Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #8

The eighth day of songs in this series. I have been giving you songs by only male singers so far and even though some of the best, such as KL Saigal’s and Pankaj Mullick’s, are yet to come, I have decided to interject songs of female singers too.

I have been giving you Raaga Based Songs of the Day (eg, Raaga Based Song Of The Day #78) for the last nearly three months now. Many of you, who know your music well, have at 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 eight 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 seventh one, was put together by lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, composer Ravi and singer Mahendra Kapoor for the 1963 BR Chopra movie Gumrah: Chalo ik baar phir se ajanabee ban jaayen hum dono (Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #7).

We have so far covered the only male playback singers in Hindi movies: Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor. Today, we shall cover Lata Mangeshkar, the Nightingale of India and a Bharat Ratna.

Lata Mangeshkar is my favourite female singer from my childhood days. Unless a song was sung by Mohammad Rafi, whenever a male and female singer (Lata) sang the same song in a movie (not duets but separately), I somehow liked her rendition better than that of the male. Let me give an example: One of the best of Kishore Kumar’s is the 1955 movie Munimji song: Jeevan ke safar mein raahi milate hain bichchad jaane ko put together by Sahir Ludhianvi and SD Burman. I instinctively like the slower and more poignant Lata Mangeshkar version. Similarly, even though I have my childhood memories of Mukesh singing Aa laut ke aaja mere meet of 1959 movie Rani Roopmati, I have my heart melting when the same song is sung by Lata ji for Nirupa Roy.

Besides Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar is the only other singer on whom I have a blog – post. In this I have listed five of my most favourite songs sung by her (Please see: My Favourite Songs Of Lata Mangeshkar).

Some of my other favourites of Lata Mangeshkar are: Ajeeb dastaan hai ye and Dil apna aur preet praayi (both from Dil Apna Aur Preet Praayi), Seene mein sulagate hain armaan (Taraana), O sajana barkha bahaar aayi (Parakh), Raja ki aayegi baraat (Aah), Sharm aati hai magar aaj ye kehna hoga (Padosan), Mere mehboob tujhe meri muhabbat ki kasam (Mere Mehboob), Tera mera pyaar amar phir kyun mujhako lagta hai dar (Asli Naqli), Chand phir nikala magar tum na aaye (Paying Guest), Thandi hawaayen lehra ke aayen (Naujawaan), Youn hasaraton ke daag muhabbat mein dho liye (Adalat), Aap ki nazaron ne samjha pyaar ke kabil mujhe (Anapad), Bane ho ek khaaq se to duur kya kareeb kya (Aarti), Raina beeti jaaye Shyam na aaye (Amar Prem), Piya tose naina laage re (Guide), Chhod de saari duniya kisi ke liye (Saraswati Chandra), Jab raat hai aisi matwali phir subah ka aalam kya hoga (Mughal-e-Azam), Muhabbat aisi dhadakan hai, Mujahse mat poochh mere ishq mein kyaa rakha hai, and Ye zindagi usi ki hai (All from Anarkali). I would, however, advise not to read too much in this list (these just occurred to me off-hand); there are hardly any songs of hers that are not my favourite.

I could have selected many songs of Lata Mangeshkar that would have met the criteria I have set for songs in this series. However, I decided to take up this immortal song on several counts. It is a patriotic song in memory of soldiers who died during the debacle of Sino Indian War of 1962. It has been repeatedly said that when this song was played in the National Stadium, New Delhi on 27th Jan 1963, immediately after the war, it brought tears in the eyes of the Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. In addition to crying for the soldiers, he must have cried for the debacle that he was largely responsible for.

As far as love for the armed forces is concerned, I am sorry to say that despite the emotional appeal of the song, there were and are very few people, especially of the filmy crowd, who actually feel for the armed forces. Jawahar Lal Nehru assiduously kept armed forces away from the nationall decision making apparatus since he was scared off the armed forces taking over the country. For Lata ji herself it was just another song; she revealed in 2013, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the song (when she sang it again in Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai) that she had said ‘No’ to Kavi Pradeep because she didn’t have time to rehearse it. She wasn’t confident about the success of the song until Kavi Pradeep convinced her of it. And then, gradually, it became her signature tune; no show of hers was complete without it. She would have been devoted to the song if she had told Kavi Pradeep that come what may she would sing this for the sacrifices of the jawans, even if she had to cancel her other scheduled recordings. Nevertheless, Lata ji is a singer par excellence. As a playback singer she would have sung songs for varied actresses as if she would have actually felt those emotions. Hence, it would have actually seemed, when she would have sung this song, that she actally felt those emotions for the jawans who lost their lives.

As far as Films people, in general, are concerned, patriotic themes involving armed forces are great money earners, for example, for JP Dutta’s Border. Ask any of them to endorse any of the causes of armed forces and they become sort of Milkha Singhs; sprinting away from the issue to break the world records.

C Ramchandra, the composer, wanted Lata Mangeshkar to sing it solo even though she had wanted it as a duet to be sung with her sister Asha Bhosle. It is because he was in love with her and actually wanted to marry her. Do recall that when he took over the composition of songs of the 1953 movie Ananrkali after the original composer Vasant Prakash had died, he insisted that all female songs recorded earlier, other than those of Lata, be cancelled. Miraculously Aa jaane wafa sung by Geeta Dutt survived.

So then, who are the people who actually felt for the song? I would say that at that time the common people of India who had genuine respect for the armed forces. Sadly, their numbers are dwindled significantly now. If people at large actually felt for the armed forces, how is it that the OROP agitation (in Jantar Mantar) for restoring something that was denied to them in 1973, is 848 days old and not a whimper is heard from the people who shed crocodile tears on: Jab desh mein thi diwali woh khel rahe the holi; Jab ham baithe the gharon mein woh jhel rahe the goli? Lets not forget that we have had an elected representative of people who in the recent years said that armed forces personnel are paid to die.

I would think that one person who would have actually felt those emotions was lyricist and poet Kavi Pradeep and hence, more than anyone else, the song actually belongs to him. He was driven by nationalistic fervour right from the beginning. In 1943, for the movie Kismet, when he penned Aaj Himaalay ki choti se phir ham ne lalkaraa hai, duur hato ai duniyaa vaalon Hindustaan hamara hai it was a sign of bold rebellion against the British. Some of his other songs are: Aao bachchon tumhen dikhaayen jhanki Hindustan ki, Ham laaye hain toofaan se kishati nikaal ke, is desh ko rakhana mere bachcho sambhal ke, and De di hamen azaadi bina khadag bina dhaal, Sabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamaal. Interestingly, Kavi Pradeep wasn’t invited when the song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar on 27 Jan 1963. However, later he was conferred the honour of Rashtriya Kavi (National Poet). Kavi Pradeep went on to win the highest award in Indian Cinema: the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

The others who actually felt and feel for the song were/are the armed forces personnel. This poor lot lives and takes solace in the mirage that people actually care for it.

I, therefore, cry every time I listen to this moving song but not exactly for the reasons for which a motley of people shed crocodile tears. I pay attention to the powerful lyrics and I imagine the lost war of 1962 with every word of the song, for example:

Thi khuun se lath-path kaayaa
Phir bhi banduuk uthaake
Das-das ko ek ne maaraa
Phir gir gaye hosh ga.Nvaa ke
Jab ant-samay aayaa to
Kah gaye ke ab chalate hai.n
Khush rahanaa desh ke pyaaro.n
Ab ham to safar karate hai.n
Kyaa log the vo dIvaane
Kyaa log the vo abhimaanii
Jo shahiid…

Sadly, the people for whom past tense is used in the lyrics, are still the same. However, the people in our country, for whom the song was meant have changed: the politicians, the bureaucrats, the films people…..just about everyone. Kavi Pradeep would have this to say about them:

Dekh tere insaan ki haalat kya ho gayi Bhagwan,
Kitana badal gaya insaan (of Hindustan!)

Still, please enjoy: Aye mere watan ke logo…

ऐ मेरे वतन के लोगो
तुम खूब लगा लो नारा
ये शुभ दिन है हम सब का
लहरा लो तिरंगा प्यारा
पर मत भूलो सीमा पर
वीरों ने है प्राण गँवाए
कुछ याद उन्हें भी कर लो -२
जो लौट के घर न आये -२

ऐ मेरे वतन के लोगों
ज़रा आँख में भर लो पानी
जो शहीद हुए हैं उनकी
ज़रा याद करो क़ुरबानी

जब घायल हुआ हिमालय
खतरे में पड़ी आज़ादी
जब तक थी साँस लड़े वो
फिर अपनी लाश बिछा दी
संगीन पे धर कर माथा
सो गये अमर बलिदानी
जो शहीद…

जब देश में थी दीवाली
वो खेल रहे थे होली
जब हम बैठे थे घरों में
वो झेल रहे थे गोली
थे धन्य जवान वो आपने
थी धन्य वो उनकी जवानी
जो शहीद…

कोई सिख कोई जाट मराठा
कोई गुरखा कोई मदरासी
सरहद पर मरनेवाला
हर वीर था भारतवासी
जो खून गिरा पवर्अत पर
वो खून था हिंदुस्तानी
जो शहीद…

थी खून से लथ-पथ काया
फिर भी बन्दूक उठाके
दस-दस को एक ने मारा
फिर गिर गये होश गँवा के
जब अन्त-समय आया तो
कह गये के अब मरते हैं
खुश रहना देश के प्यारों
अब हम तो सफ़र करते हैं
क्या लोग थे वो दीवाने
क्या लोग थे वो अभिमानी
जो शहीद…

तुम भूल न जाओ उनको
इस लिये कही ये कहानी
जो शहीद…

जय हिन्द… जय हिन्द की सेना -२
जय हिन्द, जय हिन्द, जय हिन्द

Despite all the mixed feelings now, I remember when the song was first played and I was not yet ten years old, it moved me immensely. Amongst other things, it is because of songs like these that I joined the armed forces, the best and the only life that I ever had (Please read: Indian Navy Is The Only Life That I have Known And Seen).

I hope you enjoyed it too.

Please await tomorrow’s song.

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi. Great write up and made me really nostalgic. From childhood this is my most favorite patriotic song.

  2. Beautiful write up. All songs you have selected are gems. Keep waiting for next songs. Pl cover Manna Da. Thanks