Lata Mangeshkar Mohammad Rafi Romantic Duets Salil Chowdhury

Manna from heaven….

I am in awe and utterly and completely bowled over by the durability of the great music of the golden period of Bollywood.

The musical scores from movies that are more than six-seven decades old are easily remembered. Very few of the movies released in the last decade would have any recall to their music. Most are forgotten by the time you step out of the theater (or switch off your TV set or device). Which was the last movie you went and saw purely for the music. Of course a variety of reasons exist. In the 50s and 60s there was no TV in most of the country. Delhi DD (when it began it’s telecast had a very limited footprint and few hours of telecast) was just a beginning and really no competition to the (by then) more than half a century old Bollywood. The sole radio broadcasting medium : AIR played a huge role in popularizing Bollywood films and their music. Personal ownership of turntables (to replay the music at home) was extremely limited and Cassettes/CDs never existed. As a result people went into the movie theaters as one of the primary modes of entertainment. Despite all the very pertinent factors, it is undeniable that the composers of the golden era attached far greater importance to the basics: great poetry, melody, and great vocals.

Let me just simplify it: there was more music and less noise. As a result everyone (except Cacofonix) loves the music of the era.

Unquestionable stalwarts of this era would always include Salil Chowdhury. Look at this amazing melody.

The movie is Maya, made by Rajkumari Kashyap and directed by D D Kashyap. Made a year before another of Dev Anand’s superhit Asli-Naqli ( with Sadhana and directed by the great Hrishida), it had Dev Anand and the heavy lidded doe eyed beauty, Mala Sinha as the lead pair. Amazingly both movies had an identical central theme. An only son (& heir) of a very rich and powerful family is disillusioned with the life of plenty and of comfort, and in a reenactment of Prince Siddharth quitting the Royal Palace to rediscover himself, stays with the poorer folks to discover humanity exists outside the palaces of the rich. Impressed, he promptly falls head over heels with the vivacious beauty of Mala Sinha,as did hundreds of millions of Indians (gender insensitive) aided and enticed by the beautiful monochrome photography and the heavenly music. With the first notes of the Bansuri after the single line of the mukhda by Lata Mangeshkar, one is smitten. The wonderful poetry by Majrooh Sultanpuri was a great asset, too. The noisy sickulars must remember that this hakim-turned-shayar had been jailed by Nehru for the poet’s criticism of the whimsical rose lover (word not just limited to mean the flower). He had emerged stronger in his convictions from jail and wrote beautifully and with renewed élan after his release.

How is it ever possible to forget such an addictive and truly eternal melody through many of which the maestro, Salilda truly achieved immortality?

Just can’t have enough of such songs, these are kept encrypted in the far recesses of my mind , secure and incorruptible. They are brought out off and on to calm my mind and induce the soporific sensation of the most delicious and desirable peace.

Stay healthy and happy folks, I am far happier with these than the crass cacophony of Yo Yo, Badshah and other trash that will never enter my mindspace, thanks to their being consistently divorced from melody


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

16 replies on “Manna from heaven….”

माझे हे आवडते गाणे. सलीलदा का जबाब नही.हे गाणं एकदा ऐकून कधीच मन भरत नाही। धन्यवाद।

Liked by 1 person

If anything never failed, it was Lata-Rafi duet.
In case of Lata-Mukesh, the success formula was same song- solos (Jis dil mein basa tha pyar tera).
Good old days…

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