Welcome to January, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.
We will commence our current episode with the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies.
Which Was the True Voice of Pancham? – It will be 23 years since Pancham (R D Burman) on this day in 1994 left us music lovers with an awful feeling of loss just when we were about to celebrate his huge comeback. Peeyush Sharma recalls the many voices that he sang to us in, trying to really understand which his true voice was. All songs picked in this list had music by R D Burman himself. The voice had become known as a distinct and melodious one which had that ‘ras’ that was so typical of him. Mone poRe Ruby Roy (later reused as Meri bheegi bheegi si in Anamika) and Jete jete pathe holo deri (which had a Hindi reincarnation as the iconic Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa to nahin in Aandhi) became chart-toppers in the Bengali non-film songs category.
Om Puri certainly deserved profuse eulogies in the print and net media. I have picked up the three representative ones here –
- Om Puri – The Luminance of a Natural Actor – Amitava Nag – Om Puri passed away on 6 January 2017 after four decades of acting. One of the pioneer faces of the Indian ‘parallel’ cinema movement of the 70s and 80s, Om Puri later on shifted to international cinema and remained a forceful actor till his last.
- The original choice for Ahuja’s role in ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ was… not Om Puri – Pankaj Kapoor was to play the builder Ahuja, but when he was cast in the larger role of Tarneja, Om Puri made his celebrated comic debut.
- Everyman, comedian, sutradhaar: a tribute to Om Puri – It is a bit sad to realise that much of Puri’s best work was done between 25 and 35 years ago, that few roles in the final years did him justice…Much like the man whose hesitant voice and flashing eyes helped make them so memorable, they belong to us all. Or as JBDY’s Ahuja might slur, “Yeh films aap akayle ke nahin hain. Hum sab shareholder hain.”
From Hindi film music to raga-based symphonies, the remarkable journey of Anthony Gonsalves – Naresh Fernandes pays rich tribute to the renowned musician, whose fifth death anniversary is on January 18, merged the Western classical music of his Goan heritage with Hindustani melodies.
Geeta Bali’s Personality Had the Energy of Shammi Kapoor’s Dance – Megha Mathur – This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 21 January 2016. It is being republished to mark Geeta Bali’s death anniversary.
Kamal Amrohi made only four films. Fortunately for us, one of them was ‘Pakeezah’ – On the director’s birth anniversary, here is an excerpt from Vinod Mehta’s biography on Meena Kumari revisits the film’s troubled production.
The January 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Dilip Dholakia as singer. This was preceded by the guest article Forgotten Composers Unforgettable Melodies (11): Dilip Dholakia, which I then had reblogged on 10-1-2017. Here we have looked at back at Dilip Dholakia from the lens of a music director of Hindi films.
Here are posts on other subjects as well:
From left to right: Bharat Bhushan, Meena Kumari, Meena Kumari’s sister Madhuri and Surendra, who played the role of the musician Tansen in the film.
When Cinema Matched Music Beat by Beat: Nadiya Kinare in Abhimaan – The challenge of Nadiya kinare in Abhimaan was to create a supremely classical yet rustic song. SD Burman’s music, Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice along with Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan’s performance and Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s direction were ably supported by the competent technical crew and musicians. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore how master craftsmen of cinema and music matched every frame to a note in this song which can well be called a textbook in song composition and picturisation!
A snowy winter is the perfect excuse to get cuddly in Hindi film songs – Manish Gaekwad pens this sub-genre of Hindi Film Songs.
Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (10) – Bihag and its family – Subodh Agrawal continues from where he had left off his series, Songs based on classical ragas.
My Favourites: ‘Kaun Aaya?’ Songs – Hindi films are full of rhetorical questions to which everyone, including the people asking those questions, know the answer… One such question is ‘Kaun aaya?’ The answer is obvious, of course (and the characters on screen know who has stolen their heart, resided in their soul, made them laugh…), but they ask (sing) the questions anyway. The post has some excellent, but not more often heard songs –
- Ye kaun mere zindagi mein aa gaya – Bombay Race Course (1965) – Asha Bhosle – Madan Mohan – Rajinder Krishan
- Kaun aaya mehfil mein – Bambai ka Chor (1962) – Asha – Ravi – Rajinder Krishan
Flashback 50 Years By Peeyush Sharma – There is a marked shift in the style of compositions, change in the audience taste and acceptance of new music directors. Among the films that had their music release this year, Shankar Jaikishen, O P Nayyar and Usha Khanna each had 7 films while Madan Mohan and Ravi had five each and Hemant Kumar had three. Laxmikant Pyarelal had 10 releases to their credit – a defining year for their career. RD Burman gave his life’s first massive chart buster hit Teesri Manzil. There were several others who scored memorable music scores in a single film or two.
- (Part I): Shankar Jaikishan Hits of 1966 – Teesari Kasam, Gaban and Amrapali were the notable films from the point of view of the quality of songs.
- (Part II): OP Nayyar Hits of 1966 – Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayengi, Sawan Ki Ghata, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi were the notable films from the point of view of the quality of songs.
- (Part III): Madan Mohan Hits of 1966 – Mera Saaya, Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare, Dulhan Ek Raat Ki were the notable films from the point of view of the quality of songs.
Steam behemoth rides in Bollywood – D P Rangan takes on the nostalgic trip to the younger days of most of the readers who are in 40+ age group.
Ten of my favourite non-romantic male-female duets which do not mention romantic love in any form, not even as part of a bhajan (the Radha-Krishna trope is one that comes to mind). And that the actors should both be adults (because there are far too many songs which have a female playback singer singing for a child onscreen) as in Saanwle-salone aaye din bahaar ke (Ek Hi Raasta, 1956).
Do actors have what it takes to stop lip-synching and start singing their own film songs? – No actor took playback singing as seriously as Premnath when he sang an Indian classical bandish Dagar Chalat Dekho in the little-known film Raja Kaka (1973). It was an enviable accomplishment that went unnoticed.
Odd(itie)s and Ends, Joys of Fusion, and Blogging Restlessness is a post that is a little more scattered and eclectic than usual, which may signal a direction for other posts to come.
Cinema classical: When Parveen Sultana trumped Kishore Kumar in ‘Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna’ – Manish Gaekwad has kick started to showcase the voices of the stalwarts of Indian classical music in popular films with this song from Kudrat. Naushad introduced Parveen Sultana to Hindi moviegoers in Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam in Pakeezah (1972). The thumri was used in the background….Sultana returned to Hindi playback only in 1981 for Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna, composed by RD Burman for the movie Kudrat. The track, in raag bhairavi, was written by Majrooh Sultanpuri. Parveen Sultana won the 1982 Filmfare trophy for her version of the song.
My Favourites: Songs of Promises – are all love songs, songs of promises between lovers. Not ‘aap ki kasam’ songs, or the breaking of promises but actual promises being asked for, or made. Promises of a future together, of hope that one will have someone with whom to share life’s struggles and happiness, of trust that one’s faith will not be betrayed. For example:
- Humne jab dil tha diya koi vaada tha kiya – Chhoomantar (1956) – Mohammed Rafi, Shamshad Begum – OP Nayyar – Jaan Nissar Akhtar
- Aji aao muhobbat ki kha le kasam – Shehnai (1947) – Chitalkar, Amirbai Karnataki – C Ramchandra – PL Santoshi
Picture the song: Guns and snogs in ‘Mile Mile Do Badan’ from ‘Black Mail’ – Nandini Ramnath narrates why we should trust Vijay Anand to insert a romantic song in the middle of a chase sequence and make it work…..
I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….