The eleventh day of songs in this series.
Today, we take up a song by our third female singer after Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle: Suman Kalyanpur.
I have been giving you Raaga Based Songs of the Day (eg, ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #84‘) 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 ten 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 ninth one, was put together by lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri, composer and singer SD Burman for the 1959 Bimal Roy movie Sujata starring Nutan and Sunil Dutt: Sun mere bandhu re, sun mere mitwa (‘Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #10‘).
Today, we shall take up a song for an un-released movie of 1959: Black Prince. During those days, songs used to be recorded much before the movie would be released. My research shows that even the cast of the movie wasn’t released. Upendra penned the lyrics and the song was composed by a little known music director Dulaal Sen. The song was sung separately by Mohammad Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. I am giving you the Suman Kalyanpur version.
Suman Kalyanpur was born on 28 Jan 1937 as Suman Hemadi in Dhaka. She assumed the surname Kalyanpur in 1958 when she married a Bomaby based businessman Ramanand Kalyanpur. Her maiden surname Hemadi is because her father Shankar Rao Hemadi hailed from Hemadi or Hemmady village in Mangalore, Karnataka. He was serving in Dhaka when Suman was born.
Suman grew up with two interests: Music and Painting (she was a student in Sir JJ School of Arts in Bombay after her schooling in Columbia School. Simultaneously, she started learning classical vocal from Pune’s Prabhat Films’ music director and a close family friend, Pandit Keshav Rao Bhole. Somewhere along the line, her hobby changed into professional interest. And then she started learning from Ustad Khan Abdul Rehman Khan and Guruji Master Navrang.
Her first movie as a playback singer was the 1954 Darwaza and the composer was Naushad. She has sung a total of 857 songs. She hasn’t won either National Award or Filmfare Award. However, like me, she has many a fan who love her singing and range, even if it has likeness to that of Lata Mangeshkar. Two of her songs are my favourites: Na tum hamen jaano (Baat Ek Raat Ki; Hemant too sang it but not as a duet) and Mere mehboob na ja, aaj ki raat na ja (Noor Mahal). The others that I like are: Dil gham se jal raha hai par dhuaan na ho (Shama), Ajahun na aaye baalma sawan beeta jaaye (Saanjh Aur Savera), Behna ne bhai ki kalayi mein (Resham Ki Dori), Mera pyaar bhi tu hai (Sathi), Parbaton ke pedho par shaam ka basera hai (Shagoon), Raat suhaani jaag rahi hai dheere dheere chupake chupake (Jigri Dost), Rahen na rahen ham (Mamta song that she sang with Lata and Rafi), Tumhi mere meet ho, tumhi meri preet ho (Pyase Panchhi), Ye kisane geet chheda (Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen), and Younhi dil ne chaha tha rona rulaana (Dil Hi To Hai).
Very little is known about the Lyricist Upendra and Music Director Dulaal Sen. Lets deal with Dulaal Sen first. I don’t suppose there is any other movie for which this almost unknown Music Director composed songs for or gave music for. This song was sung separately by both Mohammad Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Rafi was famous at that time; much more famous than Suman Kalyanpur. However, he sang many a beautiful songs for lesser or little known composers like Nissar Baazmi (who later became famous in Pakistan), C Arjun, Pandit Shivaram, S Mohinder, GS Kohli, and Sapan Jagmohan. Dulaal Sen composed only for this movie and the movie wasn’t ever released. There were a total of four songs recorded: Nigaahen na phero chale jayenge ham (separately by Mohammad Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur; the second antara is slightly different, else these are essentially the same lyrics), Door desh se aaya hoon main (Rafi), Meethi lagi hai teri been (Asha Bhosle).
Upendra, on the other hand, penned songs for three movies: the un-released Black Prince of 1959 (four songs), Panch Ratan of 1965 (one song) and Bombay By Night of 1976 (five songs); a total of ten songs.
So now, if this was an unreleased movie, with little known lyricist and music director, then why am I giving you this song? What is more why am I giving you the Suman Kalyanpur version and not the more famous Mohammad Rafi version.
The fact is that I am different! On the net and in our milieu, we are more or less conformists. Go on the net and search for lyrics of any song, for example; you would find the same lyrics with exact punctuation marks on almost all portals. Even at that, I have many times given you lyrics either from memory or by simply listening to the song. Similarly, my list of Top Five Songs of Lata Mangeshkar (‘My Favourite Songs Of Lata Mangeshkar‘) is much different from the others. Indeed, on this blog, you would see a link called ‘Why Is This Blog Different?‘ I feel that if one is expected to merely repeat everything that is already available, there is no point in having another blog.
And I am not different for the sake of it. Listen to Suman Kalyanpur sing this song and you would know. Rafi singing the same song sounds so confident, modulated, and enthusiastic that when he dips to those low notes, he fills you with ruefulness. Of course, it is all expected from him; no one can sing like him. Suman Kalyanpur is measured (almost subdued as if she is afraid to lose her lover) and her voice carries the tremor (especially when she sings ‘Yaad’ and ‘Hum’), and the pain of rejection that would mar the beautiful atmosphere. The effect is similar to Mubarak Begum singing: Kabhi tanhayiyon mein youn hamari yaad (similar tremor) aayegi.
Please enjoy Suman Kalyanpur sing: Nigaahen na phero chale jaayenge hum….
निगाहें ना फेरो चले जाएंगे हम -२
मगर याद रखना कि याद आएंगे हम -२
निगाहें ना फेरो …
तुमने जादू किया है नज़रों से नज़रें मिला के -२
आशियाँ अब तो बना मेरे पहलू में आ के
न दामन छुड़ाना बहक जाएंगे हम -२
याद आएंगे हम
निगाहें ना फेरो …
ज़िन्दगी प्यार की है फ़िज़ा इकरार की है
ये घड़ी तेरी क़सम नहीं इन्कार की है
मोहब्बत की दुनिया में खो जाएंगे हम
याद आएंगे हम
निगाहें ना फेरो …
Many Yaad songs have this element of ruefulness: what could it have been had things gone right (Please see: ‘The Best Of ‘Yaad’ Songs‘). However, there are others with varied feelings. For example, these fill you with melancholy (eg, Woh jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye and Yaad aa gain woh nasheeli nigaahen), nostalgia (eg, Yaad na jaaye beete dinon ki), quiet resolve (eg, Jab yaad kabhi tum aaoge samajhenge tumhen chaha hi nahin (Jis dil mein basa tha pyaar tera)), self-pity (Meri yaad mein tum na aansu bahaana), and even self-destruction (Teri yaad dil se mitaane chala hoon). In this song, one has this feeling that one can’t really categorise it; more so since the situation in the movie is not known to us (the movie was never released). Thus, there is a touch of enigma added to the ruefulness. And that adds to this song tugging at your emotions in all three facets: lyrics, composition and singing. What adds to it is the fact that the hero and the heroine both were to be driven into this situation, though at separate times. Every time I listen to it, it sends me thinking and imagining.
I hope you enjoyed it too.
Please await tomorrow’s song.
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