The fourth consecutive day of songs in this series.
I have been giving you Raaga Based Songs of the Day (eg, ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #81‘) for the last nearly three months now. Many of you, who know your music well, have many a times pointed out that a particular song, though ostensibly close to one raaga has traces of other raagas or has deviated substantially from the chosen raaga. I have readily admitted that, pointing out that it is not the job of the film songs composers to stick to the purity of any raaga. Their job is to produce tunes that would be popular and would tug at the emotions of the listeners.
With that in mind, I started a new series three days ago to give you songs that tug at your emotions even when they are not based on any raagas.
These are the songs that stay in the creases of your mind long after you last heard them, somewhat like the strains of the song of The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth.
I also feel that these are the songs that make you wonder whether the lyrics influenced you more or the composition or is it the composition that made you look at the beauty of the lyrics?
The first of these was put together by lyricist Shailendra and composer Salil Chowdhury and singer Talat Mahmood for the 1957 Dulal Guha movie Ek Gaon Ki Kahani starring Talat Mahmood, Mala Sinha and Abhi Bhattacharya: Raat ne kyaa kyaa khwaab dikhaaye (‘Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #1‘).
Our last one, that is the third one, was put together by Kishore Kumar as Lyricist, Composer and Singer for the 1964 movie Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein that was written, produced and directed by Kishore Kumar: Aa chal ke tujhe main le ke chalun (‘Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #3‘).
So now you are hooked to the new series? Some of you have written back (thank you for that) that you can’t wait to see what would be the next song.
I plan. I gave you, in the first three days, songs by Talat Mehmood, Manna De and Kishore, so that when you actually listen to Mohammad Rafi you are bound to say, for the nth time, that there was no one like him and no one is going to be. He was the god of songs. All of us have our favourites such as Hemant and Mukesh and yet we know, there is no comparison with Rafi. The other day I mentioned that Lata ji (my favourite female singer) was the delight of the composers, especially Shankar Jaikishan. She delivered exactly what was expected of her. Mohammad Rafi was several steps ahead of her in that he showed the composers how much more they could expect from him, every time. When he died, in Bombay, at the age of just 55 years, all composers admitted that they had still not exploited Rafi’s complete capabilities. Achha hai kuchh le jaane se dekar hi kuchh jaana.
Take this song from Chetan Anand’s 1964 movie Haqeeqat explaining the debacle of 1962 Sino Indian War. Madan Mohan, the best composer ever for songs with pathos and agony, was trying in this song a new concept in that the song was like a free flowing poem, without traditional and recurrent mukhada and antaras. He actually asked Kishore Kumar and Manna De to sing it and then, disappointed, he turned, once again, to Mohammad Rafi.
Why am I in love with this song? Yes, it is not because of its outstanding rendition by Rafi. This song is the finest example of Lyrics, Composition, Music and even the scenario (of the war with its frustration and hopelessness) and scenery (of Ladakh), all blending seamlessly into giving us an unforgettable song. You have no idea of what tugs at your emotions more; nor do you care because you are, with the first few notes, transported into another world wherein the silence of your soul converses with you.
Of all the lyricists that I know of, Kaifi Azmi mastered the art of giving vent to the most intense and most powerful emotions through simplest words. One author who did that is my favourite: Ernest Hemingway. Likewise, taste this from Kaifi in Hanste Zakhm:
Dil ki naazuk ragen toot ti hain,
Yaad itna bhi koi na aaye,
Aaj socha to aansu bhar aaye….
These are, as I am fond of saying, raw emotions hanging from hooks of poignancy.
It is the same with this song. You know the background of the song and yet I am repeating it. Mail is received in that war sector and once again this jawan Ram Singh (played by debutant Sudhir who was later reduced to doing small villainous roles) hasn’t received a letter from his beloved. It is not just that he lost a bet with another jawan, he has come a cropper in his wager with life itself. Kaifi Azmi, Madan Mohan, Mohammad Rafi, and Chetan Anand had to now have a song that would rise from an individual situation to the general helplessness of a war that takes one as far as possible from normal human desires and longings. And, they did it so well.
Please enjoy: Main yeh soch kar usake dar se utha tha ke woh roke legi mana legi mujhako…..
मैं ये सोचकर उसके दर से उठा था
के वो रोक लेगी मना लेगी मुझको
हवाओं में लहराता आता था दामन
के दामन पकड़कर बिठा लेगी मुझको
कदम ऐसे अंदाज़ से उठ रहे थे
के आवाज़ देकर बुला लेगी मुझको
मगर उसने रोका
न उसने मनाया
न दामन ही पकड़ा
न मुझको बिठाया
न आवाज़ ही दी
न वापस बुलाया
मैं आहिस्ता आहिस्ता बढ़ता ही आया
यहाँ तक के उससे जुदा हो गया मैं …
By this time, you would be convinced that in this song, we witnessed something extraordinary that the team of Chetan Anand’s 1964 movie Haqeeqat essayed to give to us. As with some of the other songs in the movie, notably Hoke majbuur mujhe usane bhualaya hoga, and Kar chale ham fida jaan-o-tan saathiyo, ab tumhaare hawaale watan saathiyo, this song leaves a lasting impact on one’s mind and heart. I have goosebumps every time I listen to it.
I hope you enjoyed it too.
Please await tomorrow’s song.
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