The lion of Kaiser-ul-Jafri is- ‘How many days you will be thirsty, think yaaro / even the strand of Shabnam, which seems like a river.’ It was once a reality of the desert areas of Rajasthan. People living in these areas also felt ‘shabnam ka katra’ (dew drop). This was the era when Indira Canal did not reach Rajasthan with water from Punjab. Desert areas were plagued by famine due to the lack of rain. People had to wander miles away for water. The milk was mysser, the water was like an antelope. Writer-filmmaker Khwaja Ahmad Abbas made ‘Do Boond Pani Movie’ in 1971 on the virtuous condition of these areas of Rajasthan. The film is completing 50 years of performances in 2021.
Weak on the story front
Although the film managed to win the National Award, it did not win the hearts of the audience. That was the stormy phase of Rajesh Khanna. His films were stored in theaters for 25 to 50 weeks. ‘Do Boond Pani’, starring actors like Jalal Agha, Simi Garewal, Kiran Kumar (this was her first film) and Madhu Chhanda, left theaters a week later. This film, made with noble intentions, was weak on the directorial, script-front. Khwaja Ahmad Abbas often failed to present his stories on screen. Most of his films seem to be swinging between fiction and documentary. That is, neither a mukammal story or picture is seen. Like ‘Shahar Aur Sapna’, ‘Bombay Raat Ki Armen’, ‘Saat Hindustani’, ‘Do Boond Pani’ is a similar hung film.
Sheerin-Farhad and Rani Padmini episodes
Progressive writers such as Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, to speak out, have episodes of Sheerin-Farhad and Rani Padmini in ‘Do Boond Pani’ as well as ‘Thun Pi-Thun Pi’ (boyfriend-girlfriend drinking each other when they get water) I have taken the help of fanciful anecdotes, but it did not work out. The hero of the film, like Farhad, breaking the sand mountain and reaching the canal village, was also very artificial.
Jaidev’s music is the only illuminating aspect
The only illuminating aspect of ‘Do Boond Pani’ is Jaidev’s captivating music. Two songs based on Rajasthani folk tunes are extremely sweet – ‘Ja Ri Pawania Piya Ke Des Ja’ (Asha Bhosle) and ‘Brass Ki Mori Gagari’ (Parveen Sultana, Meenu Purushottam). Both were written by Kaifi Azmi. At the end of a song, he writes, ‘Sun-sun-sun-wind, when the gagging is immersed in water / When our mouth looks new, we will see whenever.’ Such succulent vocabulary and analogies in film songs have become a breeze.