Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #6

The sixth 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 #82) 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 fifth one, was put together by lyricist Anand Bakshi, composer Roshan and singer Mukesh for the 1966 Mohan Sehgal movie Devar: Guzra zamaana bachpan ka (Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #5).

Lets turn to today’s song sung by Hemant Kumar.

“If God could sing, He would have a voice like Hemant Kumar’s”. This is how Salil Chowdhury described Hemant da’s singing. And we, who adore him, completely agree.

Hemant’s singing has the magical effect of carrying you – body, heart and soul – into the world of the song. Take Ye raat ye chandini phir kahan; and you realise that the Jaal (Net or Trap) is not just cast by Dev Anand for Geeta Bali, but that you yourself are caught in it like a struggling fish. When he goes on to sing… Taaron ki chhaon mein keh le kahaniyan…, you don’t have to imagine the scene; it unfolds before your eyes with his each word. Let’s take just one more illustrative song, a Waltzing number: Chup hai dharti chup hai chaand sitaare, mere dil ki dhadkan tujhako pukaare. Suddenly, you experience an enchanting silence wherein only thing that is awake is your soul.

It is very difficult to resist the seduction of Hemant’s Ye raat ye chandini phir kahan.

Interestingly, Hemant da has sung and composed more songs on Chand and Chup than any other. The atmosphere of moonlit night is to be enjoyed in silence and not in crescendo. For example, Lehron pe lehar, kismat hai jawan; Raaton ki sehar, chali aao yahan; Sitaare  timtimaate hain to aaja aaja, Machalti jaa rahi hai ye hawaayen aaja aaja.

Hemant Kumar was a singer and composer who came alive, gently and heart warmingly at Raat (Night): Raat haseen, ye chand haseen, tu sabase haseen mere dilvar; Aur tujhase haseen tera pyaar.

Biswajeet lip-syncing (to Waheeda Rehman) Hemant Kumar’s Ye nayan dare dare in Kohraa

Is it, therefore, any surprising that he sang one of his best for a movie called Sannata (Complete Calm): Bas ek chup si lagi hai? Is it also surprising that his own film production of 1969 (he had Asit Sen (the famous director and not the comedian) directing it) was called Khamoshi (Silence)?

(Poster courtesy: Fanpop)

Raat, Khamoshi, Chandini are the themes that one can associate with Hemant Kumar: Jaadugar sainya, chhod mere bainya, ho gayi aadhi raat, ab ghar jaane de (from Hemant Kumar’s music direction Nagin), we would want to sing to him, trying to get back home. And Hemant da, in his characteristic baritone would sing back: Ek raat hoke nidar, mujhe jeene do. Life, for him, came alive, at night, like Wordsworth’s Lucy Gray:

“The stars of midnight shall be so dear,
For her and she shall lean her ear,
In many a secret place;
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound,
Shall pass into her face.”

See the video of the song I am giving you today and watch the beauty born of murmuring sound pass into the face of Waheeda Rehman as Nurse Radha in a mental asylum. No wonder NDTV, on their 25th anniversary of broadcasting, had the President give her an award as one of the 25 Living Legends in India. And look at the high standards that she set for herself: she wasn’t satisfied with her own performance. She said Suchitra Sen in the Bengali version did a much better job of it. That’s remarkable humility.

Waheeda Rehman as Sister Radha tending to her patient Deven Verma in Khamoshi

She is a nurse in a psychiatric ward. Her sensitivity towards her patients is so much that they invariably get healed. That includes Dharmendra (the singer of this song in the movie) and that finally includes Rajesh Khanna. However, the doctors in the hospital are insensitive to the fact that she gets so personally involved in the treatment of her patients that finally there is an emotional bond, if not that of love (Pyaar ko pyaar hi rehane do koi naam na do). After being cured, when they leave, there is Khamoshi in her life. She can’t take it any more after Rajesh Khanna too leaves and heartbroken, she is finally admitted into the same ward as mentally imbalanced.

Waheeda Rehman’s emotional bonding with her patient Rajesh Khanna

In this song, all that she does is walk up to Dharmendra‘s room and back (we are not even face to face with him) and yet, there is so much packed in that walk, in terms of histrionics. Outstanding indeed.

Gulzar is the lyricist. He made not just this song but all songs of Khamoshi memorable and amongst his best. We just can’t get them out of our system; eg, Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi.

Hemant da was excellent in his singing always. However, his best was on his own compositions. This is one of them.

Please enjoy: Tum pukaar lo…

तुम पुकार लो, तुम्हारा इन्तज़ार है,
तुम पुकार लो
ख़्वाब चुन रही है रात, बेक़रार है
तुम्हारा इन्तज़ार है, तुम पुकार लो

होंठ पे लिये हुए दिल की बात हम
जागते रहेंगे और कितनी रात हम
मुक़्तसर सी बात है तुम से प्यार है
तुम्हारा इन्तज़ार है, तुम पुकार लो

दिल बहल तो जायेगा इस ख़याल से
हाल मिल गया तुम्हारा अपने हाल से
रात ये क़रार की बेक़रार है
तुम्हारा इन्तज़ार है, तुम पुकार लो

I am fond of Hemant Kumar, raat, chand and khamoshi. When I am in Mumbai and most of the time there is constant din of religious festivities, I seek the silence of the hills. I believe that in noise the distance between a person and his inner self increases with each decibel. Khamoshi is the essential linkage to one’s soul. Hence, I enjoy most Hemant Kumar songs. Being an avid exponent of Rabindra Sangeet, there is never a jarring note in his singing. This is one song that tugs at my emotions whenever I listen to it.

I hope you enjoyed it too.

Please await tomorrow’s song.

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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