My Journey through Films and Film Songs 6

Continued from Previous Page

Music of 1951 - Continued

Following Talat Mehmood’s successful debut in Arzoo in 1950, he was flooded with offers. Almost overnight, every music director in mainstream cinema was looking for Talat Mahmood to enhance the marquee value of his score by getting at least one ghazal for his film put over by Talat. In those days, it was the ambition of each performer, male or female, to sing for the one and only Naushad. It was, therefore, a rare honour to be commissioned by Naushad to perform upon the topmost hero Dilip Kumar for Babul. Talat felt that he had arrived as the voice of Dilip Kumar when all the songs of Babul became hits. Pakistani ghazal singer Mehdi Hasan recalled that when he sang Husn waalon ko na dil do yeh mitaa dete hain from Babul as a fresher in Karachi in 1957, the applause was deafening, and money just rained in upon him from the audience. In next to no time, he collected Rs 14,000 in cash.

Husn waalon ko na dil do yeh mitaa dete hain 
Dilip Kumar’s next film, Deedar was to follow Babul within six months. Talat had smugly assumed that Naushad had no alternative to him to sing for Dilip, so it came as a rude surprise when he found his place taken by the humble Mohammed Rafi, hailing from a village in the Punjab, whom Talat did not view as competition. Talat blamed himself for this turn of events and gave two reasons for Naushad’s turnaround.

At the recording of Mera jeevan sathi bichhad gaya for Babul, Talat had nonchalantly smoked before the take in Naushad’s presence. This. according to Talat, was a display of self-defeating, vainglorious conceit. Talat recalled that Naushad did not say a word but just proceeded with the recording as if nothing had happened, leaving Talat with a feeling of guilt. The second reason offered by Talat was that after being a successful playback singer for three years, Talat embarked upon a career as a singing star. As he began shooting for A. R. Kardar’s Dil-e-Nadan, music directors just lost track of him as a playback performer.

Naushad, however, discounted this and insisted that first Mukesh and then Talat Mahmood, were merely part of a process by which he zeroed in upon Mohammed Rafi as the voice of Dilip Kumar. Naushad did not budge from his selection of Mohammed Rafi even when Dilip Kumar earnestly pleaded for Talat Mahmood. Naushad just asked Dilip Kumar to leave the selection of the Deedar male playback voice to him. Naushad’s decision proved correct when, by Talat Mehmood’s own admission, Mohammed Rafi excelled in no fewer than three solos, Huwe hum jin ke liye barbaad, Naseeb dar pe tere aazmaane aaya hoon, and Meri kahaani bhoolne waale.

These were indeed among our favourite songs, especially my brother Mohan, whose other favourites from the film were the Lata Mangeshkar numbers Pardes jane wale le ja meri duayen and Tu Kaun Hai Mera Kehde Balam.

Naseeb dar pe tere aazmaane aaya hoon 

When Naushad chose Lata Mangeshkar to playback for Nargis in Andaz (1948), producer-director Mehboob, Dilip Kumar and others tried to dissuade him because they thought a Maharashtrian girl would not be able to sing the ghazals composed by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Naushad, however, had full faith in Lata, so he took pains to train her in Urdu pronunciation as well as the nuances of singing ghazals. When her detractors heard the final version of Uthaye ja unke sitam they were dumbfounded.

Uthaye ja unke sitam 

Naushad got Lata to sing three solos and a duet with Shamshad Begum and the latter who was Naushad’s main singer in Mela and Babul was left with only one duet, that too on a supporting character Cuckoo. Naushad continued to replace Shamshad with Lata, now his favourite singer, through Dulari and now Deedar, in which Lata sang some memorable numbers, Pardes jane wale le ja meri duwayen, Tu kaun hai mera kahde balam and two duets Dekh liya maine with Rafi and Bachpan ke din bhula na dena with Shamshad Begum. The last one, reminiscent of Naushad's earlier composition Udan khatole pe ud jaun for Anmol Ghadi is still one of my favourites. I simply love the lilt, the variations in speed and the flow of the song. Shamshad begum had an excellent number Chaman me rahke veerana.

Bachpan ke din bhula na dena 

In Jadoo Shamshad Begum and Lata shared the songs for Nalini Jaywant. Lata Mangeshkar’s Gin Gin Taare Main Haar Gai Raat Ko, Lo Pyar Ki Ho Gayi Jeet and Insan Badalte Rehte Hain were big hits along with Shamshad Begum’s Lara lu lara lu. As a part of Naushad’s efforts to milk more out a film’s profits, he collaborated with AR Kardar to set up a production company called Musical pictures. Naushad discovered that Kardar could get a Musical Pictures’ movie scored by another composer too. Following the high success of Musical Pictures’ Dastan and Jadoo in 1950-51, the matter went to court. The case dragged on for twenty years and in the final settlement Naushad got a paltry sum of thirty thousand rupees for Jadoo.

C Ramchandra, Naushad’s closest rival scored music for two films in 1951. Bhagwan Dada’s Albela with Bhagwan himself starring opposite Geeta Bali was a mega musical hit. C Ramchandra used a combination of western instruments in most of the songs notably for the song Shola Jo Bhadke, which is still very popular in remix and Karaoke circles. At the same time the melodious lullaby dheere se aaja re akhiyan me displayed CR’s virtuosity. We loved to sing it as well as Kismet ki hawa kabhi naram and Sham dhale khidki tale.

dheere se aaja re akhiyan me 

C Ramchandra was also the music director of Filmistan’s Shabistan but left it before completion. Director Bibhuti Mitra was not happy with one of the tunes composed by C Ramchandra. When the music director disagreed with Mitra and questioned his jurisdiction, the matter went to Sasadhar Mukherjee. Ramchandra was miffed when the latter took Mitra’s side and quit Filmistan in a huff. Thereupon, Sasadhar Mukherjee entrusted the music to Madan Mohan, son of Rai Bahadur Chunilal, Production Manager of Filmistan.

Hum hain tere diwane  (C Ramchandra)

Shankar-Jaikishen, scoring music for four films Awara, Nagina, Badal, and Kali Ghata; continued their successful run. Title song, Awara hoon from  Awara became an Indian and international rage and made Raj Kapoor the cultural ambassador of India to Soviet Union and several other countries. Apart from Awara Hoon, the dream sequence song, ghar aya mera pardesi, Mukesh-Lata duet dum bhar to udhar muh phere became popular. All the songs were hits. My favourite number is this Lata Mangeshkar song of separation.

Aa jao tadapte hain armaan 

In Nagina CH Atma’s Roun main sagar ke kinare and Ek sitara hai akash men, designed to suit the singer’s baritone voice were popular. So were Lata Mangeshkar numbers, the haunting Tu ne haye mere zakhme jigar ko chhu liya and kaisi khushi ki hai raat. In Kali Ghata, the title song Kali ghata ghir aayee re has an attractive change of pace that made it popular. Apart from Il labelle mentioned earlier, Lata Mangeshkar had hits with dil me tu mere dil me tu and humse na poochho koi pyar kya hai. In Badal, Mukesh’s Main rahi bhatakne wala hoon and Lata Mangeshkar’s do dinke liye mehman yahan and their duet ae dil na mujhse chhupa became popular.

SD Burman too scored for four films, Baazi, Naujawan, Bahar, and Buzdil. Sahir Ludhianvi wrote the lyrics for the first two, Rajendra Krishna for Bahar, and Kaifi Azmi and Shailendra for Buzdil. According to Sahir Ludhianvi’s biographer Akshay Manwani, producer, director Mohan Sehgal, himself a wannabe film maker in the early fifties, asked Sahir to meet SD Burman, who was looking for a lyricist for his next film. Burman greeted Sahir and gave him the film’s tune and situation and asked Sahir to write some lyrics corresponding to the same. Manwani adds,

 “For a poet of Sahir’s stature the task proposed by Burman appeared simple but he was accustomed to compose free of predefined boundaries, of melody, situation or the language of its protagonists. Undaunted by the constraints of writing to a melody, Sahir requested Burman to play the tune once again and as the notes wafted out of Burman’s harmonium, an inspired Sahir wrote on the spot,

Thandi hawayen, lehra ke aayen,
rut hai jawaan, tum ko yahaan,
kaise bulayein’

Burman was overjoyed. It was a breakthrough moment for the young man, whose checkered journey from Ludhiana to Lahore to Delhi to Bombay had finally paid dividends. ‘Thandi hawayen’ was written and composed for the film Naujawan (1951). The song, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, was an instant hit. It set the Burman–Sahir combination on its way to success for some years to come.” Their next big hit was Tadbeer se bigdi hui, taqdeer bana le from Baazi. Sahir was aghast when S.D. Burman turned his ghazal into a club song for Geeta Dutt to sing for Geeta Bali. The song became a rage. Dev Anand recalled an incident to show the popularity of Tadbeer se bigdi hui.

“I was in Jodhpur at the release of Baazi. There is an air force station there. I was told by the distributors that at a certain time in the film, when this song plays, all the pilots would come to the theatre, buy their tickets, and see the song. They would come only for the song – yeh popularity hoti hai”.

Thus began an association that would last for 17 years.

Several other songs from both these films became hits. Suno gajar kya gaye, ye kaun aya and aaj ki raat piya from Baazi were very popular. Kishore Kumar got to sing a solo under SD Burman. Premnath, hero of Naujawan, recommended Kishore Kumar to its producer AR Kardar resulting in two duets, one each with Lata Mangeshkar (dekhoji dekhoji) and Shamshad Begum (O piya pi pi). My brother Mohan loved to sing Tadbeer se, ye kaun aya, thandi hawayen and dekhoji dekhoji.

thandi hawayen 

Bahar was a mega hit with its fresh heroine, engrossing story line and stellar performance of its main actors.  SD Burman’s music ably complimented the narration, and the songs were hits. Saiyan dil me aana re is still popular in antakshari and karaoke circuits. The songs from Buzdil were well crafted, two of them, jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje and rote rote guzar gayee raat re becoming long term favourites.

Anil Biswas scored for two films both of which had several memorable songs. Talat Mehmood solo Ek main hoon ek meri in Tarana and his duets with Lata Mangeshkar, Nain mile nain huwe banwre and Seene me sulagte hain armaan from the same film are all time classics. Lata Mangeshkar solos Who din kahan gaye bata and Beimaan tore nainwa, and Lata’s duet with Sandhya Mukherjee Bol papihe bol were also very popular. Apart from Talat Mehmood’s Shukriya ae pyar tera, Ae jane jigar by Mukesh, Balma ja ja ja and man me kisiki preet basa le by Lata Mangeshkar tuned by Anil Biswas for Aaram rode the charts.

Old timers Husnlal-Bhagatram had only Afsana against their name. Lata Mangeshkar’s Woh paas bhi rahkar paas nahin and Mukesh’s kismat bigdi duniya badli were noticed by music buffs. Budding music directors Roshan and Madan Mohan made their presence count. Roshan’s tunes in Malhar were all popular with Mukesh-Lata duets Bade Armaanon se rakkha hai and Kahan ho tum leading the list, followed by Mukesh solos Dil tujhe diya tha rakhne ko and Tara toote duniya dekhe. Roshan also impressed with his compositions in Humlog. Lata Mangeshkar’s soulful solos Chali jaa chali jaa and Bahe akhiyon se dhar, Mukesh’s Apni nazar se unki nazar tak and dil ki pareshaniyan, and the lilting Chhun chhun chhun baje payal became very popular.

Bade Armaanon se rakkha hai 

Madan Mohan, who had begun his journey as a music director with Aankhen had to take charge of the work left incomplete by C Ramchandra for Shabistan. He composed four songs, including one in which he sang himself.

Hai ye musam ye bahar  (Madan Mohan)

However, in Madhosh he gave another Talat Mehmood evergreen Meri yaad me tum na aansoo bahana and a Lata Mangeshkar hit song Hame ho gaya hai tumse pyar.

Meri yaad me tum na aansoo bahana 

In Shokhian, Kidar Sharma introduced a new music director claiming a connection with the legendary Tansen. Hailing from Sujangarh in Rajasthan,  Jamal Sen came from a family of court musicians. One of his ancestors, Kesari Sen was a disciple of Tansen. Jamal Sen’s compositions in Shokhiyan were appreciated and the music was a hit. Lata Mangeshkar’s Sapna ban sajan aaye and Raton ki neend chheen li sung by Suraiya exemplify Jamal Sen’s musical ability.

Sapna ban sajan aaye  

Raaton ki neend chheen l

Continued to Next Page  


More by :  Ramarao Annavarapu

Top | Cinema

Views: 778      Comments: 4

Comment Dear Dhananjay,
Thanks a lot for your comments. Hope you enjoyed listening to the songs.

02-Aug-2023 02:58 AM

Comment Very nicely written narrative.It takes you back in time to those golden days
Yeh Dil Mange More

Sushila Annavarapu
01-Aug-2023 03:40 AM

Comment Great article.your knowledge is encyclopaedic

31-Jul-2023 04:53 AM

Comment Great research work on Hindi film music by a real connoisseur who as a Civi Servant could hardly find time to pursue his passion for music.

D. P. Tripathi
31-Jul-2023 04:52 AM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.