Gulzar was at his poetic best in the 1988 romantic drama, Ijaazat. Apart from sensitive acting performances, and fine writing, the film was highly acclaimed for it’s music. A good album complements the narrative of the film, and becomes a part of the larger whole. Gulzar, Burman and Asha Bhosle have collaborated over many classics throughout their career, but still nothing compares to Mera Kuch Samaan.
Ijazat explores the complexity of love and it’s affiliation with relationships. Mera Kuch Samaan is a poetic love letter that Maya sends to Mahender, her old lover who is now married to Sudha. Earlier in thes story, Sudha had come across some of Maya’s old stuff in the house, so she had sent it to her. Mera Kuch Samaan is a reply in defense of unrequited and residual love. Maya writes that still a lot of her stuff is left behind- all the moments and memories that she has lived with Mahender.
“Patjhad mein kuch patton ke girne ki aahat
Kaano me ek bar pahan ke laut aayee thi
Patajhad ki woh
Shakh abhi tak kaanp rahi hai
Woh shakh gira do,
Mera woh saman lauta do”
Maya writes and tells Mahendra to make the withered branch ( where we just see one last leaf ) fall off. The last leaf has been used as a subtext to talk about the residual love. She can make peace with the returning of her belongings, but she doesn’t quite know how to lose her longing.
Vikramadiya Motwane’s “Lootera” was an adaptation of O Henry’s “The Last Leaf”, and it was unanimously lauded by the critics worldwide. The 2013 romantic drama used the “last leaf” element quite overtly in it’s narrative.
Pakhi’s father used to narrate the story of the invincible king of the Bhil tribe whose soul resided inside a parrot, telling her that she is the parrot within whom his life resides. Lootera is about a love story about deception. It tells the story of a young conman, Atmanand Tripathi, posing as an archaeologist to loot the wealth of Pakhi’s family. Upon realization, Zamindar Babu couldn’t bear the loss and betrayal, and he lost his life.
A years later, a sick, heartbroken, Pakhi is living alone in Dalhousie. She remembers the story that her father used to tell her. She keeps looking at the withering tree outside the window, and begins to believe that her life resides in that last leaf. Atmanand takes it upon himself to make sure that the last leaf of ‘hope’ doesn’t fall.