O. Henry, who was known for his strong portrayal of simple things in his stories was truly a master story-teller. If you have read “The Last Leaf” or “The Gift of Magi“, then you’d know. I watched a classic Indian movie tonight, Raincoat, which is loosely based on “The Gift of Magi”. A simple story of two people who meet one rainy afternoon and reflect back on things that could have been. Due to my deep dwelling in the topic, I enjoy such story-telling movies with minimum actors and a feel of old-style movie making.
For those who know Gulzar (legendary Indian/Urdu Poet), here’s his outstanding poem from the movie, Raincoat.
Click on the play button below to listen to this Nazm in Gulzar’s voice.
I’m presenting my own English translation for those who don’t understand Hindi. This poem goes beyond any articulation.
‘Twas a puff of the season
That shook the portrait that hung so listlessly
In the days of yore, the walls weren’t so moist
Who knows why the moistness crept in
Don’t know why the cracks came
And the moistness shows
Like the tears on a face so blank
This rain once sang on the rooftops
It used to write on the windowpanes
Alas it weeps away behind a cage now
And the afternoons are so
Like a chess without the pieces
There’s no one to play, just no one
Neither the day breaks, nor the night comes
Everything seems still
Perhaps ’twas a puff of the season
That shook the portrait on this wall.