Welcome to December 2020 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.
After a long time, we have the merciful opportunity to commence our posts with other tributes and memories:
Mera Naam Joker – 50 Years Ago – On the 50th Anniversary of the release of Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus, Mera Naam Joker, Sundeep Pahwa looks back with memories at the film that didn’t cut ice at the box-office then but is today much talked about.
Jaddanbai of vision and resilience – Sharad Dutt – In the early talkies era, Jaddanbai played a pioneering role — started off as an actress, became one of the first women producers, directed films and even composed music. Jaddanbai’s (a.k.a. Jaddanbai Hussain (1892 – 8 April 1949) entry in the films happened when she joined Playart Photophone Company (Lahore) and acted in Raja Gopichand (1933).
We will now take up the articles on other subjects:
Tawaifs and Baijis, Wenches and Whores… – Ratnottama Sengupta – In Mistress of Melodies, Nabendu Ghosh traverses the streets of the ever-changing city of Calcutta to tell the stories of women—courtesans and those who engaged in sex-work—across generations….Silhouette presents an extensive version of Ratnottama Sengupta’s Editor’s Note in the recently released book, which explores the world of the “fallen woman” and how these women have been looked at by writers and filmmakers, along with the author’s own perceptions about her father Nabendu Ghosh’s works.
Jai Kisan! Ten of my favourite ‘farmer’ songs is a list of songs that are picturized on characters who are farmers or farm workers, singing about farming or some aspect of agriculture, the land, of what life means to them, etc.
Hero introduces himself! are the songs that the hero of the films sings on his first appearance on the screen, or sometimes during the early minutes of the film, explaining his philosophy of life. The songs used to establish his character in the movie and made it easier for the viewers to understand.
Songs of Defiance are those where there is defiance, where there is cocking a snook at the world and not caring about what it feels. These songs are about living in the same world but on one’s own terms. The message is that the world/society should mind its own business and not interfere in others’ personal choices or relationships. It may please be noted that the songs where the almighty is being beckoned to help while defying the world such as Bedard Zamaana Tera Dushman (Mehndi, 1958) have been excluded. In the songs listed here, there is no attempt to seek divine support or intervention while throwing down the gauntlet.
In continuation to our tradition of ending the post with a few songs of Mohammad Rafi, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post. Sanjeev Rambhadran has conceived a series – Sanjeev Ramabhadran Remembers Mohd. Rafi – of 40 days, 40 songs, 40 music directors to commemorate 40 years of Mohammad Rafi’s passing away. We had covered five representative songs of the first 20 songs in our July, 2020 episode. Presently, we take up five songs from next 20 songs –
Chhod Ke Teri Duniya Ham Jaa RahaiN Hai – Mirza Sahiban (1957) – Sardul Kwatra
Mere Liye To Bas Wohi Pal Hai Haseen Bahar Ke – NFS – Shyam Sharma
Medley of songs – N Datta
Oi Dur Diganto Pare – Bengali NFS (1958) – Vinod Chatterjee
Uth Gaya Mere Sapno Ka Dera – Pyar Ki Daastan 1961 – Nashad
I look forward to your inputs to enrich the contents of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.
Disclaimer: This monthly series of posts is my best-effort-based compilation of posts on Hindi film songs that I normally visit regularly. As I record my sincere thanks to all the original creators of these posts, any other posts that I have nor covered herein shows my lack of awareness of existence of such posts and is by no means any disrespect to their work. The copyrights to the posts, images and video clips remain the properties of the original creators.
The literature on the issue of sustaining the organizational culture too is richly bestowed with a variety of research findings, experience tales as well as in-depth theoretical discourses. Many authors have culled down their vast experiences to present the different to-do lists that would help in those who are amid the organizational culture sustenance stage. Presented here is a representative reference list of some of such representative articles:
Sustaining success depends on an organization’s ability to adapt to a changing environment – whether it’s an external change, such as a transformative technology or a changing economy, or an internal one, such as a restructuring or key process overhaul. Many aa times, this requires going beyond just the written rules to reaching for the highest aspirational behaviour. It means living the principles underpinning the values, even when there is no rule or where the written rule is unclear. In this abstract form, many employees, even at the senior management levels, necessarily understand why the company has to operate in a different way in the future. Therefore, merely challenging their status quo mind set alone will not suffice. These people need to be instilled with simple, conceivable cultural norms and behaviors that translate the organization’s unique personality and soul into customer-focused actions and bottom-line results. Maintaining momentum among employees requires consistent, sustained communication of the end goal and the behaviours necessary to get there.
It shall be well remembered that organizational culture is one of the several means to an end, not an end in itself. The end is your business’s strategic agenda. Thus, sustaining the winning culture should be primarily pursued with the ultimate vision of sustaining the competitive edge, within the constantly varying context of the organization. It’s about raising sights beyond the strategic choices and daily initiatives to change how the organization works.
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All month-wise published episodes of the series, published in 2020, The Organizational Culture, are collated in one file and can be read / downloaded by clicking on the hyperlink.
The 12th edition of the World Quality Report 2020-21 (WQR), released by Capgemini, Sogeti, and Micro Focus, shows the steady evolution of quality assurance (QA) from a backroom discipline to an integral part of wider enterprise digital transformation. Contributing to business growth and business outcomes was the highest rated objective for testing and QA at 74% – up 6 percentage points from 2018. The full report can be accessed here.
Future value= Present Value (1+r)nor Success= Efforts (1+results)time where,
The simple translation of the formula gives us the message that whatever the RoI, consistent efforts over a longer time frame can result the present ‘competence’, of an individual or an organization, to deliver sustained desired results.
On more mundane, immediate, terms, movement of people, data, and goods will be reshaped in the post-COVID world by the trends of emerging digital technologies and absorption thereof,
To broadly sum up, one may state that to sustain the success in the future, where it is important to do what the successful people did, it is equally important not to do what the unsuccessful people did. But for that, you need to go deeper. In rather jargon terminology, overcome Survivorship Bias..
All facets of Revisiting Basic Quality Concepts that have been discussed at this blog carnival during 2020 can be read / downloaded as one file by clicking on the hyperlink.
We will now turn to our regular sections:
In the series the Organizational Culture, we have taken up Sustaining the Organizational Culture – It shall be well remembered that organizational culture is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The end is your business’s strategic agenda. Thus, sustaining the winning culture should be primarily pursued with the ultimate vision of sustaining the competitive edge, within the constantly varying context of the organization. It’s about raising sights beyond the strategic choices and daily initiatives to change how the organization works.
All month-wise published episodes of the series, published in 2020, The Organizational Culture, are collated in one file and can be read / downloaded by clicking on the hyperlink.
We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we refresh our viewpoints about:
The Golden Age of Quality – Ralph de la Vega, former Vice Chairman at AT&T, announces today is the Golden Age of Quality; a time when companies need to build quality into the product and service and detect problems before they occur.
The Moment of Truth – Whether we realize it or not, that everyone’s job, including the quality professional, comes down to one thing; helping our companies, at least those in business to remain profitable, As much as effectively robust processes, customer-need-satisfying competitive products and competent people are needed to run the business successfully, it is equally important that everyone in the organization consciously, and unconsciously, realizes that that their every, direct as well as indirect, interaction with customers (and for that matter with al the relevant interested parties) is that moment of truth that can make, or unmake, an opportunity for the business to remain profitable.
I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the subjects of Basics of Quality and Organizational Culture and their role in Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.
Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.
The numbers of the Hindi Film Music followers is beyond count and will remain beyond count. And then, added to it, there are many layers and sub-layers too! The changing times and tastes has led to the present day situation where fan-following for the initial period of 1931 to 1940 is less as compared to that for the post-1941 era. The introduction of new style of compositions and orchestration by the music directors like Ghulam Haider and Naushad have certainly created an unfathomable sea of the fan-followers of the Hindi Film Music.
In other words, the tiny earthen stream that Hindi Film Music was in 1931 has now transformed into a limitless sea. Many rivers and streams of classical music and semi-classical music-based songs, the courtesan court songs, regional or folk music-based songs, songs of different religions and faiths, songs created by one’s own inspirations or those that are inspired partly or wholly by the western music have totally immersed into this vast sea. It appears to be virtually impossible for anyone to be a master analyst of some meaningful study of any one type from among so many different types of the Hindi Film Music.
But here is one gentleman from Lucknow, UP (India), Mr. K L Pandey, who has made this seemingly improbable task a reality. Mr Pandey is a retired Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer, who has served in the prestigious capacity of Additional Member of the Railway Board. But other than that, his true worth is that of a musicologist of high order
As stated in the study by Mr. K L Pandey, it should be pertinent to note that, since the onset of talky films in 1931 till June 2020, more than 13,200 films, containing more than 81,000 songs, have been certified by India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). As many as around 15,000+. of these songs are not traceable, as of now, because either the records were not cast, or the films have not been preserved. That means that merely [sic] around 66,000 songs remain available from those 81,000 songs!!
Mr. Pandey has short-listed some 20,000 songs (from 6,200 films) from among these 66,000 songs. The songs that he has selected are essentially well-known and have a fair degree of classical bend in the composition.
His aim of taking up this onerous task is to provide a bridge between the two different streams of Indian Classical Music and the Hindi Film Music. He expects that this bridge will provide the path for the common people to reach the vast, rich, legacy of the classical music through the medium of easily available, and more familiar, Hindi Film Music.
In his extensive treatise that analyses the base raag of the songs, Mr. Pandey has covered more than 17,000 songs, from around 5,700 films, for the period 1931 to June 2017. Mr. Pandey has presented the outcomes of his analyses in the form three, huge, volumes of Hindi Cine Raag Encyclopaedia. The first edition, which was released by Shri Anandji (of the famous music director pair of Kalyanji Anandji), which has presently ran out of stock, was in English / Hindi bilingual format. The second edition of this magnum opus, with an analysis of 20,000 songs from 1931 to 2020 in English in 2 volumes and a set of 3 volumes, Hindi Film songs raag-wise,are also ready and are also expected to be released shortly. Pandeyji has been able to decipher 174 raagas from among these 20,000 songs. Raag Pahadi tops the list with 5,300 songs. The subsequent order is as here under:
There are many songs which have discreet use of Raagas in different parts, so called Raagmalikas and also Feature songs with explanation Raagas in the lyrics, so called Lakshan Geets.
The complete analysis has been tabulated in a nine-column table as:
Film (Censor Year)
Here is one typical page:
In the Preface to the book, Mr. K L Pandey states:
‘To search the classical music in Hindi film amounts to churning the waters of oceans. The task becomes more onerous because of many wide-spread beliefs, such as there are too few classical music-based songs, or that the films hardly have any Raagas, at best it may be shadow of some or a mix of some Raag, or that the Hindi film songs have polluted the purity of classical music or that the film producers do not have any reason for using the classical style forms because their principal interest is commercial success of the film, etc.
I believe that classical music is the grammar of melody. Therefore, if any composition has to be imparted melody, then inevitably the classical music, in any form, has to be used therein. This can be done consciously in a planned manner or can be done intuitively, in unplanned manner. As such, if any Hindi Film song sounds melodious, then it shall invariably have use of the Indian classical music. In other words, it will contain one or many Raagas, in either pure or mixed adaption form.’
I, and my team, selected some 20,000 songs from 6,200 films for analysing the classical element of a song. This has taken fourteen years. We listened each song fully, and then tried identifying the basic note, ‘Sa’, therein by playing it on an instrument. Then we tried to identify the movement of notes in the song composition to check it follows grammar of any Raag or not. Taking into consideration the practicalities, with due respects to the expert instrumentalists of the field, we have analysed only on the vocal part of the song, and not included preludes or interludes. Also, the presence of one Raag or mix of other Raagas or use of different Raagas in different stanzas made it difficult to clearly decide one principal Raag in a given song. Therefore, we have shown presence of different Raagas in the order in which they appear, starting from the beginning of the song. Similarly, we have shown the Taals (beats) also sequentially. For example, if a song begins with Bheempalasi, followed by Kaafi, then we have shown it as Bheempalasi + Kaafi or vice versa. We have followed similar practices for the scale and the Taals (beats) used in a song.’
This arduous task could be accomplished only by the blessings of our Gurus and by the support of the scholars. Our ‘Sa’-based analysis of a Raag has obvious room for difference of judgements with more knowledgeable and learned artists or musicologists. Our sincere apologies to them for that. Rather than basing the analysis of a song in any given book, we have followed our own reasoning for this analysis. As such, every feedback to keep improving these analyses is certainly most welcome. The initial lines of a song, film name, year of censor, name(s) of singer(s), lyricist(s) and music director(s) are based on the dependable published books and internet resources, hence any improvement there, too, is always welcome. For ease of indexing and identification, we have set the songs in the descending order of English alphabet of the first word of the line as it is popularly known. The first edition was a Hindi -English bilingual work, resulting into 3 volumes in 1,900 pages. The soon to be published second edition is, in English only. As a result, 3,000 more, i.e., 20,000 in all, songs could be accommodated in a smaller number of – 1,250 – pages. The number of hard-bound volumes also have come down to two from the three volumes of the first edition.’
The full-fledged raag-wise analysis that lists songs as per each of the 174 Raagas is also ready. This will be covered in Volumes IlI, IV and V and are expected to be released after the release of Vol. I & II of the second edition.
As can be appreciated, the publication of these volumes does not have any commercial motive, nor Mr. KL Pandey is a professional writer. So, even as the formal sale price is fixed @Rs. 4200 for the first two volumes, Mr. Pandey has indicated that, initially, for the genuinely interested readers he will pass on some attractive reduction in the sales price, including bearing the postal costs as well to his account.
Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director: 1967-1969
To commemorate Mohammad Rafi’s anniversaries, [Born: 24 December, 1924// Death: 31 July, 1980] we commenced a series of articles on Mohammad Rafi that essentially tried to bring the solo song of Mohammad Rafi from the first film with the music director. Beginning 2016, we have taken up one five-year slot every year, in the chronological order, starting from 1944, the year in which Mohammad Rafi sang his maiden solo song in Hindi Films. Till now we have covered
We have reviewed the first part of the years 1964 – 1966 for the present 5th Six-Year Period , and for the time last part of the present series in July 2020. Presently, we will take the last three years – 1967 to 1969 – of this 5th period.
As has been noted by the musicologists and the Film Music historians identify three main stages for the first 25 years of a 50-years long active career. ‘40s was the period for Mohammad Rafi to create his space in the playback singing. The period of 50s was the period of consolidation and strengthening his position. He started getting varied song genres by almost all music directors and emerged as THE voice for many of the heroes of that period. One male playback singer who was displaced totally by the end of the ‘50s was Talat Mahmood. ‘60s was the period he was considered to adapt to racy compositions that was now becoming the order of the day. He was the automatic choice for the next generation heroes who came up on the scene in the early ‘60s.Mohammad Rafi developed customized theatrics for most of the heroes.
In the year ’69 Rajesh Khanna suddenly came out of his initial struggle period with Aradhana, 1969, (Music S D Burman, but virtually conducted by R D Burman because of SDB’s ill health) and Dushman, 1971 (Music- Laxmikant Pyarelal). R D Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal were the new stars of the emerging, new, generation of the music directors, who had huge success in the use of Kishore Kumar as THE voice of Rajesh Khanna. As a result, Mohammad Rafi started losing his top position. He continued singing almost till the end and did have quite a few ‘good’ songs, history records this period as the period of the afterglow after the Sun has finally set for the day.
Moreover, as was observed in the first three years of the present 5th Six-Year Period, on one hand, the entry of new music directors who were to succeed in the years to come seemed to dry-up considerably. On the other hand, the music directors and the lead actors of the previous generation, who distinctly preferred Rafi, were distinctly seen ‘aging out’. It therefore makes all the more sense to complete the series of Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director with year 1969, as we take up the years 1967 to 1969.
The year 1967 has 88 solo songs for Mohammad Rafi. Mohammad Rafi has had fairly popular songs from the films like Aman. An Evening in Paris (music director for both – Shankar Jaikishan, Amne Samne (Music: Kalayanji Anandji), Nai Roshani (Music : Ravi), Naunihal (music: Madan Mohan), Palki (Music: Naushad), Taqdeer(Music: Laxmikant Pyarelala). From his many popular songs during 1967, I would even consider Hum Intezaar Karenge Tera Qayamat Tak (Bahu Begam; Music :Roshan, Lyrics: Sahir) and Tere Pyar Ne Mujhe Gham Diya (Chhaila Babu, Muic: Laxmikant Pyarelala, Lyrics: Asad bhopali) that has strong shades of charm – less theatrics, more depth – of Rafi that we had seen during later pat of ‘50s. Mohammad Rafi had had two songs in Oriya film a’Arundhat’ and one in Gujarti film, ‘Sneh Bandhan’ –
The year 1967 has only music director Bhushan, who has his first ever Mohammad Rafi solo song. If I have been able to get all correct references, Bhushan seems to have only one more film – Purani Pahechan (1971) – subsequently.
Baithe Baithe Dil-e-E Nadaan Ye Khayal Aaya Hai – Maikhana – Lyrics: Kidar Sharma
We have here Mohammad Rafi that we usually hear in his NFS ghazals – playing with lyrics of mukhada differently every time, with deep emotions, sans all loudness even when he raises the scale a few notches.
The year 1968 has 82 solo songs of Mohammad Rafi. The successful films for the year include Aadmi, Sangharsh (music director for both ; Naushand), Brahmchari, Jhuk Gaya Aasman, Kanyadaan, Mere Huzoor (All: Shankar Jaikishan), Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal) , Neel Kamal (Music: Ravi).
We have five music directors – Ved Shethi, Parmarthi Ashwatham, Ram Kadam, S Kishan and Jimmy / Premnath recording their first solo songs for Mohammad Rafi this year.
Ved Shethi has only one Hindi film to his credit.
Ek Nanhi Si Kali Roye Daali Ke Liye – Aanchal Ke Phool – Lyrics: Naqsh Lyalpuri
The song is background genre song, that describes the fate of the child protagonist. The lyrics for these songs usually convey the meaning for the song. Singer has to ensure that he /she remains faithful to that message.
Pamarthi Ashwatham belongs to those music directors who have rendered music for the films that were originally made in South Indian languages.
Kaahe Ka Rona Dhona – Ram Aur Raheem (1968) – Lyrics: Sant Kabir
The film was directed by V Nagaiya. Nagaiya and Surya Kumari were in the lead roles. It had as many seven Mohammad Rafi solo songs, all Saint Kabir’s bhajans.
Ram Kadam was essentially a music director of Marathi films (113 films) who has also scored music for three Hind films and 1 Telugu film. We have two solo songs for his 1968 film Raaste Aur Manzil.
Jalte Jalte Ho Gayi Gam Ki Raat, Ho Gayi Gam Ki Raat, Khatam Hua Dil Jalte Jalte – Raaste Aur Manzil – Lyrics: Ibrahim Faiz
This is a poignant mood song. Rafi has done full justice to the mood.
Main Bahut Door Chala Aaya Hun – Raaste Aur Manzil – Lyrics: Ibrahim Faiz
Hindi films show the heroes resorting to heavy drinking to forget his sorrows. That always an ideal situation for a drunkard genre film.
S Kishan seems to have composed films earlier too, however all these B or C grade films never seem to have even faintly succeeded at the box office.
Ab Madad Farmaiyiye Mehboob Subahani Meri – Tattar Ki Haseena – Lyrics: M Yusuf
This is film which uses the folk themes – this time for the Tattar community of Mongolia. As can be expected, the composition has a strong influence of Mid-east music style.
Jimmy (James Singh), a Christian Sikh, from Ludhiana, had a long stint at Hindi films, but was not rewarded according to his merits. However, he has attained fame as the first music director to have a ‘yodelling’ song – Ek Do Teen Char, Bagon Mein Aayi Hai Bahar – by Kishore Kumar (With Asha Bhosle, Muqqadar, 1950). Shrimatiji (1952) is his relatively more remembered film.
One more music director- Premanth– is also credited as (joint) music director for the film Tarzan In Fairyland. However not much information is available about him
Hindi Cinema has all kinds of films made with Tarzan and King Kong. It seems Tarzan and King Kong also were infected with song-singing virus. The film Tarzan In Fairyland has one Mohammad Rafi solo – Ho Gaalon Pe Gulab Liye Nainon Mein Sharab Liye – probably composed by Premnath, for which I have not been able to find a digital version on the net.
The year 1969 has 114 solo songs for Mohammad Rafi. The films that had all Rafi songs on the high-popularity chart were Aaya Sawan Jhhom Ke (Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal), Chirag (Music Madan Mohaan), Pagla Kahin Ka (Music: Shankar Jaikishan) and Pyar Ka Mausam (Music: R D Burman).
It is really interesting that one music director who changed the course of Hindi Male Playback Singing history – though, officially, as assistant to S D Burman in Aradhana – has three solos and one duet for Rafi in Pyar Ka Mausam (Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri, all of which have been filmed on the lead male actor, Shashi Kapoor. Of the three solos, Che Khush Nazare….Ke Khud Pukare Ke Hai Pyar Ki Manzil is a mandatory song wherein hero entices heroine by his happy-go-lucky mannerisms. Tum Bin Jaun KahaN had four versions in the film – two each by Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi, each with a happy and sad shades version each respectively. The Kishore Kumar fans o one side and Mohammad Rafi fans on the other side were strongly divided then, as they may probably be divided today, as to which of the version is better delivered by the singer. Well, I have no intention to step into the quagmire of that discussion here. Rafi – Lata duet – Ni Sulatana Re – was the undisputed THE popular song of the films. The irony of the fate that is Hindi film music is that it was Pyar Ka Mausam that turned out to be launching pad that ser R D Burman to the outer orbit of success.
Narayan Dutt is again a music director about whom not much is known. The only notable feature that can be be note of the film ‘Pujarin’ is perhaps the only film wherein Rehana Sultan is not in her ill-famed ‘bold’ roles.
Piya Ki Nagariya Taj Ke Gori Jaaye Re – Pujarin – Lyrics: Madan
This is a background song, for the one of the extremely popular Hindi Film situations of Bride Farewell from her parental home after the marriage.
With that we also bid farewell to our Six-Part series Mohammad Rafi’s First Solo Song With The Music Director…. Till we meet again for a series on Mohammad Rafi’s Duet Song From the FIRST Film With The Music Director.
Every time the topic of Hemant Kumar’s Hindi Film Songs in Male voice comes up, the discussion usually gets marooned in the question – was he a great composer who also sang well or was he a great singer who also made some memorable music?
This article essentially is a part of the overall portrait of Hemant Kumar as a music director. Therefore, it is incumbent of the spirit of the article that we remain focussed on the first part of the question only and leave the answer to the second part to the judgement of the readers.
The distribution curve of Hemant Kumar’s male solo song compositions is, perhaps naturally, more skewed towards his own songs. However, as a music director, he seemed to be aware of the needs of the situation of the song and those of the market forces while choosing to use the voice of other male playback singers for his male songs.
Talat Mahmood and Mukesh, being nearer his own voice quality, Hemant Kumar perhaps did not seem to have felt much need for solo songs in these voices. Also, the Hemant Kumar did not get to compose music for the films for those heroes for whom thier voices would have been the order of the day. The case of use Manna Dey appears to be beyond discussion in an article like this, in the absence of availability of any major back-up, dependable, reasoning. In any case, Manna Dey was getting almost a similar treatment in the industry. We need to rest with the fact that he was used, very, sparingly.
As such, the tail of Hemant Kumar’s male solo compositions remains skewed in favour of Mohammad Rafi, and then to a lesser degree in favour of Kishore Kumar.
For the purpose of our article, we shall stick to basic tenet that a music director knows which voice would do justice to his composition. Our role is here to cast our net wide across the breadth of Hemant Kumar compositions in the films for which he was music director and dig out all possible male songs on the table. Once done, the selection of songs is so filtered such that picture that emerges presents us a very representative retrospective of the range of Hemant Kumar as a music director.
Hemant Kumar’s compositions in Hemant Kumar’s own voice would easily call for a special, stand-alone, wholesome treatment to have the complete picture over different moods, for different actors and for the lyrics penned by different lyricists. Presently, I have selected songs from three different periods, in three different moods.
Dil Chhed Koi Aisa Nagma, Geeton Mein Zamana Kho Jaaye – Inspector (1956) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna
This is a song of pensive mood. Hemant Kumar’s soft, baritone voice ideally suits such moods.
The song has a twin Lata Mangeshkar version as well. The video clip here has both versions.
Sawan Mein Barkha Sataye Pal Pal Chin Chin Barse – Biwi Aur Makaan (1966) – Lyrics: Gulzar
Here is a song that is sheer romance, expressing a strong feeling for belonging with the beloved one when it is raining. The throw of lyric – Sawan Mein – at the very beginning of the song,or scaling up the up the delivery of lyrics midway in each stanza, present the creativity of Hemant Kumar as music director as well as his flexibility in the singing as a singer.
Tumhare Nain Dekh Ke Suna Hai Log Jogi Ho Gaye – Rahgeer (1969) – Lyrics: Gulzar
The poem composed by Gulzar, with long, narrative stanzas, would be a challenge to a music director to yield a melodious song. For a singer also to sing all these lines without loss of breath is equally an imposing challenge. Hemant Kumar, in the dual role of the music director and the singer, has so deftly handled both the challenges.
Hemant Kumar’s choice of Mohammad Rafi as a second highest male singer is ample testimony of his true role play of a music director. Hemant Kumar’s solo song compositions in Mohammad Rafi’s voice also is a subject for a separate, full-fledged analysis, as he has used Rafi’s voice from lead actors to character actors; from romantic songs to comedy songs to pathos moods songs to pensive songs, set to a wide range of situations.
Paase Sabhi Ulat Gaye, Dushman Ki Chaal Ke…..Ham Laaye Hain Tufaan Se Kashti Nikalke – Jagriti (1954) – Lyrics: Pradeepji
Being a patriotic song, the initial couplets open on high scale, gradually coning down to the regular singing scale. The tone of the delivery is that of firmness of conviction of a loving, soft-natured, teacher. This is the tone in which the main song begins.
As the song progresses, the message keeps on being more and more intense. Topics like atom bombs reflect the heightened concerns. When it reaches @ 3.50, the teacher tells his wards that the time is now ripe to stop dreaming the idealism or live in the luxuries, as now is the time to go in for a quantum jump to touch the highest of ambition, of firmly and positively unfurling the tricolour of an independent nation from the top of Himalayas all over the world. As can be expected, anyone will be carried away with these emotions. Song also suddenly jumps up in scale, remains there till the message is clear, and then returns to its normal flow.
Pradeepji has so clearly spelt out the message in his meaningful, crisp lyrics, Hemant Kumar has weaved in the mood of the song at every stage of the song. And who else could do full justice to such a song, other than the versatile Mohammad Rafi!
Ab Mori Binati Suno Bhagwan – Taj (1956) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna
This is a prayer song, which has the earnestness in the base tone of the song, but as the new stanza begins, there is a sense of heightened urgency in the request. In the end, this request reaches a crescendo. Since he himself has rendered the other songs, Hemant Kumar seems to have specifically chosen Rafi for this song. Mohammad Rafi very naturally handles these variations.
Phoolon Se Dosti Hai Kanto Se Yaari Hai, Aise Majhe Ke Pyare Zindagi Hamari Hai – Duniya Jhukati Hai (1957) – Lyrics; Rajinder Krishna
This is one of the famous songs among the ‘tonga songs’ genre of Hindi film songs. Hemant Kumar has very innovatively composed interlude orchestration pieces.
Today when I see the video clip, I note that Sunil Dutt is wearing a loud-stripped T-shirt. In those days striped T-shirt was dress code for small time ‘gunda’ or mawaali’ (ruffians or scamps) characters on the silver screen! One may even recall that David was shown wearing such a T-shirt in Boot Polish’ (1954), probably to epitomise that people who live in that kind of surroundings always have indecent ways of living. The film then goes on disprove this beief.
O Gawalan KyuN Mera Man Teri Chitawan Le Gayi – Champakali (1957) – Rajendra Krishna
Even as Mohammad Rafi, perhaps, comes in as default playback singer for Bharat Bhushan, The song is quite atypical for a Hemant Kumar composition.
Yeh Mard Bade Dil Sard Bade, Chalo Ji Maana, Mardon Ka Phir Bhi Ghulam Hai Zamana – Miss Mary (1957) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna
Miss Mary, a remake of Misamma in Telugu or Missiamma in Tamil, was a light mood film. It was one of the big box-office grossers in those days. Its songs had also become extremely popular. Hemant Kumar has very deftly made subtle changes in the composition, as compared to the original Telugu or more or less similar Tamil version, which has made the song very melodious while retaining its comedy elements. As a result, it looks more natural that Jamuna could have been induced to dance at the music while relishing the delivery of satire in the lyrics!
The Telugu version – Telusukonave Chelli (filmed on N T Rama Rao, Savitri and Jamuna)
The Tamil version – Therinthu kollanum penne (filmed on Gemini Ganeshan, Savitri and Jamuna)
Pyari Bole Bulbul, Padosan Boli kauwa….. Kisi Ko Main Chhaila, Kisi Ko Main Hauwwa…– Hum Bhi Insan Hai (1959) – Lyrics: Shailendra
Hemant Kumar has so easily composed this comedy song, which fits Mohammad Rafi like a T.
In the same year in a Bengali movie, ‘Khelaghar’ Hemant Kumar gave Mohammad Rafi two Hindi songs penned by S H Bihari. One of the two songs had the same mukhda – Pyari Bole Padosan ….
Kehti Hai Mujh Ko Duniya Deewana Nashe Mein Ha
Woh Kaunsi Mushkil Hai Jo Na Ho Sake Aasaan – Maa Beta (1962) – Lyrics: Prem Dhawan
Other music directors have often chosen Hemant Kumar’s baritone voice as background song. The song here is about the underlying confidence to overcome the present adversities. Hemant Kumar easily opts to choose Rafi for his capability to express such feelings even when singing at a lower scale. And once again, as Rafi has been called into the play, why not take the advantage of scaling higher notes to express the surge in confidence!
Mareez-e-Ishq Hoon Aye Jaan-e-Man Meri Dua Lena – Bin Badal Barsaat (1963) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
Under the regular circumstances, this could have been a poem recital, but here we have a signature Mehmood comedy song, with all the strappings of Rafi – scaling high scales at the beginning of each stanza and then reverting back to the normal scale, or some choice words, like Mareez-e-ishq being delivered in a different style each time it repeats in song.
Tera Husn Rahe Mera Ishq Rahe, To Ye Subah-o-Sham Rahe Na Rahe – Do Dil (1965) – Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
A song in the praise of the (beauty) of the beloved has emerged as a very distinct genre in the Hindi films. As it so happens, Mohammad Rafi has a virtually a monopolistic presence in this genre.
Prior to Do Dil, Biswajeet had had a string of films under other banners, wherein it was Mohammad Rafi who was his playback voice. Songs from those films had been quite successful too. That, perhaps, has weighed in in the use of Mohammad Rafi for all Biswajeet songs in this film!
In the Second Part, we will take up Hemant Kumar;s Male Songs in the voices of Kishore Kumar, Mannadey and Other Singers.