Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tere Bina Jiya jaaye Na..

Looking at the clip of Rampur Ka Laxaman, I felt like playing a simple quiz - What's the Good Word?

One word - in English language - that describes a major change in the appearance or character of someone or something?

Easy to answer - Metamorphosis!

Now, the only word from Hindi film industry that is a perfect synonym of Metamorphosis?

Much more easy to answer - Rekha!

When Rekha emerged on the Hindi film screen in 1970, she was considered an average dusky pretty heroine - with not much credit given for her acting prowess. Her movies over next 7 years - barring Aalap & Do Anjane, also somehow never even hinted at what she was capable of. 

Then, in 1978, came a movie - directed by Manick Chatterjee with story & dialogues by Dinesh Thakur & lyrics by Gulzar. Here, in a very challenging & sensitive role, Rekha finally emerged out of her cocoon and took off as one of the most talented performer of Hindi film screen. Her persona, after that movie, changed and from just another pretty face, she went on to be an actress who was beautiful, enigmatic, sensitive & very very sensuous.

The movie was Ghar - which was also one of the milestones of Pancham's career. Each of the song was meticulously composed and crafted to suit the mood of the story and the verse of Gulzar - underlining the superb creative chemistry they both shared. 

While Phir Wohi Raat Hai, is a song that I love the most from this movie, for now, I would love to play Lata's Tere Bina Jiya Jaaye Na - for a few reasons. 

The obvious reason - the onscreen presence of Rekha & her chemistry with Vinod Mehra.

More importantly, for the way the song was structured: a beginning that has a touch of bossa nova, with suddenly the prelude mixing it to essentially the sound of only two instruments - which then remain the backbone of the entire song. The instruments were Maadal & Guitar. For this song, RD used a number of Maadals, each providing a different note, and each played by only one person - Ranjit Gezmer. 

Another reason - for a song known to be only of Lata, a surprise appearance by Kishore's vocals to end the song, in turn, making the song so much more special.

So here it is - a song to romance with - Tere Bina Jiya Jaaye Na..

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gum Hai Kisike Pyar Men

Manmohan Desai - the director of Aa Gale Lag Ja, was a connoisseur of the lost-and-found formulae. Later on he went on to make superhits like Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish and Suhag, amongst many others. However, for whatever reason, Aa gale.. was his second & the last movie with RD Burman as a composer. 

Considering the fact that both the movies where MKD worked with Pancham, the music was a major propeller towards their success, this has remained a mystery to most of the fans of Boss.

Which was their first movie? 

Well - another lost-and-found potboiler starring Randhir Kapoor & "dusky-and-pretty-who-went-on-to-become-one-of-the-most-beautiful" actresses Rekha with a villain who was becoming more popular than the hero himself - Shatrughan Sinha. This was Rampur Ka Laxman, with RD & Majrooh combining again to create some amazing numbers, the most popular one being this duet of Kishore & Lata.

The song is in conversational style - beginning with minor chords with a lovely liting feel to it. While Kishore Kumar sings his part so efficiently, it is Lata's rendition that really casts a spell making the song so bewitchingly romantic:

Chaha hai tumane jis bavari ko
Woh bhi sajanava chahe tumhi ko
Naina uthae to pyar samajho
Palken jhuka de to iqarar samajho
Rakhati hai sab se chhupa chhupa ke, kya,
Apne hotho me piya tera naam

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Na Koi Dil Men Samaya..

Hello.. I am back again..from a trip into the heartland of the country where in a few days we criss-crossed the rivers, ravines, grasslands - and experienced the harmony that nature creates, from the very close quarters. More about the trip, however, later and at another page.

Here, on this page, to begin with, in response to my friend Taru's query to my last post comes another RD - Kishore special:

Yes, Sahir & Pancham did work together - but surprisingly almost a decade after Pancham had turned into a composer. Their first movie together was Aa Gale Lag Ja - directed by Manmohan Desai, who used RD's talent in only two movies. The movie itself, starring Shashi Kapoor & Sgarmila Tagore, was a story of misunderstanding,s, manipulations & lost & found - a genre MKD always preferred.

The music of Aa Gale Lag Ja went on to become one of the milestones for all those associated with it - RD, Kishore and Sahir. I had featured its most popular song - Tera Mujhse Hai Pahle Ka Naata Koi quite early on this page. 

Just like RD's other movies, there are other hidden gems - one of them being this Kishore number - again for its heartfelt rendition with Kishore using his trademark yodelling to reach right inside one's heart. Sahir, donning the cap of a lyricist - unlike the shair that he was, manages to infuse the verse with uncommon words like Tohmat and Aeb. 

The real magic of the song is, however, in the interludes wherein RD has used and mixed a variety of western instruments like accordion, guitar, violin & and bells - adding depth to the song.

Here it is:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kahin Karti Hogi, Woh Mera Intezaar..

Golmaal was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee - one of India's finest directors - who believed in presenting a story & not a star cast. He was one of those directors who could get the best out of Pancham - even in late 80s when RD's career was at its lowest. In fact, as a director it was Hrishi da, for whom RD composed largest number of movies, their first release being Buddha Mil Gaya in 1971. 

This however was not where their association began.

Hrishi da had signed RD for a movie in 1966, starring Biswajeet & Mala SInha. The movie had a story that was similar to another movie - O P Ralhan's Talash which got into production at the same time & was released in 1969 . Talash's music was composed by SD Burman, and due to its superlative quality went on to become super-hit, just like the movie itself. 

Meanwhile the movie being directed by Hrishkesh Mukherjee, titled Phir Kab Milogi, got into lots of production hiccups & could be released only in 1974, by when Pancham & Hrishi Da had already given Buddha Mil Gaya & Namak Haram. 

Considering the kind of movies Hrishi Da had produced, Phir Kab Milogi was a disaster - in its quality and also on the Box Office. In the bargain, one of the gems from RD also was lost - for a long time, till a lady called Anamika created a re-mix out of this gem in 1996.

This was a composition where RD took the basic tune from a Spanish Classic - The Lonely Bull (byHerb Alpert), and created a composition that brings out romance, hope and longing, as Mukesh & Lata sing, in tandem, the verse of Majrooh - who, incidentally, had also written songs for Talash:

Door zulfo ki chaon se, Kahta hu ye hawaon se
Usi But ki Adaaon ke, afasane hazar
Woh jo baahon me machal jati, Hasrat hi nikal jati
Meri duniya badal jati, Mil jata Qarar
Kahin Karti Hogi... 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Aane Wala Pal Jaane Wala Hai..

Kal Kya Hoga Kisko Pata
Abhi Zindagi Ka Le Lo Mazaa..

Gulshan Bawra's verse were simple in expressing the sentiments which are quite similar to Longfellow's A Psalm of Life, where he wrote:

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant ! Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present ! Heart within, and God o'erhead! 

Much closer to these sentiments lies another song, shot on Amol Palekar and Bindiya Goswami in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Gol Maal - one of the most rollicking comedies of Hindi Cinema - besides being original unlike the series of Golmaals of recent years. 

A brilliant composition, with western instruments set in Raag Kirwani to the award-winning lyrics by Gulzar, it became an instant hit, and has remained so. 

It is easy to understand the reason for its popularity - that brilliant usage of Saxophone through out giving company to Kishore Kumar's mesmerising vocals - the song subtly, but surely, manages to reach right inside one's soul, specially when he sings: 

Ek bar waqt se lamha gira kahee 
Wahan dastan milee lamha kahee nahee
Thoda sa hasake, thoda sa rulake
Pal yeh bhee janewala hai ho ho.......

Here it is:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Kal Kya Hoga Kisko Pata

One thing that Pancham da was not known for - in his personal life - was getting melancholic. Whatever I have read or heard about him, points out to a person with huge appetite - for living king size. For him, life was meant to be lived joyously - without worrying about tomorrow.

This trait of him was also reflected in most of his compositions. One such song, even though he was not credited with but he was involved in for getting the right notes, was Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai., from Guide...but this was SD's composition

In my opinion, from his own repertoire, the song that reflects his personality the most was this one - from Kasme Vaade, the movie that starred Amitabh, Rakhi & Randhir Kapoor. 

The composition itself is a roller-coaster ride, racing from fast-paced rhythm to getting down to low beats with RD's voice. The song begins with a ditty on yesteryear's dancing craze - Bhagwan, before Amit Kumar & RD take over the song completely.

So here is the song I was talking about - penned by Gulshan Bawra. 

Kal Kya Hoga, Kisko Pata
Abhi Zindagi ka Lelo Mazaa..

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bahut Raat Hui...

The night of 3rd Jan, 1994

After a long time, finally he was finding creative satisfaction in the assignment that he was offered. 

After a long time, he felt that his compositions will be well received - getting him back the position that he held - well deservedly, for a long time. 

After a long time, he had attended a party, though he returned home that night quite early.

And soon, in the early hours of 4th Jan, he finally returned home - too early - leaving all his fans shattered.

I can not but help feeling sad about his death, as it was not at all a long time that he had spent on this land. There was much more left in him for his fans & for the music that he lived. Yet, it makes me wonder what could have been the song on his mind as he departed. Perhaps this could be the one: 

Thak Gaya hoon, Mujhe Sone Do
Bahut Raat Hui
Chand se kah do Tar Jaaye
Bahut Baat hui

Aashiyan ke liye, Char tinke bhi the
Aasre raat ke, Aur din ke bhi the
Dhoondhte the jise
Who jara si zameen
Aasman ke tale
Kho gayi hai kahin

Dhoop se kah do
Utar jaye
Bahut Baat hui

Yaad aata nahin, ab koi naam se
Sab gharon ke liye 
Uth gaye sham se

Waqt se kah do Guzar jaye
Bahut Baat hui

On Pancham's death anniversary, here is one of his masterpiece, from Jabbar Patel's Musafir, starring Rekha & Naseerudiin Shah with Gulzar as lyricist. Composed on the beats of a train, the song has Kishore Kumar at his melancholic best.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jeena Kya Aji Pyar Bina..

Neither be critical about love; 
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment 
it is as perennial as the grass.

While writing today the above line from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann for my photography blog, came to my mind a song from Pancham & Majrooh's repertoire - which was about the importance of "Love".

This was Dhan Daulat - quite a run-of-the-mill kind of movie from 1980, but made exceptional because of its lead pair who did not act together for another 29 years - after this movie, because they both had got married - to each other! 

Equally exceptional were two compositions of RD in this movie, one of which I am showcasing now. A superb foot-tapping rythm - perfectly suiting the couple who were known for their chemistry with each other - specially when they danced together.

The composition - two paced - was resplendent with Indian instruments, with enough opportunities built up for Kishore & Asha to cast their magic while Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh reminded us:

Sone chandi ka wo dil kya
Jo na dil ke kam aaya
Yahan to teri kasam pyar walo me sanam
apna pahla nam aaya
Mili dunia to maja hai ke mile dil bhi
Bindiya bhi chamke or baje payal bhi
Jina kya aji pyar bina 
jiwan ke yahi char dina