Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tum Aa Gaye Ho

Last few days, one has seen a plethora of articles & posts about Emergency, that was imposed in India on 26th June 1975 & lasted for a period of 19 months.

Amongst some of the casualties that censorship imposed at that time, was a movie that was released in 1975 & was banned after a few weeks . It was allowed to be released only after the lifting of Emergency & subsequent defeat of Congress in 1977. Of course, the movie went on to become a classic, also getting Best Movie Award in the Critics category for that year from Filmfare.

This was Aandhi, a political drama which saw confluence of an amazing array of artistes;  Gulzar, at the helm of the affairs,  who collaborated with Kamleshwar – one of the leading media & literary persona of the time, Sanjeev Kumar, Suchitra Sen (in her last Hindi movie) & Om Prakash brought their characters alive  on screen. In the background, it was time for Gulzar to also play the role of a lyricist, and with Pancham, Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar, the movie gave some of the most romantic songs of Hindi cinema.

Though it seems that the key protagonist Aarti Devi (played by Suchitra Sen – her last Hindi movie) was inspired by Nandini Satpathy, a leading politician of Orissa, her gate-up, specially the white streak in her hair led I & B Ministry to believe her to be modelled on Indira Gandhi. As a result, despite the movie being very sympathetic to the character, it was banned for a short while. The music of the movie  became an instant hit, till even that was banned in May 1976 – not because of the movie, but due to an unofficial ban on Kishore Kumar, who had refused to sing in a Congress Rally in Mumbai.

Be as it may be, even after 4 decades, the compositions of this movie have remained amongst the best of Pancham; often compared to Amar Prem for the class of rendition & depth of verse.

It is indeed difficult to really favour any one particular song from this movie, but the one I am showcasing is special for today – this being Pancham’s birthday.

The song has very little prelude & has all favourite instruments of Pancham – Guitar, Sax & Madal, with violin that act as a bridge to carry the tune seamlessly. 

However, what is special are the verse that – despite being penned for a romantic situation, also manage to convey the feelings that all the fans may have about Pancham & his music.

So here is wishing all his fans, a very special day with this lovely song:

Tum Aa gaye Ho
Noor Aa Gaya Hai
Nahin To, Chiraagon Se
Lau Ja Rahi Thi
Jeene Ki Tum Se
Wajah Mil gayi Hai
Badi Bewajah
Zindagi Ja Rahi Thi

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rimjhim Gire Saawan

Two years ago, when I started sharing my favourite Pancham songs, little did I know how interesting & fulfilling this journey would be. On one hand, it helped me exploring such different facets of Pancham, also enriching my knowledge about the music itself. On the other hand, I got to know so many other die-hard fans of his music – much more passionate & aware of the magic that R D Burman created during his life time & of his legacy.

This 150th post is, hence, dedicated to that legion of Pancham fans for whom his music is a window to another world altogether - for whom Pancham's sur is the whole sargam. It would have been difficult to choose a befitting song but the weather outside made it easier.

I am sure the moment it starts raining, there are a number of songs one can think of from RD’s repertoire, but the one that comes uppermost to everyone’s mind is this one – a perfect song – more so because it has two solo versions sung by two most preferred singers of Pancham – Lata & Kishore

Yes, it is Rimjhim Gire Saawan – from Manzil, a Basu Chatterjee movie with Amitabh & Moushami, released in 1979.

The song was featured in two different situations in the movie with two – though not strikingly –different moods.

One is picturised outdoor in the real rain, with K K Mahajan’s incognito camera following the pair (Moushami at her natural best) through the city, and capturing South Bombay’s beauty in monsoon. The other is an indoor song, set in a party to celebrate a wedding.

One is of a girl in love, experiencing the rain with her beloved, letting her feelings & thoughts take flight. The other, in a male voice, is more about the feeling of getting attracted, but being unsure if the feelings are right or will be reciprocated.

The composition – set in Raga Kirwani - remains same yet the treatment differs with the situation.
The one sung by Lata has faster tempo, more instruments and with Lata’s aalaap during each stanza, and the way it extends to meets the notes of Santoor & Guitar, really soars.

The one sung by Kishore has lesser number of instruments, Sitar being the major one, but brings out the feelings of that growing attraction. The verse, or rather really the poem, penned by Yogesh, differs too – again to match the moods.

Normally it is always the case of at least one version having an upper hand, but for this particular song, it really is difficult to choose which one would be my favourite – specially since both bring to you that whiff of petrichor that comes with the very first rains. So here is the combination – giving you both the versions together:

Mahafil Men Kaise Kah Den Kisi Se,
Dil Bandh Rahaa Hai Kis Ajanabi Se

Haye Karen Ab Kyaa Jatan, 
Sulag Sulag Jaae Man
Bheege Aaj Is Mausam men
Lagi Kaisi Yeh Agan
Rimjhim Gire Saawan

Is Bar Saawan Dahaka Hua Hai 
Is Bar Mausam Bahaka Hua Hai

Jane Pee Ke Chali Kya Pavan, 
Sulag Sulag Jaye Man
Bheege Aaj Is Mausam men
Lagi Kaisi Yeh Agan
Rimjhim Gire Saawan