Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pyar Se Yeh Jahan Kahe Na Mil Ke Rahe

After the breathless rendition of Bamchiki Chaam Chiki, here is another rarely heard composition of Pancham - once again involving Kishore Kumar & Biswajeet. However, before that, kindly bear with me as I take you on a trip down my memory lane. You will soon know the reason.

As a child, I always felt privileged to visit my Dad's office, on a rare occasion, in that building which is popularly known as the Old Lady of Boribunder. After travelling through a crowded local train and crossing the busy road outside, as the massive gates of that awesome stone structure would close down behind me, silence of the passage could actually be deafening.  

A few steps would bring me to an old, mahogany paneled elevator, which would creep upward elegantly, carrying me through a strong waft of freshly inked newspapers & magazines, and deposit me on the floor where my Dad's office was. 

Stepping out of the elevator would be the time when I used to hear the noise that, till the advent of personal computers, was synonymous with any well-established office: a constant mechanical staccato of typewriters hunched upon which, like orchestra players on their respective instruments, would be the typists of all hues & ages, using their fingers to push the keys for striking the paper in the carriage. The sound would be regularly embellished with a tinkling or a bell sound as the carriage having travelled from right to left across the width of the paper would be brought back, with a slash of hand, to begin the next line. I am sure most of you still remember that sound. 

Now, Pancham is known for his penchant to use all kind of sounds in his compositions. I am not surprised, hence, when I found one of his compositions largely based on the roll & rattle – and of course that tingling bell - of a Typewriter. This is from Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Phir Kab Milogi. Yes, the same movie which took about 4-5 years in making and had that immensely popular Mukesh – Lata’s  Kahin Karti Hogi Woh Mera Intezaar.

The success of Kahin Karti Hogi & failure of the movie otherwise, meant that other compositions were never well appreciated. Amongst those remained hidden this lovely song; well composed, very hummable with Kishore da gliding ever-so-smoothly through the contours of the stanza, and with the verse from Majrooh that one finds relevant even now:   

Kahne Ko To Hum Hain Babu
Par Jeb Hai Khaali Aksar
Hai Dard Se Bojhal Kursi
Aahon Se Bhara Hai Daftar
Savere Ko Mukh Pe Khushi Thi Zara Si
Labon Pe Suhaani Hansi Thi
Shaam Ko Jab Babu
Ghar Chale Apne
Fileon Ke Neeche
Dab Gaye Sapne
Khaali Khaali Aankhen Hain Bechaara Hairaan Hai
Sar Jhukaaye Huye
Palkon Mein Dhool Bhare

Bharpoor Hai Jiski Muthhi
Duniyaa Mein Wahi Hai Tagdaa
Paise Ke Liye Har Uljhan
Paise Ke Liye Har Jhagdaa
Jo Kaho Kar Guzarta Hai Logon
Jise Dekho Paise Pe Marta Hain Logon
Jaane Kyun Paise Par
Main Bhi Marta Hoon
Jo Na Karna Chaahoon
Wo Bhi Karta Hoon
Ab Samjha Main
Phir Bhi Kyun Dil Ko Itminaan Hai
Ham Bure Hain To Kya
Jag Men Sabhi Hain Bure

Khit Pit Khit Kare
Aur Kat Kat Ke Mare
Pyaar Se Ye Jahaan
Kaahe Na Milke Rahe

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Baam Chik Chaam Chik

Indian Cinema has seen a number of great artists but there have been very few who can be rated as versatile performers as well a complete entertainer. Kishore Kumar was one of such few artists - a maverick always wanting to do something unexpected; one of those persona, full of character, who enriched whatever they touched.

He might not have been close to the heart of purists, the way Rafi or Manna Dey were. Yet, his charisma and his popularity has remained unchallenged, unmatched. A sensitive artist & a quick learner who could sing songs in a manner that made it sound so effortless. If you have a doubt, just listen to his rendition of Mere Naina Sawan Bhado from Mehbooba. Despite no classical music training, he could perform better than the one sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and only by learning from the manner in which she had performed. 

Think of songs for any mood and most of the time an immediate recall would be of more than a couple of Kishore Kumar songs. Be it any genre; romance, melancholy, pathos, compassion, philosophical or any other one can think of and one would find his gems amongst the top notch ones. 

Yet, one genre which he really excelled in was also the one that matched his personality to a T. In one word this could be called Joie-de-vivre. The dictionary defines this French word as "Exuberant enjoyment of life". Truly, that was his entire persona. 

Unlike Rafi or Mukesh who had sober demeanour, in Kishore da's case, such songs seemed to be the ones which were natural for him. Just think of songs like O Meri Pyari Bindu from Padosan; Aa ke Seedhi Lagi Jaise Dil Pe from Half Ticket, Guni Jano re Bhakt Jano from Ansoo aur Muskan, Rafta Rafta from Kahani Kismat Ki or even his own introduction which he used to start his concerts with - Mere Nana Naniyon, Mere Dada Dadiyon.

Here is another song from the same genre where he has excelled himself, not heard so often, but is another example of his zest of living life to the fullest. This is from a 1975 movie Kahte Hain Mujhko Raja, starring Dharmendra & Biswajeet. The movie  was produced & directed by Biswajeet, perhaps as his last ditch effort to extend his career. It seems, looking at the clips that by then it was already quite late. As a result, along with the sinking of the movie also were lost the compositions despite being of the same class that one expects from a Pancham & Kishore Kumar combination. It is indeed unfortunate that this number did not get the attention it deserved. 

Perhaps this could be my opinion, and hence I invite you to judge it yourself - on Kishore Kumar's birth anniversary, this breathless performance of Kishore Kumar that is matched only by its verse & composition.