Lata Mangeshkar Romantic songs

Classical romance

I am amazed at the music directors of yore to create truly everlasting melodies. The movies, actors, plots all inevitably fade into the distant past, but the songs remain fresh as they sounded the day they were released. Despite the change of musical genres, artistes, influences, instrumentation and singers as well as composers, these melodies are truly eternal. Look at the number of young kids (including some preteenagers) who sing these with élan and panache.

Look at this song from a late 50s movie, Goonj Uthi Shehnai, made by Vijay Bhatt with one of the luckiest leading men whose overall appearance reminds me of other amorphous objects like a Batata Wada or a head of Suran (amorphophallus) with about as much (if not lesser) emotive abilities. But Rajendra Kumar whose only attribute was he was prepared to be clean shaven in keeping with the norms and due to his possessing a Y chromosome, got to prance with the incredibly beautiful and hugely talented actresses who didn’t have to even drop a handkerchief to attract the viewers (unlike the bare it all bimbos of these days). The plethora of beautiful ladies with a surfeit of acting talent meant better storylines and much greater woman-centric storylines and movies. Nutan, Mala Sinha and Meena Kumari to name just three who could virtually demand meatier roles or even movies made around their skills and roles that did justice to them. Ameeta {the lady who was (re)launched with much fanfare by Tolaram Jalan of Filmistan for Tumsa Nahin Dekha, a superhit that actually ended up salvaging Shammi Kapoor’s sinking career rather than helping Ameeta’s} was the pretty female lead. The storyline wasn’t much to write home, it had been iterated before this one and has been repeated multiple times hence.

Vasant Desai was the brilliant composer who wove lyrical, absolutely magical musical fabric out of the seven notes, gave one of the best scores of his career. A very simple, straightforward man who came out of Prabhat, he acted and sang early in his career before turning to music direction of undisputed quality. The score in the movie is amazing with such enduring melodies of a sublime quality. Bharat Vyas wrote the lyrics.

The song is composed in a very melodious raag of the late evening (9 pm to midnight), Bihaag. Bihaag, a raag of the Bilawal thaat, is audav-sampoorna in its construct. The aaroha excludes rishabh and dhaiwat, while the avaroha has all 7 notes. All notes are shuddha and some greats will bring in a teevra madhyam into play. A truly wonderful, calming and sublime raag that induces joy and peace.

It’s very amusing to see the picturization showing a lot of tricks to indicate the physical proximity between the lead pair, bringing in a variety of cute birds and animals, and the monochrome photography is just brilliant. Rajendra Kumar uses the Shehnai as a virtual phallic symbol and wears more layers of make up than the lady, explaining perhaps his unwillingness to let the face crease much. He really reminds me strongly of a ventriloquist’s dummy in this song. (Methinks the dummy has a face that’s a tad more expressive). Thanks to the amazing musical score, the movie did very well at the box office, raking it in by the crores.

Bihaag’s pacific, hypnotic and even addictive qualities are best demonstrated by a rendition by one of the maestros. Swarmartand Jasraj ji is my favourite all time vocalist, but for today I will bring another virtuoso who did much in his brilliant career to popularize the difficult instrument. Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia, once a wrestler, took to the instrument as a fish to water. After he virtually learnt the instrument against his father’s wishes (& without his knowledge) he started working with the AIR as an instrumentalist and even trained with Annapurna Devi, Ali Akbar Khan’s sibling and Ravi Shankar‘s first wife. The reclusive lady needed much persuasion to take him under her wings. She only agreed to teach him if he was willing to unlearn all that he had learnt until then.

Another version is that she only agreed to teach him after he took the decision to switch from right-handed to left-handed playing to show her his commitment. In any case Pandit Hariji played left-handed all through his career.

His rendition of the raag is just fabulous.

Just listen to this and get lost, as I will all of today.

Stay safe, happy and healthy, folks. I have already transported myself into the weekend


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

10 replies on “Classical romance”

As soon as I saw the pic., Vasantrao Desai came to my mind. Thanks to whom my love for Indian classical music blossomed at the private baithaks at his residence on Peddar Road. Opposite the Film Institute 🙏❤️

Many, many thanks, dear Aniruddha.

Liked by 1 person

Wow….Truly great melodious song…..Lovely poetry by Bharat Vyas….Great music by Vasant Desai and fabulous singing by Lataji….very very sweet singing……
Amazing….Songs like these have a great shelf life….
Today also they sound soooooo beautiful…..When the song was released I was not even born ….still while listening to it …..It sounds so fresh and melodious to me…..
Bihaag is indeed a wonderful raag….so sweet and calming…..Great and beautiful rendition by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasiya ji…..
Thanks for the wonderful share Aniruddha sir 🙏👌

Liked by 1 person

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