Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #22

The twenty-second day of songs in this series.

Happy Birthday AR Rahman 06 January

In the last twenty-one days, we have taken up songs of eleven male singers: Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, SD Burman, KL Saigal, Pankaj Mullick and Jagmohan ‘Sursagar’. We also took up songs of ten female singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Uma Devi (Tun Tun), Suraiya and Zohrabai Ambalewali, Sudha Malhotra and Amirbai Karnataki.

Tonight, in order to do something new on the third day of the new year, I shall give you a duet between our twelfth male singer Hariharan and eleventh female singer Kavitha Krishnamurthy. We also jump several decades ahead, more precisely to the year 1995. Less than two years after the infamous Bombay Blasts, after the demolition of Babri Masjid, Mani Ratnam released this movie which based on a love story between a Hindu male and a Muslim female in the backdrop of the Mumbai blasts. Unsurprisingly, the film won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.

The song belongs to its composer Allah Rakha Rahman more than to anyone else. Just as, the other day, we took up Surbahar player Annapurna Devi (Please see: ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #88’) who became a Hindu after having been born a Muslim as Roshana Khan, AR Rahman was born a Hindu, Dileep Shekhar, on 06 Jan 1967 (three days later is his 51st Birth Anniversary) and converted to Islam in 1989, at the age of 22. In recent past, no other composer and music director has occupied spaces in our hearts and minds more than Rahman. Rahman’s films career started with the 1992 Tamil movie Roja, also a Mani Ratnam movie and also starring Arvind Swamy, though with Madhoo and not Monisha Koirala. Roja not just won the National Award for Best Film on National Integration but was later dubbed in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Malyalam. In 2009, when AR Rahman won two Oscars (for Best Song (Jai ho)) and Best Original Score (together with Gulzar)(Slumdog Millionaire) many of us felt that the Roja songs and music were better than the Slumdog Millionaire. His first film Roja won him the National Award for Best Music Director. One of the songs from the movie is a favourite: Bharat hamako jaan se bhi pyaara hai. As of 2016, Rahman has garnered four National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and 16 Filmfare Awards South, a record for an Indian composer.

Some of my favourite Hindi songs of AR Rahman in are: Vande mataram (non-filmy),  Columbus Columbus chhutti hai aayi (Jeans, 1998), Anjali Anjali pushpanjali (Tu hi mera dil, 1995), Ai ajnabi tu bhi kabhi, Ik suraj nikala tha, Jiya jale jaam jale, Kar thaiya thaiya, Tuu hi tuu tuu hi tuu satrangi re (Dil Se, 1998), Awaara bhanvre jo haule haule gaaye (Sapney, 1997), Bharat hamako jaan se bhi pyaara hai, Dil hai chhota sa chhoti si aasha, Roja jaan-e-man, Rukmani Rukmani shaadi ke baad, Ye hasin waadian ye khula aasman (Roja, 1993), Chand aaya zameen par aaj garbe ki raat mein (Dil Hi Dil Mein, 1999), Dil se nikalegi naa mar ke bhi watan ki ulfat, Jogiya jogiya ve, Maahi ve maahi ve (Also sung by him together with Sukhwinder Singh, The Legend of Bghagat Singh, 2002), Dholna dholna, Khamosh raat sahami hawa, Mujhe rang de (Thakshak, 1999), Duur kahin ik aam ki bagiya, Mehaki mehaki hain raahen behaki behaki hain nigaahen (Zubeidaa, 2000), Ek ho gaye hum aur tum, Gumsum gumsum gulchup…kehna hi kya, Kuchi kuchi rakamma sun lo tum (Bombay, 1995), Ekla chalo re (Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose – The Forgotten Hero, 2005), Ghanan ghanan ghir ghir aaye badra, Radha kaise na jale, Mitwa O mitwa tujhako kyaa dar hai re, O paalanhaare nirgun aur nyaare (Lagaan, 2001), Haay Rama ye kyaa hua, Ho jaa rangeela re, Kya karen kya na karen kaisi mushkil haay, Tanha tanha yahan pe jeena, Yaai re yaai re jor laga ke naache re, Yaaro sun lo zara (Rangeela, 1996), Jangal mein bole hai koyal ku ku kuu – Kahin aa lage lag jaave, Taal se taal mila (Taal, 1999), Jhuum jhuum naachen ham (Chor Chor), Khamoshiyan gungunane lagi (One Two Ka Four, 2001), Muqaabla muqaabla Laila o ho Laila, Urvashi Urvashi take it easy Urvashi (Humse Hai Muqabla, 1995), Mustafa Mustafa don’t worry Mustafa (Duniya Dilwalon Ki, 1996), O bhanvre dekhi ham deewano ko (Daud, 1997), Piya Haji Ali (Fizaa, 2000), and Ye jo des hai tera (Swades, 2004).

A song from AR Rahman’s Rangeela, composed in Raag Puriya Dhanashri, Tal Kaherava (AR Rahman is as well versed in Raagas as he is in fusion)

Mehboob, the lyricist of this song, was born in Nasik (Maharashtra) on 13th Jul 1953. When he was only seven years old, his family moved to Mumbvai for good whereat he received education in English and later in Urdu. He was given a break by Ram Gopal Verma in his 1992 Drohi whose songs were composed by RD Burman. His big break actually came with Ram Gopal Verma’s 1996 movie Rangeela, wherein he worked with Ar Rahman and for which he received the RD Burman Filmfare Award for Best New Talent. He went on to work for Bombay, One Teo Ka Four, Thakshak, Daud, Dil Hi Dil Mein, and Yuva. He penned AR Rahman’s popular number Maa tujhe salaam (Vande Mataram).

Now about the singers Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy.

Hariharan was born on 03 Apr 1955 in Trivanthapuram in Kerala to Tamil parents. The son of renowned Carnatic vocalists, Shrimati Alamelu and the late HAS Mani (full name :Anantha Subramani ), he inherited his parents’ musical talents. However, he went into the Hindustani music stream and emerged as one of the finest ghazal singers, with his idol being Mehdi Hassan. Initially, he started off being a TV artiste. In 1977 he won the All India Sur Singaar competition and that’s how music director Jaidev gave him break in 1978 movie Gaman. His first song in that movie Ajeeb sa neha mujh par guzar gaya yaaron became so popular that it was nominated for National Award. Gradually, his songs have been featured in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri and Telugu films. Presently, he is the foremost ghazal singer in India. He was honoured with Padma Shri and he is a two time National Award winner. His association with Lesle Lewis resulted in forming a two member band Colonial Cousins.

Some of my favourite songs of Hariharan are: Bharat hamako jaan se bhi pyaara hai (Roja, 1993), Apni zulfen mere shaano pe bikhr jaane do (Taj Mahal, 2005), Chappa chappa charkha chale, Chhod aaye ham vo galiyan (Maachis, 1996), Dheemi dheemi bheeni bheeni khushbu hai tera badan (1947 Earth, 1999), Gungunaayi hawayen guunshi dishayen (Non-Film, with Alka Yagnik), Haay Rama ye kya hua (Rangeela, 1996), Ham bhool gaye hain rakh ke kahin (Aks, 2001), Ham tumase na kuchh keh paaye (Ziddi, 1997), Jhonka hawa ka aaj bhi (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999), Kabhi chand ki tarah tapaki atthanni si zindagi (Jahan Tum Le Chalo, 1998), Khilli chandini hamen keh rahi (Priyanka, 1995), Likha hai ye in hawayon pe (with Lata Mangeshkar, Darr, 1993), Mil gaye mil gaye dilbar mere (Love Birds, 1996), Mujhe phir wohi yaad aane lage hain jinhe bhulne mein zamaane lage hain (Khumar Barbankwi’s famous ghazal composed by Hariharan and sung by him), Naghme hain shikwe hain kisse hain baaten hain (Yaadein, 2001), Pehle bhi jeete the magar jab se mili hai zindagi (Nida Fazli’s ghazal with Asha Bhosle), Phuulon mein jo khushbu hai kaise wo aayi hai ajuuba (with Sadhana Sargam in Jeans, 1998), Sawan barse tarse dil (with Sadhana Sargam in Dehak, 1998), Sun ri sakhi meri pyari sakhi (Hum Se Hai Muqabla, 1995), Ye duniya ik dulhan (Pardes, 1997), and Youn hi chala chal rahi (Swades, 2004).

Kavita Krishnamurthy was born Sharada Krishnamurthy in a Tamil Iyer family in New Delhi on 25 Jan 1958. Her father TS Krishnamurthy was an employee in Education Ministry. She began her music training upon insistence of her aunt, Ms. Protimma Bhattacharya who enrolled her to Ms. Suruma Basu, who taught her Rabindra Sangeet. She began her formal training in Hindustani classical music under Balram Puri, a classical singer. At the young age of eight, Kavita won a gold medal at a music competition.She was given a break in Hindi movies by Laxmikant Pyarelal who were impressed by her Hindutani Classical singing. To start with she used to dub for Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. But later, in 1980, a song Kaahe ko biyahi was recorded in her own voice for the movie Maang Bharo Sajana. She became famous for Hawa Hawaii and Karte hain hum pyaar in 1986 movie Mr. India. She has been awarded Padma Shri by the government of India and she has won four Filmfare awards so far.

Some of my favourite songs of Kavita Krishnamurthy are: Aankhon ki gustakhiyaan maaf hon, Albela sajan aayo ri, Dholi tharo dhol baaje, Hum dil de chuke sanam (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, 1999), Aaj main ooper aasman neeche (Khamoshi, 1996), Are karte hain ham pyaar Mr India se, Hawa hawaii (Mr India, 1987), Chalon chale mitwa (Nayak The Real Hero, 2001), Ho chhal chhal chhalke in aankhon ki hgagariya (Janam Janam, 1988), Dhol bajane laga koi laut ke aaya hai (Viraasat, 1997), Deewana deewana ye dil tera deewana (with Abhijeet, Jung, 1996), Dil chura liya (with Abhijeet in Qayamat 2003), Dil ne kaha chupke se (1942 A Love Story, 1993), Dola re dola re, Maar daala (with Shreya Ghoshal and KayKay in Devdas, 2002), Ganpati bappa morya (Agnipath, 1990), Har karam apna karenge (Karma, 1986), Jaise ik chand ka tukada (Inteqaam, 1988), Jo main aisa jaanati preet kiye dukh hoy (Batwara, 1989), Koi mil gaya (Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai, 1998), Kuchi kuchi rakamma (Bombay, 1995), Tu mujhe qabool main tujhe kabool (with Mohammad Aziz in Khuda Gawah, 1992), Mera piya ghar aaya (Yaarana, 1995), Nayak nahin khalnayak hoon main (Khalnayak, 1993), Nazaron ke milane se kyun hoti hai halchal (Vishwavidhata, 1997), O baalam kesariya (Bhairavi, 1995), Pal do pal ka ye safar pal do pal ka saath (with Udit Narayan in  Hadd Kar Di Aapne, 2000), Raja ki kahani purani ho gayi (with Usha Uthup in Godmother, 1998), Tu cheez badhi hai mast mast (with Udit Narayan, Mohra, 1994), Tu hi tu satrangi re (with Sonu Nigam, Dil Se, 1998), Ye duniya ik dulhan (Pardes, 1997), and Na jaane kahan se aayi hai – ye ladaki (with Amit Kumar in Chaalbaaz 1989).

Hawa hawai, the Mr. India song that made Kavita Krishnamurthy famous, thanks to her mentor Laxmikant Pyarelal.

Before we take up the song, a word about the movie.

Bombay was a 1995 film directed by Mani Ratnam. The film starred Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala as Shekhar Narayanan Pillai and Shaila Bano respectively. The film, made in Tamil (later dubbed in Hindi and Telugu with the same title), is centered on events that occurred particularly during the period of December 1992 to January 1993 in India, and the controversy surrounding the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, its subsequent demolition on 6 December 1992 and increased religious tensions in the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) that led to the Bombay Riots. It is the second one of Mani Ratnam’s tiriology on human relations in the backdrop of events that shook India; the first one being Roja in 1992 and third one being Dil Se in 1998.

The Hindi dubbed film had the following songs, all penned by Mehboob and all composed by AR Rahman:

1. “Hamma Hamma” Remo Fernandes, Swarnalatha & Suresh Peters 5:10
2. “Kehna Hi Kya” K. S. Chithra, A. R. Rahman & Chorus 5:52
3. “Tu Hi Re” Hariharan & Kavita Krishnamurthy 7:14
4. “Kuchi Kuchi Rakkamma” Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, G. V. Prakash Kumar & Sharadha 5:07
5. “Kuch Bhi Na Socho” Pallavi, Shubha, Anupama, Noel James & Srinivas 5:53
6. “Bombay Theme” Instrumental 5:18
7. “Aankhon Mein Ummeedon” Sujatha Mohan & Chorus 2:43
8. “Apna Zameen Yeh” Sujatha Mohan, Noel James, Srinivas, Sivanesan, Ganga Sreenivasan, Renuka & Anuradha Sriram 3:28

Please enjoy Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy sing: Tu hi re, tu hi re, tere bina main kaise jiyun….

तू ही रे, तू ही रे तेरे बिना मैं कैसे जियूं
आजा रे, आजा रे, यूं ही तड़पा ना तू मुझको
जान रे, जान रे, इन सांसों में बस जा तू
चाँद रे, चाँद रे, आजा दिल की ज़मीन पे तू

चाहत है अगर आके मुझसे मिल जा तू
या फिर ऐसा कर, धरती से मिला दे मुझको
तू ही रे, तू ही रे तेरे बिना मैं कैसे जियूं
आजा रे, आजा रे, यूं ही तड़पा ना तू मुझको

इन सांसों का देखो तुम पागलपन के
आये नहीं इन्हें चैन
मुझसे ये बोली मैं राहों में तेरी
अपने बिछा दूं ये नैन
इन ऊँचे पहाड़ों से जां दे दूंगा मैं
गर तूम ना आई कहीं
तुम उधर जान उम्मीद मेरी जो तोड़ो
इधर ये जहाँ छोड़ू मैं
मौत और, जिन्दगी, तेरे हाथों में दे दिया रे

आई रे, आई रे, ले मैं आई हूँ तेरे लिये
तोड़ा रे, तोड़ा रे, हर बँधन को प्यार के लिये
जान रे, जान रे, आजा तुझमें समा जाऊं मैं
दिल रे दिल रे, तेरी सांसों में बस जाऊं मैं

चाहत है अगर आके मुझसे मिल जा तू
या फिर ऐसा कर, धरती से मिला दे मुझको
तू ही रे, तू ही रे तेरे बिना मैं कैसे जियूं
आजा रे, आजा रे, यूं ही तड़पा ना तू मुझको

आ …

सौ बार बुलाए मैं सौ बार आऊं,
इक बार जो दिल दिया
इक आँख रोये तो दूजी बोलो,
सोयेगी कैसे भला,
इन प्यार की राहों में पत्थर हैं कितने
उन सब को ही पार किया
इक नदी हूँ मैं चाहत भरी आज मिलने
सागर को आई यहाँ
सजना, सजना, आज आँसू भी मीठे लगे

तू ही रे, तू ही रे तेरे बिना मैं कैसे जियूं
आजा रे, आजा रे, यूं ही तड़पा ना तू मुझको
जान रे, जान रे, इन सासों में बस जा तू
चाँद रे, चाँद रे, आजा दिल की ज़मीन पे तू

पल पल पल पल वक्त तो बीता जाये रे
ज़रा बोल ज़रा बोल वक़्त से के वो थम जाये रे
आई रे, आई रे, ले मैं आई हूँ तेरे लिये
जान रे, जान रे, आजा तुझमें समा जाऊं मैं

The song is dear to me because of the intensity of emotions of a lover for a beloved. It reminds me of my favourite lyricist Shakeel Badayuni’s best song with Naushad: Mere mheboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam. Look at the similarity, especially in this stanza:

सामने आ के ज़रा पर्दा उठा दे रुख़ से
इक यही मेरा इलाज-ए-ग़म-ए-तन्हाई है
तेरी फ़ुरक़त ने परेशान किया है मुझको
अब तो मिल जा के मेरी जान पे बन आई है
दिल को भूली हुई यादों का सहारा दे दे
मेरा खोया …

And in both the songs, the lover had seen the beloved only from a distance. Can love get to be so strong between virtual strangers? Are there vibes that are only later converted into lyrics but at that time when they strike the lovers, they are just vibes that cannot be described? And can these vibes make Love become so intense that one feels that one cannot live without seeing the object of love? It happened in 1963 Mere Mehboob, it happened in various other movies after that and in happened in 1995 Bombay.

I get goose pimples thinking of this kind of love. When I listen to the song, I get answers to all my silent questions. Even after that it keeps tugging at my emotions.

I hope you enjoyed it too.

Please await tomorrow’s song.

 

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