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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pulling at the chords of my heart

First of all, my apologies for not following up on my previous post "Aye maalik tere bande hum". I have many songs that I want to post here and share with you - so it is not for lack of intent that nothing has been forthcoming from me for almost two weeks now.

Today I will be sharing two songs with you. Both these songs have one thing in common. They immediately go to my heart. Every single time I hear them. I can listen to them time and time again without ever getting bored or tired of them.

I cannot put a finger on what I find particularly heart-rending about these songs. I suspect it is not just one aspect of these songs. Not just the melody or the music or the lyrics. It is a combination of them all.

Listen to them and judge for yourself.

Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya - Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966)

I first heard of Sonik Omi (the nephew-uncle combo) as a young boy. In the midst of the RD Burmans, Kalyanji Anandjis and Laxmikant Pyarelals who were beginning to crowd that generation’s music space, Sonik Omi as music composers managed one fleeting shot at fame. Their song “Kaan mein jhumka” from Saawan Bhadon was a tapori superhit.

I would however like to remember them for this classic from DNPYK.

As far as I know, this was the film where Sonik Omi made their debut as independent music composers. Till then, Omi had composed as music assistant to Roshan for such superhits as Taj Mahal and Dil Hi To Hai. DNPYK was his first independent venture – and straightawy he hit the jackpot !

What a fantastic composition this is ! Everything about it is just perfect. The soft music actually accentuates the effect of the voices of Mohammad Rafi, Suman Kalyanpur and Mukesh.

And the picturisation is to kill for. Nature at its most beautiful. And Dharmendra rowing a boat with Nutan and Rehman. I have not seen the film and therefore cannot comment on it but this song is enough paisa vasool for me for the whole movie.


Lakhon Taare Aasmaan Mein - Hariyali Aur Raasta (1962)

I remember seeing this movie as a young boy. And, since I love old movies, I caught up with it again a few years ago.

I loved it – from beginning to end.

There is something about old movies that I find very endearing. Maybe it is that they transport me to a time so different from today that I actually feel that I have escaped reality for those two or three hours. True, the stories are hackneyed, the dialogues could have been written by you in your sleep – and often they are in black-and-white. Inspite of all this, I love them.

And nothing gives me more pleasure while watching an old movie than waiting for that song to come. You know the song, you are guessing when it is going to come – and as the situation in the movie develops, you can almost “feel” it. When the song finally hits you, it is totally in context – and the feeling is exhilarating. (There is only one feeling to beat this one – the feeling of hearing a song that you did not even know belonged to this movie. You go like “wow….this is from THIS movie ?”).

As usual, I have digressed considerably and must get back on track.

HAR (sorry, too much influence of today’s generation :-) ) has a soundtrack that can hold its own against any other. All-time classics (ATCs :-) ) like “Ye Hariyali Aur Ye Raasta”, “Bol Meri Taqdeer Mein Kya Hai”, “Itbidaaye Ishq Mein Hum”, “Teri Yaad Dil Se Bhulaane Chala Hoon”…and the song I am presenting here “Laakhon Taare Aasman Mein”.

There is a lot about this song that I love. First of all, like I have already mentioned, it pulls at the strings of my heart. By his own very high standards of soulful songs, Mukesh should be proud of this particular song. And, amazingly matching him outcry-for-outcry, is Lata Mangeshkar here. The combination makes for enthralling listening.

Which is precisely what I did on that train journey in 1982. I was travelling from Delhi to Kolkata (then Calcutta). It was my first journey on this route - and most importantly, I was travelling by the Rajdhani Express, then the pride of Indian trains.

It was a pleasant though not particularly eventful journey.

As the train left Mughalsarai station, I heard some music. I thought somebody had got a transistor with him but it was, I believe, part of the "service pack". Music played on that train for the benefit of passengers.

I was not used to all this "luxury" at that time - being more used to second-class compartments where you try not to keep your feet on the floor or, even your luggage, for fear of suddenly discovering that somehow, miraculously, water has managed to find its way exactly where your feet are.

Anyway, I heard some music. And then I heard this song "lakhon taare...". I was mesmerised. It was early morning. At the risk of the bhajan-types frowning at me for drinking in film songs so early in the day, I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it and craved for more. A few more songs followed - but they were neither of the same quality nor were they clear. Maybe the audio system in the train had conked. Maybe it had not been working all the way till Mughalsarai - somebody had fixed it for a few minutes before it conked again. Whatever it was, that one song was total paisa vasool for the trip. I would have been happy to listen to that song again and again for the whole duration of my journey.

The other things about this song. It has simple, but emotionally rich, lyrics from Hasrat Jaipuri. And the music - somewhat typical of their style - but in no sense meant derogatorily is from the reigning music badshahs of the time, Shankar Jaikishen.

The picturisation is on Manoj Kumar and Mala Sinha. I like watching Manoj Kumar’s mannerisms (there is something about them :-) ) and in this particular song, Mala Sinha is not bad either.

All in all, a classic. Yes, and not just by my definition. :-)


I hope you listen to these two songs and enjoy them as much as I do.


Corinne Rodrigues said...

Raja - You're slowly 'converting' me to Hindi music eh? Cricket - you didn't need to..
Keep writing and sharing these lovely links....

Nandini Vishwanath said...

:) I have heard of DNPYK. You sung it once. Biju Mama frowned!

squarecut.atul said...

Wah, Raja. Two posts in one day! Wonderful.

I was the first to comment on your next post on ATANT ( Sounds like ATANK- terror, does it not). Here I am beaten by two ladies. Does not matter, ladies first is always my motto.

Your anecdotes about HAR is wonderful. The songs are obviously very good, but it is your description, along with your experience when you heard them/ watched them on screen, that makes for compulsive reading.

As for DNPYK, I watched this movie in 1978 in a seedy movie hall in Ranchi. Every time a song would come, I and others would gasp. Wow, this song is from this movie ? There were many songs, and every song was extremely well known and hummable.

Sonik Omi deserved many more opportunities than what they got. Mahua was another movie with nice songs.

Sonik Omi were asistants to not only Roshan but Madan Mohan as well. There are so many things coming to my mind about Sonik Omi and DNPYK, but I just remembered it is a comment and not a post that I am making. So let me halt here, else I can go no and on.

Keep up such postings. Reading them first thing in the morning has made my day.