Friday, March 16, 2007
Yousuf Saeed is creating an opportunity for dialogue and co-existence through his films
The world is starving for Amir Khusrau. For a poet’s vision, a writer’s wisdom and sufi’s soul. “Khusrau is perhaps the biggest example of a multi-faceted personality. He and the poets, the sufis of past with their movements have been proof of cultural co-existence, of peaceful plurality and amazing tolerance,”
Delhi-based filmmaker, Yousuf Saeed sets the screen for his documentary, ‘Khayal Darpan - A Mirror of Imagination,’ shown at CSNA Auditorium, State Library, Sector 34.
Shot across the border, through the meandering gullies of Pakistan, in search of lost legacies, the film is Saeed’s way of connecting with the past. “Today, the Hindus and Muslims have been polarised into their extremes, there was a past where such a polarisation wasn’t there. Partition created a vacuum which is taking years to fill...” If ‘47 saw gharanas and singers moving to Pakistan, then it also saw their patrons, the Hindus and the Sikhs, back in India.
The documentary raises questions on how music suffered in Pakistan, how the Government never promoted the arts, and it still doesn’t have a organised music industry despite the swelling talent.
What began as ‘Amir Khusrau’s legacy in Pakistan’ ended up as an opportunity to create dialogue and co-existence in the two worlds.
“Culture, literature, identities....these are things that keep evolving. Everything is a blend, nothing’s pure. This is where concept of Khusrau is relevant in today’s times. The world needs that multi-cultural dimension to exist in the ‘global village’. And tolerance is the key.”
You can’t survive in a nucleus, feels Saeed, who’s been part of Turning Point series on DD, made umpteen number of documentaries including a series on Ladakh and Khusrau. “It’s difficult, this medium for there are no takers of it. Our marketing in documentaries is poor,” rues Saeed.
But it does not deter this independent thinker of the new world to continue with his work.
“I look for the positives. Films like Black Friday and Parzania border on a certain hopelessness and blame game. I would rather hang on to hope.”
So, it’s India and music, and then perhaps a documentary on sufi shrines across India where people from all religions come. To the past, the present and a turning point called Yousuf Saeed.