We have just returned from grabbing a lungful or two of Oxygen, detoxing my system of urban noise, pollution and heat and dust. The temperature was a good 6 degrees lower than our urban abode and we had a stiff breeze thrown in. The wind chill got through to the marrow and out came the jackets, hoodies et al. Our niece’s son, the irrepressible Anay livened up the proceedings and kept four generations busy and ensured he remained the focus of everyone’s attention. Such a blessing to have a bright young kid who declared at 10 pm after dinner he wanted to play the new card game he had learnt earlier in the evening till midnight. His poor parents put paid to that plan, though, and as a result the trio slept well after the two of us returned from our morning walk amongst pristine nature full of lush green new vegetation and hundreds of warblers of various kinds that I can’t even identify confidently.
Today is also Pancham’s 82nd birth anniversary. A restless genius who was so prolific and sadly left us way too soon….
The time was just right for me to be reminded of this classic melody that has stayed with me for nearly half a century. Absolutely top drawer. The movie truly gave Jumping Jack Jitendra’s stagnant career a huge fillip.
‘Beeti Na Bitayee Raina’ from Parichay was a forerunner to the special creative bond that would form between Gulzar and Pancham. The storyline at first glance very looks similar to The Sound of Music, the movie was beautifully made by Gulzar. I actually loved Pran’s role the most, better than I liked Jitendra or Jaya Bhaduri.
The song is forever etched on my mindspace and musical memories. Based on the extremely melodious evening raga Yaman Kalyan, the Lata-Bhupinder duet fetched Lataji a national award for best playback singer that year. Isn’t it amazing that Pancham was not given the award for the song or movie?
Pancham is aptly more famous for his more innovative offerings, compositions and entirely “out of the box” thinking when using instruments (some of them not even musical instruments ) to create the sound effects in his many movies. But one should never forget his unforgettable songs based on Hindustani Classical Music and the amazing concepts (that his legendary father was more famous for) in blending two or more raags to create an amazing composition. I can never forget that the man debuted in Bollywood with the amazing composition in Chhote Nawab sung by Latadidi Ghar aajaa Ghir Aaye Badra Saanwariya. An amazingly accomplished composition for the man who was all of 22 years when he thought of this creation in the rarely performed raag Malgunji. Apparently Latadidi had promised him (and got him to promise in return) that his debut song in Bollywood as an independent composer would be hers. Pancham went on to create so many more compositions in Shuddha Hindustani Classical Raags, the accusation that he was too “Western minded” was hollow and utterly misplaced.
Yaman Kalyan is a wonderful raag that evokes tranquility: shaant rasa and also evokes bhakti rasa. Bharatratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshiji’s Yaman Kalyan is so different in effect from his energetic and vigorous Miyan Ki Malhar or Megh Malhar.
And I will wind up with an even more evocative rendition of the raag by the unique musical genius, Kumar Gandharva.
Stay safe, and listen to the two maestros sing the raag apt for the hour.
Stay away from the malicious virus unleashed by the empire of evil on humanity
Take the jab when you get the opportunity.