Navratri – Nine nights of celebrating the power of & of seeking blessings from Devi Durga! For us brought up in Mumbai, during our teenage and just-out-of-teenage years, this was the time to get a chance to dance with some of the prettiest girls in the neighbourhood – those who otherwise would not have even given us the time of the day – and thus breaking our heart regularly.
I had observed a curious phenomenon during those years. There was a house across the road from my home – shut almost throughout the year – but would come alive about a month before Navratri. I could not only see lights in the night, but also a lot of shouting – sometimes seething with anger, and often with a lot of laughter. Seeing me concerned with such going-ons, once my father explained – Oh, this is the group called Kallol – and they are preparing for Durga Pooja. This was the first time I heard about the Pooja festival. Of course I had not realized the passion with which Pooja was celebrated by Bengalis till we moved in Powai about 13 years ago.
Much before that however, unknowingly, I and so many fans of Pancham’s music like me, had celebrated Durga Pooja through his music. Like the Diwali special issues in Mahrashtra where all noted writes make a special effort to contribute, in Bengal existed a trend where almost all the celebrated composers with their roots in Bengal, would create special albums for Pooja festival. RD also composed some of his masterpieces specially for Pooja – which later found place in some of his most celebrated tunes in Hindi movies.
Over next few days, till Durga Pooja, I will bring to you two of his creations each day – one which was composed for the festival & then its Hindi version.
Since I was talking of 1972, let me begin with one of his most popular songs in Hindi movies from a movie released that year. First the Bangla version. This song was apparently inspired by the unrequited love of Sachin Bhowmik – noted writer who also wrote this song. Composed in 1967, this was RD’s first Bengali solo – as a singer - & one of the most popular ones too.
So here it goes: Mone Pore Ruby Ray..
And now the Hindi version
Recreated for Anamika, RD retained the same raga but rearranged the music, to suit the movie sequence.
The result – a song that brings out the longingness, loss and a sense of betrayal – with the combined creativity of Majrooh & RD which only Kishore could have sung & perhaps only Sanjeev Kumar could emote. In such a manner, a classic was born that has retained its charm & flavour even after 4 decades.
Tujhe bin jaane, bin pahchaane
Maine hriday se lagaayaa
Par mere pyaar ke badle mein toone
Mujhko ye din dikhlaayaa
Jaise birhaa ki rut maine kaati
Tadapke aahen bhar-bhar ke
Jale man teraa bhi, kisi ke milan ko
Anaamikaa, tu bhi tarse