Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – February, 2018

Welcome to February, 2018 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We begin our February, 2018 episode with Bharat Darshan – Bharat Darshan in Songs (1): Small towns  followed by Bharat Darshan in Songs (2): Metros. Once we tour India, how can we be satisfied without having a look Around the World in Songs.

Knowing fully well that a mere mention of the these tours will not suffice, I have selected one song from each post to taste the potentials of these tours

Tum Dilli Main Agra Mere Dil Se Nikle Haaye – Pahle Aap (1944) – Shyam Kumar and Mohammad Rafi – Naushad  – DN Madhok

Bombay Purani Kalkatta Purana – Umar Qaid (1961)   Mohammad Rafi and Kamal Barot – Iqbal Qureshi – Hasrat Jaipuri

Ek Din Lahore Ki Thandi Sadak Par Shaam Ko Ja Rahe TheSagai (1951) – Chitalkar, Rafi and Shamshad Begum – C Ramchandra  –  Rajendra Krishna

Around the World in Ten Songs also is an off-shoot of the aforementioned Bharat Darshan posts. There are songs—the ones shot abroad—merit a separate post, because so many of them (Akele-akele kahaan jaa rahe ho, O mere shahekhubaan, Raat ke humsafar, Aye meri zindagi tu ajnabi toh nahin, etc) have little to do with the place itself. The present list is limited to the songs that actually name a city or town, whether or not the song itself is shot there, e.g.  Bade Bhaiya Laaye Hain London Se Chhori  – Ek Hi Raasta, (1956) – Asha Bhosle – Hemant Kumar – Majrooh Sutanpuri

And, now, we take up the tributes in January (post-our January, 2018 issue) / February, 2018:

The first five posts are w.r.t. the Valentine Day.

Valentine Day also is the birth date of Madhubala.

The Many Moods of Madhubala – On her 85th birth anniversary on 14th February, 2018 – Her obvious beauty blinded people to her talent, and her ill-health didn’t allow her much of a chance to explore roles that might have rewarded her latent talent.

Barsat Ki Raat Part 1: A Musical Romance – On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, and the birthday of Hindi films’ Venus, Madhubala, Monica Kar revisits the classic musical Barsat Ki Raat 1960, exploring the evergreen memorable songs and scenes of this delightful romantic story. [We will include the Part II of the article in our next episode.]

Happy Birthday Suman Ji! presents her representative solo songs on her 81st birthday on 28th January, 2018.  This is followed up with Suman Kalyanpur – Duets. I have picked up a duet with Mohammad Rafi from her one of the first films just after her marriage:

Jara Thahero Abhdul Gaffar Rumal Mere Leke Jaana – Satta Bazar (1959) – Kalyanji Anandji – Gulshan Bawra – The tune is composed on Gujarati Garba folk song tune.

The Many Moods of Waheeda Rehman – a ‘song’ tribute to Waheeda Rehman on her 80th birthday (3rd February, 2018), songs that she sang on screen presenting her in a different mood and/or emotion.

OP Nayyar — Music Alchemist  –  In a tribute to the legendary music director OP  Nayyar, Silhouette presents a unique collection of essays curated by noted musicologist and author Manek Premchand, admin of the RTS group. The group draws its name from Manek’s book ‘Romancing the Song, an in-depth encyclopedic lyrical journey through the history of the Hindi film song.

Khayyam: The Poets’ Musician – The earnestness, the depth and the genius of Khayyam led to the creation of masterpiece ghazals, songs and nazms that are among the most beautiful melodies in Hindi film music. Vijay Kumar explores a few of Khayyam’s everlastings songs on the music maker’s birthday on 18th February, 2018.

Pankaj Mallik-The Singer,Composer Admired By Rabindranath Tagore – The credit of taking Tagore’s songs and music, which have come to be known as ‘Rabindra Sangeet’, to the masses goes to ‘Mukti’.

Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhoolegi: Bharat Bhushan’s Unforgettable Singer-Poet Musicals – By Peeyush Sharma – Bharat Bhushan’s educated, decent, quiet and humble personality made him excel in unforgettable musicals as historical singer-poet or romantic shayar.

February, 2018 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs is dedicated to: Talat Mahmood’s Duet Combinations with Rare Co-singers. I plan to follow the practice of following-up one artist every month every year. E.g. Our present episode is follow-on post to the February, 2017 episode:Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory’.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

The mesmerizing Qawwaalis from Hindi movies – Listening to a good Qawwaali may take you into a state of trance. Bollywood movies have carried the Qawwaali tradition a long way through several memorable Qawwaalis.

Bombay Returned is Manek Premchand’s maiden article as far as this blog carnival is concerned.  The post looks at many actors, singers, composers or filmmakers who came to Bombay to try their fortunes in Hindi films, only to go back to where they were known better through the prism of lens of their Hindi Film Songs.

Great Theme Music of Bollywood – Theme music is a piece that is often played during the introopening credits and/or ending credits. This music is a Signature Music of a Film. For example – Alaap at the end of a musical piece from ‘Pakeeza’. In the early years of radio and television, celebrities often had a signature song associated with them that became their theme.

‘Bandini’ is about crossings real and imagined, literal and metaphoricalRudradeep Bhattacharjee – Gulzar made his debut as a lyricist with the 1963 Bimal Roy classic, starring Nutan, Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra and scored by SD Burman…Mora Gora Ang Lai Le is the only song Gulzar wrote for Bandini. By then Burman and Shailendra had made their peace, and the latter wrote the remaining songs. [A concerned Bimal Roy then asked Gulzar to join in on his next production, which was being directed by Hemen Gupta. Kabuliwala, for which Gulzar wrote Ganga Aaye Kahaan Se, went on to release earlier than Bandini.].This song also is the first after SDB and Lata’ feud was patched up.

25 All Time Great Whistling Songs Of Bollywood – Whistling is an old art used in songs started in 1930s and 40s. A whistle can be used to express happiness or woo a beloved. Many a times whistling is a part of hero’s introduction song, where he is shown to whistle happily, either walking or riding a bicycle, or driving a car.

‘Gharonda’ remains one of the most resonant films about Mumbai’s housing woesNandini Ramnath – House-hunting leads to heartbreak in Bhimsain’s 1977 morality tale, starring Amol Palekar, Zarina Wahab and Shreeram Lagoo.

Devika Rani is a free-spirited bird in ‘Main Ban Ki Chidiya’Archana Nathan – The famous song from Franz Osten’s ‘Achhut Kanya’ is a perfect ode to Devika Rani.

Zara Dekhiye Meri Saadgi’ – Dara Singh – His first real acting film was Bhaktraj (1960). But he came in a hero in Faulad (1963), and then went to act in 80 films in the lead role. The song that the article title refers to is from Nasihat(1967) – rendered by Mahendra Kapoor and composed by O P Nayyar.

We concluded our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are?  with the final post that presents my views on the Top Music Directors for 1948. If we recall, SoY had concluded the series with Best songs of 1948: Final Wrap Up 4.  All the posts of the Micro View of Best Songs of 1948 can be accessed @ The Songs of 1948 @SoY.

In our tradition of ending our post with article or topical song, I have picked up one duet with Suman Kalyanpur and one rarely heard composition of O P Nayyar and Roshan each, in continuation to leads that we have had earlier in this episode::

Aankade Ka Dhandha Ek Din Teji – Satta Bazar (1959) – Kalyanji Anandji – Gulshan Bawra

Sharab Ka Sahara Leke Bahal Saka Na Mera Dil – Commecrical Pilot Officer (1963) – Roshan- Anand Bakshi

Bana De Bana De Prabhuji Tu Bigdadi Bana De Prabhuji – Phaagun (1958) – With Asha Bhosle – O P Nayyar – Qamar Jalalabadi

Madhubala and Bharat Bhushan lip sing the song on the screen.

I earnestly seek your suggestions / inputs / criticisms so as to make our Film Blog Festival more interesting and live.

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – May, 2017

Welcome to May, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

Month of May also has brought in two very specific posts:

Singing for a better tomorrow: A Hindi film song helpline for May DayAshwini Deshpande

On International Workers’ Day, a reminder of the times when lyricists, in Hindi films. These songs were filled with optimism, hope and dreams of a better life marked by equality.

Month of May also has a most significant milestone for Indian Cinema. DG Phalke’s labour of love ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was released on May 3, 1913. Here is what went into the making of the first Indian feature filmSruthi Ganapathy Raman  recalls  that it was far from easy to make.

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

Passing away of Vinod Khanna did result in a downpour of eulogies, form all and different quarters.

  • Vinod Khanna conquered Hindi cinema by just being thereMustansir Dalvi – When not playing the villain, Vinod Khanna played straight man to the more garrulous co-stars.
  • Thus Endeth Another Chapter of “a man with sad eyes, self-confident without being arrogant, the quietness of a man who was – finally – at peace with himself. For someone who was so much a man’s man, so ruggedly handsome, what remains with me is the half-smile that quirked his lips in the most endearing way, and the way his eyes lit up when he smiled. That smile made him at once real, and human.”
  • In Tribute: Vinod Khanna (1946-2017) – The deeply nuanced roles that went to actors like Sanjeev Kumar may not have been Vinod Khanna’s, but the roles he played, he played well. He played them convincingly, and he played them with a flair that was very appealing.
  • ‘Where are the available men’ and other tales from the sets of the sexual liberation drama ‘Rihaee’ – Arunaraje Patil faced typical and unforeseen challenges while directing her first solo feature in Gujarat in 1988 – edited excerpts from her autobiography Freedom My Story– “It was during the dubbing of Rihaee, that Vinod, finding me preoccupied, literally cornered me into telling him what the problem was. When he found out what was bothering me, he stepped out of the studio, went to his car and got me thirty thousand rupees. This was exactly what I needed for the first print. When I made a fuss about taking it, he thrust it in my hands and said, ‘Don’t worry, payable when able.’”
  • Remembering (and Re-Introducing) Vinod Khanna – Little wonder then that this strikingly handsome man, who might have made a career out of being a poster boy, letting his sunglasses and open shirts do most of the work for him, participated in a number of relatively offbeat or understated films – starting with Gulzar’s Mere Apne and Achanak and Sunil Dutt’s Reshma aur Shera, and continuing for the next two decades, through Meera, Lekin… , Muzaffar Ali’s uncompleted Zooni, or Patil’s Rihaee

Zohra Sehgal was the mother of all screen grandmothersRhea Nath – In movie after movie, the dancer and stage actress played a matriarch as charming as she is crusty.

Waqt Ne Kiya – The Introspective Songs of Kaifi AzmiPeeyush Sharma – We have picked up one rare song here and one – one of the finest – at the end of our episode:

Aaj ki kaali ghata  – Uski Kahani, 1966 – Geeta DuttKanu Roy

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana: Shankar Jaikishan’s Melodies of 1971 – 18 Films, 104 Songs Peeyush Sharma – Shankar, bade goodbye to this world on 26 April 1987. Jaikishan departed on 12th September, 1971. SJ (Shankar-Jaikishan) had 18 Hindi and one Telugu film releases this year. They had also now started working with a variety of lyricists; Hasrat was the regular as always, they added Rajendra Krishan, S H Bihari, Neeraj, Shaili Shailendra, Anand Bakshi, Varma Mallik, Indeevar and even Gulzar. Jaikishan had earlier appeared on screen way back performing on the Mukesh song, Ae pyase dil bezubaan, tujhko le jaaun kahan, in Begunaah in 1957. This year he made an appearance as Jaikishan himself, working on a balancing machine while recording the Kishore song Naach Meri Jaan Fatafat. The song went on Mehmood.

We have picked up three songs form the Telugu film Jeevitha Chakram:

Kallallo Kallupetti

Kanti Choopu (Female)

And its male version

Shankar-Jaikishan’s duets (1): Mukesh/Rafi with female singers and Shankar Jaikishan’s duets (2) is the continuum of singerwise posts for Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Rafi, Manna Dey, ‘Other singers’ and two posts on their dance songs – for Lata Mangeshkar and female dance duets.

The May 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Snehal Bhatkar. Snehal Bhatkar composed songs for 27 Hindi films and 12 Marathi films. His contribution in Marathi NFS is also highly respected.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Returning to the songs of Ningalenne Communistakki (but still looking for subtitles) presents songs from a classic Malayalam film Ningalenne Communistakki.

Ashwin Bhandrakar debuts with guest post Beena madhur madhur kacchu bol in unpretentious style peppered with a dash of humour on bees and honey.

Pakeezah’ resonates to the sound of Meena Kumari’s ankletsManish Gaekwad – The soundtrack of the 1972 classic was by Ghulam Mohammed, who used the foot ornaments to startling effect.

Lovers burn up the phone wires in ‘Jalte Hai Jiske Liye’Nandini Ramnath – The song from Bimal Roy’s 1959 classic ‘Sujata’ is one of the most quietly raging love songs out there.

Dil Dhoondta Hai’ and the heart that never stops searchingBubla Basu -Gulzar’s ‘Mausam’ features two versions of a love. From the first words “Dil dhoondta hai” (the heart is searching), we slip into the nostalgic, compelling mood of the film. Someone, somewhere, somehow is searching for someone. The solo is an echo of a love that is lost but not forgotten…. Madan Mohan’s haunting music and Gulzar’s evocative lyrics ensure that we recognise the song later in the film when Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore render a longer and livelier duet.

The original ‘Meri Pyari Bindu’ from ‘Padosan’ is more than just a comical tune – The popular song by Kishore Kumar from the 1968 comedy mixes traditional Baul music with elements of the qawwali and the love ballad.

Two Mukesh duets buzzing me today: Yeh Duniya Hai… Yahan Dil Ka Lagana Kis Ko Aata Hai (Shair,1949, Ghulam Mohammad) and   Khayalon Mein Kisi Ke Is Tarah Aaya Nahin Karate (Banware Nain, 1950, Roshan).

When the bhajan ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’ inspired a Pakistani love songKaran Bali – ‘Phirni Aan Main Labdi’, from the 1957 movie ‘Nooran’, features Pakistani singing sensation Noor Jehan. – Written by Hazin Qadri, Phirni Aan Main Labdi is among several wonderful tunes by composer Safdar Hussain for Nooran.

We could not make any progress in annual Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY.

We end our present episode with Kafi Azmi’s the song that just sweeps you away: Tum jo mil gaye ho (Hanste Zakhm, 1973, Madan Mohan). It has got the rhythm of the crashing waves and pouring rain in every note. It rises and falls like the tidal sea waves, races like the wind and then slows down to a gentle pitter-patter only to pick up the pace again at a frenetic speed. What an amazing song, composition and rendition by the trio of Kaifi Azmi-Madan Mohan-Rafi.

Tum bhi the khoye khoye, main bhi bujhaa-bujhaa
Thaa ajnabi zamaanaa apnaa koi na thha
Dil ko jo mil gayaa hai teraa sahaaraa

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – March 2017

Welcome to March, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

This is the month when the North India in particular celebrate the fun and frlickings of aolourful Holi . We have picked up these  topical posts to commence our present episode:

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

“Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon” – Joy MukerjeeThe failure of “Humsaya” and the inability to release “Love in Bombay” resulted in Joy Mukerjee losing his stardom as soon as the 70’s dawned. To repay his debts, Joy was forced to act in B- and C- grade movies like “Ehsan”, “Puraskar”, “Mujrim”, “Aag aur Daag”, “Kahin Aar Kahin Par”. This ended up denting his reputation further. Joy’s sorrow and inner anguish reflected in his face and the sadness that had crept on his face was palpable….As a hero, Joy Mukerjee appeared only in 32 films.

Sai Paranjype’s ‘Katha’ is a fabulous fable about the most charming chawl in the worldBubla Basu – The renowned filmmaker’s 79th birthday is the perfect excuse to revisit one of her loveliest films, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval.

For Sahir Ludhianvi, the best kind of love was unrequitedNirupama Dutt – On the celebrated Urdu poet’s 96th birth anniversary, a reminder of his contradictory attitudes towards women and relationships.

The eyes have it in ‘Achcha Ji Main Haari’ from ‘Kalapani’Rudradeep Bhattacharjee – The song from Raj Khosla’s ‘Kalapani’ works on playful looks and sighs.

The Vanraj Bhatia interview: ‘My music was unique then and is perhaps unique even now’Greg Booth – The acclaimed 90-year-old composer looks back on the music he made and looks ahead to the opera he hopes to finish someday. Let us listen to: Sanvariya Dekh Zara from Shyam Benegal’s Sardari Begum (1996).

Films that are 50: A mad scientist, a vampire and willing victims in cross-border hit ‘Zinda Laash’Karan Bali  – The baggy adaptation of the Dracula legend proved to be a neat box office fit in Pakistan in 1967.

The March 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to S N Tripathi: Unremembered music director of remembered songs.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

WHEN BOLLYWOOD ACTRESSES DECIDED TO MASQUERADE AS ‘MEN’!Sharada Iyer is a mirror image of her article Bollywood’s Drag-Queen Acts, wherein she has been able to muster of 18 films where the actresses have donned the man’s role.

Unko Yeh Shikayat Hai Ke Hum Kuch Nahin Kehte – When Silence Speaks Volumes – There are some songs that rise high above the regular and become proverbial. Such is the everlasting magic of this exquisite ghazal from Adalat (1958) which says volumes more than simple words could ever convey. Anand Desai and Antara Nanda Mondal explore the finer nuances of this quietly introspective ghazal, written by Rajinder Krishan, composed by Madan Mohan and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, which connects with the listener at a personal level.

Another Mujra in a Different Kitchen –is post about performances by people who are not necessarily stars and have not had huge studios invested in them, who are happy simply to practice and exhibit an art that they love. It may also be lot of fun to see people doing classical Indian or Bollywood dances in very ordinary surroundings, in front of objects as incongruous as, say, modern kitchen appliances.

Noor Jehan in Incomplete Film Tara (1949) – If completed and released on time, Tara might have become Noor Jehan’s first film in Pakistan. However, with the continuous string of flop Urdu films during the formative period of Pakistani Film Industry, someone advised Shaukat Hussain Rizvi/Noor Jehan to produce and direct a film in Punjabi instead of Urdu. Chanway, a Punjabi film released in 1951 became Noor Jehan’s first released film in Pakistan and a very successful one.

Guest Post: Rajinder Singh Bedi – My Uncle as I remember him in which Nischint Bhatnagar‘Nishi’, who is Mr Bedi’s niece (his younger brother’s daughter)  a heart-warming little insight into the man Rajinder Singh Bedi was.

In Film songs in classical ragas (11) – The evocative duo: Mand and Shivranjani.Subodh Agarwal carries forward his monumental contribution of presenting Hindi Films based on a particular classical Raag along with the basics of the Raag  that laypersons would understand and relish.

Best songs of 1948: And the winners are? Apart for the very meticulous Film Historians, it is the crowd-funding efforts of netizens that have made the Vintage Era of Hindi Films so much accessible to us. “Best songs of year” has become a most dependable platform to bring all these works on one page in a structured way.

This curtain raiser has provided so much fodder, that absorbing so much itself will take some before we I commence my micro-review journey for the year.

As the curtain on 1948’s songs has gone up, I have picked up Mohammad Rafi’s most known song on Gandhiji  to end the present episode:

Suno suno ae duniyawalo Bapu ki ye amar kahani (NFS) -lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Husnlal-Bhagatram

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – February, 2017

Welcome to February, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

This is the month when the world celebrated Valentine Day. We have picked up these  topical posts to commence our present episode:

Bachapan Ki Yaad Dheere Dheere Pyaar Ban Gayi – Shaheed (1948) – Lalita Deulkar – Ghulam Haider – Qamar Jalalabadi

We will now take up the posts on the anniversaries or eulogies:

The three distinct phases of OP Nayyar’s career –  Ravindra Kelkar pans three distinct musical styles, each corresponding to three time periods of O P Nayyar’s career.  Here are three illustrations, each for a respective phase:

Taare Chandani – Baaz (1953) – Geeta Roy (Dutt) – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Man More Ga Jhoom Ke – Mangu (1954) – Asha Bhosle – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Humdum Mere Khel Na Jano – Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Remembering Madhubala, Bollywood’s Very Own Marilyn Monroe – Khalid Mohamed- republished to mark Madhubala’s birth anniversary Madhubala’s end-years were spent in deflecting an illness which had a deadline. At one point, doctors had declared that Madhubala wouldn’t last beyond a period of two years. ..Despite that, she attempted to complete the last shooting spell required for Chalak co-featuring Raj Kapoor. Lore has it that since filmmakers had stopped approaching her to act, she threw caution to the wind, and steered towards film direction. Neither this project titled Farz Aur Ishq, nor Chalak, could get to the finishing line.

Cuckoo Did Get A Mention Here On Her Birthday This Year… – Even as there is no specific post on Cuckoo,  a new comment to the old post Discussion, Info and Great Pics Related to the Earliest Appearances of Cuckoo makes up for the loss.

We have two posts on Waheeda Raheman’s birthday –

  • Waheeda Rehman – The Woman of Substance On-Screen – In Pyaasa, Mujhe Jeene Do, The Guide, Teesri Kasam and Kaagaz Ke Phool – Waheeda’s best four movies to the author’s mind – Waheeda played the women who traded their charms for sustenance.” Vijay Kumar revisits these films from the perspective of the towering women characters in them played by Waheeda Rehman.
  • In Praise of Waheeda Rehman who had quite a few songs that are songs that are paeans to her beauty, praising her charm and her loveliness, while some of the others are sheer romance, in verse.

Hua jab se dil mein tera guzar, Mujhe chain hai na qaraar hai (Zara sun haseena-e-nazneenKaun Apna Kaun Paraya (1963) – Mohammed Rafi – Ravi – Shakeel Badayuni

Remembering Faiz Ahmed Faiz Through His Aching Words – Almas Khateeb – here’s looking at some of this subtle and sophisticated poet’s works, that’ll stay with us for years to come: Faiz Ahmed Faiz and His Beguiling Poetry.

The February 2017 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to ‘Some of the Talat Mahmood Duets receding from the memory’.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

the-corsican-brothersram-aur-shyam

Films that are 50: A Dilip Kumar double treat in ‘Ram Aur Shyam’  – Nirupama Kotru – The thespian proves that comedy is as easy as tragedy in the 1967 hit comedy, which was a remake of  the popular Telugu film Ramudu Bheemudu, which in turn was loosely based on Alexander Dumas’s The Corsican Brothers.

Los Angeles, 1975. Lata Mangeshkar takes the stage. Deafening applauseMohan DeoraRachana ShahOn Stage With Lata is a different kind of memoir: it is a short history of Mangeshkhar’s concerts in the United States of America, Canada, the Caribbean and the Fiji Islands between 1975 and 1998.

Audio master: ‘Kismet’ laid the foundation of the Hindi film song as we know itRudradeep Bhattacharjee – In the 1943 blockbuster, the essential elements and conventions of the movie tune were codified, including the mukhda-antara form. Musicologist Jayson Beaster-Jones notes, “Both the film and the music of ‘Kismet’ exemplify a point just before a critical moment of transition for Indian filmmaking.”

Hope for Mumbai’s single screen cinemas after New Excelsior gets a shiny makeover – Subhash Ghai’s cinema chain has renovated and relaunched the iconic Mumbai theatre with new amenities and fewer seats.

Flowers bloom in Bollywood – D P Rangan has presented a colorful spread of Hindi film songs on flowers.

My favourites: Ten answers to the ‘Kaun Aaya’ question is in response to songs on Kaun Aaya, such as:

Chaakuwaala chhuriwaala… aaya main mastaana (Al-Hilal, 1957)

Mehfil mein jo aaye tum (Vallah Kya Baat Hai, 1962)

Ghoomke aaya hoon main… Baajewaala Patialewaala (Basant, 1960)

The Adivasi Chain Dances (Santali and Dhimsa)Circle dance, or chain dance, is a style of dance done in a circle or semicircle to musical accompaniment, such as rhythm instruments and singing. Circle dancing is probably the oldest known dance formation and was part of community life from when people first started to dance.

We end today’s episode with a prayer composed also by Mohammad Rafi

Hazrat Adam Ka Wakeya

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – January, 2017

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.”

Urdu Poet, Lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri Dies at 88  – He first got break in the 1952 film Jaggu with the song Agar Teri Aakhon Se Aakhein Mila Doon (Asha Bhosale, Hansraj Behl).

From Hindi film music to raga-based symphonies, the remarkable journey of Anthony GonsalvesNaresh 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:

Noor Jehan with R.D. Burman & Asha Bhosle – Asha Bhosle said that “Badnaam mohabbat kaun kare [Dost, 1944, Sajjad Hussain] is her favorite song by Noor Jehan.

noor-jehan-with-r-d-burman-asha-bhosleBharat Bhushan, Meena Kumari at premiere of Baiju Bawra (1952)

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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 songsManish 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 –

Dhoondhta Hoon Jinko Raaton Ko Khayalon Main Mein’ – Shiv Kumar (Pathak) made his debut with Poonam KI Raat (1965). Here is the link to the song in the title of the post – Dhoondhta Hoon Jinko

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:

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…..

We end today’s episode with a INTERVIEW of Ahsan Qasim by Sanjeeb Updhyay about GREAT MOHD RAFI SAHAB – Part 1  ǁ Part 2 ǁ Part 3 ǁ Part 4

I trust you will always feel free to proffer your suggestions for making this series of posts more lively and informative….

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – December, 2016

Welcome to December, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We will begin our present episode on a lighter note with You’ve never heard the demonetized version of this famous song from Guru Dutt’s ‘Pyaasa’. As a parody, ‘When it was our turn in the queue, the bank’s coffers were empty‘ is a part of sort of mini cottage industry – These Bollywood spoofs on demonetisation will tide you over the cashless blues.

December, 2016 also had another major event- passing away of Tamil Nadu CM, J Jayalalithaa.

Wadia and Nadia: How love kicked in pre-Bollywood filmdom – Nadia was a JBH discovery. But it was Homi (May 22, 1911 – December 10, 2004) who gave this memsahib with a thick Scottish accent, a voice. “Homi realised her language was her ‘body’,” says film theorist and curator Amrit Gangar. “He kept Nadia’s dialogue to a bare minimum because of her difficulty with Hindi.”

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Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia in a still from Carnival Queen, 1955

Happy Birthday Dharmendra: As he turns 81, we bring you his various filmi moods – He was probably the first Indian male star who appeared bare-chested in a song in Phool Aur Patthar. From Anupama (1966) to Satyakam (1969), Dharmendra tried to create a space for himself as an actor. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chupke Chupke is another film which proved that the actor could balance subtle comedy just as well as slapstick elsewhere.

MS Subbulakshmi: A journey from Kunjamma to Meera – is N Venkataraman’s tribute on her birth centenary (16 September 1916 – 11 December 2004).

December is also a month of birth dates of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, two fulsome actors of the Great Triad.

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Dilip Kumar – Leaves from My Diary in an interview conducted in 1957.

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Prithivi Raj Kapoor with sons and a grand son

15 Songs of Shailendra: The Art of Simply Expressing Deepest Thoughts – On Shailendra’s death anniversary,Antara Nanda Mondal and Peeyush Sharma have compiled a brief list of 15 songs that give a glimpse of his massive range – encompassing songs of love and romance, songs of introspection and philosophies, songs of spiritual awakening and harsh social realities, songs of that celebrate liberation and songs that express the anguish of entrapment.

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We have an excellent career-sketch of Sitara Devi: The Twinkling Star profiled by Karan Bali on her second death anniversary on 25th November.  Some of her memorable films are Judgement of Allah (1935), Achhut (1940), Pagal (1940) and India Today (1940)., Roti (1942), Najman (1943) or her snake dance in Anjali (1957) or the Holi dance in Mother India (1957).

We will also take note of A Short Film Tribute to Sitara Devi   

Karan Bali has also profiled PC Barua, who is most easily remembered for K L Saigal’s songs of Devdas (1935) or Saigal’s So Ja Raajkumari So Ja (Zindagi).

The December, 2016 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Mohammad Rafi’s solo song from the first film with the music director. This part of the article covered the first three years of the first-five-year-period of 1944-1948. The second part of the article, has covered songs from 1947 and 1948 @ Mohammad Rafi’s Solo Song From The FIRST Film With The Music Director ||2||.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Shyam Benegal’s ‘Ankur’ and the beginning of a film movement – A Book Review by Sangeeta Datta – A script written during the filmmaker’s college years became the foundation of his sparkling career as one of cinema’s greatest realists.

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Smita Patil as a child: Mischievous, adventurous, emotional and an excellent mimic – In her review Maithili Rao notes that  Smita Patil biography reveals that the acclaimed actor, whose death anniversary is on December 13, was ‘prem mayee’: a being suffused with love.

More Delicious Chutney Covers of Hindi Film Songs – After the introductory piece, we can now expect this to be a regular fare.

Southern Spice in Hindi Music highlights key aspects of South Indian music that have been absorbed in Hindi film songs, that have added what one would call as a dash of Southern spice in Hindi film music. This is not about the vocal styles from South India, but instruments from South India. LINK TO PLAYLIST FOR SOUTHERN SPICE IN HINDI FILM MUSIC takes us to 12 such songs from 1940s to’60s, with one exception.

I have been able to land upon this quite an imaginative subject – “Samne waali khidki” songs rather belatedly.

Shankar-Jaikishan’s multi-faceted genius with ‘other’ singers – have covered so far their best songs for his leading singers, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Rafi and Manna Dey. also presented his best dance songs for Lata Mangeshkar and female dance duets. presenting my final tribute to SJ with their songs for ‘other’ singers which give a glimpse of their multi-faceted talent.

My Favourites: Heroes – 1 (40s-70s)  is the pairing list of earlier  My Favourites: Heroines – 1 (40s-70s) , based on an idea of Stars and Songs, that the author, Ava Suri, particularly like featuring the actress. In the continuum, Zeenat Aman – My favorite Songs is a collection of Baker’s dozen songs that have matching visuals to the catchy lyrics with Zeenat Aman in the focus and Ashok Kumar – 10 favorite songs that the actor sang as well as performed on the screen.

‘Diya Na Bujhe Ri Aaj Hamara’ – Kumkum The first song I got as a dancer was the song “Angana Baaje Shehnai Re, Aaj Mori Jagmag Atariya” in the film Sheesha which was sung by Shamshad Begum. ‘Raat Ke Raahi’s song ‘Daayein Baayein Chhup Chhupa Ke Kahaan Chale’ was picturized on Kumkum’s younger sister Radhika and Shammi Kapoor.Radhika also stays with her family in Mumbai.

Trios, Quartets, and More: Ten of my favourite songs has presented songs such as:

Bas mujhko mohabbat ho gayi hai (Biwi aur Makaan), 1966); Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant, Talat Mahmood. There is one more such experiment in the same film – Nahi Hota… Aa Tha Jab Janam Liya – Mukesh, Manna Dey & Hemant Kumar

The Legends: Asha Bhosle sets the tone with the help of solos and The Legends: Asha Bhosle – Part 2 has her duets.

We end today’s episode with a short film on songs and life of Mohammad Rafi: Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3. 

I take this opportunity to wish a great 2017 to all of you and look forward to your valued suggestions to keep our content more engrossing…

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – October, 2016

Welcome to October, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

For the present episode we have posts from Silhouette magazine delves on the on the memories of S D Burman on his birthday on 1st October (1906) –

Pag thumak chalat balkhaye, haye, Sainyan kaise dhaarun dheer (Sitaron Se Aage, 1958) Lata Mangeshkar

In addition to these, Moti Lalwani has penned Part 1 of his memoir of S D Burman’s experiments, which we shall look at in details along with Part 2, to be published later.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee: In a Humane Genre of His Own By Antara Nanda Mondal  – Most of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films had music that has lasted through the decades and continue to be heard, hummed and cherished till date. SD Burman, Hemant Kumar, Shankar Jaikishen, RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Vasant Desai – whoever he worked with came up with some of their best tunes for him.

We should not miss Hrishikesh Mukherjee: Giving Cinema a New Definition too – a tribute based on a lengthy interview Shoma A Chatterji had with Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Tribute: Shailendra was the proverbial moth who got burned too quickly – The lyricist has left behind a legacy of exquisite songs that make you cry and think.

Films that are 50:

We have a few excellent career-sketches too for the present episode:

Hema Malini by Karan Bali – Acting aside, Hema has dabbled in film production having produced Swami (1977), Sharara (1984), Awaargi (1990) and Marg (1992 but unreleased) besides directing Dil Aashna Hai (1991), Tell Me O Khuda (2011) and Mohini (1994) for Television.

Kersi Lord – by Karan Bali – Ace musician Kersi Lord, not only imported the first synthesizer into India in 1973, butthe-human-factor also introduced musical instruments like the ‘glockenspiel’ in Indian cinema for the cigarette lighter effect in Hum Dono (1961). He is also well-known for playing the accordion pieces in the hit songs Roop Tera Mastana from Aradhana (1969) and O Meri Sharmilee from Sharmilee (1971), among many others. it was RD who first introduced the electronic organ in India for the composition O Mere Sona Re in Teesri Manzil (1966) for which I had the privilege of playing the organ.” Kersi Lord retired in 2000 after a career spanning more than 5 decades. He passed away in Mumbai on October 16, 2016. He had been ailing for sometime. The Lords – father  Cawas, Kersi and his brother, Burjor, all musicians, have been featured extensively in a wonderful documentary, The Human Factor (2012), directed by Rudradeep Bhattacharjee.

leela-a-patchwork-life Leela Naidu: The Person Behind the Image – “A couple of months ago when I had come across her autobiography, “Leela – a patchwork life” (Penguin India, 2010), written with Jerry Pinto, I was very tempted to read it and at the same time, I was not very sure that it would be a wise thing.
Through experience I have learned that favourite film persons are better seen through the sepia tinted glasses of nostalgia. Knowing them as persons ruins their magic. However, in the end I had not resisted. The book has definitely changed my perception about Leela Naidu, the person behind the image.”

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

This Indian Film Won The Highest Prize In Cannes In 1946, But Still Remains Forgotten – Gautam Chintamani – Even though it won the highest prize at Cannes, Chetan Anand’s ‘Neecha Nagar’ remains largely forgotten today.music-masti-modernity

From Teesri Manzil to Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Nasir Husain’s cinema is celebrated in a new bookRohini Nair – In an interview with Firstpost, Akshay Manwani spoke of why he felt compelled to write – in a new book, titled Music, Masti, Modernity — The Cinema of Nasir Husain about the cinema of Nasir Husain, the filmmaker’s legendary collaborations with Shammi Kapoor, Asha Parekh and RD Burman, and what his lasting contribution to Hindi films has been.

Actors Prepare – From Ravan to Mahatma Gandhi  presents some of the images of the theatre actors from India, Italy and some other countries.

Redemption song: ‘Titli Udi’ by Sharda was a beginning and an end by Manish Gaekwad – Once upon a time in the 1960s arose a rare challenger to the Lata-Asha combination – This is quite an interesting, and yet balanced, narrative of Sharda’s Hind film career.

N.B.:  The articles that have appeared in this series in the past can be accessed at Stories in A Song.

‘Jago Hua Savera’ dropped: ‘Mumbai has lost out on watching a classic that is still relevant’ by Anjum Taseer – Jago Hua Savera sees the best talent from East and West Pakistan and India participating in a production under trying circumstances. This is a film that was lost, rediscovered and restored. The new version is a perfect showpiece of the original masterpiece.

Songs of Angana nostalgically recalls the Anagan, the courtyard, a central feature of the then houses of India. Open to the sky, and surrounded on the four sides by verandah and living rooms, this quadrangle is the place where the family lives out its life, does all its mundane chores of daily existence, and also holds all its ceremonies and special occasions.

We have had a post on songs of atariya too on SoY.

Remembering Diwali Songs presents a multi-faceted view of Diwali in Hindi film songs during the decades of ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

Vyjayantimala’s Singing Debut for Composer Master Venu  – by Lakshmipriya – The songs referred to in the title of the post are: Dachinanu ravoi neekai and Daricheraga rava priyuda . There is also an interesting refrence to Dekhane Mein Bhola Hai. Waheeda Rahman mentions this anecdote in her many interviews of how she was humming the yeruvaka song on the sets of Solva Saal. S D Burman was very impressed to found out who the composer was and asked Master Venu permission to use it in his song Dekhne Me Bhola for Bambai ka Babu. Master Venu was so delighted that he immediately agreed happily…...

In Micro View of the Best Songs of 1949 @SoY, having covered Male Solo Songs, Other Than Lata Mangeshkar Female Solo Songs, and Solo Songs of Lata Mangeshkar. In the category of Duets, we had covered duets of Mohammad Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar, Suriya and Shamshad Begum and Geeta Roy and other female playback singers  and Duets of Mukesh in the Male-Female Duets sub-category. For the present month, we have continued with duets of Shamshad Begum with other Male singers, Geeta Roy, Lata Mangeshkar and Suraiya with other Male Singers, Other Male Female Duets and then have moved on to Female-Female Duets of LatamangeshkarOther Female-Female Duets in the Female- Female duets subcategory.

We end today’s episode with a post on Mohammad Rafi’:

Rafi is Hindi Cinema’s greatest voicePankaj Vohra – The findings of the survey were revealed on the Independence Day and Rafi came out as the winner from a formidable field that comprised Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh. In fact, the Survey put Rafi ahead of Lata Mangeskar by nearly 12 percent with Kishore Kumar coming second, with about five percent votes less than those secured by the winner…It was also interesting that Asha and Mukesh polled nearly the same number of votes and if added to those polled by Lata Mangeshkar, they were not enough to catch up with Rafi….Another aspect of Rafi’s voice was that he could replicate his studio recording even in a public function and sang exactly the same way as he done for a film. This was a unique trait since there has been no singer other than him who could sing exactly the same song in a public function as during the recording.

I whole-heartedly wish you and your family a Crackling Happy Diwali, and look forward to receive your inputs for further enriching the contents of the posts…..