Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
mentioned yesterday about how difficult it was to differentiate the
voices of Mangeshkar Sisters - when they sang in tandem in Dulhan Maike
Chali. It was all the more difficult because each of them, like a true
playback singer, were trying to ensure that their voice was matching
with the performer on-screen. Fortunately, each one was singing for only
one of the characters.
Now here is a song, where there were
two different performers on the screen - in two different kind of
characters exhibiting two contradictory moods - and yet RD used only one
Ab Jo Mile Hain to - from caravan picturised on Aruna
Irani & Asha Parekh had Asha Bhosle singing for both the actors.
Starting seductively to match the on-screen persona of Aruna Irani
wooing Jitendra, the song has a strong bossa-nova influence - perfectly matching the moves of Aruna Irani.
Half-way through, the seduction gives way to unrequited love and as the
song changes the mood, one can not but notice that subtle yet distinct
variation - in Asha's voice, in the lyrics and in the music. With Asha
Parekh performing at her best, the song manages to bring out the pain
that she is going through.
No wonder, this song has remained one of the most popular one of Asha-RD-Majrooh combination.
Tu hai hawa, shola hu main,
Mil key bhee jo mil naa sake
Bujh naa sake tere bina,
Tere bina jal naa sake
Listen to this here:
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
the advent of 70s India was changing. It was becoming more modern and
permissive - at least on surface. Zeenat Aman was the poster child of
Starting from her first movie Hulchul, she brought
in a kind of glamour, which Hindi movie heroines were not generally
known for. She was also one of the first heroines whom Indian male gaze
looked at with lust. Ajnabee, Qurbani, Pukar, The Great Gambler,
Dostana... the list is endless.
She was also one of the luckiest heroines - specially when it comes to Music.
Starting from Hulchul (a songless movie though), there were a number of
movies where Zeenat surely got her moves right - purely because the
music was by RD. If Hare Rama Hare Krishna catapulted her into a zone
which most of the newcomers can only dream of, movies like Yaadon Ki
Barat, Heera Panna, Ishk Ishk Ishk, Ajnabee, the Great Gambler ensured
her an everlasting presence in the memory of hindi music lovers.
On her birthday today, the song that I would love to showcase is from
Manoranjan - a movie that brought out the chutzpah Zeenat & RD's
combination was capable of.
The song is also very special because
it has three of the Mangeshkar sisters - Lata, Asha & Usha, singing
in tandem - and actually it becomes difficult to differentiate their
Another reason I love this song is about the inherent
positivity about the characters, which Hindi movies seldom showed. In
fact, never ever the Hindi movie have shown prostitutes with such
joie-de-vivre (except perhaps Utsav) - absolutely unapologetic of their
profession, as they mouth Anand Bakshi's lyrics while being rounded up
by the police:
Suno ji suno unhe pakdo
Jo jamane me gum bechte hai
Is jamane me hum bechate hai
JKahe ko tu ro rahi hai
Dulhan maike chali
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
was a struggler, trying to find a good role - despite his father having
been in the film industry for more than a couple of decades - when he
landed this role. Actually he was not even the first choice. Rather,
this was a role that came to him due to the actor preferred first could
not find dates to do this role.
The movie was a multi-starrer
with actors of great calibre and well repute, among whom he had to
ensure that his presence did not remain as just another actor.
Fortunately for him, the role was meaty, of a kind, which Hindi movies
had never seen earlier. Yet, the movie, when finally released, to take
advantage of the long weekend coinciding with 15th August, was found to
be lengthy, violent, and was trashed by almost every one. In fact,
within its first week of release, it was written off as a flop - a complete commercial disaster.
Years later, this movie remains, one of the highest grosser of Hindi
Cinema - and the first movie to have run for an uninterrupted period of
five years in one theater. The actor, or rather the character he played,
an evil personified, has retained the highest recall. He, of course,
went on to create some more memorable characters and was rated as one of
the finest actors of Hindi cinema.
Amjad Khan aka Gabbar Singh of Sholay!
Wondering, Where does Pancham fits in?
Well, one of the lesser talked about talent of RD was his penchant
& attention to the details for a background score. Using different
instruments, sometimes innovative ones, was a trick he often used to
highlight the mood of a scene. In Sholay, apart from the four central
male characters, Pancham's background score & Dwarka Divecha's
photography further enhanced the impact of the movie.
Have a look at this scene from the movie - perhaps one of the most well-known ones!
The Banshee kind of wail (created through organ & cello) in the
background, the highlighted sound of Gabbar's boots as he walks, a bit
of guitar stumming, and then the rolling sound of the revolver, while
Gabbar plays the Russian roulette with the life of his failed comerades!
If Amjad played the character to the hilt - doing complete justice to the thought process that Salim-Javed had while scripting Gabbar, the music brought out the
menace he was supposed to be, and helped in creating a character that is iconic even after 4 decades.
This was the magic of Pancham!
Monday, November 11, 2013
Hi All..back again after a brief break...
During this break, the country lost one of its finest & most
versatile singers...and last of the male playback legends... Manna Dey!
Manna Dey, had started his career as an assistant to SD Burman, and
sang his first song for him. Quite possibly, that was one of the
reasons, RD & him had a special bond.
While RD's preferred
singer seemed to be Kishore, it was Manna Dey, he banked more upon -
specially when it came to bringing a variety - either for the
composition or purely for balancing the movie's second male voice
As a result, he
utilised Manna Dey's voice for a range of actors - from Mehmood, Pran
& Om Prakash to Dharmendra & Rajesh Khanna. The versatile performer that Manna Dey was, he never sounded out of place for any one of them - be it Buddha Mila Gaya's Aayo Kahan se or Padosan's Saawariya or Seeta Aur Geeta's Zindagi Hai Khel....
However, my most favourite song of this duo is this one, where RD created a composition that perhaps Manna Dey alone could have done justice to.
Picturised on Rajesh Khanna, this is a classical raga based
composition, a medley of Kaamod and Malhar.
The song has RD creating
magic with a fusion of Indian as well as western instruments. Apart from
the traditional instruments, one can distinctly hear Veena &
Pakhavaz as well as Violin. Since, it was a classical dance composition,
the choreography was done by another legend - Gopi Krishna, who set the
moves for Hema Malini. This confluence of talent also got something unusual from the lyricist Anand Bakshi also. As a result was created a song which
is not only classical in composition, but also a classic by itself.
Here it is..
Ghar se nikalti hai tu,
Girati sambhalti hai tu
Kuchh aise chalti hai tu
Thumak thumak ke
Ghaayal jaise koyi hiraniya
Gori tori paijaniya
Here it is..
Ghar se nikalti hai tu,
Girati sambhalti hai tu Kuchh aise chalti hai tu Thumak thumak ke
Ghaayal jaise koyi hiraniya Gori tori paijaniya