I am sure there is no clear answer to it. Yes, verse, vocals & composition are a must, but somehow, I have observed that a movie being a visual medium, its picturisation, the actors involved & finally the success of the movie make a bigger difference. This held true at least for the movies produced till late 70s, where in the absence of a 24x7 television, and lack of easy availability of music other than radio (Record players were not so common then!), in case a movie did not fare well, there was hardly any scope for the music to survive. Of course, there were exceptions where the good music became popular, despite dismal performance of a movie, due to sheer star power of the performers; but as I said, these were exceptions.
What else could have been a reason for the song that I am presenting today not to be rated amongst the evergreen classics from Pancham-Kishore?
No, it is not an exaggeration. Since the time I have heard this song a couple of weeks ago, I have been absolutely mesmerised - reeling under its spell.
This one, as promised earlier, is from Paanch Dushman. Yes, the same one which was first released in 1973, and later as Daulat ke Dushman in 1983. 1973 was the same year where Kishore & Pancham combination was on an upswing – what with super-hits like Tera Mujhse Hai Pahle Ka Naata Koi, Kiska Rasta Dekhe, Diye Jalte Hain & Main Shayar Badnam – just to name a few. Yes, amongst their own repertoire, 1973 was a tough act to beat. I am sure, among those sterling releases, a movie like Paanch Dushman with only villains being the noteworthy performers, it would have been perfectly justified, had Pancham not bothered to be at his usual self. However, such was never the case with him.
He still gave his best and the result is this composition. It begins with the notes derived from “The Sound of Silence” of Simon & Garfunkel, and then charts a course which has Kishore Kumar giving a no-holds-barred rendition – changing scales & pitch so effortlessly - that coupled with the very subtle notes of flute & guitar, brings out the melancholic mood of the situation in the movie. Majrooh, of course one of the mentors of Pancham, ensures to add depth with his verse – bringing me back to the question – why is this song not amongst Kishore & Pancham’s all-time bests?
Perhaps Majrooh’s verse were also wondering about this:
Naaraaz koi, Na koi Meherbaan
Naa kahin koi Bijali, Naa koi Aashiaan
Are baithun to, Nahin milti hain Zameen
Main Udana chaahun to, Hai door Aasmaan
Jeena to hai, Par aye dil kahaan
Listen to this yourself, and I am sure you will agree with me.