Songs That Tug At Your Emotions – Song #27 (SJMF MUMBAI MEET – AN APPRECIATION)

The twenty-seventh day of songs in this series.

This is, however, not a routine post. It is my appreciation of the conduct of the Shankar Jaikishan Foundations’ Mumbai Meet, Saturday, 03 February 2018.

Before I come to the song – Dil ki girah khol do – put together by the Lyricist Shailendra, Composers and Music Directors Shankar-Jaikishan, and Singers Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey, let me tell you about the Meet and what led to my thinking of this song to show my apreciation.

My curtain raiser of the SJMF Mumbai Meet was the song Paan khaye sainya hamaro in Raag Kalyan, Tal Dadra (Please see: ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #91’) since yesterday also happened to be the 80th birthday of the Living Legend Waheeda Rehman and this was one song that she did with Shailendra and S-J which was very popular.

About the Foundation

About six years ago SJ fans, lovers of the golden period of the Hindi Film Music gathered and decided to create a Registered Trust in the fond memory of the greatest music maestro of the Hindi Film Industry SHANKAR – JAIKISHAN. A trust named SHANKAR JAIKISHAN FOUNDATION was Registered on Dt. 11-5-2012 with Registration No.e/19925/Ahmedabad thus, a dream came true of the sj fans and the SHANKAR JAIKISHAN FOUNDATION became the first SJ Memorial Trust in the world. They have a web page http://shankarjaikishansjmf.com/ and a Facebook page Shankar Jaikishan Foundation, Ahmedabad. They have conducted a number of events and meets in various parts of the country.

As for as the city of Mumbai is concerned, they conducted their First Meet in June 2016. Yesterday was the second such meet. My wife and I joined them from the time of the First Mumbai Meet and we are proud that the leading lights of SJMF: Shri Chirag Patel, Shri Snehal Patel, Shri Padmanabh Joshi, Shri Anand Desai, Shri Valmik Rawal, and Shri Hiren Patel have graciously accepted us as lifelong members of SJMF.

About the Second Mumbai Meet

Just like the 2016 Meet, this was held at Oneup Banquets, 1st Floor of Palm Spring Building, Link Road, Malad West.

Lyn and I started the New Year being ill and bed-ridden and we nearly didn’t make it to the Meet. However, after we dragged ourselves across, Anand and others made us feel so much at home that illness was soon forgotten.

To start with everyone met over a cup of tea and renewed acquaintances. It was a delight to meet both old and new participants not only because the love of Shankar Jaikishan music binds us as a family (as Shri Padmanabh Joshi said in his concluding address) but also, because as I looked around I found that everyone is so aware of and well versed with the nuances of S-J’s music.

We were regaled by the following events during the Meet, ably compered by Shri Valmik Rawal:

  • Welcome address by Shri Chirag Patel.
  • Some Raaga Based Songs of S-J. This was a delightful presentation by the group called Rewind who do lot of research and showcase the rich legacy of Indian Film Music as an art form. The presentation by Shri Archisman Mozumdar, ably assisted by Shri Shankar Iyer and Shri Balaji Ramachndran was so interesting that we wanted it to go on and on. S-J’s love for raagas and the liberties that they took by changing the swars so as to get at popular tunes produced some really memorable songs. If the presentation was interesting and informative, I was stunned to see the audience response; as Archie would introduce a raaga, at once three or four would jump up to predict the songs (s). One or two of them even tried to correct the presenters. My day was made with Archie spending considerable time over my favourite Jao jao Nand ke Lala in Raag Bageshri, Tal Kaherava (Please see:Raaga Based Song Of The Day #19). Rewind can be reached on www.rewind.co.in, and Rewind_hfm on Facebook.
  • S-J, the Trendsetter. This treat of a presentation was given by Shri Kushal Gopalka. Why I call it a treat is because the speaker ventured into his personal observations backed by apt examples rather than on information that is widely available on the net and elsewhere. How S-J went past their mentors Husnlal Bhagatram (the first music duo in films) and gave prominence to music in general and rhythm in particular in their compositions, how they didn’t accept the arrangement of sad songs which were prevalent until they started ruling the film music scene, how their popular tunes were adored by millions around the world (and it seemed like that they made only popular tunes), how they built up the careers of Lata Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor and Mukesh, their mastery over dance based songs, and how their songs were packaged well were some of the findings of the speaker. Kushal also gave us a short brief about the music activities that he spearheads including the forthcoming one on 14-15 Apr 18.
  • Lunch Break.
  • Instrumental Music by Shri Iqbal Darbar (Saxophone) and Shri Anil Gode (Accordion). This was for 30 minutes only. Most of us agreed that it appeared to be for only about a few seconds only because just as we were getting the groove of it, it got over. Truly, 30 minutes are never enough to listen to the songs of S-J. They (Shri Iqbal and Shri Anil) regaled us with such songs as Teri pyaari pyaari surat ko, Dil ki nazar se, Ajeeb dastaan hai ye, Sunate the naam jinaka bahaar se, Bedardi baalma, Aji rooth kar ab kahan jaayiega, Dil ki girah khol do, and Badan pe sitaare lipete huye. Here is my recording of them playing today’s song: Dil ki girah khol do:

 

  • After that, there was a presentation about Shailendra’s lyrics by Shri Murlikrishna Kasturi, a writer from Hyderabad who has written 38 books on various films personalities. He brought out various facets of Shailendra’s lyrics: He was purely a lyricist as opposed to others of era who were poets turned lyricists, his songs started off with lyrics unique to the protagonist in the movie and in the end there would be universal comment befitting the complete humanity, he built up the image of Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar etc and yet, his lyrics reflected his own personality, he used simplest of words to describe in-your-face thoughts without any metaphor etc, he was very profound in his thinking and so on.
  • We were fortunate that like last year, we had the presence of Shri Kishore Desai, the great mandolin player in S-J’s orchestra. He related two anecdotes: one about Jaikishan questioning him about the notations of the song Pyar karle nahin to phaansi chadh jaayega, and Shashi Kapoor, his school junior not knowing that he could play Sarod too.
  • Concluding address and vote of thanks by Shri Padmanabh Joshi.
  • Release of Book संगीतभावनामृत शंकरजयकिशन, भाग प्रथम written by Shri Shyam Shanker Sharma. All the participants were given a copy of the book free. Shri Shyam Shanker Sharma was kind enough to autograph copies for all of us.

About the Song and its Relevance for the Meet

Out of all the songs of Shankar-Jaikishan, I found it with the best lyrics and composition to describe our Meet at Mumbai. People had arrived from nine different cities in India to be at the Meet. Because of our common love for Shankar Jaikishan, महफ़िल में अब कौन है अजनबी? None of us behaved like strangers even though some of us were meeting for the first time.

मिलने दो अब दिल से दिल को, मिटने दो मजबूरियों को
शीशे में अपने डुबोदो, सब फ़ासलों दूरियों कोI

And why was that? In the movie, the 1967 Satyen Bose movie Raat Aur Din, the National Award winning (for this movie) actress Nargis suffered from MPD, ie, Multiple Personality Disorder. In the daytime (Din part of the title of the movie) she was a normal housewife. However, in the night (Raat) she was transformed into Peggy, and she walked the streets of Calcutta. In real life, we too, the Shankar Jaikishan fans, have our normal individual lives. However, during the Meet, we are transformed into the make-believe world of Shankar Jaikishan, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey. And suddenly, there is Mehfil, Song, Music, Excitement, Hope, Dreams.

In the last twenty-six days, we have taken up songs of thirteen male singers: Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, SD Burman, KL Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, Jagmohan ‘Sursagar’, Hariharan and Yesudas. We also took up songs of eleven female singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Suman Kalyanpur, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Uma Devi (Tun Tun), Suraiya and Zohrabai Ambalewali, Sudha Malhotra, Amirbai Karnataki and Kavita Krishnamurthy. Then took up a duet between Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle. And then we took up a Talat Mehmood song: Phir wohi shaam wohi gham wohi tanhaayi hai. Finally, we took up Kishore Kumar song for Piya Ka Ghar: Yeh jeevan hai, is jeevan ka yehi hai rang roop.

One of the fans commented on these songs, “The songs that you are giving us are everyone’s favourites.” The truth is that songs often remind us of days gone by and fill us with nostalgia both happy and sad.

I am sure thousands of you would be filled with strong emotions remembering this song. I am sure that those of you, who attended the Shankar Jaikishan Foundation Meet at Mumbai yesterday would not just remember this great S-J song from the movie Raat Aur Din, but would also recall the delightful rendition of it by Anil Gode and Iqbal Darbar during the meet.

About the Movie

(Poster courtesy: Lyrics Bogie)

Lets start with the movie. Raat Aur Din, as I said earlier, is a 1967 Satyen Bose movie starring Nargis as Varuna, the woman with multiple personality disorder; the acting of which role won her the National Award for Best Actress and a nomination for Filmfare Award for the same reason. She was supported in the movie by Pradeep Kumar as her husband Pratap. Their marriage was also out of ordinary. Pratap was on his way to Shimla for a marriage proposal when his car broke down and he was forced to stay at Varuna’s house. So, instead of getting married to a girl of his mother’s choice, he returned to get married to Varuna.

Varuna, gets headaches at night, dances to loud music and appears to be under some childhood trauma. In this scene from the party, she dances with a stranger Feroze Khan as Dilip, but when Pratap confronts her, she doesn’t remember anything of it. Dilip remembers it and admits it to Pratap.

One of the recurring nightmares for Varuna is falling off a cliff. In the end, it comes out that, when Varuna was small, her mother had a cardiac arrest because of which, the car that she was driving, went over a cliff. Recalling that finally, Varuna is cured.

About the Music Duo Shankar Jaikishan

Music Director Shankar Jaikishan were called the ‘house musicians’ of Raj Kapoor since the latter was responsible for having given them a break with his 1949 movie Barsaat. In the movie before that (the debut movie of Raj Kapoor as a director, the 1948 movie Aah, Shankar Jaikishan were assistants to music director Ram Ganguly. Raj Kapoor had a tiff with Ram Ganguly and hence invited S-J for Barsaat. The rest is history. Until Jaikishan died on 12 Sep 1971, Shankar Jaikishan had won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director eight times (including for Mera Naam Joker in 1972). Considering that the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director started in 1954, it makes them win the coveted award on an average of every alternate year. Raj Kapoor maintained a music bank of their compositions even after Jaikishan died and in his later movies used those compositions though the credit was given to music directors such as Laxmikant Pyarelal.

S-J emerged as the toppers in various genre of music such as raaga based songs, party songs, and dance numbers. Amongst all the raagas, Bhairavi was their (Jaikishan’s) favourite.

About the Lyricist Shailendra

Lyricist Shailendra

The lyricist Shailendra has been called by me as lyricist beyond compare (Please see: The Best Songs Of Shailendra, The Lyricist Beyond Compare – Part I and Part II‘). Unlike almost all poets turned lyricists of that era, Shailendra was solely a lyricist; lyrics were his life and he put his life and soul into it. His lyrics always made you think, frequently with their deeper meaning.

Shri Kasturi yesterday, very aptly, told us a lot about Shailendra. Of course, what Shri Kasturi didn’t tell us, is actually the most significant aspect of Shailendra’s lyrics, which is that Shailendra often made the listeners/viewers imagine the meaning of his lyrics. Now, one can say that every lyricist is supposed to do that. However, what is unique in Shailendra’s case that even after you see the video, there is still an enigma about what exactly he meant. Examples: Main nadiya phir bhi main pyaasi bhed ye gehra baat zara si, Taaron ki ote se muskara gaya koi, and Khil gayi kaliyan duniya jaane lekin na jaane bagiya ka mali. Here is his famous song with the line: Main nadiya phir bhi main pyaasi:

I also feel that whilst other Shailendra songs must also be about himself, there is one song in which he couldn’t hide his own feelings and that’s the song from the movie 1965 Chhoti Chhoti Baatein, just before the release of his own movie Teesri Kasam, the outcome of which killed him:

दुनिया ने हमें बेरहमी से
ठुकरा जो दिया, अच्छा ही किया
नादान हम समझे बैठे थे
निभती है यहाँ दिल से दिल की
कुछ और ज़माना कहता है …

About the Singers Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey with S-J

As soon as Lata Mangeshkar arrived on the scene of Hindi movies, she dethroned playback singers of the earlier era such as Suraiya, Amirbai Karnataki and Shamshad Begum from the top. And the movie that made it possible was the 1949 Raj Kapoor movie Barsaat, the debut movie of Shankar Jaikishan. S-J were responsible for taking her to the top. They actually increased the range and even pitch of her singing. Out of 171 films for which Shankar-Jaikishan composed music, Lata Mangeshkar sang for them in 124 films, singing over 450 songs for them of which over 300 were solos. Her best songs with S-J are dance numbers; she was of course, no strager to their party songs: In Sangam itself there are two: Har dil jo pyaar karega with Mukesh and Mahendra Kapoor and a solo O mere sanam O mere sanam.

 

As far as Manna Dey is concerned, unlike Mukesh being identified with Raj Kapoor, and Mohammad Rafi being identified with Dilip Kumar, he wasn’t identified with any hero. And yet, he made some great songs with S-J. One of the foremost that comes to mind is his Ketaki gulaab juuhii champakaban phuule in 1956 movie Basant Bahaar, in which Manna Dey, much against his will, had to commit “the sacrilege” of winning a singing dual against Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. His most memorable S-J song is, of course, Pyar hua iqraar hua. But, there are others too such as: Aa ja sanam madhur chandini mein hum, Ye raat bheegi bheegi, and Tu pyar ka sagar hai.

Please enjoy Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey sing a composition of Shankar Jaikishan on the lyrics of Shailendra a song from the 1967 Satyen Bose movie Piya Ka Ghar: Dil ke girah khol do, chup na baitho, koi geet gao….

दिल की गिरह खोल दो, चुप न बैठो, कोई गीत गाओ
आ आ आ आ, महफ़िल में अब कौन है अजनबी,
तुम मेरे पास आओ
दिल की गिरह खोल दो …

मिलने दो अब दिल से दिल को, मिटने दो मजबूरियों को
शीशे में अपने डुबोदो, सब फ़ासलों दूरियों को
आँखों में मैं मुस्कुराऊं तुम्हारे, जो तुम मुस्कुराओ
आ आ आ आ, महफ़िल में अब कौन है अजनबी
तुम मेरे पास आओ …

हम तुम न हम तुम रहें अब, कुछ और ही हो गए अब
सपनो के झिलमिल नगर में, जाने कहाँ खो गए अब
हम राह पूछें किसीसे, न तुम अपनी मंज़िल बताओ
आ आ आ आ, महफ़िल में अब कौन है अजनबी
तुम मेरे पास आओ …

कल हमसे पूछे न कोई, क्या हो गया कल था तुम्हे कल
मुड़कर नहीं देखते हम, दिल ने कहा है चला चल
जो दूर पीछे कहीं रह गए अब उन्हें मत बुलाओ
आ आ आ आ, महफ़िल में अब कौन है अजनबी
तुम मेरे पास आओ …

Shankar Jaikishan were the greatest music-duo for many genre’ of music; but, they were indeed the best for party songs. Many a times, their party songs reflected the reality of the life and/or had message for life. My profile song on Facebook is a party song: Sab kuchh seekha hamne na seekhi hoshiyari. Taste these lines regarding the universality of lyrics about people in the world around us:

हमने हर जीने वाले को
धन दौलत पे मरते देखा
दिल पे मरने वाले मरेंगे भिखारी

It is the same with this great song. As she waltzes along singing this song, you are overcome with emotions whether anyone of us is a normal or balanced human being. We apply the song’s lyrics to ourselves and lo, we find, the song is not about Nargis or Pradeep Kumar or Feroze Khan but it is about ourselves:

कल हमसे पूछे न कोई, क्या हो गया कल था तुम्हे कल
मुड़कर नहीं देखते हम, दिल ने कहा है चला चल
जो दूर पीछे कहीं रह गए अब उन्हें मत बुलाओ

I remember having seen Jack Nicholson starrer One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and I was never the same person again after seeing the movie. It is the same with this movie, particularly this song.

I hope you enjoyed it too.

Please await the next song in the series.

© 2018, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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