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Centenary Celebrations

Sahir’s Songs of Romance – One Film Association(s)

This is the year of Sahir Ludhianvi’s birth (March 8, 1921) centenary. As can be expected, there was an avalanche of articles in magazines, newspapers and blogs in the month of March 2021. At first glance, that gave me the impression that everything that needs to be said about Sahir Ludhianvi has been already covered in all these articles. One easily remembers many of his 724 songs, particularly of his most productive decades of 50’and ‘60s, too. As such, I was not able to figure an approach where I can get to know Sahir’s songs, in more details, more intensely, and more systematically.

As I kept pondering through the commemorative articles, two aspects attracted my attention –

  • One, apart from the Golden Era music directors S D Burman, N Dutta, Ravi, Roshan, O P Nayyar, Madan Mohan, Khayyam, Jaidev or Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal and R D Burman of second generation, or Rajesh Roshan of the still next generation of music directors, he has worked with many other music directors as well.
  • Two, he is generally remembered for his poems of rebel. However, as a lyricist he would certainly have written songs of pure romance as well.

These two aspects have led me to pen the present series of articles under the title, Sahir’s Songs of Romance. I plan to cover all music directors with whom Sahir Ludhianvi has worked in his career spanning from his inception to the world of HFM in 1948 till his passing away, including the films which were either released thereafter or even not released.

I have selected the songs that have different happy forms of expressions of love, whether sublime or mundane. Thus, the songs that have feelings of pathos or bitterness are excluded. I have also chosen not include qawwalis here.

I have studiedly maintained my intervention to the minimum. I have selected as much of the lyrics of first lines of the song that Sahir uses to set the tone of romance in the song. Then, I have also presented the selected lines from each song, which in my view, manifests Sahir’s versatility as poet and as a lyricist. Listening to the YT clip provides the charm of the entire song.

We will begin the series with Sahir’s Songs of Romance, composed by the music directors who had only one film association with Sahir Ludhianvi and then will proceed with ascending numbers of associations.

One Film Association(s)

Sahir Ludhianvi has penned lyrics for 122 films, spanning his association with 31 music directors. Of these 31 music directors, as many as fourteen music directors have had one film association with Sahir. Sahir’ first step into the Hindi Film Music world was in 1948, which, incidentally, happens to be a one film association with music director G D Kapoor. In his most prolific decade, 50s, Sahir had six one-film associations, the highest for any decade. Of these, three films were in 1953 only, just as he was settling into a successful association with S D Burman. 60s have only two one-film associations. The decade of 70s when Sahir had done 26 films, four were one-film associations. 80s has one one-film association. Thus, the present episode also provides us a vintage view of the entire career of Sahir Ludhianvi’s entire carrier.

Here, I have not been able to include any song, composed by G D Kapoor (Azadi Ki Raah Par, 1948), Nirmal Kumar (Lal Nishan, 1959) and Robin Chatterjee (Masoom, 1960). Azadi Ki Rah Par and Masoom had subjects wherein a romantic film had, in fact, no place. Lal Nishan has only one Sahir song, which is a qawwali. As such, the music directors of these films, G D Kapoor, Robin Chatterjee and Nirmal Kumar are not represented in this episode.

Meri NaghmoN Mein …. Un Mastaanaa Aankhon Ki Kahaani Hai, Mohabbat Hi Mohabbat Hai Jawani Hi Jawani HaiAlif Laila (1953) – Talat Mehmood – Shyam Sundar

Mohabbat meri duniya hai
Mohabbat shaayari meri
Mohabbat mera naghmaa hai
Mohabbat zindagi meri
Mohabbat ke sahaare…
ek nayi duniyaa basaani hai

mohabbat hi mohabbat hai
jawani hi jawani hai……

Kisi Ne Nazar Se Nazar Jab Mila Di…..Meri Zindagi Ha Ha Meri Zindagi, Jhum Kar Muskara Di Meri Zindagi – Humsafar (1953) – Talat Mahmood, Asha Bhosle – Ali Akbar Khan

zubaN se to hum kuchh na bole the lekin,…

nigahoN ne dil ki kahani suna di

.. har ek sans masti me dubi huyi hai….
khuda janta ki kya se pila di

meri taza duniya pe rang aa gaya hai
kisi ne khayalo ki mehfil saza di

Ye Mausam Ye Hawaye Ye Rut Suhani Fir Na Aayegi…. Jawani Mauj-e- Dariya Hai Jawani Jo Laut Ke Na Aayegi – Shole (1953) – Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt – Dhaniram

nigahe mila or ek jam lele …

jawani ke sir koi lizam lele….

nigahe mila….

nigaho ke saaye me palti hai duniya….

hasino ke hamraah chalti hai duniya…

hasino ke pehlu me aaram le lo…nigahe mila…..

Aaj Kisi Ke Dil Ke Haatho Ne, Dil Ke Taaro Ko Chhed Diya – Savdhan (1954) – Asha Bhosle – Vasant Ramchandra

aaj meri tanhaai apne aap se bhi sharmaane lagi
dil ki dhadkan nagama bankar, hontho par lahraane lagi

jo saahil ko saath baha le
un dhaaro ko chhed diya

har jhokhe se mujhko unake saath ki khushbu aati hai
tanman mein ek thandi thandi aag bikharti jaati hai
jaane kisaki shokh najar ne…

angaaro ko chhed diyaa

Dil Ki Duniya Mein Aa Ke Na Jaana … Tujhe Meri Qasam Na Rulana, Ya Rabba Teri Teri… Yaad.. – Chingaari ( (1955) – Lata Mangeshkar, Unknown male voice – Manohar

aaja pyar ke tarane gaye…
aaja aisa ek jaha basaye

chand ka diya ho
jismein tare loriya sunaye….
sapno ke dole mein jhula jhulaye hamein bag-e- sama

bhigi bhigi rat ye najare
dil ki bat kahte hai sitare
aankho me nur bhar de dil me sarur bhar de

arzu yahi hai meri justzu yahi hai
na ja dilbar na ja ankhyio me aake
o mere dilruba mere dil se
na ja hai ye dil ki dua

Kashti Ka Khamosh Safar Hai, Shaam Bhi Hai Tanhayi Bhi, Dur Kinare Par Bajati Hai Laharo Ki Shahnayi Bhi ….. Aaj Mujhe Kuchh Kahena Hai – Girl Friend (1960) – Kishore Kumar, Sudha Malhotra  – Hemant Kumar

kabse tumhaare raste pe main phul bichhaaye baithi huN
kah bhi chuko jo kahna hai mani aas lagaaye baithi huN

dil ne dil ki baat samajh li, ab munh se kya kahana hai
aaj nahi to kal kah lenge, ab to saath hi rahna hai

kah bhi chuko, kah bhi chuko jo kahna hai

chhodo ab kya kahna hai

Umr Huyee Tumse Miley Phir Bhi Jaane Kyun Aisa Lage Pahli Baar Mile HaiN – Bahurani (1963) – Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar – C Ramchandra

jhum uthaa tan, man me ek aisi baat aa gai
jiski thi lagan, ….
aaj vo milan ki raat aa gai

akele rah gaye, akhiyaan bah gayi

umr hui tumase mile phir bhi jaane kyo
aise lage jaise pahali baar mile hai

Chor Hamne Fasaya… Haye…. Ke Bach Na Paya, Aaha…. Pakad Mein Aaya – Bhai Ho To Aisa (1972) – Lata Mangeshkar – Sonik Omi

haye re kabhi nain ghumaye kabhi hoth chabaye
maine iska pyar bhadkane ko sabhi teer chalaye
maiN thi tak mein

kabse fasa aaj sabab se
ho ab to chakha du maja

Ab Se Pehle To Ye Dil Ki Haalat Na Thi…Aaj Kya Ho Gaya … Zindagi Dusaro Ki Amanat Na Thi – Nawab Sahib (1978) – Usha Mangeshkar – C Arjun

apne andaaz par naaz karte the hum

humko apni qasam
gair se baat karne ki fursat na thi

aaj kya ho gaya

Baahon Mein Teri Masti Ke Ghere, Saanson Mein Teri Khushboo Ke Dere – Kala Patthar (1979) – Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi — Rajesh Roshan

khvabo me jisako tanha javani baraso se takati thi,

tu vahi hai

chhune se jisako sine me meri lau jag sakati thi,

tu vahi hai

kuchh khvab mere, kuchh khvab tere

 yun milate jate hai

dil khilate jate hai,

lab gun-gunate hai

sason me teri, khushabu ke dere khushabu ke dere

Ye Aankhein Dekhkar Hum Saari Duniya Bhool Jate Hain – Dhanwaan (1981) – Lata Mangeshkar, Suresh Wadkar – Hridaynath Mangeshkar

tum apni mahki mahki julf ke pecho ko kam kar do
musafir in mein girkar apna rasta bhul jaate hai

… …..  … …. ….. …. …

bahut kuch tumse kahne ki tamanna dil me rakhte hai
magar jab saamne aate ho to kahna bhul jaate hai

Mohabbat mein zuba chup ho to aankhein baat karti hai

ye kah deti hai vo baate jo kahna bhul jaate hai

With this we come to the end of the present one-film association phase of Sahir Ludhianvi’s collaboration with different music directors. As can be expected, the range of music directors, films and film subjects, is very wide. Even the span of years also spreads over Sahir Ludhianvi’s entire career. Apparently, the duets – one of the most popular and universal formats for expression of romance on the screen – is predominant in the present episode. However, we easily get to feel Sahir’s creativity, his range of words, ease of use of different languages and different forms specific to such languages. 

We wil take up Sahir’s Songs of Romance with two-film association music directors in our next episode.

Categories
I Liked Music from films

S D Burman and “Other” Male Playback Singers :: 2

The previous episode of the three-part article of S D Burman and Other Male Playback Singers, we had covered the period from the beginning of his career in 1946 till 1949. This was the period when S D Burman was still striving to create his own firm space in the field of Hindi Film Music world.

Presently, we take up the second set of S D Burman’s songs of ‘Other” Male Playback Singers chronologically can be set to the period 1950 to 1955.

Our period begins with two films, Mashal and Afsar, which were to become the key thrust engines that were to provide the much needed escape velocity to S D Burman’s career to attain e respectable orbit space among the front-ranking music directors of the Golden Era of Hindi Films.

Once having attained an assured specific space, S D Burman went on to use the established male playback singers like Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar for most of the major male solo and duet songs. He also chose other front-line male singers like Manna Dey, Talat Mahmood, Hemant Kumar and Mukesh as and when so required.  So use of ‘other’ male singers is now more situation-specific, and, perhaps, to a great extent of S D Burman’s choice.

S D Burman – Arun Kumar Mukherjee

Upar Gagan Vishal’ of Mashal (1950) is considered to have really breathed a lease of new life into S D Burman’s career. It is said that SDB was so disillusioned that he was on the verge of leaving this Ashok Kumar’s Bombay Talkies banner production incomplete. He was dissuaded from doing so, and as is said the rest was history.

Jab Ham They Tumhare Aur Ham They Tumhare …Wo Thode Se Din They Kitane Pyare – Mashal (1950) – Lyrics: Pradip

Arun Kumar Mukherjee was Ashok Kumar’s cousin. Probably, that may have titled the scale in his favour for playing back to Ashok Kumar on the screen. Arun Kumar Mukherjee does not sound wanting to the demands of the situation.

Mohe Lagaa Solva Saal, Haye Main To Mar Gayi – Mashal (1950) – With Shamshad Begum – Lyrics: Pradip

The song is principally filmed on the Cuckoo, so Shamshad Begum has obviously the lion’s share of the song. Arun Kumar gets to sing just a few lines, but the lines are indeed very catchy.

S D Burman – Man Mohan Krishna

‘Afsar’ (1950) was the maiden film under Dev Anand’s home banner, Navketan Films. The film did not do that well on the box office, but Suraiya’s songs for the film certainly were quite popular. The film went on to build S D Burman’s permanent association with Navketan Films, which have given us quite a few of the very memorable songs under S D Burman’s baton.

Jat Khol De Kiwad Pat Khol De,….Badhaai Dene Ko Aaye Hai Tere Dwar – Afsar (1950) – Lyrics: Vishwamitra Adil

Sadhu Ke Ghar Chhokariyan Do, Ik Patli Ik Bhari – Afsar (1950) – Lyrics: Vishwamitra Adil

Man Mohan Krishna is typically associated with serious character roles. He has rendered quite a few numbers of very popular songs on the screen. S D Burman has sprung a surprise herein by recording quite light-mood songs in Man Mohan Krishna’s voice.

[The clip here below has both these songs clubbed together.]

S D Burman – Hridaynath Mangeshkar

Hridaynath Mangeshkar possibly chose to focus more on music direction over playback singing.  His maiden – Marathi – film as an independent music director was Akash Ganga (1955).

Lehron Ke Saath Naiya Mori Khele – Babla (1953) – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi

Hridaynath Mangeshkar was around 15 years old when S D Burman has recorded this song. The song recounts adolescent pleasure of launching the paper boats into the rain water streams in the street.  So we can expect that the song may have been performed by an adolescent protagonist on the screen. Hence, probably, the choice of Hridaynath Mangeshkar, with a suitable natural voice, for the playback.

S D Burman – Jagmohan Baxi

Jagmohan Baxi (and his music direction partner Sapan Sengupta) had started his career as chorus singer at Salil Chaudhary’s Bombay Youth Choir. And yet, the Sapan Jagmohan duo are remembered for a handful tunes for 42 films for which they had composed the music  – like, Phir Wo Bhuli Si Yaad Aati Hai (Begana, 1963);  Kho Diye Hai Sanam Kitane Janam Teri Talash Mein (Teri Talash Mein, 1968); Main To Har Mod Pe Tujhko Dunga Sadaa (Chetana, 1970) etc.

Dekho Maane Nahi Roothi Hui Haseena Kya Baat Hai – Taxi Driver (1954) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi

S D Burman has used Talat Mahmood and Kishore Kumar too for playback of Dev Anand in this film. Apart from these singers, S D Burman, as well most of the music directors who have composed Dev Anand songs, have tried several voices of regular playback singers like Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar as well. Additionally, Salil Chudhary has experimented with Dwijen Mukherjee, Anil Biswas with Shankar Dasgupta and C Ramchandra with his own voice for Dev Anand.

S D Burman – Thakur (Pran)

Pran would hardly be remembered to have acted in lead roles in films like Khandan (1942) during the first phase of career between 1940 -1947. He is most remembered for his roles as villain in his most illustrious second innings and then equally respected for his character roles in the 3rd phase of his career.  Many of his fans will immediately recollect some of the iconic songs that he enacted on the screen when acting as character actor.  But to imagine him in the tick of a very very light-hearted song  and that too trying to sing a few lines too, when cast in the role of a villain,  is something that nobody would ever imagine. S D Burman has so cleverly croaked voice of Thakur (Pran) to create a very unique song.

Dil KI Umange Hai Jawan,….Rang Mein Dooba Hai Sama – Munimji (1955) – With Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi

The song will not go down in the record books only for the use of voice of Pran to add to the mockery in the mood of the song, but also possibly for Hemant Kumar being able to match the leg-pulling teasing tone of Geeta Dutt in this song.

S D Burman – S Balbir

Balbir got typed into an accompanying playback singer, but most of the connoisseurs of HFM recognize and appreciate his contribution in that song.

Nigaho Ke Tere Jalwe Ki Aas Raheti Hai, Ha Tere Bagair Tabiyat Udas Raheti Hai, Aa Bhi Ja Ke Tera Intezar Kab Se Hai –Society (1955) – with Mohammad Rafi – Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanavi

Can you guess whose arrival or appearance is so keenly awaited?

The first half of the period of 1950-1960 was the beginning of the picking up in so far as S D Burman’s career is considered. As a result, we have seen a very different pattern in the types of ‘other’ playback singers which he has used, the corresponding situations in the film, and hence on the composition of the song.

In our next episode, we will take up the concluding phase of  S D Burman’s career and revisit S D Burman’s use of ‘other’ male playback singers in that period.