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Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs – Mehmood [4]

Even though we have travelled to three episodes of Manna Dey’s comedy songs for Mehmood, we are still in the ‘65/’66/67 period of Mehmood’s career, even though the trails from there have led us to ‘70s and even ‘80s. We have seen that most of the songs on this later part of Mehmood’s career trail have yielded forgettable songs., from those music directors only who created some of the most memorable songs that Manna Dey played back for Mehmood. So, the root cause possibly is the trajectory that Mehmood’s career took as he grew more established in his career. Playing the roles of different types of the people from across the varied walks of the life from Indian diversity seemed to be the key to his success.  Even as he would on a new character, his acting style, dialogue delivery, basic build of the character, selection of situations for the songs was seen to be getting type cast into some his past successful roles as the chosen few model templates.

Simultaneous with this was the gradual decline with beginning of ‘60s, of the successful second-generation golden period music directors who formed the backbone for taking the Hindi Film music to a melody height in 50’s.  The music was getting more repetitive, less lasting and more commercial.

We take up this fourth, and last, link of Manna Dey-Mehmood chain in the backdrop of these circumstances. As we will see, the pattern that we saw in the previous episode, repeats here also. Of the three music directors we have for the present episode, two begin with reasonably ‘good’ Manna Dey- Mehmood songs, but then slip into the lane of churning out some quite unforgettable songs.

We once again would emphasize that basic intent of our ‘Remembering Manna Dey’ series was not judging the quality of Manna Dey’s songs across the passage of the years. We have only sincerely attempted to look at Manna Dey’s career with some specific angles so as to get as many varieties that we could come across under one common reference point.

In the chronological order of the year in which the film was released, it is Ravi who would be the fulcrum around which we would list Manna Dey – Mehmood songs.

De Data Ke Naam Tujhko Allah Rakhe – Ankhen (1968) – with Asha Bhosle|– Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanavi

‘Ankhen’ was intended to be spy thriller themed masala film. The spies were made to go to the extent of combing the dusts on the streets as beggars to get the clue of the abductors / villains, with some honing device tucked in ther beggar wheelbarrow. Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle have made their best efforts to make the song quite vearble.

Muslim Ko Taslim Arz Hai.. Main Hun Ek Hazzam Pyare – Do Kaliyan (1968) – with Mehmood – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanavi

Mehmood dons the role of an unemployed educated in this song. The idea of venturing into a mobile hair-cutting saloon does appear like an out-of-the-box- start up idea. But the song has turned up to be a run-off-the-mill average song .

Khali Dabba Khali Botal Lele Mere Yaar– Neel Kamal (1969) – Ravi – Sahir  Ludhyanavi

The household scrap purchase was an important street business. It was an important in the recycling cycle of many of the used domestic wares. So Mehmood ‘s choice of donning role of that character was a good idea, but the way the song is created and filmed, the idea turns out to be damp squib.

Cycle Pe Hasino Ki Toli – Amaanat (1975) – with Mouhammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanavi

The film bears 1975 as the year of release, but looking the age of Manoj Kumar or Sadhana,or Ravi’s song composition style (recall – two quite the then known ones Matalab Nikal Gaya Hai To Pahechanate Nahi and Door Rahe Ke Na Karo Baat or not so known credit title song Har Ek Din Mein Aramaan Hai Amanat – all by Mohammad Rafi), the film seems to have been produced a decade or so earlier and seems to have been stuck for release. The situation of the songs – a group youngsters on a bicycle picnic- also belonged to that period. The lyrics and the singing styles of each of the singers helps in maintaining the mood of the song

Kalayanji Anandji have apparently only one song in Manna Dey, Mehmood genre. In fact they seem to have opting for Mehmood songs in Mehmood’s own voice, at least in these three instances –  Lori Suna Suna Ke (Purnima, 1965), Gali Gali Gaon  Mein (Paras, 1971) and Hoshiyar Rahena Khabardar Rahena (Vardan, 1974) – in a major departure from the then popular practice of using Manna Dey, or Mohammad Rafi.

Mere Dil Se Dil Ko Jod Do – Suhaag Raat (1968) Manna Dey– Kalyanji Anandji – Indeevar

By now, even this type of chhed-chaad romance songs of Mehmood had drifted to become too trite and loud.

For our present plot we now take up Manna Dey’s ssongs for Mehmood, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. In comparison of their use of Mohammad Rafi for a male playback singer slot in the years before ascendancy of Kishore Kumar in 1969, they have used Manna Dey very selectively.

Let me confess that I have not taken any extra pains to search all of Laxmikant Pyarelal’s Manna Dey songs for Mehmood on the screen. I have not gone beyond a few known films for this purpose. We may have missed out some of Laxmikant Pyarelal compositions of Manna Dey for playback to Mehmood on the screen, but, I am personally satisfied that,  the ones that we get to listen here do represent a fairly predictable pattern of what to expect from other such songs, if there are some more.

O Meri Maina Tu Maan Le Mera Kehna – Pyaar Kiye Jaa (1966) – with Usha Mangeshkar – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Rajinder Krishna

Mehmood and very young, and fairly junior in those days, Mumtaz, dish out some loud dancing while singing this song.

A For Apple B For Baby – Sadhu Aur Shaitan 1968 – with Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Rajinder Krishna

Mehmood succeeds fairly in mimicking child-like mannerism here. Manna Dey, as usual, gamely matches Mehmood’s on-screen theatrics.

Qatal Hua Nazon Ka Pala Mera – Meri Bhabhi (1969) – with Suman Kalyanpur – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Laxmikant Pyarelal has experimented with parodying a bride departure marriage folk tune song.

Jawani Tera Bola, Budhapa Tera Munh Kala – Anokhi Ada (1973) – with Asha Bhosle – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Memhmood caricatures role of an old drunkard here.

It is on a not-so-happy note that we end this episode and our Manna Dey – Mehmood combination songs series. Pain is more when we look at the very promising beginning of their association. The feeling of sadness of both the talents not getting their due deepens as the years went on. Mehmood gradually slipped along to become very repetitive in his theatrics, even when he did stick to playing a multitude characters from across day-to-day life. Manna Dey, on the other hand would seem get most of the compositions that all these composers may have composed just to fill in the typical comedian song slot of a film. His best efforts to salvage the song with his high-quality singing could not raise the song to a n average song, from their very low-level birth DNAs.

In the next episodes we will take Manna Dey’s comedy songs for other actors.

All episodes of Manna Dey’s Comedy Songs For Mehmood can be accessed / downloaded in a single file by Clicking on the hyperlink.