Monday, February 16, 2015

Dil Machal Raha Hai

What was the connection RD had with RK? It could be quite coincidental, but the movies which had RK as a hero always inspired Pancham more.

RK, who? Of course Rajesh Khanna!

An easy enough answer, except that this also holds true for two more heroes - Rishi Kapoor & and who else but one of Pancham's best friends in the industry - Randhir Kapoor.

Beginning with Rampur ka Laxman, Randhir Kapoor & Pancham did about 14 movies together. A large number of them did not really fare well. If Jawani Deewwani, Rampur ka Laxman, Dharam Karam & Kasme Vaade did extremely good business, there were movies like Khalifa, Harjaee, Dhongee and many more which turned out to be quite a damp squib.

Damp squib, only as far as their commercial success or artistic value is concerned. Their scintillating musical score was always the saving grace – perhaps the only reason for which even now these movies merit a recall.

Take Khalifa, for instance. This 1976 movie, directed by Prakash Mehra, had Randhir Kapoor, in double role - one good & one evil, along with Rekha. The movie had nothing much to write home about - except its compositions - specially this one.

The composition is very stylish – pacy and very unpredictable as it moves. If the interludes are sensuous – the structure of stanza, with its pulsating beats arrangement & high octave singing that effortlessly glides into seductive crooning, carries hallmark of what Pancham was famous for. Add to that Kishore Kumar in play-full yet romantic full- throated rendition & smooth as honey singing of Asha Bhosle – it was a perfect recipe for creating the magic. This was also the first movie where Gulshan Bawra, till then more of an actor & less of a lyricist, & Pancham collaborated first time. Later they went on to do many more movies, including Kasme Vaade, Harjaae & Satte pe Satta.

On screen, while RK’s acting fortunately does not really create a jarring note, what is worth noticing is Rekha – specially the nuances that she brings to her face while singing. Those were early days – “Ghar” was still a couple of years away - but watching her you would know for sure that the process had begun of her evolving into the beautiful swan that she went on to be.

Look at it yourself. I am sure you will agree too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bhanwara Baavra Baavra..

Last year, this date, I had used this page to wish happy birthday to Waheeda Rahman. I have always admired her as much for her ethereal beauty as much for her grace & elegance.

Now is it not a coincidence that the only other actress, in my opinion, who could match her grace & elegance was also born on the same date - though 19 years later. 

There were lot of things which were different between both of them - apart from the generation itself. One was a south Indian, while another was from Punjab. One was a dancer par excellence, another - nothing much to write about. One looked ethereal, while the other was beautiful with a girl-next-door kind of presence. 

Yet, these differences in-fact underscored the basics common to both of them - one, they both arrived like a fresh breeze for their time, and went on to win the heart of the millions; two - they both were performers par-excellence; and three - in a world where heroines past their hey-days find it difficult to give up on glamourous looks, they both aged so  gracefully and continued to look as beautiful as they were - without resorting to any kind of gimmickry. 

So today, while I wish both of them a very happy birthday, the song is devoted not to Waheeda Rahman, but to - Deepti Naval!

The song is from that all time classic comedy of Gulzar - Angoor, based on Shakespeare play, Comedy of Errors. In fact, this is also the only song which Pancham composed with Deepti Naval rendering it on-screen. 

Pancham used Raag Yaman Kalyan, a raag in which he had created some more memorable songs - like Is Mod se jaate Hain & Beeti Na Beetai Raina. Well, the one played here is also no less. Pancham used Sitar & Tabla as the base instruments to bring out the absolute flawless & mesmerizing rendition by Asha Bhosle of Gulzar's verse - which are as simple & beautiful as Deepti Naval herself. 

बीते हुए मौसम की कोई निशानी होगी
दर्द पुराना कोई, याद पुरानी होगी
कोई तो दास्तां, होगी ना
रोज रोज डाली डाली, क्या लिख जाए
भंवरा, बावरा, बावरा