There is a craze on the Facebook to put up old Hindi songs, particularly to share the addresses of the web page (Uniform Resource Locators or the URLs) of the songs. Many groups have mushroomed. In most of these, I have seen, people just share the URL and then the comments follow such as “wow”, “nice”, “love it” and “Dev Anand looks so handsome”.
A few years back I too started a group titled Dil Ki Nazar Se. The song group, with its name having been taken from the title of a duet from Raj Kapoor’s 1959 classic movie Anaadi, was sought to be a group with a difference. I encouraged people to really appreciate various facets of a song; eg, lyrics, music, voice, and actors. Hence, we started paying tributes to lyricists, music directors, singers and actors on their birthdays and death anniversaries. In addition, I started off with music fests on particular themes at least once in a month.
And then I came to the difficult part; which is, to request members to put up descriptions whilst sharing the URLs of songs. Facebook and most other social-media has its popularity based on the concept of instant posts; somewhat akin to fast-food. Anything that requires time to either put up or read is not welcome/popular. I have come across even majority of the blogs that are not more than a paragraph; do not share product of any deep study, research or analysis but simply publicity gimmicks (Please read: ‘Blogging – Race Or Stampede‘). Regrettably, many of these, though dumb, are very popular. The fact of the matter is that if you do anything mediocre, the vast mediocrity is instantly on your side since it identifies with it.
I had to leave the group Dil Ki Nazar Se since there was great resistance and aversion to putting up descriptions with the songs. However, I do not give up. I started another group Yaad Kiya Dil Ne with its title taken from the title of another famous duet between Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar singing for Dev Anand and Usha Kiran in the 1953 movie Patita.
We have evolved over a period of time. I am glad that most of the members have now realised that the presentation of a song is much more important than the song URL that they post. The reason is that Facebook is a social media and hence we must socially share what that song means to us.
Whilst there cannot be a uniform yardstick for presentations, I normally look for the following:
1. Member’s personal linkage to that song. It doesn’t always have to be a story or an anecdote. One of the members, Evani Leela’s descriptions in Hindi are a joy to read. She invariably brings out what happens to her when she listens to the song. Another member, Sumedha Nair, for example, even honoured us by sharing her own Hindi poem regarding liberation of women whilst posting Waheeda Rehman’s Guide number: Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, aaj phir marne ka iraada hai (Kaanton se kheench je ye aanchal). Raj Dutta and Vipan Kohli invariably personalise their descriptions and hold everyone’s attention.
2. Information about the song regarding how it was made, actors, singers, lyricist, composer, locale, period etc. One person who has excelled in this is Surekha Saini. Her information is never copy pasted but personalised. It helps us to learn about, eg, the genre’ of the song being presented by her. Sometimes, when lyrics of a song are not available, she has written the lyrics by listening to the song and providing her own translation too?
3. Any tidbits about any of the people connected with the song. You can find these by doing research on the net itself. For example, “Naushad and Shakeel stayed awake the whole night to change a single line in the Mughal-e-Azam song Jab pyaar kiyaa to darna kyaa. One person who has excelled in this is Vipan Kohli. Indeed, he started putting up songs with interesting tidbits by listening to television programmes.
4. Raaga in which the song was composed. Any other similar songs in that Raaga.
5. Genre’ of the music in the song, eg, Salil Chowdhury came up with a beat based on Western classical music and maintained that from Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai to Chhoti chhoti si baat. Or that N Dutta’s Dhool Ka Phool song: Dhadakane lagi dil ke taaron ki duniya was based on a Polish marching beat.
6. What are the lyrics are trying to convey? For example, Meera Bai’s Ghunghat ke pat khol tujhe piyaa milenge is not a raunchy number. Here the comparison is between ghunghat ke pat and the veils that an ordinary person has over the eyes of his/her mind that block God. Or Akbar Allahabadi’s Hubgama hai kyun barpa thodi si jo pi li hai…what hungama is he talking about?
7. The story line in the movie that led to the song. For example, Mamta’s song “Rehate the kabhi jinake dil mein hum jaan se bhi pyaaron ki tarah, baithe hain unahi ke kuuche mein hum aaj gunahgaaron ki tarah.” Can you ever think of putting it or similar number by omitting to tell what transpired from past happy situation to present sadness?
8. Awards and honours won by the song or those connected with the song; eg, Kahin deep jale kahin dil won for Shakeel Badayuni a Filmfare award for Best Lyrics. Or, that character actor Pran declined his award for Best Supporting Actor for that year when Ghulam Muhammad was ignored by the jury as best music director for Pakeezah.
9. Comparison with an earlier version of the same song or movie; eg, Devdas, Parineeta, and Inhi logon ne…
10. Why did you choose the song over others?
This process has really enriched us in our song group Yaad Kiya Dil Ne. Perhaps, you can take a cue from this in your own song groups and encourage descriptions whilst sharing songs on Facebook.
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