About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Warming up with "Aye maalik tere bande hum"

I have often asked myself what sort of songs I like in particular. And I must admit I have never been able to answer that question.

Songs of a particular singer ? No, I like songs of a wide variety of singers. Particular composer, particular lyricist ? No. If I draw up a list of favourites (it would be very difficult to do so, by the way), the variety would be evident at first glance.

Songs of a particular genre ? Period ? Raag ? Again, no, no and no. (Raag ? I have no clue of the raag of a song, so this is most definitely not a criterion).

One criterion I can possibly think of is the lyrics in general. I am a big fan of lyrics, so a song with very good lyrics is likely to hold my interest. I like shaayari (I am not good at it) , I like good dialogues in movies – so I think good lyrics could be considered a criterion.

Good lyrics does not necessarily mean heavy-duty language. Or, for that matter, classy Urdu words. Of course, these would help to get me interested enough to start looking for translations (I learnt the Urdu word "tawajju" a few months ago :-) ) but I also find that I am just as happy with simple lyrics that combine well in a song to express an emotion.

For example, I find a song like “tujh sang preet lagayi sajna” , with reasonably simple lyrics, very nicely “threaded” into a beautiful expression of love. Compare this with “baith ja, baith gayi, khadi ho ja, khadi ho gayi, jhoom ja, jhoom gayi, ghoom ja, ghoom gayi, ghoom ja, ghoom gayi gayi gayi gayi gayi gayi gayi gayi..”…I think you get the point.

So, good lyrics, yes. Or, at the very least, not bad lyrics.

Another thing I tend to like is a sense of involvement in and with a song. I get involved with songs I listen to. They can be happy songs or sad songs but if I find myself singing along naturally - or not wanting to be disturbed while listening to the song - then yes, it has got me.

A third criterion (if you can call it such) is that the song should have caught my interest the first time itself. I know some songs can “grow” on people but I do not think I am that type. I need a sort of “love at first sight” or rather “love at first listening” feeling. Thankfully, there are many, many songs with which I have this sort of relationship. Especially amongst old Hindi songs.

I cannot think of other criteria at the moment. Nor do I intend to analyse this any more. Some songs click in my mind, some do not. And, like I have said before, they cut across singer, music director, lyricist, picturisation, genre and era. Since I am often not even aware of some of these details while listening to a song the first time, it is safe to say that the song comes first – the details come later.

I think I have talked enough. It is now time to move on to sharing some of my songs with you.

All the songs I have in mind satisfy all the above criteria for me. These are songs that held me captive the first time I heard them. So it was definitely a case of "love at first listening". Even now, when I listen to them, I get totally involved.

Given the number of songs that I love, my list will be a long one. It will contain happy songs and sad songs. Obviously I cannot include them all in this one post.

I will therefore start with just a couple of songs. You could see this as a "teaser" - with more to follow.

Being a start to this series, I thought it apt to start with two songs which are prayers rather than typical Hindi songs. I was mesmerised when I heard them the first time. And, even today, when I listen to them, I am totally lost in them. Just listen to them and judge for yourself.

Here is the opening song...from the Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar...

It is a song from one of my favourite films "Do Aankhen Barah Haath" (1957). One of V. Shantaram's classic films (featuring Sandhya of course !), it made a huge impression on me when I first saw it as a little boy. When I saw it years later, it made just as much of an impression on me. A very good movie. Apart from a very good storyline, it has some pleasant songs (like sainya choron ka bada sartaaj nikla). But this one from Lata is a masterpiece. Written by Bharat Vyas and composed by Vasant Desai.

"Aye Maalik Tere Bande Hum"


Lata, having brilliantly opened the innings here, hers is a very tough act to follow. But I think Manna Dey does not do a particularly bad job here. In this song from Seema (1955), watch Nutan in an agitated state of mind as Balraj Sahni appeals to a higher force. Shailendra's lyrics and Shankar Jaikishen's music.

"Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai"


That's it for this post. Just a "jhalki". For all you "jhalak dikhla ja...jhalak dikhla ja" guys. :-)

Adios ! Till the next time.


Nandini Vishwanath said...

Oh I love this song too! I cry everytime I hear this. Unfailingly. Sigh.

squarecut.atul said...

Two wonderful songs.

I never went into the details of why one loves a song.Your explanation seems to answer that. But in my first reading, it has gone over my head. Let me reread that to understand it better.

Lekhni said...

Old songs are much more melodious than the ones we hear now. Or I guess that's what every generation thinks :) Personally, I prefer songs from "Anand" to Meena Kumari's, so I guess "old" is relative :)

I am a big fan of liking songs for their lyrics too..