Romantic songs Sad Songs Shankar Jaikishan

Aging well with time…

When one talks of the improvement in quality of anything with age, the first thing which comes to most people’s minds would be wine. Lots of aphorisms draw the parallels between improvement in palatability of wine and humans with age. One of the most famous is by a Pope, John XXIII: “Men are like wine, some turn (become sour) to vinegar, but the best improve with age.

This does happen to a variety of human qualities: teachers, lawyers, cooks and even physicians hone and improve their skills with the passage of time. Instrumentalists get better too, singers’ voices mature but may actually change in tonal quality over time, they may lose the ability to strike the high notes without sounding off key or shrill. But some songs sound so much better over time. Take the example of this song from an early 50s movie, Aah.

The movie was Raja Nawathe‘s first independent directorial venture, having worked as Raj Kapoor’s assistant in Aag, Barsaat and Aawara. A story of misdirected letter and the wrong sister (Nargis, not Vijaylakshmi) falling in love with a tuberculosis stricken hero (Raj Kapoor) with all the attendant misunderstandings and a changed end (Bowing to the audience reaction, which did not like the hero being shown as dying at the end with Nargis’s baraaat going past his window while he is dying and she is shown to be married off to his friend/physician: Pran in a non-villainous role)

RK Films produced the movie, which didn’t quite meet the box office success despite the hopes pinned to it, and despite the change of the end to a happier one, which needed Raj Kapoor to miraculously improve from his deathbed to get up and marry Nargis, and this was something of an undoubted disappointment for the ultimate showman in Bollywood. Subsequently, the film was later dubbed in Tamizh as Avan  and even in Telugu as Prema Lekhalu . The film was remade in Turkish as Ah Bu Dünya a decade later. I am sure someday some self appointed Professor of the famous WhatsApp University will spread a rumour which says exactly the opposite. It is sometimes funny and outrageous to read stuff like Aawara was inspired by a Turkish movie.

The musical score of the movie was just sublime, Shankar Jaikishan at their very best, barely a few years into their prolific career. This song has beautiful lyrics by Shailendra and the vocals by Latadidi literally pierce through to the very core of my soul. The sharpness in her voice at the time (she was in her early 20s and this was before the famous poisoning by her cook a decade later who absconded after that) is unimaginably soft like satin or velvet but with a sharp edge like a surgeon’s scalpel, it cuts through without your realising. Mukesh, who came to Bollywood wanting to be an actor was occasionally seen singing his own songs and the song “Chhoti Si Yeh Zindagani” was picturised on him in the movie.

यह शाम की तन्हाईयाँ ऐसे में तेरा ग़म
यह शाम की तन्हाईयाँ ऐसे में तेरा ग़म
पत्ते कही खडके हवा आयी तो चौंके हम
पत्ते कही खडके हवा आयी तो चौंके हम
यह शाम की तन्हाईयाँ ऐसे में तेरा ग़म

जिस राह से तुम आने को थे
उसके निशाँ भी मिटने लगे
उसके निशाँ भी मिटने लगे
आये न तुम सौ सौ दफा आये गए मौसम आये न तुम सौ सौ दफा आये गए मौसम
यह शाम की तन्हाईयाँ, ऐसे में तेरा ग़म

सीने से लगा तेरी याद को
रोती रही मैं रात को, रोती रही मैं रात को
हालत पे मेरी चाँद तारे रो गए शबनम
हालत पे मेरी चाँद तारे रो गए शबनम
यह शाम की तन्हाईयाँ ऐसे में तेरा ग़म
यह शाम की तन्हाईयाँ ऐसे में तेरा ग़म.

A wonderful, eternally melodious composition based on the sweet raag Shuddha Kalyan, it is one of my very favourite songs from the era.

Imagine a song from any heavy metal group that lasts 70 years and sounds as good, if not better… Can’t imagine it, right?

That’s the power and lasting quality of good music.

Stay safe, folks and stay healthy and happy. I will go where my heart lies and where my bones and ashes will be scattered amongst the mountains.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

8 replies on “Aging well with time…”

आह!!!! Lovely song!!!!! Touching the soul….deeply….👌👌👌👌
Great lyrics!!!! and Superb singing by Lata ji…. very sweet voice with an apt. amount of pain for this song….really touches the soul..
Great info as usual…..
Thanks for the share Aniruddha sir….

Liked by 1 person

Wow.. nice melodious and an evening song… liked it and with your permission am copying it to broadcast on my WhatsApp status…:-)
Thanks a lot

Liked by 1 person

Absolutely agree with you SIRJI🙏🏾👍🙏🏾
What a sublime music and particularly this song!!
Hope these w/a goons see your remarks 😅👆🏼
I am sure they will not budge 👍😅
Such are the times… truth vanishes without a trace..!😔😔

Liked by 1 person

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