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Rahul Dev Burman Sad Film Songs

A haunting aria …

I have always felt the essential ingredients of an unforgettable melody be it in Hindi Film Music, Ghazals or Marathi Bhavgeet to be good poetry, a melodious composition and great vocals. Only when all three are present in good measure. This song shows the immense strengths and beauty of the three who collaborated in the creation of this amazing pensive euphony. This is a sort of a title song for the movie. https://youtu.be/lqEUqLGkhng

Three geniuses: Gulzar, Pancham (Rahul Dev Burman) & Bhupinder Singh came together to create this amazing meaningful narrative. The verse is set to a minimalist composition with a Hindustani Classical Music base with apt, non intrusive instrumentation and vocals that are almost conversational. An immortal creation that seems to have been made with such a lasting, profound influence and impact on my neurons I can’t just forget it. The good night’s sleep after many days led to me being better rested than other days in almost a week and the recall of this song was just the tonic my soul needed. Kinara was a movie written and directed by Gulzar, with two actors who were happy being quite stuck in a rut till  Gulzar made them show off their acting skills. Dharmendra performed in Gulzar’s movies as he had never otherwise performed. Jeetendra was an utter loss as Jumping Jack, till Gulzar got him to actually act

कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं कोई नहीं
कोई नहीं हैं कही
सपनो में क्यों खो गयी
सपनो में क्यों खो
गयी बोलो न बोलो न
कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं हैं कही

हो फिर आँख नम हो गयी
फिर आँख नम हो गयी
फिर कोई यद् आ गया है
रोशनी कम हो गयी

फिर आँख नम हो गयी
फिर कोई यद् आ गया है
रोशनी कम हो गयी
किनारा मिलेगा यही रे
मिलेगा किनारा यही
यही रे यहि रे

कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं हैं कही
बात थी ख्वाब की
बात थी ख्वाब की ख़्वाब
में बीत चुकी है
ख्वाब दोहराते नहीं

बात थी ख्वाब की
बात थी ख्वाब की ख़्वाब
में बीत चुकी है
ख्वाब दोहराते नहीं
ज़िन्दगी सपना नहीं रे
ज़िन्दगी सपना नहीं
नहीं रे नहीं ऋ

कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं कोई नहीं
कोई नहीं हैं कही
कोई नहीं हैं कही.

The on-screen chemistry between Dharmendra and Hema Malini is clearly evident in another song. The plot is quite intriguing and I loved how the maestro handled it.

Almost an intimate conversation between two souls in love, turned into an unforgettable song. https://youtu.be/XE0aX22y7yI

Bhupinder Singh passed away earlier this year and my blog on his demise attracted plenty of visits. I have always loved his singing.  Some had wrong ideas about his debut in Bollywood, hope the clip that follows will clear that part. The clip also gives wonderful insights into the genius that was Bhupinder. https://youtu.be/0BbBLpdEivA

A wonderful melody , two great songs by Bhupinder in the same movie, with entirely different moods and impact.

Have a wonderful day ahead, folks. Stay healthy with downpours in my part of the country over the last few days and more promised over the days to come.

Categories
Rahul Dev Burman

And what a fall it was…..

Sometimes the dice don’t quite roll properly for a given person in life. Despite a horrendous situation that looks utterly unsalvageable, some rise, literally from the ashes, Phoenix like and end up scaling the tallest summits. Others who start off well, find themselves inexplicably and hopelessly adrift of their original trajectory.

Look at the lady who made a memorable  “debut” in films as Mala Sinha’s teenaged daughter in Anpadh with sublime music by Madan Mohan, prancing to the amazing Lata Mangeshkar timeless classic , Jiya Le Gayo Ji Mora Sanwariya , and had received 2 Filmfare nominations for her roles in Ittefaq and Do Raaste, in 7 years’ time, just the next year committed a horrendous mistake of acting in Shakti Samanta’s Kati Patang in this role which in a way defined her future in films. Even now I wonder why Bindu Nanubhai Desai ever decided to finish her own acting career by taking on such a crass and short role. https://youtu.be/JQC85Nq7V0s

This song became very famous for all the wrong reasons. For starters, there were no real lyrics, but more like a single line of prose repeated amidst loud lecherous panting. The body language doesn’t leave much to imagination, doesn’t it? None of the blithe lissomness of Helen, the real progenitor of a “dance form” quirkily called Cabaret by Bollywood which was a poorly disguised show of flesh and skin. Bindu, Fariyal, Kalpana Iyer, Prema Narayan , Padma Khanna et al excelled (?!?) in this type of visual assault on the audience jiggling tons of lard just to provide cheap gratification for the testosterone charged members of the front rows in the sweaty theaters.

The impact of such visually distressing and utterly distasteful few minutes was expectedly very rewarding financially, but it all but finished Bindu’s career as a serious actress, which she undoubtedly was. Her acting in Imtihaan (with Vinod Khanna and Tanuja) was excellent in an otherwise challenging role. There was yet another fantastic role in Abhimaan with Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan.

Despite all these great and memorable roles, Bindu was sadly confined to virtually the dustbin of history. I don’t think her advisors were thinking right when she did a movie like Hawas which was a rather voyeuristic movie. ( Compare that character with Nargis’s grey character in her last hurrah: Raat Aur Din)

Both female characters were about an insatiable carnal appetite but was handled far more sensitively in Raat Aur Din.

From then on, Bindu went into a bit of a tailspin and despite acting in 160 odd movies, doesn’t have a monumental performance that she was definitely capable of.

Que sera sera….

You make one wrong choice in Bollywood and the sharks pounce on you.

Here’s to What Might Have Been..

Stay safe folks and enjoy catching up with your sisters. Today is the day of filial love.

Categories
Rahul Dev Burman Romantic songs

Unforgettable song from a forgotten movie

Yesterday was Kishore Kumar‘s 93rd birthday. All my music loving friends expected me to post a song by him, but the social media were awash with scores if not hundreds of his well known (& also less known) melodies. As a result, I consciously held back my Kishore da post by 24 hours.

It is truly impossible to pick up just one song by such a prolific singer and an unforgettable, multifaceted genius for so many reasons. As it should be for another prolific and much loved unmistakable one, Rahuldev Dev Burman, for pretty much the same reasons: for both of these guys, you’re really spoilt for choice. I therefore decided to choose one which shows their oeuvre more. It would have to be a delicious song from an utterly forgettable movie. This was a great fit. https://youtu.be/9wI3UXRYW-s

A self confessed , utterly amoral junkie who was foisted on the cine going public (by his doting parents and their D Gang coterie and family connections through his mother) cast opposite an actress who looked out of place in necking the guy, and an utterly inane storyline sums up Rocky.

Pancham is expectedly brilliant with a melody that’s typical of him. Kishore da let’s his full throated voice soar in this sublime song. Lata Mangeshkar is the perfect foil , the anchor on which voice rests and brings him back to terra firma.

Anand Bakshi wrote the lyrics, in his trademark style, again a very prolific craftsman who actually believed he was a good singer. Unfortunately others didn’t share his opinion of his vocal skills. After a couple of movies of agony, the lid came down firmly on his ( & the suffering audience) pain. D

An easily identified Kishoreda and Latadidi duet of brilliance, oozing romance from a movie you would need to drag me gagged and shackled to get me within a mile of. By the end of the movie, I suppose I would be ready to admit I’ve killed JFK and MLK Jr as well as Abe Lincoln.

Stay safe, folks as I am mentally in a different locale already, 24 hours ahead of my being physically transported there.

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Rahul Dev Burman Sad Film Songs Uncategorized

A duel to remember

I remember seeing this movie in Goregaon in Anupam theatre. I had seen the original English movie a few months ago and also watched the Marathi play (which was never credited sadly by Hrishikesh Mukherjee) . It featured a memorable acting duel in every one of its avatars.

It started off as a  1935 play by T S Eliot on the same subject, Murder in the Cathedral, which was intended primarily as a religious treatment. However, there are one or two similarities in the interpretation with the play by Jean Anouilh , Becket which was published and staged nearly a quarter of a century later , a world war apart and in French, but based on the same state vs religion conflict of It is a depiction of the conflict between Thomas Becket and the then King, Henry II of England,  that resulted in Becket’s murder (Contract Killing in today’s parlance) in 1170. The French play contains many historical inaccuracies, which the author acknowledged. But that was a liberty taken by a playwright to improve the dramatic effect of the narrative. Thomas Becket also known as Saint Thomas of CanterburyThomas of London and later called Thomas à Becket was the much respected and venerated Archbishop of Canterburyfrom 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is widely venerated as a Saint and even as a Martyr  by both the Catholic Church as well as the Anglican Church. He engaged in conflict (Church vs State) with the then King of England, Henry II, over the rights and privileges of the Church. The conflict started creating much discomfiture for the King who asked his cronies to bump off the Archbishop, ironically and cynically carried out in the Canterbury Cathedral itself, following which the dead Archbishop was immediately canonised by the then Pope, Alexander III. At that time, the British Monarchy still paid obeisance to the Vatican, the break and establishment of the Anglican Church happened during the reign of the polygamous and sex-crazed King Henry VIII who wanted the pope to solemnise his marriage(s) to a divorcee, which of course the Pope refused. So our man Henry broke away from the Vatican and established his own Church (shades of what is happening on the Political Scene in India?)

The movie based on the late 50s play was called, expectedly, Becket, a must-watch for all serious students of cinema. It has a feast of acting talent: Richard Burton as Thomas Becket, Peter O’Toole as King Henry II and the legendary John Gielgud as King Louis VII. It won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for eleven other awards, including for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, and twice for Best Actor. Jean Anouilh’s play was adapted by the great Marathi Playwright Vasant Kanetkar as Beimaan. Satish Dubhashi and Prabhakar Panashikar were just terrific in the original Marathi Play and every one of my generation (and one senior) who has seen the play will remember and relish their acting duel. Sparks flew and I was very influenced at the time and used some of the lessons in my own attempts. Hrishikesh Mukherji was a very big fan of Marathi dramas. Theatre, Literature and Music are all shared passions for all Marathi and Bangla speaking people. He adapted Beimaan to make Namak Haram but didn’t credit Vasant Kanetkar properly. This song is from the same movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4IKtYalRW4

The movie has a fantastic acting duel between Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, the movie was made soon after Anand. It is said that according to the initial script, Bachchan was supposed to die at the end. When Kaka got to know this, he insisted that Hrishikesh Mukherjee to change the ending so he dies in the end instead of Bachchan. It was Khanna’s view that death in the end gets viewers’ sympathy. The same had happened in Anand, and had succeeded in getting a lot of popularity for Khanna. Although Mukherjee did not want this change, Khanna was such a big star, he had to do this. This made Amitabh very angry and he vowed never to work with Khanna again. I personally don’t believe in this version at all on the grapevine. The original story from history has the priest getting killed by the King’s men and so it would be logical for the poor worker being killed by the rich milliner’s henchmen by logical continuity.

Great lyrics by Gulzar, Great composition and singing by R D Burman and Kishore Kumar, respectively.

All in all, a great movie despite the alleged controversy.

Take care, folks, and stay happy and healthy

Categories
Rahul Dev Burman Romantic Duets

The indescribably intoxicating petrichor

I remember this movie for multiple reasons. It was actually the first “hit” movie that Rajesh Khanna made early in his career that helped define it. He went on to have an unequalled run of hits as the male lead ( 19 in a row!!). In an industry where success is an unpredictable and notoriously fickle, this was a truly amazing feat, one that hadn’t happened before, hasn’t been replicated thus far, and given the metamorphosis technology is bringing in now, with the very parameters of success being redefined rather radically and evolving rapidly like a mountain stream in full spate in the monsoons, what with longevity and commercial success no longer linked to one other, unlikely to happen in the future, either.

Baharon ke Sapney was made by Nasir Husain. There is a very interesting story behind the movie’s coming into existence. The superhit (as it turned out to be) film Teesri Manzil was originally supposed to be directed by Nasir Hussain and was to star Dev Anand as the male lead. Another of Nasir Hussain’s productions Baharon Ke Sapne was being planned and was to be directed by Vijay Anand. However, on the occasion of Sadhana’s engagement party, a chance overhearing (by Nasir Husain) of a rather dismissive and derogatory off-the-cuff remark by Dev Anand led to bad blood   between Dev Anand and Nasir Hussain. Dev Anand purportedly said “The film which Nasir is making with me is coloured and he has given Goldie some black-and-white film to make. Goldie is making the movie with some new boy, Rajesh Khanna”. Colour film was an expensive (& therefore less used) medium in the 60s, and was reserved for the most prestigious and bigger projects. Most movies were still being shot in monochrome.  Nasir Husain was enraged and the very next day requested Vijay Anand to direct Teesri Manzil but sacked Dev Anand. He swapped the directorial baton for  Baharon Ke Sapney, with the lesser known male lead.  It was only then that Shammi Kapoor was approached for Teesri Manzil. Asha Parekh remained the female lead for both films, with her famous personal equation with Nasir Husain.

Baharon ke Sapney had only one song shot in colour ( Kya janoon sajan, which is a dream sequence and has a very interesting story related to Pancham‘s innovative nature in its recording) & the maestro Jal Mistry picked up the Filmfare for his lensmanship. Both movies had the same music director: Rahul Dev Burman, who stamped his class and ingenuity. I love this amazing folk song which exudes petrichor. Starting off with a rhythm straight from the Maharashtrian Lavani, it shows Lakshmichhaya pirouetting to the steps of Lavani and has been shot  amazingly as a duet with Manna Dey (THE most undercelebrated of the top male singers in Bollywood but the one whose panoply of singing was truly the most varied and impressive) & Lata Mangeshkar. While Rajendranath is busy panting lecherously (an effect used to even greater effect by Pancham later in another Rajesh Khanna starrer Apna Desh) a bemused Anwar Hussain steps forward to sing and dance with the gorgeous belle, (surely a rare occasion for him). https://youtu.be/BZqx5k4aiJo

Rajesh Khanna clearly looks very boyish. The billboards reflected the star value at the time, with Asha Parekh getting top billing ahead of Kaka.

The song itself is so very rooted to the rustic environs it is aptly picturized. The rhythmic intro is reminiscent of SDB and Jewel Thief. I am sure Pancham was assisting his father on that project. Smoking had still not fallen into public disrepute and you can see Kaka in the background puffing. The song, I daresay looks much better in monochrome, rather than in its colorized form. The basic beauty and Jal Mistry’s skilled monochrome photography is negated by the colorized version. https://youtu.be/pXc-BUBqGU0

Have fun, folks, the early morning drizzle has brought the mercury down to mid 20s and the breeze adds to the nip in the air.

Stay healthy and happy.