Romantic Duets Sachindev Burman

A Joyous beginning to the morning…

The morning got off to a great start. The intermittent torrential rains and bone-chilling breeze of the mountains had given way with a change of locale to clear skies (after so long) & a very light breeze. While returning from the hospital, the car audio started with the unmistakable introductory notes of this 60 year old song, filling the car, my ears and my heart with joy. The song is just a paean of love, an ode to uninhibited joy.

An amazing, frothy duet sung by the irascible and irrepressible Kishore Kumar and an equally buoyant Asha Bhosle. Teen Deviyan was a movie produced and directed by Amarjeet and had some really wonderful music.

Filmed mostly in black and white, with only some colour scenes, the movie tells the story of a poet who falls in love with three different women. It is inspired by writer D.H. Lawrence’s works.

Dev Anand fits the bill of the amorous bard and is spoilt for choice between Simi Grewal (really made up to de glamourize her), Kalpana (remember her with Shammi Kapoor in Professor?) and the eventual winner, Nanda.

The music was composed by S. D. Burman, whose son Rahul Dev Burman composed the English version of this film titled “Oh Boy and Three Girls”, but the English print was never released.

I have never heard anyone bar Kishore Kumar and Ashatai sing such carefree joyous numbers so effectively. The genius of Burmanda shines through. Rafisaab, Mukesh, Mannada, Talat sahab, and Hemantada were all great, but none could manage to get this mood into their amazing voices.

Only Kishore da could, in my honest opinion. Such a fast paced racy number. Just the right mix of a fast rhythm and melody.

अरे यार मेरी तुम भी हो गज़ब, घूँघट तो ज़रा ओढ़ो

आहा मनाओ कहा अब तुम हो जवां मेरी जान लड़कपन छोड़ो

जब मेरी चुनरिया मलमल की

फिर क्यों न फिरूँ झलकी-झलकी

कोई जो मुझको हाथ लगाएगा, हाथ न उसके आऊँगी

में तेरे मन की लाल परी हूँ रे, मन में तेरे उड़ जाऊँगी

तुम परी तो ज़रूर हो, पर बड़ी मशहूर हो

जब मेरी चुनरिया मलमल की

फिर क्यों न फिरूँ झलकी-झलकी

देख के तरसे लाख ये भँवरे और इन्हें तरसाऊँगी

तेरी गली की एक कली हूँ तेरे गेले लग जाऊँगी

तुम कली तो ज़रूर हो, पर बड़ी मशहूर हो

जब मेरी चुनरिया मलमल की

फिर क्यों न फिरूँ झलकी-झलकी

डाल के घुँघटा रूप को अपने और नहीं मैं छुपाऊँगी

सुंदरी बन के तेरी बलमवा आज तो मैं लहराऊँगी

सुंदरी तो ज़रूर हो, पर बड़ी मशहूर हो

जब मेरी चुनरिया मलमल की

फिर क्यों न फिरूँ झलकी-झलकी

Sublime lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Fabulous singing by both, Ashatai strikes the high notes beautifully without sounding in the least bit shrill. Amazing beginning to my week, folks.

Join me at 1120 am for the 35th of my fortnightly programs on AIR Delhi Gold FM.

Rajesh Roshan Romantic songs

A wonderful reincarnation

I will make an axiomatic statement to start.

Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur, the rightful claimant to Godhood in all Bangla minds for over a century, was a genius.

The man has shown us such brilliance in everything he touched, it is awe-inspiring even today. Hundreds of people have studied facets of his persona and earned their PhD’s and thousands made a living singing some of his poetry set meticulously to tune by He himself, even doing the notation.

I started thinking on these lines after hearing (for the nth time) a rendition/interpretation of a famous Hemantada song (that he had first sung in a Bangla Movie) in a Hindi movie by my favourite Jagjit Singh in his Close to my heart album/concert.

For those of you who may not be aware, Rabindranath Thakur wrote more than 2230 songs and set each of them to tune, as well. Compare that with the output of our Bollywood bards and composers.

I will present the first song, the original from Rabindrasangeet (the very term brings about a maelstrom of joyous emotions in the hearts and minds of every Bangla speaker and everyone who loves that language with even the least knowledge for its sheer lyrical musical quality like me) sung by the one man who would have been happy to be remembered for only this one feat: his contribution to popularising Rabindrasangeet is undeniable and truly immense and exemplified by the number of clones he spawned in the land; even the great Kishoreda doesn’t have so many imitating him.

Hemantada is the amiable, unassuming gentleman with the most awesome baritone thousands would gladly give an arm (& a leg, too) to possess. In the days I would frequently appear on DD Mumbai, I remember sneaking into a studio where the great man was singing clad in a simple shirt, a dhoti worn in the Bhadralok style, a cream coloured shawl draped across his shoulders as he with a harmonium wove vocal magic. I was transported into a different world for the duration of the next hour or so. How I wish I could go back in time to be there. What a voice! I can honestly say I was scared to move a muscle or even breathe lest the spell (that had converted me into a pillar of salt!) be broken.

The song served to inspire a very famous song in Bollywood , sung by my favourite Kishoreda.

The movie Yaarana had one song shot in my school auditorium where I, 3 weeks away from my SSC exams acted Gautier and had the most beautiful classmate as Marion in Moliere’s “The Pie and the Tart” . Truly unforgettable memories. The movie has the villain of his time, Amjad “Gabbar” Khan in a non villainous and very memorable role. I must say Rajesh Roshan made a wonderful adaptation of the Rabindrasangeet piece to create a lovely Bollywood melody.

Big B and Neetu Singh made a very good on-screen pair, you’ll undoubtedly agree. The movie was a loose adaptation of the Karna-Duryodhana friendship from Mahabharat. The interesting story from the movie about another song “Saara Zamana Haseenon Ka Deewana” has to be told once again. This has Amitabh Bachchan dance with shiny clothes fitted with electric bulbs, which he himself operated from under his clothing, maintaining complete synchronization while dancing.

Stay safe and happy, folks. The morning has been lovely and peaceful thus far. Stay healthy.

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.

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.

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.

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

Dev Anand Nalini Jaywant Sachindev Burman

Travelling together…

Bollywood frequently has a recurring situation of the same song being rendered by two singers, male and female, and with varying degrees of effects and sometimes in a different vein, too.

Amongst all the songs of this kind that I heard, this was one that has stuck in my mind the longest. It is from a Dev Anand -Nalini Jaywant movie Munimji from the 50s. The movie, produced by the legendary Sashadhar Mukherjee for Filmistan was based on a story by Ranjan Bose, whose daughter Sharmila was my classmate, and the Filmistan script writer turned director Nasir Hussain wrote the dialogues with Qamar Jalalabadi. The movie was directed by the Filmistan owner’s brother Subodh Mukherjee. Sachindev Burman set lyrics by Sahir to unforgettable tunes. Pran is in his patented role of a villain. Ameeta, who was responsible for the rejuvenation of Shammi Kapoor‘s floundering career is seen, too. This is the male version of the song, sung by the inimitable Kishore Kumar.

It is cute to see that the 50s also had this habit of making the headscarf out of the same cloth as the dress for women, much the same as we see masks being made of the same cloth these days, ever since the Chinese virus hit mankind. The movie met great commercial success in India, and amazingly, collected a sizable booty from the USSR ( which was surprising since the theme of the movie is not really socialist or communist) .

The same song was rendered by Lata Mangeshkar in a different vein , amazingly shot in the same car with her more formally dressed and decked up, too. The mood is totally different from the Kishore Kumar version, though and credit to the genius of Burmanda to be able to do this so successfully.

Amazing music from what truly was the golden era of Bollywood music. Melody ruled the roost and little wonder that this music is popular for longer than the age of the members of the audience…

Stay happy and healthy, folks, as the skies darken ,having started off on a bright and cheerful note at daybreak today.

Introspective melodies Kalyanji Anandji

Time is up, pack up…..

These were apparently his very last words that he uttered 10 years ago this day in a bungalow named Aashirwad. Undoubtedly, by all accounts and yardstick he led a blessed lifetime. He experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in his -in some ways blighted- life. Born in Amritsar in 1942, he was named Jatin. He passed away after a very memorable life, 5 months short of his 70th Birthday.

He was one of the 8 finalists of a nationwide talent search organised by United Producers and Filmfare, along with two FTII students, Subhash Ghai and Dheeraj Kumar. He won the contest with one of my favourite actresses in Bollywood, the bright eyed, bedimpled, vivacious Farida Jalal, whose smile would light up a room. His debut film Aakhri Khat was -in retrospect aptly enough- the very first official entry from the country to the Oscars. The film was directed by Chetan Anand and a trailblazer for its extensive use of footage from a handheld camera close to the ground. He also acted the lead in a movie directed by Ravindra Dave, which was part of his predetermined prize as part of the talent hunt. The contest was judged by the founders of the United Producers organisation: BR Chopra, Bimal Roy, GP Sippy, HS Rawail, Nasir Husain, J.Om Prakash, Mohan Saigal, Shakti Samanta and Subodh Mukherji and a few others. Being under contract with United Producers, he got projects such as Aurat, Doli and Ittefaq. The latter was a taut suspense thriller , in a movie genre created as a mould- breaker by B R Chopra, a movie without any songs!

He was noticed by many for his performances in films such as Baharon Ke Sapne, Aurat , Doli, Aradhana and Ittefaq. In Baharon Ke Sapne, the response from the public in the first week of run forced the film’s ending to be changed from a tragic one to a happier one from the second week. Later, no less a person than one of the leading actresses of the time, Waheeda Rehman asked (after she had been signed for the remake of Deep Jwele Jaai by the director who had also made the Bangla original) Asit Sen to cast him for the lead role in Khamoshi, one of his career best movies. Through Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana he rose to “instant national fame” and film critics referred to him as the “First Superstar of India” owing to the crazy fan following he built up and the big crowds he could pull into the theaters. He created new norms of success and was part of a run of 17 consecutive Jubilee Hits, an unmatched run till today.

During the unparalleled run of 17 consecutive hits, ( These were Aradhana, Doli, Bandhan, Ittefaq, Do Raaste, Khamoshi, Safar, The Train, Kati Patang, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehendi, Choti Bahu, Anand and Haathi Mere Saathi, these 15 had him as the sole lead and he also starred in 2 non-solo hero films; Andaz and Maryada) He acted in a film about elephants Haathi Mere Saathi, which became that year’s highest-grossing film and the biggest grosser ever in the history of Bollywood till then.

He is actually credited with giving Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar their first chance to become screenplay writers by offering them work in Haathi Mere Saathi.

Javed Akhtar himself narrated this in an interview: “One day, he went to Salimsaab and said that Chinappa Devar had given him a huge signing amount with which he could complete the payment for his bungalow Aashirwad. But the film’s script was far from being satisfactory. He told us that if we could set right the script, he would make sure we got both money and credit.”

He bought the then Big Actor ( “Jubilee Kumar”) Rajendra Kumar‘s bungalow that was providentially named Dimple on Carter Road Promenade for 31 lakhs in 1970 and renamed it Aashirwaad

Few know that he was adopted and raised by Chunnilal and Leelawati, who were actually relatives of his biological parents. His father had migrated from West Punjab to Gali Tiwarian in Amritsar.

His biological parents were Lala Hiranand and Chandrani. His biological father worked as headmaster of the MC High School in Burewala (in present-day Vehari District, Punjab, Pakistan).

His adoptive parents belonged to a family of railway contractors who had moved from Lahore to Bombay in 1935.

He actually lived in Saraswati Niwas, in Thakurdwar, Mumbai.

He attended St. Sebastian’s Goan High School with his friend Ravi Kapoor, who later took the stage name Jeetendra.

While still in school, he started taking interest in theatre, and acted in many stage and theatre plays in his school and college days, and won many prizes in inter-college drama competitions.

In 1962 He played a wounded mute soldier in the play Andha Yug and impressed so many with his performance; that the chief guest actually publicly suggested that he get into films soon.

He became a rare newcomer who had his own MG sports car but really struggled to get work in theatre and films in the early 1960s. Unbelievable looking at his career, but true.

Few know or remember that he was a Punekar for a while, pursuing the first two years of Bachelor of Arts in Nowrosjee Wadia College in Pune from 1959 to 1961. He later studied in K. C. College, Mumbai while his schoolmate and buddy Jeetendra studied from Siddharth College. Amazingly, being a stage actor, he actually tutored Jeetendra for his first film audition. His uncle KK Talwar insisted he change his first name when he decided to enter films.

His friends and his wife called him Kaka (meaning a baby faced boy in Punjabi).

Of all the hundreds of famous songs from his slew of hits, I opted to choose this one song for the song of the day, as it shows a man in the throes of terminal cancer, a role he most famously essayed in two of his most famous films, Anand and Safar.

Rest well, Kaka, the world knows you by your on-screen name, you remain my most favourite male lead in Bollywood. The one whose Anand I have seen and cried countless times, despite knowing every sequence and virtually every line. Stay happy, healthy and enjoy the monsoons, folks, as I stay wrapped in my memories of the First Superstar of My Lifetime, Rajesh Khanna.

Inspiration Introspective melodies Memories

A panegyric to a preceptor..

Today is Gurupournima… A day when we recall the value of teaching from our teachers throughout life and pay obeisance to that unequalled institution. I have been fortunate enough to receive continuous, unending teaching from a variety of people I’ve met in my transient existence on the speck of cosmic dust that we consider our home planet.

To me learning has always been a continuous and never ending process. The first teacher in my own life was my mother. Spending the first few years with her before my sister came along was a unique experience in my life. She made me literate and taught me the life skill that’s helped me all the seven decades of my earthly existence.

First up today, I briefly thought about my teachers, and found the list is long. I continue to learn various aspects from a wide variety of people of different ages, social backgrounds and even nationalities.

When I told a very dear friend I have learnt a lot from my acquaintance and relationship, I was met with a flabbergasted response tinged with embarrassment, but it is true I’ve gained and grown from every being I’ve met. Even the animals in my life taught me values that I hold dear to this day, and undoubtedly will, to my dying day.

A song I love is from an early 70s movie , Imtihaan. This is one of the early films where Vinod Khanna recast himself as a male lead, from an earlier slew of roles in a negative vein ( “villain”) that Bollywood had blighted him with. Directed by Madan Sinha, Imtihaan had Tanuja and Bindu in great roles. The film is about an idealistic professor who decides to reform a group of rowdy students at a college run by a management concerned about salvaging it’s image but clueless about the way to go about it. Vinod Khanna plays the young, determined teacher in the film. This song is so inspirational that it tugs at our heartstrings whenever it is played even today.

It has soulful lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri, and is composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. It is sung wonderfully by the one and only Kishore Kumar.

Ustad Amir Khan saheb’s immortal bandish in Marwa is what I woke up going around in my mindspace. Khansaheb puts more emotion into the raag and his rendition uplifts the melody to a spiritual plane. Listen to the shorter version of his amazing Marwa. I wonder how I woke up with Marwa resonating in my head, as the timing was all wrong. with.

Marwa is a wonderful shaadav raag with pancham omitted from both aaroha and avaroha.

In ragamala paintings Malav/Marwa is often shown as lovers walking towards the bed-chamber.

Marwa is also characterised as quiet, contemplative, representing gentle love. It is the overall mood defined by the sunset (which is the time for the raag), which approaches fast and this onrushing darkness awakes in many observers a feeling of anxiety and solemn expectation.

For those like me who have the time and are not satisfied with a short rendition of a Hindustani Classical raag, here is a longer version which does greater justice.

My heartfelt gratitude to all the teachers I’ve met in my evanescent existence who’ve given me so much and continue to do so. Stay blessed and healthy, all of you. I will spend the day immersed in music and gratitude for all of you.

Kalyanji Anandji Kishore Kumar Love songs

Love grows stronger every moment…

I remember seeing the movie during my premedical years. A good friend and I found ourselves at a loose end and decided to walk into Topiwala theater. We had heard a lot about it and it proved to be a great decision.

A movie aptly titled Blackmail, it lives up to its name and has wonderful acting by Rakhee. Dharmendra looks as handsome as he always does. His charming smile is always on display. A movie where the baddies (Iftekhar for a change, and Shatrughan Sinha ) gang up to hatch a plot where Shotgun’s fiance Rakhee is used to ensnare and entrap Dharmendra to get a blueprint of an eccentric scientist’s discovery (Madan Puri who isn’t a villain, but unlocks the secret to tapping into Solar Power generation, a technical innovation which will eat into Iftekhar’s business and drive him to bankruptcy). Dharmendra suspects Rakhee and the issue is sorted out by the eccentric scientist (who is our hero’s uncle) who clears the air and gets the couple’s relationship on even keel. In true Bollywood style, the villainy doesn’t end. Shatru kidnaps Rakhee, the ransom demanded is the blueprint. Inevitably and predictably matter and antimatter clash, the prize being Rakhee’s liberty. The only twist is the villain committing suicide before the inevitable denouement and the reunion of the lead pair.

Vijay Anand was the director of this, one of his best thrillers. The musical score was by Kalyanji Anandji and the composition is typical of their style. Great lyrics by Rajinder Krishan. Kishoreda is literally on song in one of his best songs of a wonderful career.

Have a wonderful day ahead, stay healthy and happy. Enjoy a languid Sunday.

Kishore Kumar Lata Laxmikant Pyarelal Love songs Romantic Duets

Smitten and loving it…

I saw this movie on DD Mumbai Sunday evening show after the station started its operations. This was the one featured program with easily the best viewership and helped made DD Mumbai very popular.

The quality of its programming those days was I daresay better than all the satellite channels in operation put together. There was no fake / exaggerated “views” presented with a bias masquerading as “news” and the single channel in the limited hours of telecast managed to pack in a fantastic punch. This movie was one of the two that released in 1964 with the same lead pair: Kishore Kumar and Kum Kum. ( 4 K’s there, the way the lady’s name was written on the posters) The other one was Ganga Ki Lahrein, which had some very memorable songs too. Mr X In Bombay which was made by C M Thakkar. A kind of melange of the Invisible Man and The Absent Minded Professor , in that it brought in invisibility potion as well as an antigravity substance into play. That in the hands of Kishoreda is pure dynamite. Notionally the movie was directed by Shantilal Soni. (Knowing Kishoreda’s penchant for improvisation and his comic genius, I am not sure about that)

The movie had music by Laxmikant Pyarelal, one of their best scores in my opinion. The song is just a sublime duet with Kishoreda and Lata Mangeshkar, both giants of their fields , both born in 1929. The two combine to make absolute magic together. This is , unarguably one of my most favourite romantic duets of all time.

Kum Kum and Kishoreda shared great chemistry together and the movie was truly memorable. This one as well as the other one made and released the same year with the two of them (Ganga Ki Lehrein) were both commercially successful. Sadly the pair wasn’t seen often enough. A trademark Anand Bakshi on show in the lyrics.

As expected, Madan Puri is the baddie. He would act the same way with not as much impact as a Pran nor the mannerisms that Ajit brought in and took him to immortality posthumously thanks to the social media. And like Pran, he tired of villainy and shifted to a different genre of roles, called “character acting” by Bollywood.

I liked the use of the wind instruments by LP in this song and the way the duet is structured through the octaves. A wonderful melodic character. The visuals are hilarious and indicate the relatively primitive manner in which SFX were created at the time.

Have a safe weekend, folks, stay well hydrated in the sweltering summer.

Take care, stay healthy and happy. This wonderful duet will give me company all of today

Kishore Kumar Sad Film Songs

One of its kind…

We saw this movie in Anupam theater in Goregaon East after we moved there in the late 60s. The movie would have to be released in 1970 because I clearly remember seeing it before the war that created BD (& a perpetual source of illegal immigrants for India, like Mexico and Central America is for the US).

Pavitra Paapi is an unusual name for the movie, but then it was made and that’s the name of a famous Punjabi novel written by Nanak Singh, who also adapted the novel for the movie’s story.

The movie had Balraj Sahni and his son (at that stage, the son used his on-screen name and not his given name) Ajay with IS Johar and Tanuja. Ajay Sahni takes away Balraj Sahni‘s job as a watch repairman in IS Johar‘s shop and the older man while going away writes a rather long missive to the guy who has usurped the job, saying the poverty is driving him to suicide, while telling his family he is going to another town to find work. Ajay Sahni, consumed with guilt, and convinced the older man is no longer alive, takes it upon himself to support the family. He even gets the older daughter married to the assigned groom (marriage fixed by the absconding dad), although Tanuja has fallen in love with the handsome Ajay Sahni . He even goes to the extent of stealing from the owner’s shop ( hence the title) so as to meet the wedding expenses. On discovering that her in laws are (in true Filmy style) exploitative brutes, he even patches up the wedding. I loved this Kishore Kumar song.

One of Kishore Kumar’s best songs, it captures the mood just perfectly. The lyrics are by Prem Dhawan, and amazingly, the musical score was by none other than Prem Dhawan himself. This is the stand out song from the movie. Very unusual to have (real life) father and son who are NOT on-screen father and son.

The song also was the one that was played ad infinitum on all the radio and TV channels (as were in existence on the day) on 13th October, 1987, when Kishore da shockingly died, so very young. He was just 58 and getting ready to join Ashok Kumar’s birthday celebration. A shocked and grieving Ashok Kumar never celebrated his birthday for the remainder of his life.

My best wishes to all my Bangla, Tamizh, Odiya, Malayalee and Assamese friends on their new year day. Chaitra the first month of the Hindu Calendar is the one most of us celebrate the new year. Stay safe happy and healthy folks, and take care during the blazing summer. The country marches towards 2 Billion Vaccine doses …a monumental achievement, indeed, with two of our homegrown vaccines being sold in Europe and the US, that’s a fabulous endorsement of the achievement for our scientists and pharmaceutical industry.