Humorous Songs Romantic Duets

A Musical melange

We woke up to an unheard song today. The morning routine after returning home is to flip on the radio while we prepare the morning meal for the canine we are fostering at the moment.

Manna Dey, the patent holder on funny movie songs, came on air with a song we had totally forgotten, so much so that neither Aruna (the one with the far greater knowledge of Hindi Film Music amongst the two of us for sure. She can recall the weirdest of songs and so many complete lyrics, I have ceased to be amazed over the last four decades) nor I could recall the movie. When I did search for the movie, I discovered I had actually seen it on DD Mumbai’s weekend movie show. But I associate the movie with some other memorable melodies so this one just didn’t ring a bell, so to speak.

The song performed by a young Maruti on screen, showcases exactly why Manna Dey was the choice of composers for such lively, fast paced, humorous songs. The funny lyrics are surprisingly by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, who is much better known for his poignant, gut wrenching ghazals. The music is composed by Babul, a composer with enough talent to make it to the top league, but sadly not the luck. Babul’s ambition was originally to become a singer. After training at Marris College of Music, Lucknow (one which has now changed and grown into Bhatkhande Music Institute) he also worked at Lucknow, Delhi and Lahore radio stations of the All India Radio before the Partition. But as he didn’t get enough opportunities and fame as a singer he forayed into music direction. Bipin Dutta and Babul started as assistants to Madan Mohan which led to their friendship. They composed music as a team but also had individual projects. The movie is called, somewhat quaintly, Reshmi Rumal, which has actually been shown on DD Mumbai. The movie has Mr Facepalm with Shakila (one of the top leading ladies of the 50s, but sadly on the decline when the movie was made) in the lead. Achala Sachdev as the mother (I wonder if she had any other roles) Kamal Kapoor, Helen , Maruti, and an assortment of folks like K N Singh, Shammi and even Brahm Bharadwaj in an atypical role of an alcoholic, abusive father who swiftly and conveniently falls down the stairs when drunk and promptly kicks the bucket, leaving Achala Sachdev to suffer with her son (Facepalm)

This one is much more famous, a wonderful duet between Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle. Facepalm sports a striped Cardigan that he has worn in a few hundred sequences in a dozen movies. I am sure the first act of his wife on entering his home must have been to get rid of the eyesore (I mean the article of clothing, not the wart on humanity that reinvented the pained, chronically constipated look of a patient with prolapsed thrombosed piles before recasting himself as a maker of patriotic movies )

The composition is oh, so sweet, that I really feel bad (as always) that Bollywood wasn’t a meritocracy (as isn’t our society, as well) & denied Babul a shot at the top spot.

Have a Fantastic Friday, Folks as Diwali knocks on our doors. The latter day Rakshas army is on the prowl on his drug fuelled jaunt in a fleet multi crore air conditioned mobile homes while carefully cultivating the unkempt look like the homeless zombies that are seen in downtown LA, having foisted a gargoyle to the notional Presidency of his party rather than the smiling assassin (pun intended) who would have at least been worth listening to. And of course that would have ensured a bevy of breathless beauties would have bared it all on 24, Akbar Road. As things stand only Didi, Behenji and similar despicable beings like the Rakhi will do the rounds now.

Stay blessed. I will present a Diwali Special on AIR Delhi FM Gold tomorrow at 1120 am. Do tune in.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

6 replies on “A Musical melange”

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