The overwhelming desire to rest….

I’ve always loved K J Yesudas. Admittedly he has always had a voice different in its tonal quality than the reigning Gods of Bollywood, but the cultural cartel of Bollywood always steered clear of genuine talent and promoted a cosy club and coterie where personal equations and even sycophancy ( & I am not looking at the seamier, darker, underbelly) ruled the roost.

Bappi Lahiri put it best when he said this about the great man in an interview “Yesudas’ voice is touched by God. After Kishoreda, he was another singer who brought out the best in me. He is a yogi, a mystic who lives for music. He takes your tunes to another level. And his note is perfect, you can rely on him to deliver it right the first time. Working with him made me touch base with my melodious side. He is vastly under-utilised in Hindi films. I wish Hindi film composers of today realise his genius and offer him assignments.”

Ravindra Jain always said that if he were to be reborn with vision, the first person he would like to see would be none other than Yesudas.

Despite his towering stature in Malayalam devotional (& other forms) of music, Yesudas was, pretty much like SPB treated very very unfairly by the Bollywood biggies, even before D Company took it over.

Look at this divine melody. Just one from a wonderful movie, Alaap. Produced by N C Sippy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee himself, it had one of the best musical scores I’ve heard in the 70s from the genius Bollywood purposely chose to ignore, because they, the music factories that mass produced and marketed mediocrity were undoubtedly fearful of his considerable skills and felt his genius would not just eclipse them if allowed to express itself fully, so the conspiring coterie ensured he got miniscule opportunity. But Jaidev Verma, broke through and shone through the smokescreen like the summer sun and dazzled everyone with his sheer class and brilliance.

The movie has one of Om Prakash’s best roles of a long and extremely impressive career and a great duel with Amitabh Bachchan. Rekha and Chhaya Devi (as the former courtesan Sarjubai Banaraswali) are fabulous. A K Hangal is expectedly good. Vijay Sharma and Lily Chakraborty are good in their roles as Amitabh’s older brother and bhabhi. (Both underutilized by Bollywood. I loved Lily Chakraborty in the few movies she got an opportunity to show her skills: who can forget Achanak?)

The lyrics for all songs were by Rahi Masoom Raza except the Saraswati Vandana which is a traditional prayer and this one, written by Harivansh Rai “Bachchan”

Yesudas is just sublime in this song which while imploring against the injustice meted out to him for his preference for music over law, never descends to being maudlin.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks, while I escape with my classmate to oxygenate myself.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

12 replies on “The overwhelming desire to rest….”

Yeshudas was a gem of an artist. I always believe the music has an uncanny ability to touch your soul. It has direct connection with our inner core and there have been very few singers who could access that inner core with their voice

Yeshudas was a part of such very tiny minority of singers.

Mentioning few of his songs that I love very much

चांद जैसे मुखड़े पे बिंदिया सितारा
मधुबन खुशबू देता है
का करु सजनी
कहा से आए बदरा
माना हो तुम बेहद हसी

And many more …..

Liked by 1 person

What a beautiful post for Yesudas… loved each word of your well studied writing 👌👌👌
Yess this song will always remain his top 10..👌

Liked by 1 person

Ekhada kalakar aso wa singer, tyach abhyaspurn rekhatan shabdat tumhi je yatarthpane karata tyala tod nahi Sir.. Yeshudas the great.. Dhanywad khoop Chan mahiti milali..

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