We discussed Best Male Playback Singer and Best Female Playback Singer for the year 1955 in the First part of this article.
We would continue our discusssions with Best Duet and Best Music Director categories.
Best Duet of 1955 for SongsOfYore Awards:
The number of duets and quality of each one, from amongst the duets available in 1955, which I have selected in this list of Top 5 Duets has a couple of pre-meditated filters applied. The first one is that I have eliminated tonga songs. One reason is that there are as many as 3; all rendered by a different duo and by different music director. Second reason is that in this manner I can create somewhat of a comfort of possibly making the selection somewhat easier. The second filter that I have chosen to apply is to pick up only one duet from a film, if it has more than one.
That would enable me to pick up following 5 as my Top Favorites:
1. Kitna haseen hai mausam – Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar
2. Muskurati hui chandni – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
3. Bhula nahi dena ji bhula nahi dena – Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar
4. Nain se nain nahi milao – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
5. Idhar tum haseen ho udhar dil jawan hai – Rafi and Geeta Dutt
6. Pyar hua iqrar hua – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshakr
Oh no, even then I have landed up with SIX. So let me apply a third filter of choosing only one song per pair. Well, I am indeed pained to drop off Muskurati hui chandni in favor of Nain se nain nahi milao, both rendered by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. I think Nain se nain nahi milao was relatively more popular then and has more following even now.
By the same standard, Pyar hua iqrar hua by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshakar seems to be more eligible to take on the crown of Best Duet of 1955 for SongsOfYore Awards. I do visualize as huge disagreements and as strong agreements, but isn’t it better that we have choicest of choices then and even now.
And here are those three tonga songs – to enjoy the spirited rides so romantically:
Piya piya piya mera jiya pukare – Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle
Halke halke chalo sanwre – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
Jab Liya Haath Mein Haath – Rafi & Asha -Vachan
Incidentally, we do remember two equally melodious Hemant- Lata duets: one is again a song while riding, this time, a bicycle – Sanware salone aaye din bahar ke from Ek Hi Rasta, compsed by Hemant Kumar whereas the other one – Jhir jhir jhir jhir badariya barse from Parivar –Salil Chaudhary, a class in itself among not only all times duets but also among all time rain songs, also so tellingly presented by Shri AKji in his bonus add-on.
Here is the link to the original Bengali song of Jhimjhim jhimjhim jhim badarwa barse to sweeten the joy of this marvelous post.
Jhir jhir baroshey by Dhananjay Bhattacharya from Pasher Bari, music Salil Chaudhary:
And finally, the Best Music Director:
All the movies which appear in this list would certainly have missed a few marks in their overall value, if the music score of each one would not have been what it was. Each one must have certainly tested the guts, nerve and creative genius of the music directors concerned, because the scores have done full justice to the spirit of the film first, and then put on the customary stamp of music director’s tell-tale identification. Each of the score is a masterpiece of the musical rainbow [where one sees some ultraviolet and some infra red as well!!]
- 1. S D Burman – Devdas [Over and above one of the greats ever of Talat solos, and an epochal Mubarak Begum ‘kotha’ number, SD has excelled in Lata in Ab aage teri marzi and Jise tu qabool kar le. Do observe the difference in the two pure ‘dance songs’ -Wo na ayenge palat ke and Ab aage teri marzi in terms of the mood each one has quintessentially created.]
- Shankar Jaikishan – Seema [SJ probably could have easily entered this list only on the strength of any one of Tu pyar ka sagar hai - Manna Dey orKahan jar aha hai tu ai janewale - Rafi or Manmohna bade jhoothe - Lata Mangeshkar. But it would certainly belittle their effort if we do not take independent cognisance of use of [The] Ustad Ali Akbar Kan Saheb for playing Sarod [ in fact of the fact they chose to use Sarod is in itself a big plus] for Suno chhoti si gudiya ki lambi kahani - Lata Mangeshkar and such pathos –genic hamen bhi de do sahara – Rafi and Chorus [as well as for retaining the typical instruments usually deployed by such singing teams in reality].
- Shankar Jaikishan – Shree 420 -The musical score has not only lifted this Chaplenese parody on the life of a common man to the height of RK’s Top Five and placed it on the Hindi Film Immortals, it has given Hindi Film Music some of the eternal Bests – Pyar hua iqrar hua - Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshakr, Mera joota hai Japani - Mukesh, Dil ka haal sune dilwala - Manna Dey & others and Ramaiya vastavaiya - Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar & others. SJ have used Manna Dey so masterfully, that but for Mera Juta Hai Japani, Mukesh’s monopoly as Raj Kapoor’s voice may have met child death! They were to repeat Manna Dey in Chori Chori too, this time in totality for Raj Kapoor’s playback voice. It is said that Mukesh was busy with his own productions in those days.
- Vasant Desai – Janak Janak Payal Baaje – If Shantaram started his trend of depending solely on his sets, dances, music, etc. for his mega-experiments, Vasant Desai matched in blending melody, classical raags, and mood for the high bench-mark for pure Musicals in Hindi Cinema. If we look at trio of Shantaram movies, where Vasant Desai is the music director,Toofan Aur Diya and Do ankhe Barah Haath had quite strong primary elements – story or acting – which had rendered Vsant Desai’s masterly scores , as a great positive, but by no means the life-line of these movies.In the case of JJPB, the music is The LifeLine of the film. And, what a lifeline!
- Yasmin – C Ramchandra -C Ramachandra is at his one of the melodious best here. Also, we find songs – Bechain nazar betab zigar - Talat Mahmood ,Mujhpe ilzam-e-bewafai hai - Lata Mangeshkar, Tum apni yaad bhi dil se bhula dete to achcha tha - Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar – that have found an irrevocable space in the Ever Best in the respective category.
I would gravitate to choosing Vasant Desai for his Janak Janak Payal Baje score to be coroneted as Best Music Director. The reason being that all things being equal, the music lent that edge to the movie!
I deeply regret that one of my otherwise favorite N Datta could not be accommodated here. But we can more than make up this loss by remembering one of the most noteworthy version experiments:
Ye baharon ka sama by Hemant Kumar and twin sung by Lata from Milap, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi:
And the final sweetener:
Geeta Dutt – Jaate Ho To Jaao Par Jaaoge Kahan – Milap 
My 21-gun salute to SongsOfYore.com and the knowledgeable visitors to the blog, for keeping the fire of Golden Period of Hindi Cinema so pleasantly, romantically and tastefully live………..