ma would tell us anecdotes from the Uprising,but we didnt realise then that she had been part of a huge movement. It was not until she had passed away and I was commissioned the book that the relevance of the Chittagong Uprising finally settled in.
To lend support to Gowariker and his wife and producer of Ashutosh Gowariker Films,Sunita,were the families of the cast and crew. The Bachchan family Amitabh,Jaya and Aishwarya Rai cheered on Abhishek while Kirron and Anupam Kher were in attendance for their son Sikandar who plays a key role in the movie. The film is slated to release in December.
The music of the film,which comprises five songs and seven instrumental tracks,has been composed by Sohail Sen,who also worked on Gowarikers Whats Your Rashee? Lyricist Javed
Akhtar too has managed to capture the era as well as the spirit to fight for freedom.
The title track is an upbeat chorus number that brings forth the patriotic fervour. Naiyn Tere and Sapne Salone are both hummable numbers,reminiscent of Lagaans O Ri Chhori.To accompany the soft yet nationalistic Yeh Des Hai Mera is Sens rendition of Vande Mataram,another fair attempt that will find favour with the listeners.