The reality of typecasting in Bollywood left actors (& actresses) stuck in a particular type of role. This restrictive classification extended to singers as well, most notably exemplified by Talat Mahmood. The man’s amazing voice was somehow thought to be ideally suited to depict pathos, at the exclusion of all other emotions. This happened to Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari as well. But the actors did get some opportunities to break the shackles and free themselves of the unkind and unnecessary binds. Talat Mahmood got this chance a bit more infrequently, but when it did happen, he made capital out of it. Look at this amazing melody from an early 60s movie, Chhaya.
Produced by the giant of Chennai, A V Meiyappan, it was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and had the interesting pairing of Sunil Dutt and Asha Parekh in the lead with Nazir Hussain and Nirupa Roy in significant roles. Salil Chowdhury, the unquestionable genius, wielded the composer’s baton very effectively and composed an exquisite collection of melodies that makes Chhaya a greater musical treat to be cherished than its narrative or the visual satiation, albeit these being handled by true stalwarts, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and Jaywant Pathare, respectively. That’s something in itself, but then that’s Salilda for you. (Sholil-daa if you’re Bangla, for it is nothing short of sacrilegious to call him Salil-da) https://youtu.be/YoTIFYtOGgo
An extremely joyous song that showcases the unique skill of monochrome photography capturing the beauteous and appropriately coy Asha Parekh blushing by a coconut palm trunk while Sunil Dutt makes a futile attempt at hiding behind nearby trees, embracing himself smiling his trademark, chubby cheeked, goofy smile. A fascinating play of light and shadows that is best seen in black and white, not HD Colour, I am afraid. One very rare truly happy song from Talat without the eternal, everpresent underbelly of pain and suffering. https://youtu.be/yu5tOcNWCTs
Have a wonderful weekend, folks. The song will reverberate inside my head all day long. Stay safe , happy and healthy.