Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – May 2021

Welcome to May 2021 edition of IXth Volume of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We pay our tribute to Vanraj Bhatia who left for heavenly abode on 07.05.2021.

(Photo: Rajya Sabha TV/YouTube)

Vanraj Bhatia dies at 93, He was best known for the music of films such as Ankur, 36 Chowringhee Lane and TV show Tamas, has passed away at the age of 93. The veteran music composer was battling poor health and financial constraints.

‘An Indian film without songs is meaningless’ – Jyoti Punwani draws memories from her interviews with the legendary composer Vanraj Bhatia himself explained what made his music so unique…. “The first duty of music is to express the film’s texture, and the second is to be able to stand on its own feet. It must be absolutely perfect,” he said…. “When I compose, I make the music matter in the film, even if the director pushes it into the background. Like my teacher would say, you must speak the same language as everybody else, but infinitely better.”

When Vanraj Bhatia asked me to mail his opera DVD and resume to the world’s major opera housesLuis Dias – In an interview in early 2013, the great music composer professed to me his love affair with opera and shared his earnest hopes.

Night Music for Solo Flute (Rachel Woolf) by Vanraj Bhatia

Legacy Of The Enigmatic Vanraj BhatiaSunil Sampat – On the occasion of a felicitation of Bhatia at the NCPA in March 2017, Zakir Hussain said, “Vanraj Bhatia is India’s greatest ever composer. Period.” 

Young Vanraj with his family

Vanraj Bhatia’s extraordinary, multi-faceted oeuvreRanjit Hoskote – The composer’s transcultural experiments were always intense and persuasive.

I have always liked Vanraj Bhatia’s interview with Irfan, of Rajya Sabha TV – Guftagoo with Vanraj Bhatia for his candid views. The song that Vanraj Bhatia refers to @22.48 is Barse Ghan Saari Raat – Tarang (1984) – Lata Mangeshkar – Vanraj Bhatia – Raghuvir Sahay

It’s a long narrative number describing a deserted wife’s desolation. About the song, Lataji recalls, “It was one of the most difficult and complex songs of my career. [Ref: Vanraj Bhatia’s CHALLENGE for Lata MangeshkarSUBHASH K JHA]. The story that is connected with the song is also narrated by Harish Bhimani in In Search of Lata Mangeshkar’ (1955, Harper-Collins, ISBN 81-7223-183-0) – excerpted as hereunder, as a footnote on page 102 – “Composer Vanraj Bhatia rushed in excitedly….exclaiming, “(Lata) Bai stayed back yesterday to listen to my recording !”……”….The intent of this passage is that Lata Mangeshkar, who never waited to check back on her recording, was keen to know how the song was recorded.

We now move on to other tributes and memories:

The Masters: Majrooh Sultanpuri – Majrooh’s simple turns of phrase expressed the most profound emotions. With more than 6,000 songs in over 300 films to his credit, Majrooh’s poetry traversed the gamut from the soulfully romantic to philosophical, cynical and devotional.

Remembering Bulo C Rani who debuted as independent music director in Pagli Duniya (1944).

Remembering Naushad: The music director beyond compareAjay Mankotia – Naushad passed away on May 5, 2006 – 15 years ago. But old masters never die. The music lovers and connoisseurs still adore him.

India’s DeMille: Remembering Mehboob Khan on his 57th death anniversaryShaikh Ayaz   – We know him as the ambitious maker behind Bollywood’s greatest ode to Indian womanhood (1957’s Mother India) and perhaps as the founder of Mumbai’s iconic Mehboob Studio. But Mehboob Khan was more than that.

‘Teesri Kasam’ was the perfect meeting of minds between Phanishwarnath Renu and Shailendra – Phaniswarnath Renu had named his youngest daughter Waheeda Rehman, after the actor who played the lead in Teesri Kasam.

Dattaram Part 1: Under the shadow of big banyan tree with songs of Mukesh and Manna Dey – Even as several of Dattaram;s songs with Mukesh and Manna Dey have had large following, Dattaram was not limited Mukesh And Manna Dey.

Kaif Irfani – A Forgotten name – Here is his very popular, romantic song Dil Tujhe Diya Tha Rakhane KoMalhar (1951) Mukesh / Music – Roshan

Shailendra Sharma @ Golden Era of Bollywood has posted following memorial tribute posts:

Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s story is as much about friendship as it is about their tunesGanesh Vancheeswaran – The 1963 B grade film, Parasmani set the tone for an unprecedented 35-year-long run for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, in which they offered 3,000-odd songs they composed in about 500 films.

Pyarelal (left) and Laxmikant. Courtesy Rajeshwari Laxmikant.

Ban Mein Bahar Aa Gayee, Man Mein Umang Chaa Gayi – Balwant Singh was born in 1918.He got his break aas a singer, for Bomaby Talkies’ film Jeevan Prabhat (1937).. Here is his duet with Devika Rani from the film – Tum Meri Tum Mere Saajan (Music – Saraswati Devi = Lyrics: J S Kashyap).

Digging (Into) the ’60s and early ’70s Songs of Usha Uthup/Iyer – Usha Uthup has a very special voice as far as Indian film singers go, a bit lower and thicker even than many western female singers’, and it often has a certain unusually appealing hoarseness too. before she sang in Hare Rama Hare Krishna for R.D. Burman, she got a role singing as part of a Shankar-Jaikishan soundtracks in Bombay Talkie (1971) – Hari Om Tat Sat and Good Times and Bad Times..

May 2021 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up Manna Dey – Chale Ja Rahein Hai…. 1954 – 1955. Till now we have covered his songs for the year(s)  

1942 – 1946 in our 2018 issue,

1947-1950 in the 2019 episode, and

1951 – 1953 in the 2020 episode.

When Rafi sang for Hanuman, Manna for Ravan… – On the legendary Manna Dey’s 102nd birth anniversary, Subhash K Jha traced an interview he had done with Mannada way back in 1997.

We now move on to songs on other subjects –

Romantic Songs with a Third Person – These are songs where apart from the couple in love, there is someone else in the frame – either obtrusively or unobtrusively

Here’s A Vintage Pic Of Raj Kapoor And Wife Krishna

From Bollywood Rewind Sampada Sharma – Indian Express’s weekly column:

  • Sharada: Of love that is beyond labels – Starring Meena Kumari and Raj Kapoor, LV Prasad’s Sharada is the kind of romance that makes you question your understanding of love, and how meaningful relationships can exist, even with the strangest labels.
  • Awara: Of nature vs nurture – Starring Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Prithviraj, Awara is set in an era where climbing out of the vicious cycle of poverty was near impossible, and strangely enough, times haven’t changed much in the last 70 years.

The Catch-22 Songs which juxtapose options and thus, present dilemmas. Some are frivolous whereas the others are weighty.

Composers sing for themselves: Ten songs are the songs where a composer actually recorded—and it was included in the film in question—a song in his/her own voice

Anand Bakshi on his legacy as a film lyricist: ‘My songs will beat just as our heart beats’ – An excerpt from a biography, Nagme, Kisse, Baatein, Yaadein – The Life & Lyrics of Anand Bakshi, Rakesh Anand Bakshi, Penguin Random House India, of the songwriter whose career in Hindi cinema spanned six decades.

Rabindra Sangeet in Films: 10 Songs Sankhayan Ghosh presents a range of songs, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious to the innovative.

Regional Star, Hindi Also-Ran: Ten Actors, Ten Songs –who, for some reason or the other, never could make it big in Hindi cinema.

‘क्या भूलूँ क्या याद करूँ’ – a journey into what one wants to forget and what to remember.

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.

Tum Hase To Gam Sharmaya – Dana Pani (1953) – with Shamshad Begum – Mohan Junior – Kaif Irfani

Aate Jaate Aankh Bachana ..Haye Re Tera Jawaab Nahin – Mehbooba (1954) – with Shamshad Begum – OP Nayyar – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Mujhe Jag Ki Bana De Malika, Phir Malik Ban Mere Man Ka – Dark Street (1961) – with Suman Kalyanpur  – Dattaram – Gulshan Bawra

Shokhiyan Nazar Mein Hain – Aasra (1966) – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Annad Bakshi

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.

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music, October, 2018

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

Just as the world had seemed to come around to the public announcement of planned demise of RK studios, that we  too had focused in  September, 2018, Krishna Kapoor, the most charming and respected ‘outsider’ ‘wife’ in  the film world, and of course, the axis around which Raj Kapoor created his showman business, passed away on 1st October, 2018.

Krishna Raj Kapoor: the grand matriarchMadhu Jain – Impeccably turned out in her white, embroidered organdy saris, pearl strings and well-coiffed hair, she was a picture of poise to the outside world, no matter how difficult things might have been at home….Raj Kapoor once famously said that he was happy with his Ambassador car; the Mercedes was for his wife. Just as he equally famously and not very generously said that his wife was the mother of his children and Nargis was the mother of his films.

Krishna and Raj Kapoor – at two milestone stages of life – (L) marriage, 1946 / (R) Dada Saheb Award function, 1987

Krishnaji, very richly, was profusely eulogized in the front-line press and media: Here are just two links: Krishna Raj Kapoor passes away at 87; remembering her unique love story with RK and  Krishna Raj Kapoor: A Life In Pictures

And, now, we take up the tributes in October, 2018:

Annapurna Devi – The Pink Star Lost To The World –was born as Roshanara Khan, she was one of the daughters (the other 2 being – Jahanara and Sharija and brother Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) of Ustad Alauddin Khan. She was maestro of classical vocal music, Sitar, and Surbahar. She herself created musicians like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Nityanand Haldipur, Nikhil Banerjee, Amit Roy, Basant Kabra and many more who were her students. Her music remained hidden to the world.

The Faint Echoes of the October Revolution: A Centenary of the Capricious Philosophy in the Socio-political life! – The (Guest) author, Shalan Lal, has very deftly woven the history of the October (Russian) Revolution with the fall out effect on Hindi Films in the process of commemorating the completion of 101st year of the Revolution.

Dina Pathak – The Multifaceted Doyenne Of Hindi Cinema – was arguably the Doyen of character roles in Indian Cinema, who has performed the most powerful and graceful character roles in Indian Cinema, starting from late 60s to early 2000s. Har Din To Bita Sham Hui (Kitaab, 1977; R D Burman; Gulzar) is probably the only solo song picturized on her, with a soothing voice of Raajkumari

Manto, movie buffs, time machines in Nandita Das’s Manto – which intersperses vignettes from Saadat Hasan Manto’s life with scenes from his short stories.

Zindagi kaisi hai paheli haaye – Vijay Kumar remembering Hrishikesh Mukherjee and his Anand, on his birth anniversary on 2nd October.

Mehfil Celebrates ‘S D Burman’ Month + S D Burman – Early Days + S D Burman – The 50s is a series of posts that travereses S D Burman’s journey of the Hindi Films, in the 112th year of his month of birth.

Relishing The Combination Of S D Burman And Majrooh Sultanpuri  is a treat for music lovers.

In Tandem: SD Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri are the ‘songs picturised on Dev Anand’ and their ‘songs for other actors’ because it so happened that many of the songs on this list were picturised on the actor.

Meet the Kishore Kumar fans behind new film: ‘People are still looking for the quality of his voice’ – Kaushik Ganguly’s Bengali film ‘Kishore Kumar Junior’, starring Prosenjit Chatterjee, is dedicated to the people who have devoted their lives to the singer.

‘Main Dhoondhta Hoon Jinko Raaton Ko Khayalon Mein’ – Shiv Kumar – Hindi cinema has had many actors like Sudesh Kumar, Shailesh Kumar, Rakesh Pandey and Vikram who gained good recognition among the audience in a short time but were lost to oblivion soon after. In the list of such actors, is the name of Shiv Kumar Pathak, known to cinema goers as Shiv Kumar. He made his debut with the movie ‘Poonam Ki Raat’ in 1965 and became a star with the release of the movie Mahua in 1969, and Thokar(1974).

‘Unsung hero, Pope of sound’: A documentary resurrects legendary mixing engineer Mangesh Desai, who worked on more than 300 films over nearly four decades.  – Nandini Ramnath – In The Sound Man – Mangesh Desai, Sahoo provides a comprehensive and engrossing examination of Desai’s achievements, his work ethic and his personal side.  The 112-minute film is filled with anecdotes related by a huge cast of luminaries.

A drawing by Ram Mohan that features in The Sound Man Mangesh Desai.

Shammi Kapoor – The hero who never needed a choreographer –  Vijay Anand who directed him in Teesri Manzil once told that Shammi did not regard himself as a dancer, nor had he ever learnt dancing. But you played a song to him and tell him: “Go wild!” He would because he had such a tremendous sense of rhythm.

On the first death anniversary of Vinod Khanna, here is a Quiz: How much do you know about Vinod Khanna’s key roles?

Born on 10th Oct 1954, Rekha -The Much Maligned and Misunderstood Woman, as she describes her in her autobiography. Rekha, -The Untold Story, as told to Khalid Mohamed. She has said in the book that I do not invite people into my house. In fact, my privacy’s worked better than any screenplay. Anything connected with my work, the producers meet me in my office, and no one comes into my house except family.  

Shakespeare Wallah’, original ‘Suspiria’ among restored classics at Mumbai Film Festival  Also on the list are ‘Pixote’ and ‘Hyenas’.

The Top Sad Songs of Dev Anand are philosophical songs as well.

October, 2018 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs is dedicated to Shankar- (Jaikishan) and Shailendra’s Songs Fading From the Memory 1949 – 1953.

The Great Composer Duo of the Golden Era of Bollywood commenced working as team from Barsaat (1949) till Jaikishan’s death in 1971. Shankar continued composing films even after that under the banner of Shankar Jaikishan.

And, now the posts on other subjects:

Women in Proper Noun Roles – In a study conducted in 2017 that scanned roughly the last 50 years and found that in Bollywood, women-centric films have risen from just 7% during 1970-1975 to a still-small 12% today.. It’s easiest for the male ego if it’s a woman-centric film but the title itself is a neutral concept. Examples are Adalat (1958), Sadhana (1958), Inteqaam (1969), Aandhi (1975) and Bazaar (1982). One step more difficult is eponymous titles of the common noun kind, like Anpadh (1962), Ardhangini (1959), and Badi Bahu (1951). In such films, the titles are named after women, but that accent remains somewhat weak. It is at the really upper end, where the title of the film is a proper noun, named after the female protagonist, which makes it hardest for the male actor. Examples of these would be films like Anuradha (1960), Purnima (1965), and Razia Sultan (1982). The post goes on list the songs, all performed by actresses in ‘Proper Noun Country’, their names finding a mention after the movie titles:

The Male Advantage – Most weather-people are men, so till recently they named hurricanes after women! With an increasingly-just society, this unkind naming has had to be given up, so that now hurricanes are named alternately, in a man-woman-man-woman way. We turn our attention to the powerful world of our cinema, where too it’s the men who have always been in the driver’s seat. However, some actors like Ashok Kumar, Balraj Sahani , Dharmendra  have manfully played roles in woman-centric films. The post is about films who bear  the name of a male character and the songs that the male actor who sang on the screen is named in brackets.

Introducing Food and Food Movie Month on Dustedoff is a celebration of a different type, on the occasion of World Food Day on 16th October. As part of preparing herself for this celebration, Madhulika Liddle, the author of the blog, watched as many movies she could watch on food, wrote mini reviews of films she watched, made notes on the food she cooked based on these films. So we will have four post-length courses of this fare from her…. Part 1, Part 2  and Part 3 discuss the dishes or meals she cooked, and the films that triggered those meals. ‘Ten of my favourite food songs’ is the very interesting list of songs not only in praise of food (and drink), but which just mention food, in some context or the other. The songs are of pre’70s period and mention food (drink) in the first two lines and / or in refrain. And of course, the drink should not be liquor, because there has been posted a daaru songs list. I have listed these songs here once again:

  1. Ek roz hamaari bhi daal galegi (Bandi, 1957)
  2. Suraj zara paas aa (Ujala, 1959)
  3. Tu mera jo nahin (Bheegi Raat, 1965): (With Pee cola pee cola being the refrain)
  4. Mera naam Abdul Rehman pistawallah main hoon Pathan (Bhai-Bhai, 1956)
  5. Paan khaaye saiyyaan hamaaro (Teesri Kasam, 1966)
  6. Chana jor garam main laaya (Naya Andaaz, 1956
  7. Maine kaha thha aana Sunday ko (Ustaadon ke Ustaad, 1963
  8. Ichak daana bichak daana (Shree 420, 1955)
  9. Chanda mama door ke pooye pakaayein boor ke (Vachan, 1955)
  10. Jaiyo jaiyo sipahiya bazaar daal meri chulhe chadhi (Nishaan, 1949)

The discussion on the post has added many more food songs.

The Audio Pole Star – The tanpura (tambura in Carnatic classical music) is a 4-string music instrument whose job it is to lend a continuous, low-humming sound to a vocalist, Modern technology is trying to dismiss it off the stage. The post lists songs that featured Taanpura on the screen.

My own taste got developed by listening to radio in 60s. However, later in the seventies, other media took over that space. So I relish Radio – My Constant Song Companion with the fond memories.

Knifing the Body – Depiction of Maiming in Cinema – Filmmakers have often relied on gore as a mode to make the audience uncomfortable with our very own physiology. Amitava Nag and Shiladitya Sarkar dig deeper into this genre.

Chehre pe khushi chha jaati hai – Lata Jagtiani – The three sides of a love triangle around a grand piano – beautiful and charming Sadhana, dapper-looking Sunil Dutt and inimitable Rajkumar – forming the backdrop of Sahir Ludhyanavi’s words, Ravi’s composition and Asha’s effusive rendition makes it really difficult to find who is the real scene-stealer here!

Iss Nadi Ko Mera Aaina – Chashme Buddoor – Reflections Of Love – Simple food, simple clothes, simple words, simple ways of expressions, simple living and of course simple cinema never fade. Even in a romantic song (singers: Haimanti Shukla, Shailendra Singh / Music – Raj Kamal / Lyics: Indi Jain) like this, Sai Paranjpe has kept the comedy quotient alive.

Story Behind The Making Of Jao Re Jogi Tum Jao Re – Amrapali in the words of film’s director, Lekh Tandon.

Naked invisible men I have known: Mr India and his forebears elaborates how old Hindi cinema dealt with the invisibility theme in its own special way.

We continue Micro View of Best songs of 1947: And the winners are? with female solo songs, wherein moved to Duets of 1947. After having covered the duets of Mukesh with other female playback singers, we have also covered duets of Mohammad Rafi, those of G M Durrani and those of ‘other male singers’ in Part I, Part II and Part III. While we continue with our micro view, SoY has published its concluding piece on duets of 1947 – Best songs of 1947: Wrap Up 3 and adjudged Humko tumhara hi aasra (Saajan, C Ramchandra) and Yahan badla wafa ka bewafai ke siwa kya hai (Jugnu, Firoz Nizami), jointly as the Best Duets for 1947.

In our tradition of ending our post with article on Mohammad Rafi or a topical song of his, I have picked up a few songs, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post.

Saathi Na Koi Manzil, Diya Hai Na Koi Mahefil – Bombai KA Babu (1960 ) –  S D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Solah Singar Kar Ke Jo Aayi Suhag Raat .. Jalwe Tumhare Laayi Suhag Raat – Gaban (1967) – Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Japuri

Raahi Mil Gaye Raaho Mein, Baate Hui Nigaho Mein – Dil Deke Dekho  (1959) – Usha Khanna – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Sadque Heer Tujhe Pe Hum Faqueer Sadqe – Mera Naam Joker (1970) – Shankar Jaikishan – Prem Dhawan

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