I woke up to a magical countryside. The clouds had rolled down from the mountains, engulfing each in their moist embrace. A light precipitation dropped the mercury even further. The evening had been blustery and the mercury had come down to the low teens after sunset. The wind whistled through the night like an enraged banshee shrieking in frustration at an unachievable victim.
The hair oil would have undoubtedly solidified within the bottle and would need to be thawed. As I flitted in and out of my slumber, I heard the distinctive cry of the peacock. Missing it’s soulmate, undoubtedly, it sent out it’s high pitched cry resonating, echoing down from its residence in the higher reaches of the forest on the hills. In a trice, I was up on my feet and went out on to the observation terrace with my binoculars. I peered into the vegetation but couldn’t sight it.
Failed yet again. But then it’s unlike us, Aruna and I to give up. The disappointment won’t last long. I will persevere till I see it. I stretched and came in to brush and wash my face. The somnolence had disappeared at the first cry of the peacock. Just as I had finished rinsing my mouth, I was reminded of this eternal , poignant melody of separation and remembrance. The unbeatable combination of a good poet (Kaifi Azmi) , an outstanding if less rewarded legendary composer who gave us a sackful of fabulous melodies that would do any musician proud (Madan Mohan) & the once-in-a-millenium divine voice that always sounded sweeter in Madan Mohan’s nectar-soaked compositions (Lata Mangeshkar). The factual movie of betrayal of a proud fighting force (The Indian Army) by the opportunistic and amoral autocrat who was the progenitor of a parasitic dynasty and his corrupt , incompetent and sycophantic sidekicks, Haqeeqat, one really hard hitting movie that lays bare the treason of JLN and his coterie. Made wonderfully and set against the stark background of a mountainous wasteland, the sombre movie recounts a sordid tale of futile heroism amongst the cynical betrayal by those who should have backed the protectors, but were left, callously and insensitively, to die, unmourned and abandoned. JLN tried hard to kill the movie and reportedly cried नक्राश्रु (crocodile tears) when watching the movie (he could and did act very effectively in public for long enough to successfully delude an entire people for decades making them believe he was all that he wasn’t). https://youtu.be/7-CCYBATVpI
Yesterday was Madan Mohan’s 98th birth anniversary. My very favourite composer gifted beyond imagination in an uncaring industry jealous of his incredible talent. The music factories saw to it that he didn’t get the best projects with the best banners and their match fixing ensured they cornered all the awards, isn’t it unimaginable that between three of the best composers that Bollywood has ever had, Salil Chowdhury, Jaidev Verma and Madan Mohan Kohli, the trio with musical quality far superior to many of their peers, got just one Filmfare Award (Salilda for Madhumati at the very first Filmfare Awards ever given ). But when the legendary and all time great score for a Woh Kaun Thi loses out to a rank pedestrian album like Dosti, you know the quality and credibility of the awards. That disappointment rankled, undoubtedly.
Madan Mohan ji soldiered on, continued doing what he did best, weaving one more unforgettable melody after the other,seducing, enchanting, regaling, enthralling, and bewitching his quality conscious audience. But the pain of being subjected to a cruel and unjust neglect lingered, undoubtedly leading him to a far earlier demise. His son Sanjeev Kohli created a score for Veer Zaara by Yashraj and winning an award. As eloquent a testimony to Madan Mohan’s quality as it could possibly get. https://youtu.be/nfzqObzkzVg
C’est la vie….
My humble obeisance to the King of Poignant Melodies in Bollywood and here’s wishing every fan of great music endless listening and savouring his sublime music. The heavenly quality of his creations will always be cherished and celebrated by every single aficionado of good music on earth who can identify and acknowledge when one is treated to it.
Stay happy folks, while I get lost in the rain soaked countryside.