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The Hindu : Friday Review Delhi / Personality : Not just classic, classical too

The Hindu : Friday Review Delhi / Personality : Not just classic, classical too | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

There is something unique about the dates of birth of three greats in the music world. Kundan Lal Saigal was born on April 4, 1904 (04.04.04), the revered Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was born on February 2, 1902, (02.02.02) and the master composer, Anil Biswas was born on July 7, 1914 (07.07.14). It is for the numerologists to work out the significance of these fascinating dates, though they may strike us as mere coincidence.

Saigal's father, Amar Chand Saigal, was posted as Tehsildar in Jammu when his son was born. His mother, Kaiser Kaur, used to sing bhajans and young Kundan accompanied her.

A ghazal maestro

Though he became famous as a film and playback singer, he had strong classical links. In the recorded history of ghazal singing, the name of Kundan Lal Saigal will remain amongst the foremost for a long time to come. The genre was further enriched by another legend, Begum Akhtar. These two great singers did not sing for merely lyrics but sang with their heart and soul. Ghalib seemed to come alive whenever they sang his ghazals. One has to really listen to them with concentration for the soul-stirring experience. Saigal sang nine compositions of Ghalib. Among them were "Aah ko chahiyey", "Dil se teri nigah" and others.

Begum Akhtar also sang nine ghazals of Ghalib, including "Ibne Mariyam", "Aa ko chahiiyee" and others. When we compare the 18 fabulous masterpieces of these two great singers, we cannot miss the unique quality of voice, diction, their total involvement and the nobility of the accompanying instruments, be it harmonium, tabla and tanpura. But for Saigal, Begum Akhtar and some other ghazal singers, feel some scholars, Ghalib's works (Diwan) and those of other legendary Urdu poets would have remained buried in the archives of universities and research institutions.

Saigal was followed by other singers in bringing a number of Urdu poets into limelight and keep them alive. Seemabh Akbarabadi was a poet of some stature. Saigal, by singing some of his ghazals made him immortal.

He also took Arzu Lakhnavi to great heights. Besides Ghalib, Zauq and Seemabh, he also sang the compositions of some of his contemporary poets. "Chaat barbaad karegi hamein', "Jab dil hi toot gaya", "Aie dil-e-beqarar kyoon" by Kumar Barabankvi in the film "Shahjahan" not only brought glory to the poet but further enhanced the prestige of the master composer.

"Babul Mora"

Another immortal song came in 1936: "Babul Mora" (from "Street Singer").

This one song haunted several great singers. Before Saigal, Ustad Faiyyaz Khan sang it in 1932. Later, a galaxy of singers like Kanan Devi, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Siddheshwari Devi, Rasoolan Bai, Begum Akhtar, Girija Devi, Kishori Amonkar, Jagmohan and Padma Talwalkar sang it in their own styles. In the 1970s, ghazal exponent Jagjit Singh also sang it, once alone and once with his wife Chitra Singh. A collection of all these recordings is a collectors' treasure.

Anil Biswas, the famous music composer, probably had the last word to say on this all-time great song. While discussing the music of the 1930s and '40s, the master composer, who had brought Mukesh and Talat Mehmood to the limelight, remarked about "Babul Mora", "Saigal ke alawa kisi ke babul nahin Chhoota."

The classic thumri, "Piya bin naahin aawat chain", of which Saigal sang two lines in the film "Devdas", was earlier sung by Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. When Khan Saheb came to know, he visited Saigal's residence and asked him to sing for him once again. He was spellbound and enquired who his ustad was. Saigal told him it was "Ooperwala" — God. Khan Saheb blessed Saigal and gave him a hundred-rupee note, which Saigal treasured till his death.

Indian films after 1941 had the good fortune of having some great classical singers like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan ("Mughal-e-Azam"), Ustad Amir Khan ("Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje"), D.V. Paluskar and Amir Khan ("Baiju Bawra"), Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar. Saigal stood tall amongst them. His rendition of "Sapt suran teen gram" ("Dhrupad") and "Diya Jalao" ("Tansen") continue to be considered among the all-time greats.

A number of incidents from Saigal's life illustrate his humble nature and his reverence for great art. Once filmmaker Kidar Sharma and Saigal were invited to a party celebrating the construction of someone's new bungalow in Ville Parle in Bombay (Mumbai). Feeling a bit out of place, the two quietly left the party and were strolling on the beach when Saigal spotted a faqir singing a ghazal of Ghalib accompanying himself on the harmonium. Both sat and listened to him intently. Saigal was so overwhelmed that he touched the faqir's feet and took out Rs.5000 and gave it to him. Amazed, Sharma asked him if he knew how much money he had given to the faqir. Saigal said in Punjabi, "Oopar waley ney kee mannu gin key dittey si?" (Did the almighty count before he gave it to me?)


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Palace Of Delusion | Nasreen Munni Kabir

Palace Of Delusion | Nasreen Munni Kabir | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

One of the pleasures of celebrating a hundred years of cinema is revisiting films whose influence is profound and long-lasting even though they might not count among the greats. Kamal Amrohi’s Mahal is a fine example, and deserves a special place in Indian film history. Today, Mahal seems not the least bit scary, and some may find the pace painfully slow. But, together with Mehboob Khan’s Andaaz and Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat, all released in 1949, it brought a new aesthetic to Hindi cinema. It’s the story of Hari Shankar (played by Ashok Kumar, also the co-producer of the film), who visits an abandoned mansion, bought in a government auction. An old gardener and his daughter Asha (unseen at this point) live in the ironically named Sangam Bhavan. The gardener recounts the tragic story of the former inhabitant, a solitary, unnamed man who drowns one stormy night crossing the Jamuna to meet Kamini, his beautiful lover. The dying man promises Kamini he’ll be reborn and return to her some day. Not long after, the inconsolable Kamini too drowns in the dark waters of the Jamuna.

Soon after the gardener finishes his tale, Hari Shankar hears the sound of a woman singing afar. Following the voice through the eerie mansion, he comes upon a beautiful woman (Madhubala) on a swing. He assumes she is Kamini’s ghost and falls in love with her. From that moment, his world is turned upside down.

Many believe Mahal is about a beautiful ghost ensnaring Hari Shankar. But the real twist is the reincarnated lover. Kamini’s ghostly appearances distract us into believing she is the one who is reincarnated. In fact, it is Hari Shankar who is reborn with the soul of the mansion’s former inhabitant. He says as much in dialogue; but no scene conveys this with certainty, and this could be considered a narrative flaw. The viewer is left somewhat confused, and the only helpful clue is the song ‘Aayega, aayega... aanewala aayega’. It isn’t ‘Aayegi, aayegi...aanewali aayegi’. But viewers, who had never before seen a ghost story in Hindi cinema, did not mind the holes in the narrative. They loved this Bombay Talkies production with its mysterious mood, unusual music by Khemchand Prakash and lyrics by Naqshab.

Director Kamal Amrohi with Lata Mangeshkar

When Amrohi made Mahal, like all first-time directors, he wanted the film to be fresh in every aspect. He asked Lachchu Maharaj, the great Kathak artiste, to choreograph the musical sequences, including the song ‘Yeh raat phir na aayegi’, sung by Rajkumari and Zohrabai. It resulted in some trance-inducing moments of cinema. He bravely cast the 16-year-old Madhubala as Kamini/Asha, her first significant role. She had appeared in a number of films but had till then made no great impression. Mahal turned her fortunes forever. (There’s a confusion worth clarifying here: the Bimal Roy who edited Mahal isn’t the celebrated director ofMadhumati.)


        The opulent sets, the doors and corridors were used to convey the entrapment of the hero’s mind in delusion.         Mahal was the first Hindi film to have opulent sets, the kind usual with historical films. They were created by art director B.N. Tagore. Perhaps the desire for opulence came from Amrohi’s experience of writing the screenplay for Sohrab Modi’sPukaar. But he used the ornate sets to a different effect: at one point, the hero is shown walking on and on through a series of doorways opening into a grand corridor, fabulously visualising in physical space the entrance into, and entrapment of, the hero’s mind in a world of delusion from which there is no escape. Soon, Hari Shankar will see things “through a glass, darkly”, as his sense of reality becomes blurred.


It’s unknown whether Amrohi was familiar with Hollywood supernatural thrillers of the 1940s, especially those of Jacques Tourneur, shot in the film noir style, its roots in German Expressionism. These melodramas had gloomy, flawed characters, inexorably drawn to their ruin. Mahal has a comparable mood; and it’s no surprise it is rooted in film noir, for it was shot by the German cinematographer Josef Wirsching, who used stunning close-ups and shadows to create dramatic tension and infuse menace.

This ace cinematographer came to India on the invitation of Himanshu Rai in the 1930s to work at Bombay Talkies and became Amrohi’s close collaborator. He’s an unsung hero of Indian cinema, largely uncredited for influencing the cinematography of our black-and-white classics. As a German living in British India, he was interned in detention camps during World War II, but returned to work at Bombay Talkies on release. He died in 1967, during the initial filming ofPakeezah.

Very few of today’s generation would watch Mahal, but the title is well-known, owing to the popularity and the back-story of Aayega, aayega.... In those years, playback singers were not credited on record labels, perhaps to conceal the fact that actors did not sing their own songs. When the 78 rpm record of Aayega... was released, the song was credited to the character Kamini. Faced by a crescendo of demands, HMV had to finally tell radio listeners the singer was a young woman called Lata Mangeshkar, who became famous after Mahal was released.

Today sound perspectives are created using digital technology. But Aayega, aayega... was recorded more than 60 years ago. In an interview, Lata Mangeshkar once told me how much inventiveness Amrohi, composer Prakash and she brought to the recording to the give the song a ghostly feel: she stood in a corner of the studio, with the microphone at its centre and walked towards the microphone singing the opening verse, from Khamosh hai zamana... to is aas key sahare, and when she got close to the mike, she sang the refrain, Aayega, aayega.... After much trial and error with this procedure, the song was finally recorded to everyone’s satisfaction.
With Mahal, Amrohi set the formula for suspense films, spawning many clones, includingMadhumati, Woh Kaun Thi? and Mera Saaya, and creating an appetite for tales about ghostly mansions, murderous goings-on, unhinged minds and a female apparition sauntering as a haunting melody plays. But at heart, Mahal is less about reincarnation than about people obsessed with finding eternal love. This search for and union with the perfect beloved is close to the Sufi idea of divine love, a theme running through all of Amrohi’s films: in Pakeezah andRazia Sultan, the question is whether love can transcend social and class barriers; in Mahal, it is whether love can transcend death itself.


Endless Waiting...

Khamosh hai zamana, 
chupchaap hain sitaare,
Aaram se hai duniya, bekal 
hai dil ke maare.
Aise mein koi aahat is 
tarah aa rahi hai,
Jaise ke chal raha ho 
man mein koi hamaare,
Ya dil dhadak raha hai 
is aas ke sahaare.
Aayega aayegaa ayega,
Aanewala, aayega...

(Time stands still, 
The stars are silent, 
The world is at rest. 
Yet my heart is uneasy.
Suddenly, I hear footsteps nearing,
As though someone were 
walking through my heart.
Or is it the sound of my heart 
quickening with hope?
The one meant to return 
will return)

(The writer is a film-maker and author of many books on cinema.)

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rediff.com, Movies: Classics Revisited: Bandini

rediff.com, Movies: Classics Revisited: Bandini | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Revisiting Bandini...

Dinesh Raheja

Bandini was director Bimal Roy's last film.

And what a swansong. A subtle classic in which Nutan displays an extrordinary ability to illuminate inner conflict; and Roy's richly textured black and white images talk as eloquently as the dialogue.

In Roy's many-peaks-few-troughs career, this was an apex of creativity that rivalled his early triumphs like Do Bigha Zameen and Devdas. The wonderfully evocative title Bandini showcases the story of a girl Kalyani bound by love, through all its destructive and redemptive expressions.

CREDITS ProducerDirectorMusic Director Stars Bimal Roy Bimal Roy S D Burman Ashok Kumar, Nutan,  Dharmendra

The film begins with Kalyani (Nutan), a thin cotton-sari-clad bandini in jail. She's outwardly subdued but there is passion obviously raging within her. Roy affectingly recreates the prison atmosphere -- the petty rivalries between inmates, the bossy warden (Chandrima, Rita Bhaduri's mother), and the guard on the prison wall periodically calling out "Sab theek hai", adding to the irony of the inmates' wretched lives.

Kalyani volunteers to take care of an infectious patient. Her selflessness (and beauty) wins the attention of the handsome, young prison doctor, Deven (Dharmendra). Intrigued by her, he will not be put off even when he learns that Kalyani is serving a sentence for committing a wilful murder.

A flashback takes us into Kalyani's past to pre-Independence India. Kalyani is a young village girl influenced by her well-read, principled father (Raja Paranjpye). Into the village, and her life, comes a revolutionary, Bikash Ghosh (Ashok Kumar). Kalyani is enthralled by the visitor and, to save Bikash's life, even pretends to be his wife. Thereafter, Bikash jilts her and doesn't return to the village.

Kalyani's pain at this stage is as much for her derided-by-the-villagers father as it is for herself. For the strong-willed Kalyani, tears or suicide are not feasible options.

In the middle of the night, she leaves her house for the big city, to the heart-wrenching strains of the one-of-a-kind song: O jaanewale ho sake toh laut ke aana. Lyricist Shailendra writes, De de ke yeh awaaz tujhe har ghadi pukare
Jo jaaye woh uspaar kabhie laut ke na aaye.

Kalyani will soon cross an invisible rubicon line. The city is unsparingly harsh. She takes up a job at a nursing home, where she has to attend to a neurotic, screeching woman, who humiliates her. Worse, Kalyani discovers that she is Bikash's wife.

The dam holding back the quietly-brooding Kalyani's wall of restraint finally collapses when her friend breaks the news that her father had come searching for her in the city and is now dead.

Assuming a quietitude contrasted by the cacophony around her, Kalyani resumes her duties and goes to make tea for the shrewish woman. In the background, a welder's torch throws shadows over her as a symbolic hammering beats down upon her. Kalyani reaches for a bottle of hospital poison. Roy's subtextual build-up to, and execution of, this crucial scene is faultless.

Deven evidences an eagerness to marry Kalyani having witnessed her expiation for her acts. Her prison term is over. Just as Kalyani is about to board the train that will take her to her new house, she spots a now seriously-ill Bikash embarking on a boat journey, and learns of the circumstances which prompted him to leave her in the lurch.

The train and the boat (perhaps standing in for the new and the old) now fight for place in Kalyani's heart as the song of eternal love Mere saajan hai uspaar plays in the background.

There is little doubt whom she will choose. Her answer is written all over her face and in the lines: Main bandini piya ki. The scene beautifully captures the headlong abandon of all passion, before and since.

Sans screaming hysteria-nics, Nutan puts across one of the finest performances seen on Hindi screen. She recognised and was perfectly in tandem with Kalyani's innate strength of character. Ashok Kumar as the older romanticist and Dharmendra as the symbol of stalwart sensitivity were perfectly cast in their roles.

Roy's approach evens out some of the inherent melodrama. Like in his earlier films, Madhumati and Sujata, his visuals are often intertwined with nature. The women prisoners' pain at seeing birds flying freely is portrayed vividly in the song, O pancchi pyaare.

Bandini's exploration of the related realms of love, hate, jealousy and redemption make for ever-interesting viewing.


* After Bandini, Bimal Roy (who died in 1966) produced Benazir with old favourite Meena Kumari (Parineeta, Yahudi).

* Nutan was married and pregnant with Mohnish when Bimal Roy (who had worked with her in Sujata) offered her Bandini. Her performance made the wait worthwhile.

* Ashok Kumar was already doing character roles by then but 1963 was a great year for him what with Mere Mehboob, Gumraah, Grihasti and Meri Soorat Teri Aankhen also making it to the marquee.

Incidentally, S D Burman came to Ashok Kumar to ask whether Mere saajan hai uspaar was a decent tune. Dadamoni replied in the affirmative.

* Dharmendra was still a relative newcomer, having tasted success only in the heroine-oriented Anpadh. There was some talk of Nutan deciding to opt for Dharmendra in the climax; but it didn't fructify.

The Music:

Famous songs from Bandini:   Song Singers  Mora gora ang lai le
 Lata Mangeshkar  Jogi jab se tu aaya mere dwaare Lata Mangeshkar  O panncchi pyaare Asha Bhosle  Mat ro maata Manna Dey  Ab ke baras bhej bhaiyya ko babul Asha Bhosle  O jaanewale ho sake to laut ke aana Mukesh  Mere saajan hai uspaar S D Burman

* S D Burman and Lata had not been working with each other for around half a decade when they recorded Bandini's Jogi jab se tu aaya and repaired the rift in the lute. Lata got to sing the sweet-as-honey love songs like Mora gora ang lai le, while surprisingly it was Asha who had the emotional high-wire songs.

* A moved Asha burst into tears when she sang Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko babul.

* Shailendra's lines throbbed with sentiment. All the songs of the film were written by Shailendra save for Mora gora ang lai le, which marked Gulzar's debut as a lyricist. And yes, as imagery-filled lines like Badli hata ke chanda chhupke se jhaanke chanda evidence, the moon was his muse even then.

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Design: Uday Kuckian

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BBC Hindi - मनोरंजन - एक कोशिश ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स को बचाने की

BBC Hindi - मनोरंजन - एक कोशिश ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स को बचाने की | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

किसी जमाने में संगीत प्रेमियों के लिए ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड अपने गायकों को सुनने का सबसे अच्छा तरीका हुआ करता थे. लेकिन अब ये रिकॉर्ड्स इतिहास का हिस्सा हैं. अब कुछ लोगों ने इन्हें संजोने का बीड़ा उठाया है.

एक कोशिश ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स को बचाने की

उमर फ़ारूक़


किसी जमाने में ग्रामोफोन ही संगीत को सुनने का जरिया हुआ करता था

किसी जमाने में ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड ही केएल सहगल, पंकज मल्लिक, मुबारक बेगम और नूरजहां की अद्भुत आवाजों को उनके चाहने वालों से जोड़ने का जरिया हुआ करते थे. लेकिन जमाना बदला तो संगीत की तकनीक भी बदली.

अब बहुत कम लोगों के पास ये ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड का बहुमूल्य खजाना सुरक्षित है. लेकिन अब मुंबई की सोसाइटी ऑफ इंडियन कलेक्टर्स के नेतृत्व में कुछ लोग इस अहम सांस्कृतिक धरोहर को बचने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं.

इससे जुड़ी ख़बरें

मशहूर होने के लिए मेरे नाम का सहारा: शाहरुख खानहिन्दी फिल्मों की जर्मन दीवानियाँरिमेक दिमागी कंगाली का प्रतीक: अन्नु कपूर

बात चाहे मुबारक बेगम की सुरीली आवाज में गाए गए गीत ‘कभी तन्हाइयों में हमारी याद आएगी’ की हो या फिर केएल सहगल की दर्द भरी आवाज में गूंजता हुए गीत ‘आए कातिब-इ-तकदीर’ की, सभी कुछ ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स में दर्ज है.

सहगल, पंकज मल्लिक मुबारक बेगम और नूरजहां की अद्भुत आवाजों से सजे इस खजाने को बचने की कोशिश खास अहमियत रखती है.

सोसाइटी ऑफ इंडियन कलेक्टर्स के सचिव और वैज्ञानिक सुरेश चांदवनकर के पास 15 हजार से भी ज्यादा रिकॉर्ड्स हैं. उनका कहना है की अगर इन रिकॉर्ड्स को बचने की कोशिश नहीं की गई तो इतिहास का एक अहम हिस्सा नष्ट हो जाएगा.

दुर्भल खजाना

एमवी सुरिंदर ने सहगल पर एक वेबसाइट शुरू की है

वह बताते है, "जब पुराने ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स दुर्लभ हो रहे थे और ऑडिओ कैसेट्स बाजार में आ रहे थे, तो मैंने सोचा की अगर कोई इनको संभल कर नहीं रखेगा तो आने वाली पीढ़ी को ये मालूम भी नहीं होगा की हमारे देश में ऐसे रिकॉर्ड भी बने थे. मैंने यहां-वहां देखा तो मेरे जैसे बहुत लोग थे जिनके पास रिकॉर्ड्स का कलेक्शन था. मैंने सोचा की अगर हम सब मिलकर कोशिश करें तो इन ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स में दर्ज इस सांकृतिक धरोहर को हम आने वाली पीढ़ी के लिए बचाकर रख सकते हैं."

कुंदन लाल सहगल रिकॉर्ड्स के जमाने के एक ऐसे मशहूर गायक रहे हैं जिनकी आवाज के दीवाने आज भी देश विदेश में फैले हैं. ‘जब दिल ही टूट गया, हम जीकर क्या करेंगे’ जैसे गीतों में सहगल की यादें आज भी जिंदा हैं. और पुराने रिकॉर्डों की गाथा उन जैसे कलाकार की बात के बिना पूरी नहीं हो सकती.

सहगल के एक प्रंशसक एमवी सुरिंदर ने "कुंदनलालसहगल.कॉम" के नाम से एक वेबसाइट शुरू की है जिस पर सहगल के गाए कुल 185 में से 170 गीत मौजूद हैं.

"एक गाना तो ऐसा भी है जो सहगल ने रिकॉर्ड करवाया और उसे अपने घर लेकर चले गए. उसे बाजार में कभी नहीं उतारा गया. कहा जाता है कि बाद में सहगल ने उस का रिकॉर्ड बनवाकर अपनी मां को दिया था."

एमवी सुरिंदर, सहगल के संग्रह के बारे में

हैदराबाद में रहने वाले सुरिंदर अपने इस कलेक्शन के बारे में कहते हैं कि इसमें बहुत ही दुर्लभ गाने भी मौजूद हैं जिनके रिकॉर्ड बहुत कम लोगों के पास हैं. इन में दो फारसी गाने, दो पंजाबी और बीस-इक्कीस बंगाली गाने व कई गजलें भी शामिल हैं.

वह बताते हैं, "एक गाना तो ऐसा भी है जो सहगल ने रिकॉर्ड करवाया और उसे अपने घर लेकर चले गए. उसे बाजार में कभी नहीं उतारा गया. कहा जाता है कि बाद में सहगल ने उस का रिकॉर्ड बनवाकर अपनी मां को दिया था."

संगीत भी, साहित्य भी

सहगल के अलावा उस दौर के कुछ और गायकों पंकज मालिक और केसी डे के गानों को भी इस वेबसाइट पर संरक्षित किया गया है.

मशहूर पार्श्व गायक मन्ना डे के चाचा केसी डे अपने दौर के जाने माने कलाकार थे. उन्होंने बंगाली, उर्दू और हिंदी भाषाओं में लगभग पांच सौ गीत गए थे और उनमें से कम ही गाने आज सुरक्षित हैं.

सुरिंदर ने कहा की अगर इनको भी बचाकर नहीं रखा गया तो फिर उनकी याद भी मिट जाएगी.

अब कम ही लोग ऐसे मिलते हैं जिनके पास ग्रोमोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स मौजूद हैं

हैदराबाद में ओस्मानिया विश्वविद्यालय के एक पूर्व प्रोफेस्सर रामचंद्र रेड्डी के पास भी पुराने रिकॉर्ड्स का एक बड़ा कलेक्शन मौजूद है जो उनके पिता के जमाने से चला आ रहा है और जिसे आज भी उन के परिवार के लोग पुराने ग्रामोफोन पर ही सुनते हैं. अब उनकी कोशिश है की इस तरह के पुराने रिकॉर्ड्स का एक आर्काइव स्थापित किया जाए.

रामचंद्र रेड्डी के कहना है, "ये एक विरासत है उसको बनाए रखने की जरूरत है. दूसरे इसमें अच्छे संगीत के अलावा अच्छा साहित्य भी है. गजल और शायरी है. उसकी भी इतिहास में एक खास जगह है. अगर आगे चल कर कोई शायरी या संगीतकार के बारे में उसमें शोध करना चाहे, तो उन्हें काफी जानकारी मिल सकती है."

'रिकॉर्ड की बात ही और है'

हालांकि पुराने गीत और संगीत का कुछ हिस्सा अब सीडी और आईपोड जैसे नए माध्यमों के जरिए भी उपलब्ध है लेकिन सुरेश चांदवनकर का कहना है कि पुराने रिकॉर्ड्स को भौतिक रूप से बचाना भी जरूरी है.

"अगर संभव हुआ तो मैं तो आज भी रिकॉर्ड पर ही गाने सुनना पसंद करूंगा क्योंकि सुई की रगड़ से जो आवाज पैदा होती है वो मुझे बहुत अच्छी लगती है."

रामचंद्र रेड्डी, ग्रामोफोन के प्रशंसक

वह कहते हैं कि कई गाने ऐसे भी हैं जिसकी सीडी बनाने में किसी की रूचि नहीं है क्योंकि वे कोई लोकप्रिय कलाकार का गाना नहीं था लेकिन उस रिकॉर्ड में एक तरह से उन का इतिहास दर्ज है.

रिकॉर्ड्स के कवर या जेकेट पर कलाकारों के चित्र और जानकारी होती थी. ये एक ऐतिहासिक जानकारी है जिसे बचाकर रखना भी जरूरी है.

रामचंद्र रेड्डी कहते हैं कि उन जैसे पुराने लोगों के लिए रिकॉर्ड सुनना एक परंपरा है जिसे वे कभी नहीं छोड़ सकते.

वो कहते हैं, "मेरी और मुझसे पहले वाली पीढ़ी के लोगों में रिकॉर्ड प्ले करने की परंपरा थी. इससे उनकी काफी यादें जुड़ी रही हैं. वे तो खत्म हो जाएंगी. अगर संभव हुआ तो मैं तो आज भी रिकॉर्ड पर ही गाने सुनना पसंद करूंगा क्योंकि सुई की रगड़ से जो आवाज पैदा होती है वो मुझे बहुत अच्छी लगती है."

संग्राहलय की जरूरत

रेड्डी कहते हैं कि ग्रामोफोन पर संगीत सुनने का मजा ही अलग है

जहां सुरेश चांदवनकर हैदराबाद और कोलकाता जैसे शहरों में अपने संगठन की शाखाएं खोलने और वहां भी पुराने रिकॉर्ड्स के संरक्षण की कोशिश कर रहे हैं, वहीं सुरिंदर का मानना है की पुराने रिकॉर्ड्स का एक संग्राहलय बनना भी बहुत जरूरी है.

सुरिंदर कहते हैं, “एक तरीके से ग्रामोफोन रिकॉर्ड्स को रद्दी की तरह देखा जा रहा है. कम लोग हैं जिन्होंने ग्रामाफोन रिकॉर्ड्स को जमा किया है. लेकिन उन के बच्चों और घर वालों को उसमें कोई दिलचस्पी नहीं है. इनको बचने के लिए भारत में एक ऑडिओ आर्काइव बनाने की जरूरत है.”

रिकॉर्ड्स के संरक्षण और उन्हें सुनने का शौक बढ़ाने के लिए जल्द ही कालीकट में ग्रामोफोन की एक प्रदर्शनी लगने वाली है. सुरेश चांदवनकर जैसे लोगों को आशा है कि इस तरह वे इस शानदार ऐतिहासिक विरासत को बचाने में सफल रहेंगे.

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Film songs based on classical ragas (2) – A date with Yaman

Film songs based on classical ragas (2) – A date with Yaman | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it


Film songs based on classical ragas (2) – A date with Yaman

April 26, 2012

Guest article by Subodh Agrawal

(Subodh Agrawal’s second article in this series has been a long time in coming. I am responsible for part of the delay as it came when I had scheduled my post on the Best songs of 1955. But when you read it you would agree it has been well worth the wait. Subodh bears his scholarship lightly, and writes in a style as lucid and fluent as the Raga Yaman itself. Here is his piece on one of the most popular ragas which would delight both connoisseurs as well as lay listeners. – AK)


I have never understood why Yaman is the first raga to be taught to students. Yes, it does have a simple structure – in the sense that it has no komal svaras, but its simplicity is deceptive. Creating beauty in Yaman requires a high level of skill and sensitivity. It sounds bland and pedestrian in the hands of a novice or an artist of average capability. There is, however, no limit to the heights it can attain in the hands of a master. No wonder it is one of the favourite ragas of our film industry’s composers, some of whom – Roshan for example – have given their best in this raga.

Yaman and Kalyan are two different names of the same raga. Yaman Kalyan, interestingly, is slightly different, as it uses shuddha madhyam occasionally along with the teevra madhyam of Yaman. The difference is not much, and in this article I would use Yaman to mean both Yaman and Yaman Kalyan.

The predominant mood of Yaman is tranquility – shant rasa. Another great raga Malkauns is also known for evoking shant rasa, but there is an important difference between the two. The tranquility of Malkauns has a Yogic, meditative quality about it. Yaman’s serenity is much closer to everyday life. It evokes the kind of peace one feels when one is happy at home and with family, in the company of friends, watching a beautiful sunset, or doing something one enjoys.

The shant rasa of Yaman combines well with bhakti rasa. It is an ideal raga for devotional compositions. Let me therefore begin with one of the best known works of Roshan, Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare, from the film Chitralekha. A few years back Outlook magazine had polled some leading music personalities to come up with a list of twenty all time great songs from films, and this song topped that list. I wouldn’t quite go that far, but there is no doubt that this is one of the great songs of Hindi films.

Mohammad Rafi sings Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare from Chitralekha (1964), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Roshan

Because of its capacity of combining bhakti and shant rasa, Yaman is ideal for recitation of Sanskrit slokas. You can get a flavor of what this raga can do in this recitation of Bhagvad Gita by the incomparable Lata Mangeshkar


Another devotional masterpiece from Lata in Yaman is the Meera bhajan Kinu sang khelun holi set to music by her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar:

Lata Mangeshkar sings Meera bhajan Kinu sang khelun holi

I have commented above on the kind of everyday serenity Yaman evokes. There can be no better illustration of this than this song – one of my all time favourites – from Bhabhi ki Chudiyan by Lata Mangeshkar, set to music by Sudhir Phadke. Apart from shant and bhakti rasa, this song also has a mood of joy. I sometimes wonder if the list of nine rasas is incomplete without a tenth –ananda rasa. If we could add this rasa then I would analyse Yaman’s mood as 40% shant rasa; and 20% each of bhakti, shringar and ananda rasas!

Lau lagati geet gati deep hun main by Lata Mangeshkar from Bhabhi Ki Chhdiyan (1961), lyrics Narendra Sharma, music Sudhir Phadke

I would now like to present two versions of the same bhajan by two great artists: Kishori Amonkar and Shobha Gurtu. Kishori Amonkar’s version is sweeter and classically orthodox. Shobha Gurtu, on the other hand, creates a different kind of impact in her powerful voice with a shehnai like timbre. In the comments on Youtube, there is some needless controversy as to which of the two is better. I think they are both beautiful in their own right.

Kishori Amonkar sings Mharo pranam in Raga Yaman

Shobha Gurtu sings Mharo pranam in Raga Yaman

Let’s move on, and add another rasa to the mix of shant and bhakti rasas – shringar. This song from Mamta by Roshan raises love to the level of worship. Roshan has surpassed himself in composing this, while Hemant and Lata have rendered it with feeling. Ashok Kumar and Suchitra Sen’s restrained acting superbly completes the picture. An NRI friend of mine commented that Ashok Kumar would win an Oscar hands down for the opening scene in which he covers his eyes with dark glasses and puffs on his cigarette. (I would gladly nominate this song for the title of the ‘all time greatest love duet from films’. My nominees for the male and female solos on love would be ‘Jalte hain jiske liye’ and ‘Tum apna ranj-o-gham’.)

Chhupa lo yun dil mein pyar mera by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar from Mamta (1966), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Roshan

At this stage I would like to introduce a regular classical piece. Bismillah Khan has taken an extremely simple composition. You can’t get simpler than ‘ni re ga re ni re sa ni dha ni re sa’ in Yaman. It takes the genius of Bismillah Khan to keep it from sinking into ordinariness. It is an excellent introductory piece for learners of classical music.

Raga Yaman by Bismillah Khan

I would not normally associate Yaman with karun rasa. However, trust Indian film music directors and Mukesh to evoke pathos even in this raga. I recall with amusement that for some unfathomable reason Mukesh’s song Ansoo bhari hain yeh jeevan ki raahen in Yaman was very popular with boys of my age when I was a University student. I myself used to sing it with great feeling. An aunt of mine, who otherwise encouraged me to sing, told me in no uncertain terms to refrain from singing this song, as she had had enough of it! More than forty years later I don’t have any lingering fondness for this song. However, I still hold another Mukesh song – Saranga teri yaad mein – in the same raga in high esteem. I am not posting it here because AK has already done that in his excellent post on Sardar Malik.

Let me get out of this foray into karun rasa by presenting a classical piece by the great Pannalal Ghosh, which would restore the mood of joyful tranquility more suited to Yaman. When I listen to this piece it evokes the image of a beautiful sunset across a gently flowing river. Sunsets can make you happy or sad. Yaman goes with happiness; another beautiful raga Marwa with sadness. Here is the Yaman piece:

Raga Yaman by Pannalal Ghosh

Back to shringar rasa. Two great songs come readily to my mind – Zindagi bhar nahi bhoolegi yeh barsaat ke raat and Abhi na jaao chhod kar. I am opting for the latter, as it has a nice teasing quality. In a TV program Javed Akhtar called it his favourite romantic song.

Abhi na jaao chhod kar by Rafi and Asha Bhosle from Hum Dono (1961), lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Jaidev

My next classical piece is by Sanjeev Abhyankar. The interesting thing about this piece is use of the flute as an accompaniment. It sounds like a duet between the singer and the flute:

Sanjeev Abhayankar sings Raga Yaman

Apart from devotional compositions, Yaman also excels in ghazals. Several beautiful pieces spring to mind. The best, however, are non-film – Lata’s Har ek baat pe kahte ho tum; Mehdi Hasan’s Ranjish hi sahi, which launched a wave of Pakistan mania among Indian music lovers; and Aaj jaane ki zid na karo by Farida Khanum. I present here a comparatively less known, but equally charming piece by Farida Khanum:

Wo mujh se hue ham kalam by Farida Khanum

The next classical piece brings together two legends, one from north and the other from south. The Carnatic counterpart of Yaman is Kalyani. I only wish Pandit Bhimsen Joshi had yielded a little more time to the maestro from the south.

Yaman Kalyan by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Balamurali Krishna

E ri aali piya bin is one of the standard classical compositions of Yaman. Several versions are available on Youtube. Lata Mangeshkar sang it for the film Raag Rang. A note of caution – while the main bandish is in Yaman, the preceding instrumental alaap forays into several other ragas, including Bahaar:

E ri aali piya bin by Lata Mangeshkr from Raag Rang (1952), music Roshan

Now listen to Dr N Rajam and her family present the same bandish on violin. Dr Rajam’s violin brings to mind the lofty voice of Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, who was her guru:

N Rajam and family present Raga Yaman

I close the presentation of film songs in Yaman with one that evokes a mood of pure joy.

Ja re badra bairi ja by Lata Mangeshkar from Bahana (1960), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Madan Mohan

This tarana from Ms Veena Sahasrabuddhe complements the joyful mood of this song in a pure classical vein. Her husband Dr Sahasrabuddhe was on the faculty of IIT Kanpur when Pankaj Sharan and I were both students there. Her father Shankar S Bodas and brother Kashinath Bodas were respected figures in the world of classical music.

Tarana in Raga Yaman by Veena Sahasrabudhe

The next classical piece is by Rajan and Sajan Mishra, with an introduction by Shujaat Khan. In this piece the difference between Yaman and Yaman Kalyan is brought out quite clearly. Listen carefully at 3:25 in the recording.

Raga Yaman by Rajan and Sajan Mishra

My brother Vikas introduced me to this recording of Ravi Shankar and Anouskha. Ravi Shankar’s voice shows signs of age, but the pieces played on sitar by his daughter are quite good. I had never taken much interest in her recitals earlier, but this one has made me take notice, thanks to the rich tonal quality of her sitar.

Raga Yaman by Anoushka Shankar

This recording by Ustad Vilayat Khan in Yaman is one of my favourites. It is a very personal interpretation of Yaman. I like its mood of quiet introspection and the imaginative use of silence:


Part two of Vilayat Khan’s Yaman in madhya laya and part three in drut are available on Youtube. They present a more orthodox interpretation of the raga compared to part one:

Raga Yaman by Vilayat Khan in madhya laya

Raga Yaman by Vilayat Khan in drut laya

This is but a small sample of the vast possibilities of this great raga. As a leading exponent of classical music said during a private audience – one lifetime is too short to fully explore Yaman.

In parting:

As I said above, Yaman is ideally suited to reciting Sanskrit slokas. I can imagine what it would sound like in a rich, sonorous voice like that of Hemant Kumar. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate any such piece on the net. The closest I got is this song based on Jaidev’s Dashavatar Varnan from the film Anandmath. The raga is not Yaman, but the mood is quite close to Yaman. I present it to give a hint of how good Sanskrit slokas based on Yaman would sound in Hemant Kumar’s voice.

Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt sing Jai Jagdeesh Hare from Anandmath (1952)

I close by thanking AK once again for motivating me to write, and all the music lovers who have uploaded videos on Youtube. In particular I would mention Youtube user Thuryina who has uploaded many of the classical pieces I have used above. Tell us something about yourself Thuryina, if you are reading this.

AK presents a great surprise:

(Someone who can bring alive Raga Yaman in his writing, what impact would he create if he sang it! Subodh sings (or recites) Harivansh Rai Bacchan’s ‘Is paar priye madhu hai tum ho’ without any musical accompaniment. He has also composed its tune. He is not a professional singer, but when someone loves Yaman so much he can transport the listener to the magical and mysterious world of ‘Us paar’ – AK)

Here are the beautiful words of Harivansh Rai Bachchan:

इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

प्याला है पर पी पाएँगे, है ज्ञात नहीं इतना हमको
इस पार नियति ने भेजा है, असमर्थ बना कितना हमको
कहने वाले, पर कहते है, हम कर्मों में स्वाधीन सदा
करने वालों की परवशता है ज्ञात किसे जितनी हमको
कह तो सकते हैं, कहकर ही कुछ दिल हलका कर लेते हैं
उस पार अभागे मानव का अधिकार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

दृग देख जहाँ तक पाते हैं, तम का सागर लहराता है
फिर भी उस पार खड़ा कोई हम सब को खींच बुलाता है
मैं आज चला तुम आओगी, कल, परसों, सब संगी साथी
दुनिया रोती धोती रहती, जिसको जाना है, जाता है
मेरा तो होता मन डगडग, तट पर ही के हलकोरों से
जब मैं एकाकी पहुँचूँगा, मँझधार न जाने क्या होगा!
इस पार, प्रिये मधु है तुम हो, उस पार न जाने क्या होगा!

And here is an equally beautiful and lyrical translation by Subodh:

Your sweet presence is with me, my dear, on this shore
Who knows what awaits us across there

We have the cup but know not if we can drink
Fate has sent us so helpless to this world
There are those who claim we are always free in our actions
Who knows better than us how dependent they themselves are
At least we can soothe our hearts with such claims
Who knows if even this solace will be ours across there

A sea of darkness undulates as far as the eyes go
Yet, someone on the other side calls us across
I go today, tomorrow you will come, day after tomorrow all our friends
The world mourns, but those who have to go, have to go
The waves breaking on the shore make my heart tremble
What will happen when I reach the midstream all alone.

And here is the coup de grace:

Subodh Agrawal sings Is paar priye madhu hai tum ho us paar na jane kya hoga, poetry Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Bachchan’s poem is nine stanzas long. Subodh sings only two stanzas. If someone is interested in the entire poem here s a link.

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100 Years of Indian Cinema

Published: March 31, 2012 18:13 IST | Updated: March 31, 2012 21:18 ISTA century of cinema


100 Years of Indian Cinema. Graphic: K.G. Rangarajan

Ninety-nine years ago, Dadasaheb Phalke made a movie about a king who never lied. The king couldn't have lied even if he wanted to. The film was silent. But today, with so many films being made in so many languages, what will we be celebrating, really, when we raise a toast to a century of our cinema?

The National Awards, over the years, have made something of a habit of surprising us. Sometimes, the surprise is that an actor is honoured for a harmless role, one that required all the apparent effort of chewing a stick of gum. Sometimes, the surprise is the actor himself, an unfamiliar face, someone who isn't in the movies we usually see and isn't on television either, entreating us to buy a pair of this, a bottle of that. Sometimes, we are surprised by the ability of the jury to juggle, like the leader of a jerry-built political alliance propped up by contentious parties, the actual merits of the films under consideration with the practical impulse to give no single state cause for complaint. And sometimes, like it happened this year, we are surprised by how little we still know about our nation. The award for Best Feature Film was shared by “Deool”, made in Marathi, and “Byari”, a drama named for the dialect spoken by the people in it. The surprise, to some of us, wasn't that a film in the Byari language won. The surprise was that a language named Byari existed.

Like the nation of India, the notion of Indian cinema is simultaneously specific and frustratingly vague. What is Indian cinema? Cinema that is made in India, certainly. But what else? Is it the cinema that spins stories about India and Indians? In that case, would “Gandhi”, the story of the most famous Indian of them all, qualify as Indian cinema, even if its makers are from outside India? Or is Indian cinema identified by narration in a particular style, a recognisably Indian style, hearts on sleeves, songs and dances? By that definition, Thiagarajan Kumararaja's “Aaranya Kaandam” may not quite be Indian cinema. Though made in Tamil and mounted against heated Tamils, it speaks a clinical language of film from cooler climes. Does Indian cinema denote the films made after the country was freed from her fetters? In that case, “Raja Harischandra”, whose centenary has sparked these celebrations, isn't really an Indian film because it was made in a British colony. We should have to wait for Independence to begin talking about Indian cinema.

Is Indian cinema really the Bhojpuri film and the Tamil-Telugu masala movie, the on-screen equivalent of dal, homely comfort food in which the millions of men on the street can sop their day's disappointments? Will art movies and the newfangled multiplex movies, then, attuned to English-thinking markets, not come under Indian cinema, because the people who consume them have modelled themselves after Americans? After all, how many Indians are like Sid, needing warm-hearted exhortations to wake up? Most of them do not have the luxury of sound sleep. What about films made by Indians but set outside India, keeping in mind the Indians living outside India? Do those count, those lush melodramas on which we sneeringly slap the label “NRI film”? And what about the opposite? If a film were made in the country, like “A Passage to India”, but featured primarily westerners, would that be Indian cinema?

Reasons to celebrate

While it is difficult to define, precisely, what Indian cinema is, it's easy to see why its hundredth year, in 2013, is going to be celebrated. It's a matter of national pride, like a hundred hundreds in cricket — and in at least one sense, there's genuine cause. Ours is the only cinema — let's ignore, for now, the slightly thorny issue of identifying “our cinema” — that has not been squelched under the Hollywood juggernaut. In most other countries, American cinema insidiously assumes a pitch-perfect local disguise, either through dubbing or subtitling, and nudges out the national cinema, which comes a distant second — in terms of the numbers of movies being made, in terms of the money earned, in terms of what the locals prefer to watch. We, on the other hand, like our Hollywood films, we welcome their arrival on our shores the same day as everywhere else in the world, and those of us who don't know English slip into versions of these films where James Bond lets loose his bons mots in irreproachable Tamil and Telugu — and yet, our numerous film industries continue to thrive. Large numbers of movies are being made in Indian languages and being seen by large numbers of Indians.

We might even celebrate the gradual encroachment of Indian cinema not just into New York but also onto the august pages of the New York Times, where Indian films are now reviewed like films in other foreign languages. But the tone of these reviews is a slap of cold wind, a blustering reality check that our films are treated, mostly, with arch amusement and a benign tolerance for a crazy people who sing and dance and just cannot be taken seriously. Our art cinema, of course, is treated with seriousness and showcased in reverent retrospectives — but Indian cinema is mainly commercial cinema (there; perhaps that could be the definition), and it doesn't carry, in the eyes of the well-travelled cineaste, the consequence of cinema from other nations — French cinema, Italian cinema, Spanish cinema. The names of Indian filmmakers just don't leap off the lip like the names of Almodóvar or Nanni Morretti, whose entertaining films are also regarded as essential.

We could claim, of course, that this doesn't matter, that a nation whose other great passion has passed from the hands of M.A.K. Pataudi to Mahendra Singh Dhoni does not care, any longer, for the white man's endorsement. Our movies, however we define them, are made for us, and they are as distinct in flavour as our cuisine. Indeed, how can we expect the Westerner to understand and appreciate “Indian cinema” when even we don't? The India of the villages sees one kind of Indian cinema. Urban India, which has become westernised to an unrecognisable extent, pays a few thousand rupees on a weekend to watch another kind of Indian cinema. The cinema of India, today, encompasses everything from rousing sagas where an immaculate hero beats up twenty-five villains with a single fist to the light-hearted romantic comedy whose protagonist feels not a speck of guilt as he falls in love with his brother's fiancée, a turn of events that the other India would denounce as the very depths of perversion.

Valuing our heritage

But even as we celebrate our unique (and split) identity in cinema and look forward, it is vital to honour the past that brought us to this day. Film preservation is practically non-existent in the country — it's not just the black-and-white silents that have been consumed by the chemicals that created them but also films from later decades, as late as the 1980s, whose prints are either lost (even the directors, lamentably, are at a loss, for they didn't think it important to hold on to the original negatives) or retrievable only as 10th-generation copies on DVDs, where these films are bundled up with a bunch of other movies, in a mournful echo of the buy-one-get-one-free ads. Almost all our films from the pre-digital era are damaged in some form, and even if we don't have — as Hollywood does — a system of enshrining classics in National Film Registries, we might at least ensure that acceptable prints are available to future generations.

The other hope I harbour while commemorating this centenary is that subtitles be made mandatory for films made in every Indian tongue, even Hindi, which, contrary to the Centre's assumption, isn't exactly a nationally understood language. Perhaps we'd be better equipped to define Indian cinema if we saw films in Malayalam and Marathi and Bengali and Assamese, perfectly in harmony with each moment (and not just a vague sense of the plot). Just recently, I found my appreciation of a film enhanced immeasurably through subtitles — and the film was in Hindi, a language many of us are quite familiar with. “Paan Singh Tomar”, however, does not speak the Hindi of Hindi cinema, but a dialect glutted with colourful colloquialisms that I would have missed had they not been translated, colour intact, for my benefit. If this is what subtitles can add to a film you would have understood a fair amount of even without them, imagine what they could do to a movie made in Byari.


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vividhbharati : Message: Bhola Shreshtha ----- Dekh Gagan Mein Kaali Ghata

Date of Birth: 17-06-1924(The book wrongly mentioned the year as 1926)

Date of Death: 11-04-1971

Bhola Shreshtha belonged to a Nepali family. His schooling and music
lessons were done in Kolkata. His Grandfather was very fond of music
and hence he developed an interest in the field.

Minal: My grandfather and grandmother were originally from Nepal. They
later came to stay in Kolkatta.

His reading habit was surprising.

Minal: He was interested in books on Philosophy, Music and works of
fiction. His favourite authors were Freud and Dostoevsky.

However he studied till matriculation only. He used to play with tabla
in his childhood. K. C. Dey used to stay in the neighbourhood. He
started taking Bhola Shreshtha to fairs. When K. C. Dey came to Mumbai
in 1942 he brought along Bhola Shreshtha along with him. In his film
'Tamanna' he handed over the job of Assistant Music Director to Bhola

Minal: Among the artists he had high regard for were K. C. Dey, Manna
Dey and Ashok Kumar. They all came along to Mumbai to try their luck
in the Film Industry.

Khemchand Prakash was a friend of Bhola Shreshtha's father he knew
Bhola. He got him a job at Ranjit Movietone as an assistant Music
Director and he started using Bhola as an Assistant Music Director
till 'Mahal'. In 1949 he became an assistant to Bulo. C. Rani for the
film 'Daroghaji'. In the film 'Muqaddar'(1950) which was composed by
Khemchand Prakash there were three songs for which orchestration was
done by Bhola Shreshtha.

Minal: Bhola Shreshta called Khemchand Prakash 'Guruji' as he was his

In 1952 he was an assistant to Husnlal-Bhagatram in the film
Nazariya(1952) was his first independent film. He later gave music in
'Nau Lakhahaar', 'Lakhon Mein Ek'. In the film 'Lakhon Mein Ek' (1955)
he used Talat's voice very beautifully.
When Ghulam Haider passed away Bhola Shreshtha completed the
compositions for the film 'Aabshaar'. The song which was sung by Lata
'Chale Aao Tumhein Aansu Hamaare Yaad Karthe Hain' was very popular.

Bhola Shreshtha got married in 1953. In 1959 Sushma Shreshta(Later
Poornima) was born, who later became a famous singer.

Minal: Eldest among the three children is Minal, followed by Shailesh
and finally Sushma.

But Bhola Shreshtha did not live to see the success of his daughter.
He died of a heart attack in Mumbai.

Minal: His last film was 'Yeh Basthi Yeh Log'. There were some
unreleased films also. He later worked as an assistant music director
for Kishore Kumar. One of Kishore's earliest songs 'Jagmag Jagmag
Kartha Nikla' was recorded by Bhola Shreshtha.

In all, he gave music in 9 films. The song mentioned in the Subject although
composed by Khemchand had orchestration by Bhola Shreshtha.

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The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum - Article

The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum - Article | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Bhai Vir Singh
(December 5, 1872 — June 10, 1957)

THE year 1898 saw the publication of Bhai Vir Singh’s novel Sundari, a landmark in modern Punjabi literature. Some critics went so far as to call it the first novel of the Punjabi language. The plot dealt with the trials and travails of a small Sikh community during the Mughal Empire in the 18th century. This immensely popular novel ran into 35 editions, and was followed by Bijay Singh and Satwant Kaur, both novels. Then came Rana Surat Singh, often described as an epic poem. In this book, the poet paints a poignant picture of the lonesome life of a widowed queen, Raj Kaur. It has more than 1200 lines of some of the best poetry written in Punjabi. With this volume, Bhai Vir Singh began to write verse more regularly, ending up with an output of more than 500 poems. He also wrote three excellent biographies: Sri Kalgidhar Chamatkar (1925), Sri Guru Nanak Chamatkar (1928), and Asht Gur Chamatkar (1951). He wrote only one play, Raja Lokhdata Singh, and did not write any novels after 1907. But he continued to write poetry and scholarly work.

Bhai Vir Singh was born into a family of scholars, and he grew up in the holy city of Amritsar. He finished his Matriculation winning the district board’s gold medal. When he was still at school, he was married to Bibi Chattar Kaur.

Considered to be the harbinger of modern Punjabi literature, Bhai Vir Singh wrote prose, novels, poems, plays and historical research. He also started publishing Khalsa Samachar, the first Punjabi daily. Through the pages of Khalsa Samachar, he tried to bring about social and religious reform such as importance of education, equal rights to women, abolition of the caste system, and so on. He established the Khalsa College in Amritsar, and with the help of Wazir Singh, he set up a lithographic press in Amritsar in 1892. The following year he started the Khalsa Tract Society with a view to serving the country and the Khalsa Panth. He was a great scholar not only of Sikhism but also of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Bhai Vir Singh also edited and published Prachin Panth Prakash and Janamsakhi, the life-story of Guru Nanak Dev. He organised the Chief Khalsa Diwan, a representative body of the Sikhs for bringing about religious and social reforms. SInce very few cared to get themselves educated during his day, he formed the Sikh Educational Committee for spreading of education.

"For understanding different religions," he used to say, "the emphasis is not so much on points of similarity as on uniqueness. There are many things common between a cow and a buffalo; but the cow and the buffalo are not the same."

Bhai Vir Singh inspired novelists like Nanak Singh, Bhai Mohan Singh Vaid, Charan Singh Shahid, Master Tara Singh, and Gurbakhsh Singh.

Panjab University conferred on him a doctorate in Oriental Learning, and the Sahitya Akademi awarded him its first annual award for outstanding contribution to Punjabi literature. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan. He was nominated member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1952.

"Bhai Vir Singh is one of those representative Indians," Dr Radhakrishnan said while evaluating the great poet’s contribution to Indian literature, "deriving inspiration from the classical wisdom of our land and living it before our eyes."

Dadasaheb Phalke
(1870 — 1944)

DHUNDIRAJ GOVIND PHALKE came to films through a long circuitous path. Having studied art at J. J. School of art in 1885, and later at Kala Bhavana, Baroda, he devoted his time mainly to painting landscapes. In due course, architecture began to interest him, and before long he was learning photography. Not satisfied yet, he also learnt three-colour blockmaking, photolithography and ceramics.

Dadasaheb Phalke, as he is affectionately called, was born in Trymbalkeshwar, Nasik. His father was an accomplished Sanskrit scholar. Phalke started his professional career as portrait photographer, went on to do stage makeup, and even assisted a German illusionist. An incurable drifter, he then started Phalke’s Art Printing & Engraving Works at Lonavala in 1908, and later Laxmi Art Printing where he made photolitho transfers of Ravi Varma’s oleographs. He, then, went to Germany to buy three-colour printing machines, and it appeared as if he had finally found his vocation in life. But that was not to be, for around 1910 he chanced upon to see the film The Life of Christ. The film made such an impact on his mind that he began to wonder if such films could be made in India with Indian themes. What began as an idle curiosity soon became an obsession, and he raised money and experimented with a few short films. Encouraged by what he made, he went to London in February 1912 to learn the art and craft of film-making. It was Cecil Hepworth of Walton Studios who trained him in the craft of film-making. Phalke bought a Willamson camera and returned India to set up Phalke Films on Dadar Main Road in Bombay. The money for this venture came from a loan against his insurance policy. His wife, Saraswati Phalke was an active partner in the venture. She not only managed the Studio but also looked after the technical aspects of film-making. Under this banner he made five films, beginning with Raja Harishchandra in 1913 The Company later moved to Nasik. He went to England again in 1914 to organise trade shows. He even had offers to stay on, but returned to India after buying the latest equipment. On his return he closed Phalke Films and established the Hindustan Cinema Films in 1918, and under this banner he made about 44 silent films, and one talkie titled Gangavataran. Phalke is generally credited with ushering in the motion pictures in India with the prodution of Raja Harishchandra.

Shiv Kumar Batalvi
(October 8, 1937 — May 6, 1973)

HE was barely in his mid-thirties, but the end was nigh for Shiv Kumar Batalvi. For quite some time, his friends had been noticing that his otherwise fair skin was growing darker by the day. Excessive drinking had finally taken its toll. As friends and relatives watched in silence, fearing for the worst, the poets words rang in their ears: Jadon meri arthi utha key chalan gey . . . It was a sad end to a poet who, according to Amrita Pritam, was the ‘darling’ poet of Punjab.

Shiv Kumar Batalvi, the poet who literally dominated poetic gatherings in his short life, was born in Bara Pind Lohtian, (now in Pakistan). There is some confusion about the date of birth. While some scholars believe that he was born on July 23, 1936, others say that he was born on October 8, 1937. His parents, Pandit Kishan Gopal and mother Shanti Devi had to leave their village after Partition. The family chose to make Batala their new home, and Pandit Kishan Gopal continued to make a living as a patwari.

Shiv Batalvi did his Matriculation in 1953, and tried to do FSc from Baring Christian Union, Batala, but he failed to pass the examination. The young man was more interested in softer emotions than the composition of hydrogen or the laws of gravity. He would spend all his time with his friends. Somewhere along the line, he met Barkat Ram Yuman, and became his disciple. Pandit Kishan Gopal was very unhappy with his wayward son. Using his own influence, he somehow got Shiv a job as patwari. But if he hoped that the job might bring about a change in the errant son, he was mistaken. Shiv continued to let his heart rule his mind, and lived for a while in Qadian before finally moving to Chandigarh in the late 60s.

As his popularity grew in private mehfils, he saw the publication of his first book, Peerhan da Praaga, in 1960. It became an instant success, assuring Shiv Batalvi a permanent place among the great Punjabi poets. When the readers demanded more, the poet obliged them with a string of highly acclaimed books: Lajwanti, Aate diyan Chiriyaan, Mainu Vida karo, Birha tu Sultan, Dardmandaan diyan Aahaan, and his epic masterpiece Loona. The last mentioned book took him to the pinnacle of glory, and finally crowning him with the Sahitya Akademi Award.

After coming to Chandigarh, he joined the State Bank of India, Sector 17 as a PRO. Since he hardly showed any interest in office work, he was made librarian. The booths opposite the Kiran Cinema were his favourite haunt, and he could be seen with his friends there every evening after a ‘hard day’ at the Bank.

Shiv used to recite his poems in tarannum, and those who have been fortunate enough to have heard him say that although many great professional singers have rendered Shiv Batalvi’s songs, none of them bettered the poet’s own style of recitation.

Writer Mohan Bhandari, one of Shiv Batalvi’s closest friends believes that as a lyrical poet, Shiv Kumar Batalvi has no equal in Punjabi literature. There was something extraordinary about his diction, his metaphors, his imagery, that he could paint a verbal picture of whatever he was writing about — a picture so vivid and real that people have his poems on their lips; no other poet can boast of such popularity. He was a hot favourite at Kavi Sammelans.

Reminiscing about old times, Bhandari continues: "Shiv used to often say that he was going to die soon . . . . Asaan taan joban rutey marna . . . . Kabraan udeekadiyan . . . . and so on. We never took him seriously, because we used to think that he was joking. And when I heard that he was gone, I couldn’t believe it. I took a rickshaw and went to the Sector 22 market, in the hope that the news was nothing but a hoax, and that I would find him sitting there in one of the shops. I waited in vain for hours for that most colourful of our poets to turn up. I could never really get over his death. Even after so many years, I feel that he might just walk in any moment wearing his motia kameez and white pajaamas and Peshawari chappals."

(To be concluded)
Text and illustrations by Kuldip Dhiman

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In Lata's words: Her famous composers

In Lata's words: Her famous composers | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Ghulam Haider (1908 - 1953)

In 1947, I received a message from Masterji, Ghulam Haider. "One song needs to be recorded, come as early as possible."

As it was night, I was accompanied to the studio by my cousin. Masterji was in a hurry as he had to leave for Pakistan. The recording lasted through the night. I was awaiting my turn on a bench in a corner.

Finally, at the stroke of dawn, Masterji called me. He played the tune on the piano. He was a master piano player. Then I sang his song, Bedard tere dard ko. It was past 8:30 AM by that time. Those days one had to sing the entire song with the orchestra without committing a single mistake and hence was a strenuous exercise.

Masterji recommended me for the film Shahid to Filmistan's Mukherjee. He rejected me, reasoning that my voice was too thin. Masterji told him that day, "You are rejecting her now, but one day will arrive when the entire industry will spread a red carpet for this girl."

The prophecy of Masterji turned out to be true. The songs of Andaaz, Barsaat, Badi Behan, Mahal were gaining popularity every passing day.

One day, I received a call from Masterji from Pakistan. He used to refer me as 'Memsahib'. He said, "Memsahib, I had told you, people will never forget you, and you will not forget me either!"

Then one day, Noorjahan called me, Masterji was suffering from cancer.

The last song that Masterji recorded with me is the one closest to me.


 During the period of 1946-1947, I was an employee of Master Vinayak.

One day he summoned me to his house in Dadar and told me that Shyam Sudner had come and wants to hear you sing. I complied and sang a Bandish. There was no reaction on Shyam Sunder's face. Days passed by. Master Vinayak met an untimely end. I was searching for work.

Then one day, Shyam Sunder called for me.

I have sung many melodious songs for Shyam Sunder. I remember a qawaali from the film Chaar Din. The singers included Rafi, Shivdayal Batish, Rajkumari, Hamida, Johrabai and Iqbal. This qawaali, Haseenon ki adaein bhi by Shyam Sunder was very challenging and consisted of difficult taans.

Our rehearsal was going on. I was the focus of his attention. He was keen to know how I perform on a song which had a Punjabi style. I sang all the taans much to the delight of Shyam Sunder. He told everyone, "This is how to sing a song in Punjabi style."

Shyam Sunder was a jovial person. Due to some misunderstandings, I was not singing for him for a period of time.

One day, I received a message from him. He had composed a song especially for me. The song Tujhko Bhulana Mere Basme Nahi from the film Alif Laila was the last song that I sang for him. He met a sad, untimely death.

The song Sajanki Galiyan from the film Bazaar is my favourite.
Naushad Sahab wants to meet you," Mukesh told me one day. I had just begun to sing for Ghulam Haider, Shyam Sunder and Khemchand Prakash.

I told Mukesh, "I will go and meet him, but will not appear for a trial!"

I was a trained singer. Mukesh agreed and we proceeded for the meeting.

Naushad Sahab praised me a lot and told me that a trial is not needed. He asked me to sing a recently recorded song or a ghazal. I sang Shyam Sunder's Ummeed Ke Rangeen Jhulemain. Naushad nodded in appreciation and offered a princely sum of 600.

I recorded Haaye Chore Ki Jaat Badi Bewafa with J M Durrani for the film Chandani Raat. I sang for Jaadu, Dulaari as well. But our partnership attained popularity through the 1949 super hit movie, Andaaz.

During the recordings of Andaaz, Naushad Sahab told me, "Think of your good friend while singing these songs."

I asked, "Which friend?"

He replied, "Noorjahan."

I sang all the songs of Andaaz in 'Noorjahan style'.

Soft spoken and a master of the Urdu poetry, Naushad Sahab was a perfectionist who strived relentlessly to make each and every song a hit. This included long rehearsal hours. We worked together in numerous films.

Naat is a type of music which is sung in the glory of the prophet. This Naat of the film Mughal-E-Azam is my favourite.

 I sang for C Ramchandra during the early period in films like Khidki, Shehnai, Nadiya Ke Paar. After that, I sang for him on a consistent basis. The speciality of C Ramchandra was his simple, melodious songs. His songs were immensely popular during those days.

Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon is simply unforgettable. This song written by Poet Pradeep, on the background of the 1962 China War and glorifying the contribution of the Indian soldiers, was to be sung by Asha and me. But the music composer C Ramchandra insisted that this should be sung only by me.

I prepared for this song from a tape in his voice and presented this song to the audience in New Delhi. This ceremony was to honour the martyrs and was attended by the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. On hearing this song, Panditji was overcome by emotions, a fact now known to many.


I shared a special relationship with Madan Mohan, which was much more than what a singer and a music composer share. This was a relationship of a brother and a sister.

I still remember, once he had purchased a high end car. He drove it to my house as he wanted me to see it. It was Rakhi Pournima that day. He asked me to tie the rakhi. This became a ritual every passing year.

Madan Mohan used to attend the mehfils of Indian classical music. But his favourite was the ghazal. He trusted me to sing his best compositions.

He used to stay very near to my house. Hence we used to visit each other's house on a regular basis. His wife and children are still very close to me.

Along with his passion for music, he had a keen interest in cooking. Every once in a while he used to say, "Come for lunch, I will make delicious mutton karela today."

I was not able to sing for his first film Aankhen. But after the film, Madhosh, I have sung for him on a regular basis.

It is a difficult task to choose one song from his collection. But it is the song, Woh Chup Rahe to Mere Dil Ke Daag which is my favourite.



The personality and the music of Sajjad Hussain were quite extraordinary.

He had a keen ear for each and every sur that was sung. He was especially alert during the recordings. He used to personally check whether each instrument has been tuned appropriately and each singer is singing as per the scale. Both of us share Indore as our birthplace. He was an expert player of Mendolin.

He had a great sense of humour and all of us enjoyed this to the fullest. The serious composer in him used to vanish during these incidents. He was very proud of his music and had studied Arabic music in detail. He always spoke from his heart and had an eye for detail. He used to have a mehfil with all of us.

Sajjad Hussain, to his credit, has very few songs. But each one of those is a gem. His song, Aye Dilruba Nazare Mila is a melodious song and is as challenging as any of his other songs.

===================================== I first sang for Salilda in the film Do Bigha Zameen. Bimal Roy had organized a music concert at the Mohan Studio in Mumbai. Salilda and some other Bengali artists were involved in the concert. I was very much impressed.

I heard Ranaar and Abak Prithvi by Sukaant Bhattacharya. This was a first glimpse of Salilda's multi faceted genius. Salilda had a keen interest in the folk music and Western classical music.

He had called me to his house in Andheri. He was staying with his wife and his daughter. He taught me two Bengali songs, Shatbhai Champa and Na Jeo Na. These songs became immensely popular in Bengal. Every year, on the occasion of Durga Pooja, I used to sing the Pooja Geet at his place. This annual event was an eagerly awaited one in Bengal.

The songs in the film Madhumati were very popular. Salilda taught me Bengali. Hridaynath considers Salilda as his Guru. After Salilda's death, the recital Pooja Geet ceased as well. Now I have sung Pooja Geet after 20 long years.

Each and every song by Salilda is an unforgettable one. Na Jiya Lage Na from the film Anand is my favourite

 Khayyam is an independent, principled and a free spirited music composer who is a connoisseur of the Urdu poetry.

He has worked for a few films, but has made a lasting impact because of his compositions. I have sung some of his beautiful compositions.

I like the songs Apne Aap Raaton Main Chilmane Sarakti Hain and Aap Yun Fasalonse Gujarte Rahe from the film Shankar Hussain, Mere Chanda Mere Nanhe and Baharon Mera Jeevanbhi Savaro from the film Aakhri Khat. These songs were very popular as well.

A music composer who is totally dedicated to his work, Khayyam and his singer-wife, Jagjit Kaur are very close to us.

Khayyam has used Arabic music skilfully in the film Razia Sultan. I like the song, Ae Dil-E-Nadaan from the same film.



Music composer Chitragupt was a well educated and a well cultured person. After our recording in Mehboob studio, we used to go to his house in Khar. We then used to eat delicious food cooked by his wife, which was accompanied by humour and lots of fun.

In Madras, after the work, we used to go along with Prem Dhawan, Dilip Dholakia, Chitragupt and their families. It used to be a nice picnic for us.

Once I saw Chitrgupta limping during a recording session. I saw that his chappal was not in a good shape. I asked him to get it fixed or get a new one. He said, "If I wear this chappal, the recording goes on smoothly. This has been my experience so far."

Then I replied, "Chitraguptji, you trust this chappal more than my voice!"

Then he said, "No Didi, that is not the case."

Usha and I have sung Bhojpuri songs for Chitragupt as well.

Dil Ka Diya Jalate Gaya is a beautiful song from the film Akashdeep.


Jaidevji was a great music composer who had a style of his own. I knew him since the days in which he used to be an assistant to S D Burman. Indian classical music featured a lot in the compositions by Jaidev.

It used to be a challenge to sing the songs composed by Jaidev. I like his songs which are sung by other singers as well. Jaidev composed music for the Nepali film by King Mahendra. I have sung for the film Maitighar which is a Nepalese film.

Due to some reasons, there was misunderstanding between both of us for a period of time.

Dev Anand asked me to sing for his film, Hum Dono, but I refused. But both Dev Anand and Vijay Anand insisted that I should sing for this film. Finally, I sang two bhajans for Hum Dono which became immensely popular. Allah Tero Naam became popular across the world!

Jaidevji was a gifted music composer. But fame and money eluded him. This makes me really sad. When the Madhya Pradesh Government presented the Lata Mangeshkar Award to Jaidev, he came to my house and said, "Didi, you have made me a lakhpati!"

The truly melodious Allah tero naam is my favourite song.


Young Pancham approached me for his first film Chote Nawab. During that period of time, there was some misunderstanding between Dada Burman and me. Pancham persisted and pleaded me to sing for him. Finally I agreed to sing for his first film.

I am a witness and a contributor to the first and last film (1942: A Love Story), and hence the entire career of Pancham.

I still remember the day he was hospitalised in Hardy Street, London. He was to be operated upon the following day. I visited him and Pancham said, "Now that I have seen you, I am ready to go ahead with the operation."

The song Kuch Na Kaho from the film 1942: A Love Story was recorded after his death.

My favourite song by Pancham is Kya Janu Sajan from the film Baharon Ke Sapne.




Surel Kala Kendra was run by Usha and Hridaynath when they were very young. Young Pyare used to play violin. Fair and good looking Laxmikant, who was introduced to me by the brother of K L Saigal, used to play mandolin. These kids grew up in our house, later worked as assistants to Kalyanji-Anandji.

I told them, "You should work independently." After this, both of them decided to work together.

I was invited for the mahurat of their first song. They gave me a cheque of 101. I told them, "I can do with 1 rupee as well." Both of them toiled hard and due to their talent, became famous.

I nave worked extensively with them and many of my songs have become very popular as well. We share mutual admiration between ourselves.

I like the song, Suno Sajana Papihene.




Hridaynath is the youngest of the siblings and a favourite of all of us. He is a recipient of motherly love from all his sisters. He is a great music composer and I am not saying this only because he is my brother.

At the tender age of 17, he expressed his desire to compose music. I sang the song, Tinhi Sanja Sakhe Milalya.

I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of his intelligence and the reach of his thoughts. His first film in Marathi, Akashganga did not do too well. After a period of time, the music of Hridaynath got its due. It was accepted and it was quite a sensation in the young generation.

Hridaynath explored my Non-Filmi side through albums on Meera Bhajan, Dnyaneshwari, Bhagwad Gita, Marathi poetry and Ghalib. I am extremely proud of his study on cl-assical Music and his authority on varied subjects.

From the film Lekin, the song Sunio Ji Araj is a beautiful mixture of Indian classical bandish and folk music.



When the young and talented A R Rahman called for me, I faced a problem of language. In spite of this, I spent some time with him and understood and learnt the song from him. I like his work in the album Vande Mataram.

He is a shy and an introvert person. He is talented, hardworking and I am proud of him.

I haven't sung extensively for A R Rahman. I like the songs from the movies Zubeida, Rang De Basanti, Lagaan.

The song Jiya Jale Jaan Jale from the film Dil Se is my favourite.

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Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

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First populist duo music composers — Husnlal-Bhagatram (Last part)

By Satish Chopra

Husnlal-Bhagatram were the younger bothers of Pt Amarnath, who himself was a musician of eminence and died young. He was also associated with the all time great music of film 'Mirza Saheban' (1947) starring Noorjehan and Trilok Kapoor. Both the bothers, Husnalal (born 1920) and Bhagatram (born 1914) had their initial music training under the guidance of Pt Amarnath and thereafter from Pt Dilip Chand Vedi, a highly respected personality in the field of classical music.

Husnalal's zest for learning violin took him to Ustad Bashir Khan. The beauty of command over violin can be seen in different compositions of duo's songs in various films. In his personal life as well, the first passion of Husnalal was classical playing of violin. A day before his demise, he played classic violin at yearly 'Harballabh Music Festival' at Jallandhar. His favourite raag was 'Malkauns'.

In giving shape to Lata Mangeshkar's tonal cord for a song, Husnalal used to play the tune on violin. Years after his demise, I was given to understand by Nirlmalaji, his beloved wife that before going to sleep, he used to invariably play violin, what ever may be the time.

As stated, the duo (along with their elder brother, Pt Amarnath) composed some admirable melodies for Noorjehan for the film 'Mirza Saheban' (1947) 'Kya ye tera pyar thaa', 'Aajaa tujhe afsanaa judai ka sunayein' (solo); 'Haath seeney pe jo rakh do, to karaar aa jayey', 'Tum aankhon se door huyee, neend aakhon se door' (with GM Durrani). The list of memorable songs of Noorjehan, whether sung in undivided India or later in Pakistan, is certainly incomplete without these fabulous numbers.

If a collection of all time great film duets (sung in male and female voices) is prepared, it will be predominantly incomplete without incredible 'Sun merey sajnaa, dekhoji mujhey bhool na janaa', based on raag Pahari and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi for film 'Aansoo' (1952). Due to the length of the song, it was recorded on both sides of a 78 rpm record. Just listen to the opening notes, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, the taan in singing word 'Saajnaa'. The quality of flute and drum playing, the pauses in the vocal articulations, the delivery of lyrical dialogues mixed with deep feelings, in-between remarkable touches of shehnai, fascinating style of rendering of words bhool and rooth by Lata; creating a unique soul stirring impact on the listeners' head and heart. Likewise, while listening to another two numbers of the film 'Badi Behan' - 'Jo dil mein khushi ban kar aaye' and 'Chale jana nahin' sung by Lata; the total impact on the ardent listeners was certainly different!

Kishore Kumar sang just two songs for Husnalal-Bhagatram for the film 'Kafila' (1952). Simply have a note of his fascinating numbers, when he sings 'Wo meri taraf yun chale aa rahein hein' and also 'Dil lekey dil diya hei' (with Lata).

In BR Chopra's maiden film 'Afsana' (1950) music was composed by the duo. In this film Lata sang a classic number 'Wo paas bhi reh kar paas nahin, hum door bhi rehkar door nahin' and 'Abhee to mein jawan hoon' which is considered by a few as a better version than the earlier rendering of Mallka Pukhraj.

The chapter on Husnalal-Bhagatram will be certainly incomplete, if a mention is not made to 'Suno suno aye duniyan walo, Bapu ki ye amar kahani', which was recorded after the demise of Mahatma Gandhi. The lyrics were written by Rajinder Krishan and composed by the duo within a record time of just 24 hours. More than a million copies of a set of two 78 rpm discs of this recording were sold within one month. In a way, during those days, who so ever owned a gramophone, supposed to have bought these two records.

What better popularity in the annals of music history, film or otherwise, one can expect. However, the destiny unfolded another event. The complexities of relationships and consequent discard by the industry, compelled Husnalal to leave Bombay (now Mumbai) and settle in a large disputed compound in commercial Paharganj area of Delhi for his remaining short span of life.

In Delhi, he taught music to his music loving disciples. Instead of charging any fee, at times he offered them meals and tea. He performed violin recitals on All India Radio and at other renowned concerts as well.

On the chilly morning of December 28, 1968 he went out for his routine morning walk and had a cardiac arrest on the way. He fell down at nearby Gole Market vicinity and was taken to the then Willington Hospital (presently RML) where he was declared as "an unknown body brought dead".

The fate of his elder brother Bhagatram was no better. For his survival, he worked as a mere musician with different composers. He too passed way unsung in the year 1973.

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The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Melodies on record

Much before playback singers entertained listeners, a host of accomplished performers recorded songs and ruled over people’s hearts. Pran Nevile brings alive a few forgotten celebrities of the gramophone era

THE invention of gramophone and cylinder records by Thomas Alva Edison in 1877 marked the dawn of a new era in the world of music. In 1898, Emile Berliner introduced the flat discs for recording. Initially, all recordings were done through voice horns which were replaced by electrical carbon microphones in 1925. Then came the magnetic tape, followed by vinyl discs 45 rpm and 331/3 rpm turning the old 78rpm shellac records into antique pieces. The gramophone era lasted until 1940 when film music took over. Gramophone stars who failed to become playback singers soon lost their stature in the music world.

The first recording of Indian voice was done in 1899 by F.W.Gaisberg in the Gramophone Company’s studios at London. The old catalogue mentions the names of singers as Dr Harnamdas, Capt Bholanath, Hazrat and Ahmed, then living in London. They sang or recited in Persian, Hindi and Urdu but, unfortunately, none of these records have been traced so far. Considering the great potential of this industry in India, the Gramophone Company set up its office in Calcutta in 1901. Within a year or so, its leading technical expert F.W.Gaisberg landed in Calcutta with his recording team. At that time, they had to go wherever the performing artistes were located. Within six weeks they travelled to different parts of India and recorded over 600 titles. Most of the artistes were professional female singers who agreed to special training required for gramophone recording.

Jankibai of Allahabad was adept not only at singing but also at writing verse and composing music. She engaged teachers to learn Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit and even English. — Illustration by Kuldip Dhiman
Within a few years, many recording companies appeared on the scene but the Gramophone Company, with its trademark of an image of a dog listening to a gramophone horn with a ‘His Master’s Voice’ label enjoyed a virtual monopoly in India until the 1970s.

In the early years all recordings were done through acoustic technology through brass horns and the artistes were expected to sing in a loud voice. It was later in 1925, that the electric carbon microphone brought into fashion a new practice of recording folk and comic songs, devotional numbers and even full drama series with dialogues. We are indebted to Michael Kinnear, a famous discographer of Australia, for his documentation of early Indian recordings in the first few decades of the 20th century. Gauhar Jan was the first gramophone singer who became famous all over the country.

Over 500 artistes were recorded in different regional languages all over India. Most of them had to be trained to record songs from one minute to three minutes. Many renowned maestros of classical music refused to record as they thought this would adversely affect the attendance at their concerts. That is why there is no recorded voice of Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Bhaskarboa Bakhle, Alladiya Khan and other famous singers. Most recordings of the gramophone era belong to Baijis, professional women singers who learnt music and received intensive training from the great ustads of those days. The gramophone celebrities of the bygone era are as follows:

Gauhar Jan (1875-1930)

Zohrabai Agrewali ruled the music mehfil in the early 20th C
Gauhar Jan of Calcutta, who became a legend at the turn of the century, was the most accomplished singer and dancer of her time. She belonged to a world of grandeur and refinement in which the princely ‘durbars’ and salons (kothas) of courtesans (twaifs) were the hub of performing arts. Gauhar was born in 1875 in Allahabad. Her mother, Allen Victoria Hemming, was an Albanian, married to one William Robert Yeoward, an employee of a Calcutta firm. After her divorce in 1879, the mother moved to Banaras with the daughter, where they embraced Islam. The mother assumed the name ‘Malika Jan’ for herself and that of ‘Gauhar Jan’ for her daughter. Malika Jan learnt singing and dancing and soon achieved name and fame as a professional artiste. She wrote Urdu verses and became a poet of distinction. Gauhar, who began learning music and dance in childhood, was tutored by the great maestros of the day like Kalu Ustad of Patiala, Wazir Khan of Rampur, Ali Baksh and Brindadin Maharaj. She also learnt from her famous contemporaries like Peara Saheb and Mojuddin Khan.

Her maiden public performance in 1887 at the age of 12, before the Maharaja of Darbhanga, marked the beginning of her career. She had a pretty face, lustrous eyes, graceful figure of medium height, long black hair and a melodious voice – all of which contributed to her success as a performing artiste. She became a poet and wrote under the nom de plume "Gauhar". She could read write and sing in Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Arabic, Persian and English.

Dominating the Calcutta entertainment scene for decades, Gauhar surpassed all other leading singers and dancers of her time with her flawless technique of rendering songs and display of rhythmic movements of the feet and the hands. Her facial expressions conveyed the various emotions of the song. The first Indian artiste invited for recording by the Gramophone Company, she was paid a handsome fee of Rs 3,000, asked to sing for three minutes and announce her name at the end of the recording. In 1911, she was invited along with Janaki Devi of Allahabad to sing at the Coronation Durbar of King George V at Delhi.

Her bhajans like Radhey Krishna Bol Mukhse became popular and many other singers sang them in concerts and on records. She recorded over 600 songs from 1902 to 1920, contributing to the foundation of the Gramophone Company in India. She popularised light classical music, thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti, bhajan, tarana etc., and mastered the technique of rendering a melody in just three and a half minutes. Known for her jewels and glamorous attire, she moved about in Calcutta in an ornamental carriage drawn by four horses.

A legendary performing artiste, she hardly finds a mention in books on Indian music and dance. Her legacy is preserved in her gramophone records. Thanks to the Society of Indian Record Collectors of Mumbai, a discography of Gauhar Jan’s records was published in 1993 in their journal The Record News. In 1994, the Gramophone Company issued a CD/ tape containing 18 songs. Her most popular thumri sung in Bhairavi is Mora nahak laye gavanava, jabse gaye mori sud huna live.

Malka Jan of Agra

A beautiful woman with an appealing voice, little is known about her except that she hailed from Azamgarh in UP and learnt music from the great ustads of Agra. She is said to have joined the court of the exiled Awadh Nawab Wajid Ali Shah at Calcutta. Later, she was patronised by the Calcutta music lovers like Seth Dulichand and Shamlal Khatri. As the story goes, she was in love with Ustad Faiyaz Khan who was much younger to her. She developed a new style of thumri singing with a full-throated voice. Proficient and accomplished in different musical formats, from dhrupad khayal to thumri, she was equally adept at hori chaite kajri and ghazal singing. She recorded over 100 songs and at the end of each record she announced: "My name is Malka Jan." Admired by her contemporaries both for her singing and colourful personality, she was acknowledged as the reigning queen of mehfils in her time. Some of her recordings were reissued in 1994 on audiotapes and on CDs. These include her two most popular numbers Beete jat barkha ritu sajan nahin aaye (Raag Des) and Papihara piu piu kare (Raag Sawan).

Zohrabai Agrewali (c.1868-1913)

A contemporary of Gauhar Jan, Zohrabai learnt music for her father, Ahmad Khan, an expert sarangi player of Agra. She received further training from ustads Mehboob Khan and Kale Khan of the Agra Gharana, noted for its rich repertoire and lyrical charm. A celebrated representative of the Gharana, she dominated the music mehfil in the early 20th century. She had mastered the art of projecting the raga within the recording time of three minutes, the first artiste to perfect the formula. A trendsetter of her time, even maestros like Faiyaz Khan and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan appreciated her singing style.

She chose the best bandishes of various ragas and was equally adept at singing thumri, dadra and ghazal. She was recognised by critics as the topmost khayal singer of her time. Veteran musicians acknowledged her musical prowess along with her beauty and manners. Her gayaki was noted for its traditional flavour and vigour as well as emotional touches. The Gramophone Company signed an exclusive contract with her in 1908 with a payment of Rs 2,500 per year for 25 songs. She recorded over 60 songs during 1908-1911. In 1994, her 18 most famous songs were reissued on one audiotape followed by a compact disc in 2003. Among her famous songs are Koyalia kook sunade and Arz suno mori dastgir.

Jankibai of Allahabad (1880-1934)

Born in Banaras, Jankibai and her mother were deserted by her father. They came over to Allahabad and joined the team of a rich kotha singer. Jankibai received intensive music training from the famous Ustad Hassu Khan of Lucknow. Her nickname Chhapanchhuri is attributed to the 56 knife scars she got from some jealous ruffian. Though not good looking, she was endowed with a very melodious voice. A very accomplished artiste, she was adept not only in singing but also in writing verse and composing music. She engaged teachers to learn Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit and even English and acquired sophistication and style.

In 1911, Jankibai performed with the legendary Gauhar Jan of Calcutta. There is an interesting anecdote about her encounter with the ruler of Rewa. When she was invited to perform, there was a whispering campaign about her lack of good looks. Jankibai’s condition was that she would sing behind a curtain. But the moment her glorious voice was heard, the Maharaja ordered the curtain to be removed. Jankibai told him, "Maharaj fankar ki soorat nahin seerat dekhi jati hai" (Sir, the artiste should be judged not on the basis of her looks but her accomplishment).

Along with name and fame, she acquired considerable wealth and owned vast properties in Allahabad and lived in affluence, with armed bodyguards. The HMV recorded over 250 songs on 78rpm discs during the period 1910 to 1930. She was paid Rs 250 for her first recording of 20 titles in 1907 at Delhi. Her fee was raised to Rs 900 for 24 titles in 1908 at Calcutta. Jankibai received Rs 1800 for 22 titles in 1910. Some new recording companies like Beck Record, Pathephone and others offered her up to Rs 5,000 per year but she turned them down and decided to give recordings on a song-to-song basis.

By 1920, she was at the zenith of her popularity. There was magic in her voice and its range was said to be up to two miles. According to one report, there were traffic jams when her records were played at a shop in Allahabad. Several of her records registered a print order of more than 25,000 copies each. She was invited by princely courts and paid Rs 2,000 for each performance. When the acoustic recording was replaced by the electric, many of her popular songs were re-recorded and issued in 1931. She specialised in light classical music like thumri, dadra, hori, bhajan ghazal etc., and announced, "Mera naam Jankibai of Allahabad" at the end of each record. She died in 1934 and willed her wealth to a trust for using it for the welfare of the poor and needy, with a provision that the trustees should be both Hindus and Muslims in equal number. In 1994, some of her songs were reissued by the HMV One of her famous numbers was Bin badal bijuri chamki, bin badal.

Sundrabai of Pune (1885-1955)

Born in Pune to a poor family, Sundrabai had no formal education but learnt to read and write Marathi. There is not much information about her early life and career. She picked up folk music and then bhajans, which she sang in a temple. She then landed in Marathi theatre and even got a role in the Prabhat Company’s film Manoos (Aadmi). After becoming famous in Maharashtra, she travelled to Delhi, Lucknow and Banaras and learnt Urdu and Hindi. She took lessons from Dhaman Khan, an accomplished tabla player in light classical thumri, hori, kajri, chaiti and ghazal. She emerged as a high-ranking artiste in Bombay music circles. She was even invited by the Nizam to perform in his durbar at Hyderabad.

The HMV began recording her from 1921 in the acoustic era when she had to shout into three horns set in front of her. She felt as if her voice was being snatched away from her. Some of her bhajans like Mora bansiwala kanaiha and Radhey Krishan bol mukh se had record sales. Around 1928, she was awarded a gold medal by the HMV for topping the sales chart. She recorded about 180 songs on 100 78rpm discs from pure classical ragas to thumris, ghazal and bhajans. In addition to Marathi, she also sang in Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and Bhojpuri. Sundrabai was able to make her mark in all mediums, from stage to concert, radio and film music. She was also a high-ranking artiste with the Bombay Radio Station.

She kept two cars and even occupied an entire floor of Empire Hotel near VT Railway Station in Bombay. Some unscrupulous persons deceived her by setting up a record company, which was a total failure. This left her bankrupt. She was forced to seek employment at the Bombay Radio Station, whose then Director Z. A. Bokhari appointed her as an advisor. She continued to work there until her death in 1955. A forgotten artiste by that time, no one in the media made even a mention of her end. She is, however, still alive through her songs, which continue to enchant music lovers. Recently a CD containing 16 songs was issued by the Sa Re Gama Company.

Peara Saheb (c.1870-1945)

Hailing from a family of musicians, Peara Saheb got his early training in music from his father, a musician at the court of Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow. He had moved with him to Matiaburj near Calcutta in 1856. Peara took lessons from a number of court musicians and also learnt kathak. Master of both classical as well as thumri, dadra, ghazal, Peara Saheb was the most popular male artiste of his time. Like his contemporary, the legendary Gauhar Jan, he commanded a high fee for his performance at private concerts organised by the aristocracy of Calcutta. Large crowds assembled to listen to him. He joined the services of his patrons from the Tagore family.

He was the only male artiste of his time to be wooed by the HMV who managed to obtain the permission for recording him during 1905-1910. A most prolific HMV singer, Peara’s songs were so popular that they were re-issued several times to meet the rising demand from his fans. His singing career ranged from 1905 to 1940, during which he sang over 450 songs on more than 300 discs of 78 rpm in classical and other popular styles. A rage in Calcutta, Bombay and Lucknow, even his ticketed concerts attracted huge crowds. At the Muslim League Conference in 1916 at Calcutta, he sang the famous Sir Iqbal’s Tarana Chino Arab Hamara, Hindostan Hamara, Muslim Hain Ham Vatan Hai Sara Jahan Hamara. Some of his songs were reissued by the HMV in 1994.

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First populist duo music composers _ Husnalal-Bhagatram (Part 1)

First populist duo music composers _ Husnalal-Bhagatram (Part 1) | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

First populist duo music composers _ Husnalal-Bhagatram (Part 1)

By Satish Chopra

'Chup chup kharey ho jaroor koyee baat hei, pehli mulaqaat hei jee pehli mulaqaat hei' sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Premlata for film 'Bari Behan' in the year 1949 was certainly one of the most popular melodies of its time.

I still remember, during my childhood days, open-air evening theatre and 'Ramlila' were the most conventional media of entertainment for practically all sections and classes of the society. Before the start of the show, there used to be musicians, who used to keep the waiting audience occupied with some popular melodies from films or otherwise. And, invariably every day there used to be one song, 'Chup chup kharey ho'.

More than six decades have since passed, Lata Mangeshkar sang thousands of songs and made a number of records. The name of her co-singer Premlata can merely be found in a few nostalgic gramophone records; those even if available cannot be played as the desired pins for 78 rpm record players are not in use. The music listening systems have been replaced by totally different concepts.

But, the fact remains that as and when this melody is being played; the young listening young lad cannot resist by asking her or his grand parent, as to who composed such an enthralling melody and is it the same Lata Mangeshkar who sang 'Didi tera dewar diwana'; the popular song of much later years, but has fast faded away and is no where in listening. Why is there no good music of the 50s and 60s in the air. The reasons are many!

Amongst a large number of initial music composers, who shaped the destiny of Lata Mangeshkar, one of the foremost composers were duo Husnalal-Bhgatram. The duet 'Chup chup kharey ho' was certainly one such song, which was composed by Husnalal-Bhagatram, who commenced their music journey with film 'Chand' (1944) starring Begum Para and Prem Adib. Its song 'Do dilon ko ye duniyan, milnein nahin deti' (sung by a totally unknown Manju) became an instant success.

The other notable endeavour followed was 'Pyar ki Jeet' (1948) starring Suraiya and Rehman was a musical super-hit. Some of the songs of singing-star Suraiya 'Tere nainon ne chori kiya, mera chhota sa jia, o pardesia', 'O door jaane waley' and 'Koyee dunian mein hamaari tarah' are still considered as her favourites. The beauty of virgin tonal quality of voice of the singer, explored by the composers in these melodies is indeed superb.

Then, there was an all time popular song of Mohd Rafi in this film 'Ik dil key tukre hazaar hue koi yahan gira koi wahan gira'. Also there were some fascinating duets sung by Surinder Kaur, the melody queen of Punjab, Meena Kapoor and Ram Kamlani.

The film 'Badi Behan' released in the year 1949 was a class in the history of Indian cine music. Besides the most popular song 'Chup chup kharey ho' just have a glance at other seven numbers 'Wo pass rahein ya door rahein', 'Tum mujhko bhool jaao ab hum naa mil sakeinge', 'Likhnein waley ney, likh dee meri taqdeer mein barbaadi likhnein waley ney' and 'Bigree bananey waley, bigree banaa dey' (Suraiya) and 'Muhabbat ke dokhe mein koyee naa akey' (Mohd Rafi). The virgin and simply heart throbbing Lata numbers are simply great. In 'Chaley janaa nahin' and 'Jo dil mein khushi ban kar ayey', Lata was perhaps at her best and there could not have been a better return gift to the composer Husnalal on her 20th birthday (Lata was born in 1929). The utterance coming straight from the singer's heart, at times makes the listener cry, as an outcome of eternal pleasure. The quality of a diamond-cutter in master violinist Husnalal in particular can be visualised through these two everlasting melodies of Lata Mangeshkar. The Punjabi style dholak played by their musician, Shanker (of Shanker-Jaikishan duo) was again a notable landmark!

In view of the grand success of music of 'Bari Behan', immediately there after Shanker-Jaikishan formed the team for Raj Kapoor's all time great film 'Barsaat', replacing Ram Gangoli. In everlasting melodies of 'Barsaat', we can very well observe the glimpses of instrumentation of the mentors of Shanker. The playing of dholak with excellence and violin in particular were the soul of its immortal melodies. Just listen to some of its songs, 'Jiya beqraar hai', 'Patlee qamar hai' and 'Barsaat mein'. The touches of dholak in all the numbers are simply outstanding. Besides accompanying violin in another song, 'Mujhe kisi se pyar ho gaya' is a classical classic! In view of a vigorous training Shanker had from his mentors, another duo music composers was created in the history of Hindi cine music. What Shanker-Jaikishan later on composed for Hindi cinema is again a matter of serious study.

Husnalal-Bhagatram composed music for 50 films and created some soul throbbing melodies. A few of their memorable numbers include, 'Teri is do rangee duniyan mein' (Lata) film 'Sawan Bhadhon' (1949); 'Lut gayee ummidon ki dulian' (Lata) and 'Hei kaam mohabbat ka fariyaad kiyey janaa (Rafi) film 'Jaltarang' (1949). 'Dil hi to hei jo tarap gayaa' (Lata) film 'Aadhi Raat' (1950), 'Chhota sa fasanaa hei terey merey pyar ka' (Lata and Rafi) film 'Birha ki Raat' (1950), 'Mujhse ye keh rahee hei taqdeer ki lakirein' (Geeta Roy and Shamshad), 'Tootey huey dil se morey awaaz ye aayee' (Rafi), 'Agar dil kisi se lagaya na hotaa' (Lata) film 'Gauna' (1950), 'Dil le ke dil diya hei, ehsaan kya kiya hei' (Lata and Rafi) film 'Stage' (1951), 'Mohabbat ki hum chot khhayey huey hein' (Talat Mehmood) film 'Farmaish' (1953), 'Wo paas bhi rehkar paas nahin, hum door bhi rehkar door nahin' (Lata) film 'Afsanaa' (1951), 'O parwaney, shamma ko apni ruswa na karna' (Suraiya) film 'Shamma Parwana' (1954), 'Aye meri zindagi tujhey dhundhun kahan' (Talat Mahmood) film 'Adal-e-Jahangir' (1955) 'Manwa mein pyar doley' (Mukesh and Zohra) film 'Sartaj' (1950), 'Yaad aa rahaa hei dilko bhoola hua fasanaa' (Suraiya) film 'Amar Kahani' (1949).

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Meri jaan mujhe jaan na kaho (Geeta Dutt)

Meri jaan mujhe jaan na kaho (Geeta Dutt) Film: Anubhav...

Gurbakshish Singh Bagga :

The following was written a few moons ago... bringing it back for the context :-)

The composition and instrumentation of this song is in such perfect
harmony with the structure of the lyrics that it quickly becomes a
hummable *and* profound piece. Kanu Roy has used very few instuments: mainly xylophones and a set of low congas or similar sound produced by playing the tablas in that manner...just a few stacatto notes making a simple, rhythmic melody used for the interludes, and an almost ‘conversational’ melody used for the mukhDas/stanzas: I suggest that you read the lyrics *without* paying any attention to my ‘side-notes’ first, and then if you feel like it, listen to the song and look at these side notes...you might enjoy the process! :)
The song starts with this ‘heavenly’ intro on the xylophones that
begins to create a hint of the rhythm of the song before Geeta Dutt’s sensuous aawaaz says:
Meree jaaN!
mujhe jaaN na kaho meree jaa~N
meree jaa~ ~N, meree jaaN<======here starts this softest percussion-cycle... the‘heart-beat’ of this song.
six notes on the xylophone,
mujhe jaaN na kaho meree jaaN
meree jaa~ ~N, meree jaaN
the interlude as described above, just 16
notes ===>
jaaN na kaho anjaan mujhe
jaan kahaaN rehtee hai sadaa~ ~
jaaN na kaho anjaan mujhe
jaan kahaaN rehtee hai sadaa
<===Geeta Dutt’s
‘nakhre-bharaa’ andaaz is
outa-this-world here!!
anjaane~ kyaa jaaneN
jaan ke jaaye kaun bhalaa~ ~
meree jaaN
the six-note
mujhe jaaN na kaho meree jaaN
meree jaaaaN, meree jaaN
another 16-note
sookhe saawan baras gaye
kitnee baar in haathoN se~ ~
sookhe saawan baras gaye
kitnee baar in haathoN se
do boonde~N na barseN
in bheegi~ palkoN se~ ~
meri jaaN
the six-notes===>
mujhe jaaN na kaho meree jaaN <====you can bet she’s smiling here!!
meree jaa~ ~N, meree jaaN
the last 16-note
hoNTh jhukeN jab hoThoN par
saaNs uljhi ho saaNsoN mei~N<====when Geeta Dutt sings that saaNs, it’s so mind-boggling! Asha, IMHO, is great at this kind of stuff, but somehow, Geeta Dutt brings a unique ‘innocense’ into this style along with the sensuality.
hoNTh jhukeN jab hoThoN par
saaNs uljhi ho, saaNsoN meiN
do juDvaa~ hoThoN ki
baat kaho~ aaNkhoN se~ ~
meree jaaN
the 6-notes==>
mujhe jaaN na kaho meree jaaN
meree jaa~ ~N, meree jaaN
'nother six===>
mujhe jaaN na kaho me-h-ree jaaN
meree jaa~ ~N, me~ree jaaN
the last 8 notes follow and you’ve been transported into this
dream-world of Gulzar on Kanu Roy’s vessel! 

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Best Heard On 78 RPM

Books / Reviews MAGAZINE | JUN 01, 2009



Best Heard On 78 RPM
India's greatest living singer, Lata will be celebrated. But a hagiographic Q&A cannot stand for a biography.



PAGES: 269; RS. 1,500
First the statistics: Until the 1991 edition, when her entry disappeared, the Guinness Book of Records listed Lata Mangeshkar as having sung no less than 30,000 solo, duets and chorus-backed songs. That made her easily the most recorded artiste in the world. I will get back to that later.
Lata started as a child actress to support her impoverished family and had small roles in eight Marathi and Hindi films. She hated acting and turned to singing. Her early songs were forgettable until composers Khemchand Prakash, Naushad Ali and Shankar Jaikishan discovered her more or less at the same time. Her first big hit was Aayega aanewala but HMV attributed the recording not to Lata but to 'Kamini', the character Madhubala played in Mahal. The huge success of her songs in two films that rapidly followed, Mehboob Khan's Andaz and Raj Kapoor's Barsaat, ensured her uncontested reign as the queen of playback for the next 50 years or so.

Lata has sung in Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit and 32 other languages, including Swahili, Russian and Fijian! "Beta, tum ne aaj mujhe rula diya," Nehru said to her after she sang Ae mere watan ke logon following the 1962 war with China. She received the Bharat Ratna in 2001. Lata won five Filmfare awards for playback singing between 1958 and 1969 before she asked the publication to take her name out of consideration.

Many things about the lady are endearing. She is not pretentious, lives simply and is very devoted to her siblings and their children. When she is recording a song, she leaves her chappals at the studio door as if she was entering a temple. She sang barefoot at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Singing is a form of worship for her, an act of devotion to Saraswati. She will also sing in praise of sarkar-e-madina.

Two blemishes: A grateful nation asked her to sing Vande mataram on the fiftieth anniversary of independence but she could not do it without looking at the words on a piece of paper. When Lata was nominated to Rajya Sabha, in 1999, she refused to attend parliamentary sessions. She mistook the nomination for an honour, not an obligation.

I am surprised there have been so few books on this national treasure. There was one 10 years ago, Lata Mangeshkar: A Biography, by Raju Bharatan of the now defunct Illustrated Weekly. Unfortunately, it took a very jaundiced view and read like a vendetta.

Nasreen Munni Kabir's biography, Lata Mangeshkar...in her own voice, goes to the other extreme. She takes everything Lata tells her at face value. There are no penetrating questions; certain aspects of her life are not touched. Perhaps that was part of the deal. It would have been a better book if Kabir had put the material in sections instead of nearly 200 relentless pages of questions and answers. This is a lazy author's idea of a biography.

Lata can be difficult in her professional relations. She refused to sing duets with Rafi for some years. She had extended feuds with composers C. Ramchandra, S.D. Burman, Shyam Sunder as well as Raj Kapoor, people who nurtured her talent. O.P Nayyar, the A.R. Rahman of the 1950s, had to build a whole career without ever using her voice. There have been complaints that Lata and her sister Asha Bhosle have strangled all competition. You get a glimpse of some of these disputes in Kabir's book but it is sanitised and only from the singer's point of view.

As for that Guinness number, the book credits her with a slightly more modest 27,000 recordings. That is still a ridiculous figure. I go along with experts who have calculated that Lata could not possibly have sung more than six to seven thousand songs over a 65-year career, an average of a hundred songs a year. In last ten years, with the onslaught of age and the arrival of a new kind of music, there has been, in fact, a drought in her recordings.

At her prime, she sang like an angel. No one will ever dispute that. "If you take all the fragrance, all the moonlight, all the honey in the universe and put them together, you would still not create a voice like hers," said Javed Akhtar. He must have said that in Urdu but the English translation in this book is good enough for me.

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100 साल की 'हीरोइन', Photo gallery IBNkhabar

1913 में दादा साहेब फाल्के ने पहली फिल्म ‘राजा हरिश्च्रंद’ बनाकर जिस हिंदी सिनेमा की नींव रखी थी वो 2012 में अपना शताब्दी समारोह मना रहा है। सौ सालों के इस सफर में हिंदी सिनेमा ने न जाने कितने पड़ाव देखे...कभी सिनेमा की शक्ल...
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बॉलीवुड जर्नल: बॉलीवुड के पसंदीदा चरित्र कलाकार

बॉलीवुड जर्नल: बॉलीवुड के पसंदीदा चरित्र कलाकार | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

तीन घंटों के अंतराल में, बहु कथानक वृत्तखंड, मनोरंजन और कहानी कहने की कई शैलियों साथ, हिंदी फिल्में अभिनेता और अभिनेत्री से इतर कलाकारों की आश्चर्यजनक श्रेणी के लिए अच्छे मौके प्रदान करती हैं। कुछ चरित्र अभिनेता हैं –“ओह, ये वही व्यक्ति है!


राजेन्द्र नाथ

कलाकार भाईयों की तिकड़ी में एक, हंसमुख राजेन्द्र नाथ हिंदी सिनेमा के कॉमेडी उप-कथानक के मुख्य हिस्से रहे हैं। जबकि उनका अभिनय अकसर प्रमुख किरदार से ज्यादा अतिश्योक्तिपूर्ण रहा है, वो जगदीप और जॉनी लीवर सरीखे कॉमेडियनों की तुलना में अपेक्षाकृत संयत रहे और मेरा उन्हें अभी स्लाइड विसल के साथ नोटिस करना बाकी है। एक ऐसे व्यक्ति के रूप में, जो अकसर हीरो के अजीज़ दोस्त का किरदार निभाता था, वो ऐसे व्यक्ति प्रतीत होते हैं, जिनके साथ मटरगश्ती करने को वाकई आपका दिल मचलता हो। वो हंसमुख, बहिर्मुखी और एक लड़की का दिल जीतने के लिए हीरो की हर योजना में साथ निभाने के लिए तत्पर रहते, लेकिन उसे अपनी किसी भी समस्या में धकेले बगैर। उनकी अल्हड़ मूर्खता वाली अदाकारी का एक नमूना देखने को मिला 1975 में आई फिल्म “रफू चक्कर” में, जो “सम लाइक इट हॉट” का हिंदी रूपांतरण थी। इस फिल्म में वो एक सनकी करोड़पति बन लड़की बने हुए पेंटल से रोमांस करते हैं।

डैनी डेंग्जोपा

पुणे के फिल्म ऐंड टेलीविज़न इंस्टीट्यूट (फिल्म और टेलीविज़न संस्थान) के एक पूर्व छात्र के लिए अविस्मयकारी डैनी डेंग्जोपा को मैंने ज्यादातर खतरनाक किरदारों में देखा है। वो अन्य खलनायकों और गुर्गों के अतिवादी अभिनय के मुकाबले तिरछी नज़रों के साथ ज्यादा भयावहता संप्रेषित कर सकते हैं। फिल्म उद्योग में चार दशकों से मौजूद डैनी, अब भी बुरे आदमी को ज्यादा आकर्षक बनाते हैं, हाल ही में इसका प्रदर्शन उन्होंने “एंधीरन” (2010) में किया, नैतिकता की दृष्टि से जटिल प्रोफेसर की भूमिका में, जो रोबोट और रजनीकांत के सामने अड़ जाता है।

अरुणा इरानी

ये प्रसिद्धी की रहस्यमय प्रकृति की बेइंसाफी है कि अरुणा इरानी पूर्ण रूप से स्टार हीरोइन नहीं बन पाईं। भावना और उत्साह के साथ एक आइटम नंबर पर नाचना हो या फिर प्रेम त्रिकोण में तीसरे व्यक्ति की भूमिका हो, वो छोटे किरदार को भी काफी खास बनाती हैं। उन्हें देखना हमेशा अच्छा लगता है, वो किरदार के मुताबिक अपनी ऊर्जा का संचारण करती हैं: ताकतवर, ईर्ष्यालु, दुखी और बल्कि डाकू-लुटेरे की भूमिका में भी।


जब वो कानून और व्यवस्था का प्रतिनिधित्व नहीं भी कर रहे होते हैं, इफ्तिखार गंभीर लगते हैं। कानून के चेहरे के रूप में (वो पुलिस अफसर का किरदार निभाने के लिए बखूबी जाने जाते थे), काले धंधे वाले कारोबारी (“दीवार”) या फिर एक पेशेवर अपराधी (“गद्दार”, 1970 एक खलनायक का गुर्गा), उनसे पार पाना हमेशा खतरनाक था। उनमें काबिलियत और आत्मविश्वास और बुद्धिमता हल्की अकड़ के साथ शामिल हुआ करती थी। उनके किरदार की नैतिकता कदाचित पूर्वानुमेय नहीं होती थी, लेकिन उपयुक्त और भरोसेमंद हुआ करती थी।

रीमा लागू

1990 से सर्वोच्च सह-अभिनेत्री का फिल्मफेयर पुरस्कार पाना इस बात का सूचक है कि रीमा लागू एक फिल्मी मां के तौर पर कितनी पसंद की जाती हैं। मेरे लिए, उनकी मौजूदगी कुछ आरामदेह होती थी; मैं उन्हें निरूपा राय के मां के कई किरदारों वाले अभिनय-कौशल के साथ नहीं जोड़ती। इस अभिनेत्री के साथ एक और बढ़िया बात यह है कि वो अलग-अलग किरदार भी असरदार ढंग से निभाती हैं, जैसे “रिहाई” (1988) में। एक प्यारी, संवेदनशील मां के रूप में जिस तरह उन्हें याद किया जाता है, वो इस नज़रिए को धुंधला करने की कूव्वत रखती हैं।

बॉब क्रिस्टो

यहां एक मजेदार, कदाचित अत्यधिक हास्यजनक और निश्चित तौर पर संतुष्टिपूर्व लड़ाई होने वाली है….और इसमें शायद पूर्व-औपनिवेशिक प्रसन्नता के मंद स्वर हो। 1980 और 1990 के दशकों में, प्रत्यारोपित ऑस्ट्रेलियन गोरे बॉब क्रिस्टो को भारतीय हीरो से बार-बार घूंसे पड़े। पूरी तरह से दुष्टता की रहनुमाई करने वाले जैसे अमरीश पुरी या फिर प्रेम चोपड़ा की बजाय उन्होंने अमूमन एक गुर्गे या दूसरे नंबर वाले खलनायक की भूमिकाएं निभाईं, निश्चित तौर पर स्क्रीन पर उनके अपरिहार्य पतन के बारे में कुछ असाधारण संतोषप्रद होता था, शायद इसलिए कि उनकी कद-काठी अच्छी थी, जो उन्हें हिंदी फिल्मों में कम से कम कुछ बेतुका दिखाती थी। बॉब क्रिस्टो के चरित्रों की खासियत थी, इससे कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता कि उनकी हार कितनी अपमानजक होती, 80 के दशक के कुछ बेहुदे कपड़े पहने वो अपने से आधे कद के हीरो द्वारा उठा-उठाकर फेंके जाते और इस तरह की धुनाई के लिए बार-बार लौट कर आते।

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Naqsh Lyallpuri: DK Bose Is An Embarrassment

Naqsh Lyallpuri: DK Bose Is An Embarrassment

By Devesh Sharma posted May 11th 2012 at 12:00AM | Avg Rating


Past perfect
He’s 84 and counting. Despite his age, poet and lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri hasn’t lost his wit or his memory. He tells me he’s also a Punjabi Brahmin like me and his real name is Jaswant Rai Sharma. Born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad in Pakistan), he took on the name Naqsh as his nom de plume. Such is his love for his birthplace that he and his family have embraced it as their surname even after migrating to India. Recently, a Pakistani delegation travelled to India to honour him and was amazed by his heartfelt gesture. Naqsh’s father was an engineer, quite a feat in those days and wanted his son to follow his footsteps. But the young man never took to science. “I was bored by science and math. I used to hide literary magazines under my textbooks and read them in class. No wonder I only got passing grades.” At the behest of his Urdu teacher, who understood his potential, Naqsh went to Lahore to study literature. He became the toast at mushairas in Lahore. All looked fine… then the partition happened and shattered many a dream.

Partition pangs
India became independent but fell prey to Hindu-Muslim riots which made life hell for the young poet in Lahore. One day, Naqsh got to know that the daughter of one of his friends was unwell. He sat with the family till the wee hours of the night. On returning home, he was accosted by a group of youths. Thankfully they turned out to be Hindus. “I still lie awake in the night sometimes remembering those times. What if the youths who caught me hadn’t been Hindus? I can’t fathom why neighbours who lived peacefully with one another became involved in such bloodshed.”

Bombay calling
After the partition, the family moved to Lucknow but the young poet found the atmosphere stifling. He moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) as he wanted to pursue a career in films. His beginnings in Mumbai were ominous. He got down at Kalyan station to drink water but an eagle snatched away the small dona (vessel) holding the water. “Eagles have symbolised the spirit of Mumbai for me ever since. I have always looked upon the city as a bird of prey.” A friend had promised him a place to stay in Dadar but upon reaching the address, he found that his friend had gone to Pune on urgent business. “Penniless, I took refuge in a gurudwara, as you could stay there for a week and eat the langar (free meals) twice a day. I met one Kuldip Singh, who helped to arrange my stay for one more week and also gave me Rs 20, which was a big sum then.”

Films galore
Naqsh joined the postal service to make ends meet but soon got bored of the routine. To get his creative juices flowing, he wrote a play along with some friends. The lead was played by actor Ram Mohan and the duo became friends. His pal introduced the young lyricist to filmmaker Jagjit Sethi, who gave him his first break under the baton of composer Hansraj Bahl in the film Jaggu (1952). It wasn’t a rosy beginning as he didn’t get work in A-grade films. “I wasn’t satisfied with the offers for stunt films that were coming my way. My wife goaded me into accepting them stating that the films may be mediocre but I should ensure that my work isn’t. Sadly, whatever I wrote in the black and white era for films like Ghamand (1955), Rifle Girl (1958), Circus Queen (1959) and Choron Ki Baraat (1960) didn’t become popular.” He recalls that there were four other lyricists besides him in Choron Ki Baraat and one of them was Gulzar Deenvi, who later became famous as just Gulzar. “Gulzar wrote, ‘Yeh duniya hai taash ke patte, isko karo salaam’ for the film. That was the time when all of us were writing at a feverish pitch to make ends meet. He might not even remember it today.”

Punjabi tadka
Interestingly, Naqsh’s Urdu was so good that people refused to believe he was Punjabi. He got his first break in Punjabi films through Sapan-Jagmohan in the film Jeejaji (1953). After that he wrote more than 350 songs for 40 Punjabi films. “I was the writer of choice for Punjabi film composers like Surinder Kohli, Hansraj Bahl, Ved Sethi and Husnlal-Bhagatram. Money poured in but I was in danger of being typecast as a Punjabi lyricist.”

Colour of money
His first big hit in the colour era was Chetna (1970). The song Main toh har mod par tujhko doonga sada sung by Mukesh became famous. After that he started getting a better league of films. His other hits from the era include Rasme ulfat ko nibhaye toh nibhaye kaise (Dil Ki Rahen – 1973), Ulfat mein zamane ki (Call Girl – 1974), Yeh mulaqat ek bahana hai (Khandaan – 1979) and many more. “I thank all my music directors like Khayyam, Naushad, Jaidev and Madan Mohan who gave me such good work. But I also wonder – where were they in the earlier two decades, when I was doing B and C grade Hindi films and Punjabi films to survive?”

Royals and royalty
One reason he struggled to make it big was that he refused to elaborate on mukhdas provided by producers and composers. He says only some lucky few escaped this curse. “Poets like Kaifi Azmi or Sahir Ludhianvi were royalty. Unka likha patthar ki lakeer hota tha (their verses were written in stone). Composers used to set their tunes to words and not vice versa. You couldn’t change a comma. And they were able to command royalty even from the producer’s share. It’s something only Lata Mangeshkar and today AR Rahman have been able to achieve. Getting your due from this industry is an art in itself. Only a select few have been able to practise that with success. I never could learn to negotiate a favourable contract.” This was one reason he was motivated to become a founder member of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), which works towards getting royalty for composers and lyricists.

The Henna controversy
The poet maintains he’s grateful to composer Ravindra Jain for giving him the Chithiye song from Henna. “Rajji (Kapoor) heard it and there were tears in his eyes. He said, ‘Naqshji, aap itne dino tak the kahan? (Where were you all this while?).’ He couldn’t believe that we hadn’t worked together, despite being in the industry for more than 30 years. ‘Galti ho gayi (I made a mistake). I should have met you sooner,’ Rajji added. In hindsight, Naqsh presumes that Ravindra Jain couldn’t tolerate this sudden friendship between him and Rajji. Ravindra is a lyricist too and perhaps thought that his position was being threatened. “Ravindra didn’t like it when Rajji asked me to write the lyrics for Anardana too. He argued against it but Rajji told me to go ahead.” It was Naqsh’s bad luck that Raj Kapoor fell ill at the time of the recording which had to be cancelled. Naqsh reveals it’s an undisputed fact that the musicians concerned got cancellation charges. When Randhir Kapoor took over (after Raj Kapoor’s demise) Ravindra went to him with his version and said that’s the one what Rajji had approved. Ramesh Behl, who was present at that recording and knew Naqsh had written the original created a furore. “I didn’t know Randhir at all and hence didn’t go to him to dispute the point. It all became very petty and childish and I distanced myself from it. Later, Ravindra asked me to let bygones be bygones but that’s like kicking someone deliberately and then saying sorry, isn’t it?”

Whatever works

The lyricist observes that success and failure in the industry defy logic. For instance, the super hit song from Naagin, Man dole mera tan dole… kaun bajaye bansuriya… doesn’t have a flute playing in the background. Yet it became such a big hit and people listen to it even today. He expounds, “In grammar, we have been told to avoid double adjectives, yet some of our best known lyricists are guilty of using them. A sublime poet like Shailendra, who has written such heartwarming songs such as Kisi ki muskurahton pey ho nissar (Anari), also wrote O basanti pawan pagal for Jis Des Mein Ganga Behti Hai. Now, is the wind mad (pagal) or is it full of spring (basanti). Then the thought changes… Na ja re na jaa, roko koi (Please don’t go, someone stop it). So, are you arguing against the basic nature of the wind? And, if you want it to stop, then why are you calling it basanti and pagal? Too many conflicts and yet the song today is considered a classic.”

He respects Gulzar but doesn’t like his excessive use of word play. “For instance, in one of his songs he has said, ‘Humne dekhi hai un ankhon ki mehekti khushboo.’ Okay, I accept that aapne khushboo dekh li (you were able to see something intangible). That’s poetic licence. But mehakti khushboo? Isn’t the basic nature of fragrance something that smells nice? It doesn’t stink, does it? Why overstate the obvious?”

Good versus bad poetry
Explaining the difference between good and bad verse, he says poetry should be free of unnecessary embellishments. “It should be easy to understand. I have never used excessive Persian words in my work. For example, let’s take the song Yeh raat yeh chandni phir kahan, sun ja dil ki dastaan written by Sahir Ludhianvi. A lesser poet would have added Aaja aaja baalma. That’s the difference between being good and being great. That’s what today’s lyricists lack. They need to ponder upon this difference.”

Today’s lyricists
Naqsh’s big grouse is that young writers today don’t push the envelope. They don’t want to go the distance. “Prasoon Joshi has potential but he is trapped in the Gulzar-like use of excessive imagery. Irshad Kamil borrows heavily from Punjabi folk. Where’s your originality? That’s taking the easy way out. Isn’t it a pity that there aren’t good young lyricists?” He derides the use of cuss words in lyrics. “DK Bose (Delhi Belly) isn’t good poetry. It’s a degradation of the medium. Don’t tell me that’s what the masses want because that’s a weak argument. The truth is listeners don’t have a choice.” People come to him for guidance and when he points out their faults, they say he’s being excessively harsh on them. “They tell me, Sameer se toh accha hi likha hai (But isn’t it better than what Sameer writes?). Yes, it may be better but do you have Sameer’s kind of luck? You aren’t born with his kind of destiny and don’t want to polish your craft either.”

His better half
His wife Kamlesh has been his pillar of strength through every twist and turn. Once, he was so frustrated that he almost burnt his files (of poetry). She stopped him by pointing out that it’s easier to put a lid on his anger than live with regret about losing his creations for the rest of his life. She gave him seed money to finance their first home. “I needed Rs 5000 as down payment and she brought out money which was hidden all over the house — under the mattress, in pillowcases, in the flour bin — and gave me the required sum. I was stunned but all she said was that women have to resort to such tactics to keep things going.” He says his wife never disapproved of anything, be it his drinking or his habit of eating paan. “The only thing she insisted on was that I come home in a taxi after a drinking session — for my safety as well as to stop me from meeting other people.”

Second guesses

He still writes actively for TV serials, though the offers have dwindled. Among his children, only son Rajan, who is a cinematographer and a writer has followed his footsteps. “They have witnessed my struggle, so have opted out. And it’s the right decision.” He would certainly want to change things around given another chance. “It feels great when you say I have lived life on my own terms. But my children and my wife had to suffer a lot because of that. Perhaps if I was less adamant, perhaps if I had compromised on my principles they could have had a better life. It’s important to hitch up with the right set of people. I never did learn to do that and as a result, lost out on plum assignments. Things would have been different if I had been shrewd or a better people’s person. I’m not bitter. I know we are a product of our choices. The irony is that wisdom comes with experience and while it’s good to be wise in hindsight, it’s never profitable.”


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Jagdish Raj

Jagdish Raj | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Back in the 1960s, a big Hollywood casting director called Harvey Wood came and selected me for a police inspector's role. Although I had done many films before as hero and villain, I don't know why I found popularity only as police inspector. I got a lot of acting assignments, but all as police inspector. Twenty years later, I bumped into Harvey Wood again. He looked at me and said, "Bloody hell! You're still in the same uniform." He asked me to mail him the details of all my films as I was onto a world record for the most occupational role. Later the Guinness book people sent a team to Bombay to verify facts before they entered my name in their book.
Jagdish Raj, actor, born Sargodha, Pakistan, 1928


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RMIM Archive Article Number: "27".

LIST OF HINDI FILM SONGS SUNG BY YESUDASNo Song Film Accompany MD Lyrics 1 Gori teraa gaaon badaa Chitchor Ravindra Jain(RJ)

2 Aajse pehle Chitchor RJ

3 Tu jo mere sur mein Chitchor Hemlata RJ4 Jab deep jale aanaa Chitchor Hemlata RJ5 Chaand akela Alaap Jaidev Rahi Masoom Raza6 Zindagiko sanwaarnaa Alaap Jaidev7 Koi gaata mein so Alaap Jaidev8 Mata saraswati sharda Alaap Faiyaz Jaidev9 O goriya re Naiyya RJ10 Unchi neechi lehronpe Naiyya chorus RJ11 Tera kuch khoya Naiyya Suresh Wadkar RJ12 Sunayana Sunayana RJ13 Aansoo bhi hein Sunayana RJ14 Chaand jaise mukhde Sawan Ko Aane Do Rajkamal15 Teri tasveerko Sawan Ko Aane Do Rajkamal16 Jaanam jaanam Sawan Ko Aane Do Rajkamal17 Kajreki baati do Sulakshana Rajkamal Pandit18 Tere bin soona mora Sawan Ko Aane Do Rajkamal19 Tujhe dekhkar jagwaale Sawan Ko Aane Do Rajkamal20 Bole jo baansuri Sawan Ko Aane Do Rajkamal21 Zidna karo ab to ruko Lahu Ke Do Rang Bappi22 Teri chotisi ek bhoolne Shikshaa Bappi23 Khushiyaan hi Dulhan Wohi Jo Hemlata, Ravindra Jain Piya Man Bhaye Bansari Sen Gupta24 Ae mere udaas man Maan Abhimaan RJ25 Ek bhutse mohobbat Maan Abhimaan RJ26 Mohobbat bade kaamki Trishul Kishore, Lata Khaiyyam27 Aapki mehki hui Trishul Lata Khaiyyam28 Jaari behna Trishul Kishore, (?) Khaiyyam29 Shikaari raja aayaare Safed Haathi chorus RJ30 Utho he laal utho he Safed Haathi RJ31 Tere hontonke piyaalese Mera Rakshak Lata RJ32 Sabko chutti mili Mera Rakshak Lata RJ33 Ni sa ga ma pa ni Anand Mahal Salil34 Aashaadhasya Anand Mahal Salil35 Mere premki gaaye Dil Ka Saathi S.Janaki Salil Dil(DKSD)37 Ye maatamki dhun aaj DKSD Salil38 Saagar nidhal ho gayaa DKSD Salil38a (Another song) DKSD Salil39 Dheere dheere subha hui Haisiyat Bappi40 Ab charaagonkaa koi Baawri Lata Khaiyyam41 Chaar dinki zindagi hai Ek Baar Kaho Bappi42 Banjaaraa mein nahin Khwab RJ 43 Khwabko hakikat mein Khwab Hemlata RJ 44 Surmayee ankhiyon mein Sadma Illaiyaraja45 ...ki zabaani .... Solva Sawan Jaidev46 Goriya re o goriyaa Ramnagri ??47 Jaaneman jaaneman Choti si Baat Asha Salil48 Jeevan pathpe ek Agar Asha Sonik Omi49 Dilke tukde tukde Dada Usha Khanna50 Kaa karun sajni Swami Rajesh Roshan51 Neer bharankaa karke Gopal Krishna Hemlata RJ52 Dekho kanha nahi Payal ki Sulakshana RJ Jhankar Pandit53 Pyaar karle karle Safed Jhooth Shyamal Mitra54 Neele ambar ke tale Safed Jhooth Shyamal Mitra55 Tere mere liye Safed Jhooth Shyamal Mitra56 Nahi chaahiye rang College Girl Bappi57 Maanaa ho tum Toote Khilone Bappi Kaifi58 Kise khabar kahaan Do Ladke Dono Hemant Kumar Kadke59 Kahaanse aaye badraa Chashme Buddoor Hemanti Shukla RajKamal60 Kaali ghodi dwaar khadi Chashme Buddoor Hemanti Shukla RajKamal61 Madhuban khushboo Sajan Bina Suhaagan 62 Madhuban khushboo Sajan Bina Anuradha Suhaagan Paudhwal63 Laal gulaabi phoolonse Hamaara Sansar RJ64 Na jaane aise Saajan Mere Hemlata RJ Main Saajanki65 Gaao mere man Apne Paraye Asha Bappi66 Shyaam rang rangaare chorus67 Kaali naagan dasegi Aiyaash Manna Dey 68 Beti hui raat69 Meri munni rani soja Mazdoor Zindabad Usha Khanna70 Zamaane se kuch log Zara Si Zindagi71 Tum itni sundar ho Anand Ashram Preeti sagar72 Ram rahimmein antar Alag Alag R.D.Burman73 Zindagi mehak Hatya74 Preet ki reet Do Chehre75 hum nahin dukh se Jeena Yehan Lata Salil ghabrayenge76 sun sun gaaNv ki goree sunkar batiyaaN tori maiN ne samjha maiN ne jaanaa .... mere dil kee chori==77 pyaare panchchi baahon mein Hindustani A R Rahman

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दैनिक ट्रिब्यून » News » सुरीले संगीत के सिद्धहस्त सर्जक खय्याम

दैनिक ट्रिब्यून » News » सुरीले संगीत के सिद्धहस्त सर्जक खय्याम | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

सुरीले संगीत के सिद्धहस्त सर्जक खय्याम

Posted On March - 24 - 2012

भीमराज गर्ग

खय्याम ने लगभग पांच दशक तक अपनी मधुर धुनों से हिन्दी फिल्म संगीत की बगिया को महकाया है और श्रोताओं को मंत्रमुग्ध किया है। अब भी गीत/ गज़ल/ भजनों इत्यादि के एलबम के माध्यम से सुरीले संगीत का सृजन करने में व्यस्त रहते हैं।
खय्याम का जन्म 18 फरवरी 1927 में पंजाब के राहों कस्बे में हुआ था। वे अक्सर पास के शहर जालंधर में फिल्में देखने भाग जाते थे। वे हिंदी फिल्मों व गीत संगीत की ओर आकर्षित होते चले गये और एक अभिनेता बनने का सपना संजोने लगे क्योंकि वह दौर सिंगिंग स्टार्ज का था, अत: खय्याम भी संगीत को सीखने के इच्छुक थे।
वे अपने सपने को साकार करने हेतु लाहौर चले गये। वहां पर उन्होंने मशहूर संगीतकार पंडित हुस्नलाल भगतराम और पंडित अमरनाथ से संगीत की शिक्षा प्राप्त करने के साथ-साथ फिल्मों में भूमिकाओं की तलाश जारी रखी। संगीतकार जीए चिश्ती को मिलने गये। चिश्ती जी ने उन्हें सहायक के रूप में अपने पास रख लिया और फिल्म संगीत की गहन शिक्षा भी दी। खय्याम ने छह महीने तक चिश्ती जी के साथ काम किया और फिर 1943 में लुधियाना वापस आ कर द्वितीय विश्वयुद्ध के दौरान सेना में कुछ समय के लिए नौकरी की।
1946 में वह अभिनेता बनने के इरादे से मुंबई आ गया और अपने गुरु पंडित हुस्नलाल भगतराम से मिला, जिन्होंने सबसे पहले उसे फिल्म ‘रोमियो एंड जूलियट’ में जोहराबाई अंबालेवाली के साथ एक युगल-गीत ‘दोनों जहां तेरी मोहब्बत में हार के’ गाने का अवसर दिया। इसके पश्चात गीता दत्त व मीणा कपूर के साथ भी कुछ गीत गाये। इसी बीच खय्याम को एसडी नारंग की फिल्म ‘ये है जिंदगी’ में अभिनय करने का मौका मिला। अज़ीज़ खान, बुलो सी. रानी, और हुस्नलाल भगतराम जैसे संगीतकारों के सहायक के रूप में काम करने के पश्चात उसको हीर-रांझा फिल्म में संगीत देने का अवसर मिला।
जि़या सरहदी ने खय्याम को फुटपाथ फिल्म में पहली बार स्वतंत्र रूप से संगीत निर्देशन का कार्य सौंपा। इस फिल्म के नगमों में सरदार जाफरी का लिखा और तलत महमूद का गाया गीत ‘शामे गम की कसम आज गमगीं हैं हम’ ने खय्याम को लोकप्रिय बना दिया। परंतु उन्हें असली पहचान राजकपूर, माला सिन्हा अभिनीत फिल्म ‘फिर सुबह होगी’ से मिली जिसमें साहिर लुधियानवी रचित गीतों ‘वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी’, ‘आसमान पे है खुदा और जमीन पे हम’ ने देश भर में धूम मचा दी थी।
शोला और शबनम, शगुन, लाला रुख, आखिरी खत फिल्मों के गीतों विशेषकर ‘जाने क्या ढूढ़ती रहती हैं यह आंखें मुझमें, राख का ढेर है शोला है न चिंगारी’, ‘जीत ही लेंगे बाज़ी हम तुम’, ‘बहारो मेरा जीवन भी संवारो’, ‘और कुछ देर ठहर जा’, ‘ पर्वतों के पेड़ों पर शाम का बसेरा है’ एवं ‘तुम चली जाओगी यह परछाइयां रह जाएंगी’ के माध्यम से खय्याम एक महान संगीतकार के रूप में प्रतिष्ठित हुए।
खय्याम के फिल्मी सफर में कई उतार-चढ़ाव आए परंतु उन्होंने 1976 में यश चोपड़ा की फिल्म कभी-कभी और दूसरी बार 1982 में मुजफ्फर अली की फिल्म उमराव जान से धमाकेदार वापसी की। उमराव जान फिल्म में आशा भोंसले से कुछ ऐसी मधुर गज़लें गवाई हैं जिन्हें सुनकर आशा भोंसले भी विश्वास नहीं कर पाई कि वह इतनी सहजता से गज़ल गा सकती हैं। फिल्म की प्रत्येक गज़ल/नज्म ‘दिल चीज क्या है आप मेरी जान लीजिए, इन आंखों की मस्ती के मस्ताने हजारों है, जुस्तजू जिस की थी उस को तो ना पाया हम ने, ये क्या जगह है दोस्तो, ये कौन सा दयार है’ में खय्याम की अनूठी संगीत शैली की छाप झलकती है। इस फिल्म में सर्वश्रेष्ठ संगीत निर्देशन हेतु खय्याम को और पाश्र्वगायन के लिए आशा भोंसले को करिअर का पहला राष्ट्रीय फिल्म पुरस्कार मिला था।
खय्याम जी की मान्यता है कि अगर नगमे अच्छे हों तो सुर अपने आप मिल जाते हैं। वह काव्यात्मक और सार्थक गीतों की अभिव्यक्ति पक्ष की मजबूत पृष्ठभूमि वाले शायरों/कवियों के साथ काम करना पसंद करते थे। यही कारण है कि उनकी अधिकतर रचनाओं में चर्चित शायरों मजरूह सुल्तानपुरी, कैफी आजमी, जां निसार अख्तर, सरदार जाफरी, साहिर लुधियानवी, नक्श लायलपुरी, मिर्जा शौक, मीर तकी मीर, शहरयार आदि का योगदान रहा है। फिल्म कभी कभी में खय्याम-साहिर की टीम बहुत सफल रही। फिल्म के सारे गाने ‘कभी कभी मेरे दिल में ख्याल आता है’, ‘मैं पल दो पल का शायर हूं’, ‘तेरे चेहरे से नज़र नहीं हटती’ सुपरहिट हुए।
फिल्म के गीत ‘ऐ दिल-ए-नादां ये जमीं चुप है आसमां चुप है’ में रेगिस्तान की वीरानी और निस्तब्धता में जब संगीत कुछ पलों के लिए मौन हो जाता है तो खय्याम साहिब के फन की दाद देनी पड़ती है क्योंकि ऐसा वही संगीतकार कर सकता है, जो जानता है कि खामोशी की भी जुबान होती है।
फिल्मों के अतिरिक्त खय्याम ने गैर फिल्मी गीतों/ नगमों/ गज़लों के लिए भी मधुर धुनें बनाईं हैं। उन्होंने सीएच आत्मा और मोहम्मद रफी के साथ कई गैर-फिल्मी भजन ‘पांव पड़ूं श्याम बृज में लौट चलो’, ‘शाम से नेहा लगाए’, ‘तेरे भरोसे है नंदलाला’ आदि रिकॉर्ड किए हैं। खय्याम ने चीन युद्ध के समय महबूब खान, दिलीप कुमार, राजेंद्र कुमार, सुनील दत्त, साहिर लुधियानवी, जां निसार अख्तर और मोहम्मद रफी के साथ मिलकर देशभक्ति से ओत-प्रोत दो मार्शल गाने आवाज़ दो हम एक हैं’, ‘वतन की आबरू खतरे में है’ रिकॉर्ड किए थे, जो आज भी लोकप्रिय हैं।
खय्याम ने बेहद चुनींदा फिल्मों में ही संगीत दिया है और उन्हीं नगमों को धुनों में पिरोया जो फिल्म की कहानी का हिस्सा होते थे। यही कारण है कि उन्होंने अपने पांच दशक के फिल्मी करिअर के दौरान मात्र 50-55 फिल्मों में ही संगीत दिया है।
बहुमुखी प्रतिभा के धनी खय्याम को सर्वश्रेष्ठ संगीत निर्देशन हेतु कभी कभी व उमराव जान फिल्मों के लिए फिल्मफेयर पुरस्कार तथा 2010 में लाइफटाइम अचीवमेंट अवार्ड प्रदान किया गया है। उन्हें वर्ष 2007 में संगीत नाटक अकादमी द्वारा रचनात्मक संगीत के लिए पुरस्कृत किया गया और भारत सरकार ने 2011 में तीसरे सर्वोच्च नागरिक सम्मान पद्म भूषण से उन्हें सम्मानित किया है।
इस सुरीली यात्रा के अंत में खय्याम साहिब के संगीत की ये पंक्तियां फिज़ा में तैरती प्रतीत होती हैं :-
ठहरिये होश में आ लूं तो चले जाइयेगा…

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Forever Nutan

Forever Nutan | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
We present to you a series on some of Hindi cinema's most powerful stars, chronicled by veteran film critic Dinesh Raheja.

Here's one of the most sensitive actresses we have known, Nutan:

Here's proof that a Hindi film heroine's career does not go kaput when she gets married: Legendary actress Nutan. She remained an A-list star for a decade and won three (of four) Filmfare Best Actress Awards AFTER marriage and the birth of her son Mohnish.

Nutan, it seems, always had this ability to pull off the unconventional. Her mother Shobhana Samarth (the 1940s star who played Seeta in the superhit Ram Rajya) didn't expect a celebrity career for her teenaged daughter. Nutan was tall and gangly at a time when beauty meant petite and plump.

True, Nutan had essayed a small role as a child aritiste in the mid-40s Nal Damayanti. But Shobhana was surprised when biggie Chandulal Shah offered to cast her adolescent daughter opposite stars like Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in his next film.

10 Famous Songs Picturised on Nutan
Song Film
Jogan ban jaaoongi saiyyan tere karan Shabab
Suno chhotisi gudiya ki lambi kahani Seema
Chhod do aanchal zamana kya kahega Paying Guest
M-A-D mad maane pagal Delhi Ka Thug
Tera jaana dil ke armano ka lut jaana Anadi
Kaali ghata chhaye mora jiya lalchaye Sujata
Mora gora ang lai le Bandini
Tumhi mere mandir Khandaan
Hum tum yug yug se yeh geet milan ke Milan
Chhod de saari duniya kisi ke liye Saraswatichandra

Shobhana finally detected that special, lit-up quality in 14-year-old Nutan's eyes. Chandulal Shah's offer fell through. But Shobhana Samarth launched Nutan as an adult artiste in the aptly-named film, Hamari Beti (1950).

It was a show of feminist fervour: Shobhana produced and directed Hamari Beti (her family remained matriarchal till her recent death). The film didn't make Nutan a star but the very next year, the success of Nagina and Hum Log ensured middle-level stardom for Nutan.

Nagina was an adults-only film. Interestingly, a diligent watchman outside a theatre screening the film barred Nutan from watching her own film because she was still underage!

Despite her early success, Nutan was often dismissed as 'too thin'. For the next few years, she didn't make much headway: Shikwa was stalled, thus nipping her bid to act opposite megastar Dilip Kumar (they make an exquisite couple in the rare footage salvaged). And her big films like Shabab (costarring Bharat Bhushan) with Naushad's mellifluous music were disappointments.

At this stage, the mercurial Shobhana took an unprecedented step: She sent 18-year-old Nutan to La Chatelaine, a finishing school in faraway Switzerland. Nutan enjoyed it tremendously; her schoolmates had no idea that she was an actress in Mumbai.

When Nutan returned, filmmakers looked at the exotic, Westernised heroine with new eyes. She landed the title role in Amiya Chakraborty's Seema about a juvenile delinquent at the cusp of childhood and womanhood. Her eyes flashed fire in the intricately-sung Manmohana bade jhoothe picturised on her (even singer Lata Mangeshkar was impressed). Her character's stricken soul was brought to heart-breaking life as she fought a moral maelstrom while hungrily inching towards a fallen coin.

Seema was a hit and won Nutan a Best Actress Award. She never looked back. Here was an actress who could change gears with well-oiled efficiency: She was the very essence of featherweight froth in films like Paying Guest and Anadi and made a splash by posing in a swimsuit for Delhi Ka Thug (though in a distinctly schoolgirlish costume). Nutan also gave cry-from-the-soul performances in Sone Ki Chidiya (as an exploited actress) and in Bimal Roy's classic, Sujata (as a girl who strives to cross the chasm of caste and be fully accepted by her foster family).

In 1959, the year in which she rode high with hits like Sujata and Anadi, Nutan did the unconventional and got engaged to Commander Rajneesh Bahl. Years later, Nutan's sister Tanuja's daughter, Kajol, did much the same when she got married to Ajay Devgan soon after a string of hits.

After a quiet spell in the early 1960s when she gave birth to her son Mohnish, Nutan was back in the studios. During her absence, Bimal Roy had chosen newcomer Sadhana for his Parakh and Prem Patra, casting her in the Nutan mould, a fact Sadhana herself corroborates. "Nutan was my idol," Sadhana has always maintained.

Recalling that they made a fine pair, her hit costar Dev Anand has said, "Nutan was one of the few actresses with whom one could have an intelligent conversation."

In 1963, Nutan had two diametrically different films released within a month of each other --- Bimal Roy's sombre Bandini and Dev Anand's jaunty crowd-pleaser Tere Ghar Ke Saamne.

Bandini was Nutan's tour de force. Her insightful performance of a quiet woman yoked to a hopeless love that drives her to murder and an eventual search for retribution still ranks among the best ever seen in Hindi films.

In the 1960s, Nutan formed a hit pair with Sunil Dutt in a string of successful south melodramas like Khandaan, Meherban and most famously, the three-tissue reincarnation saga, Milan.

Songs like Tumhi mere mandir, tumhi meri pooja, tumhi devta ho (the song won Lata her last Filmfare Award before she begged off competing at awards), strengthened Nutan's Devi image. Even her famous court battles with her mother over money matters did not much affect Nutan's career or image.

Though Nutan acted in Shammi Kapoor extavaganzas like Laat Sahab clad in skirts and pants, the public seemed to prefer her in the sari-clad, self-sacrificing Saraswatichandra mould, secretly wiping away a tear and singing Main toh bhool chali babul ka desh. This hit garba song was one of Nutan's few, full-fledged dance numbers.

Nutan continued to get interesting roles even after she crossed 40. She could portray strength of character --- as seen in her award-winning role in Raj Khosla's Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki and others like Saajan Bina Suhagan, Saajan Ki Saheli, Teri Maang Sitaron Se Bhar Doon, Rishta Kagaz Ka.

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai cast her in a pivotal role in his Meri Jung and then fulfilled the wishes of several filmgoers (even if it was a little late in the day) by finally casting Dilip Kumar and Nutan together in his Karma (1986).

By the late 1980s, Nutan began veering towards bhajan singing, her farmhouse and her son Mohnish's career. A dreaded cancer began to take its toll but Nutan was lucky enough to see son Mohnish establish himself in the industry with Maine Pyaar Kiya before she passed away in 1991.

The favourite of creative people from Manmohan Desai to contemporary actors like Sachin Khedekar, Nutan has left behind a body of work that continues to garner admiration and respect for an unforgettable face that instantly mirrored the landscape of her soul.

Nutan's Landmark Films
Year Film Hero Director
1950 Hamari Beti Shekhar Shobhana Samarth
1951 Nagina Nasir Khan Ravindra Dave
1951 Hum Log Sajjan Zia Sarhady
1955 Seema Balraj Sahni Amiya Chakravorthy
1957 Paying Guest Dev Anand Subodh Mukherji
1958 Delhi Ka Thug Kishore Kumar S D Narang
1959 Anadi Raj Kapoor Hrishikesh Mukherji
1959 Sujata Sunil Dutt Bimal Roy
1960 Chhaliya Raj Kapoor Manmohan Desai
1963 Bandini Ashok Kumar, Dharmendra Bimal Roy
1963 Tere Ghar Ke Saamne Dev Anand Vijay Anand
1965 Khandaan Sunil Dutt A Bhim Singh
1967 Milan Sunil Dutt Subba Rao
1968 Saraswatichandra Manish Govind Saraiya
1972 Anuraag -- Shakti Samanta
1973 Saudagar Amitabh Bachchan Sudhendu Roy
1978 Main Tulsi Tere Angan Ki Vijay Anand Raj Khosla
1978 Saajan Bina Suhagan -- Sawan Kumar Tak
1985 Meri Jung -- Subhash Ghai
1986 Karma Dilip Kumar Subhash Ghai

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Sangeet Ke Sitaron Ki Mehfil - Khaiy 1.mp3 - DivShare

Sangeet Ke Sitaron Ki Mehfil - Khaiyyam

part 1; http://www.divshare.com/download/17393147-b5a

part 2 ;

http://www.divshare.com/download/17393155-2b6 ;

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'He Was Our Inspiration' | Khayyam on kl sehgal

'He Was Our Inspiration' | Khayyam on kl sehgal | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

'He Was Our Inspiration'

The younger generation may not have the understanding to 'get' the greatness of this singer, says the noted music director Khayyam. As a kid, I used to laugh at his singing, agrees Ehsaan, till I grew to understand the power of his voice.


He was our inspiration. Words fail me when I try to define his influence on our generation. I particularly identify with him because we both hail from Jalandhar. Everything he did -- acting or singing--it became a definition in itself. Let me talk about his acting first. Every film I saw -- be it Tansen or Devdas or President or anything else -- never once did you feel that this was someone acting. He was so completely natural that the word acting became false when applied to him. He just lived every role. I often used to think he was God's special man. He was definitely blessed because his goodness is legendary.
Ah, his singing! He could sing everything. I am particularly partial to ghazals , so I can say that Saigal's ghazals were unsurpassed, each one a beauty in itself. Offhand I can recall Laakh sahi hum or har ek baat pe (Ghalib, whom he loved). They are beautiful masterpieces. Whatever he sang remains etched in memory individually. His songs don't merge into one another. They are individual masterpieces. He rendered the ghazal so simply that it didn't seem a complicated genre at all when touched by his voice. This simplicity was seen in his acting too. He made everything seem so simple.

What can one say about dukh ke ab din beetat nahin or balam aaye baso more man mein? Or, indeed, the lovely do naina matwale tihaare hum par zulm karein? Take his bhajans: avsar beeto jaat praani tero avsar beeto jaye. Or Suno suno hey Krishan kala. The way he calls out to the Lord, as if from a personal relationship with him-- that was his trademark. He took a song and made it his own and then nobody could could take it away. You'd hear KL Saigal's voice singing it even in your mind! So effective was he as a singer.

I came into the film industry in 1947 which was almost his last year. He died soon after. I had gone to Calcutta but he had already left Calcutta and come to Bombay.

We'd hear hundreds of stories about him. His generosity was really legendary. You'd hear stories of how he helped people and never spoke about it himself. He wanted so little for himself, that was the feeling one got. He was a saintly man, a giver. Doesn't the purity of his voice prove it?

I was merely a struggler when I came in and it was my misfortune that I could not meet him but I don't think I'd have had the nerve to go and meet him, He was everyone's idol. Everyone's inspiration. Everyone went to religiously see his every film. So melodious was he that his can truly be called a Golden voice -- in fact, if there was a better word I'd use that too.

It is so difficult to pick out his songs because everything he sang became a favourite with listeners who'd wait with expectancy for a new Saigal release. And it was difficult to say which was more attractive--the singer or the actor. The kind of love and adulation he got from everyone, remains unsurpassed to this day though the younger generation may not believe how crazy we were about K L Saigal and his voice.

For us, he is unforgettable and we are proud of having had him in our midst. Though I was so junior and Chisti baba [Khayyam's mentor] used to tell me a lot of stories about him. Specifically, about his generosity. K L Saigal was no ordinary man. It was his greatness that he never flaunted himself or his deeds. I enjoyed all his films. Devdas particularly comes to mind. His utter simplicity is something I still remember.

Saigal saab sang in Punjabi too and other languages as well. It was his voice we craved to hear, the language didn't matter. We treated every song of his as a collector's item..

We'd hear how RC Boral and Pankaj Mullick who were the doyens of playback singing in Calcutta, once they heard what Saigal could do, just snatched him up for all their compositions. So much so that Pankaj Mullick who was himself a respected singer in those days stopped singing his own compositions for the privilege of having Kundan Lal Saigal sing them.

In Saigal's voice was the power to command the listener to sit down and listen. When he sings bhajoon main to bhav se sri girdhari, you want to sit on bended knees and pray. His voice had that compulsive quality which no one but no one since has come even close to. The younger generation may not have the understanding to 'get' the greatness of this singer but his greatness remains unaffected. Several singers tried to emulate him but there was and there will remain only one K L Saigal.

One can take random examples like Soja rajkumari, soja -- a lullaby which one often thinks would sound better in female voice, but this one by Saigal is so soft so soothing and so utterly beautiful that you listen with eyes closed each time it plays. What can one say of a man whose singing style was such that it required neither training nor orchestration? He sang with a freedom that no one has emulated. since. As I said, he was our inspiration and that is putting it mildly for want of words.

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New Theatres bounces back

New Theatres, Bengal’s most prestigious banner, is back to film production with Aadur Prem
New Theatres, the banner that kept Bengali cinema flying for 24 years (1931-1955), had stopped production of films for more than five decades since its last film Bakul (1955.) Yet, no feature on Bengali cinema and its past can afford to do away with the name of New Theatres, An institution whose contribution to Indian cinema is without parallel. New Theatres produced 150 films shot in its own studios at Tollygunge in Kolkata. The impact of World War II and the Partition of India in 1947 took away a large part of the market in what is now Bangladesh and Pakistan. Added to this were the communal riots between 1946 and 1947 that affected revenues slowly leading the institution to stop production indefinitely? Both studios still stand tall in Tollygunge in Kolkata and offer the prime floors for indoor shooting of Bengali films and serials. But forays into production except a telefilm or a documented serial remain rare.
History is being re-written. New Theatres has relaunched its production programme with a full length feature film Aadur Prem, a fitting opening of a banner that has always been committed to themes and stories of social concern. The story is placed in a contemporary setting where communal strife is writ across the world map. It is based on a love story between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy authored by Swapnamoy Chakraborty who has also done the script. The film has been directed by Somnath Gupta who directed a telefilm for New Theatres and a good part of another documentary called The Story of New Theatres. Arghya Kamal Mitra will edit the film and Soumik Haldar is DOP. Shooting was completed extensively on locations in Murshidabad in October-November last year. The acting cast comprises of Samadarshi Dutta, Debalina Chatterjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Rudraneel Ghosh, Bidipta Chakraborty, Mithun Chakraborty, Angana Bose, Pradip Mukherjee and Ena Saha.
New Theatres films were mostly based on classic Bengali literary works such as the works of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore and Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. Popular novelists were also commissioned to write stories for New Theatres films. Sailajananda Mukhopadhyay, a noted writer, wrote stories of films like Desher Mati (1938), Jiban Maran (1939) and Daktar (1940). Benoy Chatterjee who wrote exclusively for films, wrote Pratisruti (1941), Parichay (1941) and Wapas (1943.)
B.N.Sircar (1901-1980) identified with the best in Indian cinema from its ‘silent’ days right through the forties and fifties, B.N. Sircar was the second son of Sir N.N. Sircar, Advocate General of undivided Bengal and a member of the Viceroy’s council. After his degree in civil engineering from London University, Sircar returned with dreams of setting up his own business in civil construction. One day, he happened to chance upon a long queue outside Crown theatre in the southern parts of Kolkata, which now has a different name. Intrigued by the long queue, he stopped to ask what these people were waiting for. They were waiting to buy tickets for the film being screened in the theatre, he was told. He was amazed at the prospect of this business where people were willing to shell out money without seeing the quality of the product or even knowing how useful it would be for them. That sowed the seeds of getting into film production. New Theatres was born on February 10, 1931 spanning a large tract of land off Tollygunje, in the southern extremes of Calcutta. Over the years, it had a lovely garden filled with mango trees, flowers and a “Gol Ghar” in the centre.
New Theatres marked the entry of some of the greatest talents in the history of Indian cinema. From Prithviraj Kapoor to Bimal Roy, from Pankaj Mullick to Kanan Devi, from Pramathesh Barua, Hem Chandra, Kartick Chatterjee to Phani Majumdar, Debaki Kumar Bose and Nitin Bose, they all made their entry into cinema through New Theatres. Music, always a strong point with New Theatres, reached a new high thanks to a wonderful group of composers, singers and lyricists. If there were composers R.C. Boral, Pankaj Mullick and Timir Baran, there were also singing stars like Kanan Devi, K.L.Saigal, Pahari Sanyal and Asit Baran. New Theatres claims the credit for introducing the technology of playback songs in cinema through Bhagya Chakra (1935).
The New Theatres logo was respected as the hallmark of quality, and the elephant, that forms the logo, is fondly remembered even today. The elephant trapped within a circle has the words Jivatang Jyotiretu Chhaya, drawn from the Upanishads that explained the motto of the institution. Translated into English, the words mean, “Light infusing shadows with life.” There was no room for vulgarity of crudity in the films though thematically, many of them were quite bold in terms of content. The primary aim of this company was a delicate blend of social and humanitarian concern. Aadur Prem (The Love of Aadu) is no exception.

courtesy : screenindia
 Shoma A. Chatterji


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The Hindu : Arts / Magazine : Melodies and memories

The Hindu : Arts / Magazine : Melodies and memories | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Melodies and memories


Mitali and Bhupinder. Photo: K. Ragesh

Bhupinder Singh, Mitali and Gulzar team up after three decades for a ghazal album.

Sometimes, everything jells, perfectly. As it did in the song Dil dhoondta hai from the film “Mausam”. A beautiful poem by Gulzar was given a haunting tune by Madan Mohan and it was sung by Bhupinder Singh in a way only he could; the pain in his voice is contagious. The song continues to charm us, 37 years after it was recorded.

“Yes, in every concert of mine, I still get requests to sing it,” says Bhupinder on a pleasant summer afternoon in Kozhikode, where he would be performing later in the night, along with his wife Mitali. “Of course, I would be singing Dil dhoondta hai tonight.” And when he does, by the sea, under a starless sky, time stands still. The huge, appreciative audience is captivated. A little later in the show he is joined by Mitali for the happier version of the song.

“It is because of Mitali that I began doing shows; earlier in my career, I wasn't comfortable with the idea of singing on stage,” he says.

The singing duo recently finished recording their latest album of ghazals, Aksar. “It will be released soon,” says Bhupinder. “The lyrics are written by Gulzar, with whom we had earlier worked with ‘Woh Jo Shahir Tha'. “The songs in this album are composed by both of us.”

It was Gulzar — he was also the director — who insisted that he sang Dil dhoondta hai. “Madan Mohan too was fond of me; he was the one who asked me to come to Mumbai from my home in Delhi after he heard me sing in a private function,” he reminisces. “I was in South Africa when ‘Mausam' was released and only when a group of youngsters came up to me, chanting Dil dhoondta hai did I realise that the song had become such a rage.”

He recalls Madan Mohan had composed eight tunes for the song. “One of those tunes was used for the song Tere liye in the film ‘Veer Zara' (2004),” he says and sings Dil dhoondta hai in the tune of Tere liye and you notice it still sounds nice, but not as nice as the original.

“I wish I had sung Tere liye,” says Bhupinder. “That is my only regret as far as singing in Bollywood is concerned. Otherwise I am happy with what I have got from Hindi cinema.”

He may not have been the most prolific of playback singers, but he has sung some of Hindi cinema's most melodious, unforgettable numbers like Ek akela is shaher mein (“Gharonda”), Karoge yaad to (“Bazaar”), Naam gum jayega (“Kinara”), Kabhi kisi ko mukammal (“Ahista Ahista”), Beeti na bitai raina (“Parichay”) and Kisi nazar ko tera (“Aitbaar”).

And it was no mean feat to make one's voice heard in the times of Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. “Yes, it would not have been easy for any new singer to get noticed when those stalwarts were around and my case was hardly different, despite my debut song Hoke majboor (with Rafi) for the film ‘Haqeeqat' (1965) becoming a hit,” he says. “And I thought of leaving Mumbai and going back home.”

Strumming it

But destiny had melodious ideas in store for Bhupinder. To stay on in Mumbai, he learnt to play the guitar. He played the guitar for some Bollywood hits such as Dum maro dum (“Hare Rama Hare Krishna”), Chura Liya (“Yaadon Ki Baraat”) and Mehbooba (“Sholay”).

“Some of my best work as a guitarist was for R.D. Burman, who was also a very good friend,” he says. “I sang and played the guitar for one of his ‘Kinara' songs Ek hi khwab. I have also worked with many other composers like Madan Mohan; my work in ‘Hanste Zakhm' was well appreciated.”

He has high regard for Madan Mohan. “He was in a class of his own and I was very close to him,” says Bhupinder. “I remember once travelling with him to Ladakh; on the way, in Kashmir we heard the song Aap ki nazaron ne samjha (‘Anpadh'). He was excited and told me, ‘Look they are playing my song! We had great songs those days because we had composers like Jaidev, Khayyam and R.D. Burman. Madan Mohan and Khayyam used to admire each other's work.”

Among today's composers he rates Rahman highly. “He did superb work in ‘Roja' and ‘Taal',” he says. “As for singers, I like to listen to Hariharan; he has a distinct style of his own.”

Just as Bhupinder himself has. “I think it is his style that separates him from other singers,” says Mitali. “You may find clones of other top singers, but not Bhupinder.”

And he has few equals when it comes to getting the expression of a song right. It is as if he gives his soul to every song he sings. Maybe why we press for the repeat button when we listen to Dil dhoondta hai or Karoge yaad to.

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