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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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.

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – September, 2019

Welcome to September 2019 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

अमिताभ बच्चनः ‘एंग्री यंग मैन’ से दादा साहेब फ़ाल्के पुरस्कार तक – Mihir Pandya recounts how Amitabh countered negative factors around him to create and created a dominant space for himself that has brought his career to this miles stone.

Why actor-producer Devika Rani was truly the First Lady of Indian cinemaAlaka Sahani – Actor, star, producer, studio boss. Devika Rani walked a path that few women in Indian cinema have managed to. As a new play on the pioneer gets ready to tour, a look back at her journey.

Devika Rani with Najam-ul-Hussain in Jawani Ki Hawa. (Photo: Wirsching Foundation)

We pick up other tributes and memories:

Asha Bhosle and the Five Elements that balance her struggles, and later her career: Earth (Ab Ke Baras Bhej Bhaiya Ko Paarti), Fire (Ye Kya Kar Dala Tune Dil Tera Ho Gaya), Water (Do Boonden Swan Ki, Ek Sagar Ki Chhip Mein Tapake ..), Air (Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu..), Ether (Khaali Haath Shaam Aayi Thi ..)

Hans Jhakhar takes up two vital facets of the Ravi saga on SoY with Ravi and Asha Bhosle: A class combination and Shakeel Badayuni: Revitalising bond with Ravi

Khayyam and Asha Bhosle is the selection of Asha Bhosle’s songs composed by Khayyam. We have taken one song here to get the feel of the songs presented in the post:

Taaron Se Ankhiyaan Milaoon Main – Dhobi Doctor (1954) – Lyrics – Majrooh Sultanpuri

Shailendra’s Teesri Kasam: Sapne Jagaa Ke Tune Kaahe Ko De Di JudaaiTeesri Kasam was made in another age and time. But more than 50 years after it briefly lit up the screen before it was yanked off the majestic Apsara Cinema of Bombay, “the finest human document written on celluloid”— as one viewer describes it— continues to live in the heart of every single viewer. Ratnottama Sengupta pays a tribute to the man behind this ‘love-lyric on celluloid’ – Kaviraj Shailendra, with some untold stories about the making of the classic.

Mukesh: A Different Romance in the Voice – Celebrating the uniqueness that was Mukesh – In this article, Monika Kar does not even attempt to list all of Mukesh’s songs that have made an impression, for there are way too many; it simply celebrates this singer for being who he was with sheer sincerity and goodness resonating in his voice.

वर्ल्ड गिटार डेः गिटार पर सुपरहिट धुन छेड़ने वाले वो सितारे जो गुमनामी में खो जाते हैं – Vandana profiles the unsung masters who played guitars in the Hindi film song and helped create some of the most popular songs.

The legendary actor Balraj Sahni as remembered by his sonAlaka Sahani – In a new biography of actor Balraj Sahni, son Parikshat recounts memories of his father’s off-screen life and the troubled yet loving relationship they shared.

The Maestros Called Laxmikant Pyarelal – The first song for which LP played together in the orchestra was a Marathi song – Tinhi sanja sakhya milaalya!! It was after that they became assistants to legendary composers like S D Burman and Kalyan ji Anand ji.

No, I Did Not Forget Noor Jehan’s Birthday! – For those who do not know about the series on this blog – or those who know but would like to look at it again – may please go to last year’s post, which includes links that will take you to prior Noor Jehan posts (including the post from 2015 that includes links to all the others going back to 2009).

Legendary Hindi film composer Usha Khanna shares her life’s journey through music at an event held on 21-9-2019 at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bengaluru, reports Shilpa Sebastian R

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

The Silent Tributes which became benchmarks in the Hindi film music and no they are not merely copied or inspired, they are tributes in the real sense. E.g.  Bimal Roy filmed a boy sitting on a buffalo while Sadhana sings O Sajana Barakha Bahar Aaye. Gulzar pays tribute Bimal Roy by depicting boy playing flute sitting on the buffalo while the sisters in Namkeen sing – Aaki chali baaki chali

September, 2019 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up (Shankar-) Jaikishan and Hasrat Jaipuri’s Songs Fading From the Memory : 1958 – 1959. This is in continuation to the series from the previous episodes which had listed some of the song from 1949 to 1954 and 1955 to 1957.

And, now commence the posts on other subjects.

A Paen on Piano, like Aap Ki Haseeb Rukh Pe Aaj Naya Noor Hain or Dheere Dheere Machal Aye Dil-e-Bequrar and so on.

Music composer Vanraj Bhatia claims to be penniless, struggles amid hearing and memory loss

Only 29 of 1,338 Indian silent films have survived. One man is doggedly telling the story of the era – Who knows what’s out there, says Virchand Dharamsey, the writer of the authoritative filmography of the Indian silent film period between 1895 and the 1930s.

Khaike Paan Banaras – Don – The Banaras Paan Effect –  Archana Chauhan notes that Tamil remake of ‘Don’, Billa (1980) has Rajnikant taking up the dance steps and the dress to match with that of Amitabh

‘Tawaifs’ of Awadh: The first women of Hindi cinemaShivani Bhasin  – These highly skilled courtesans sang, danced, wrote poetry, and were the purveyors of all that was considered good taste and high fashion.

Other cinemas, other cineastes: on Namrata Joshi’s Reel India is a very wide-ranging book, chronicling of magnificent obsessions – he obsessions of people who live outside the cinematic mainstream, but engage with films in myriad ways, not seeking monetary benefit but doing things because they are compelled to; because cinema is so central to who they are.

Window Romancing With Dev Anand – Amongst all his ways to win his lady love or sing a song, his most favourite style must have been window romancing. So many of his songs are around the doors, windows or balconies crooning soft lyrics in your ears. The takes a glimpse of few such songs and window romance with Dev Anand, e.g. Aise To Na Dekho Ke Hamse Nasha Ho Jaaye – Teen Deviyan (1965) – S D Burman – Majrooh Sultanpuri

The Romantic Rain Songs lists the rain songs of 1990s.

Nothing but melody presents a playlist of songs from the 50s and 60s that do not have any percussion instrument at all

Following the overview article, Best songs of 1946: And the winners are?, we had taken up micro view of Female Solo Songs for 1946  and have covered Suraiya , Shamshad Begum, Part 1 and  Part II, Amirbai Karanataki, Zohrabai Ambalewali, Mohantara Talpade and Rahkumari, Hamida Banu, Zeenat Begum, Noor Jehan Khursheed and Kanan Devi, Naseem Akhtar and Paro Devi, and other female singers, viz. Dilshad Begum, Kalyani Das,  Meena Kapoor, Neena ( Sitara Kanpuri), Beenapani Mukherjee, Susheela Rani, Jayshree,  Parul Ghosh, Shanta Apte, Saraswati Rane, Lalita Deulkar,  Anima Dasgupta, Shobha, Jyoti, Radharani, Iqbal Bano (Begum?), Snehprabha Pradhan, Baby Anu, Baby Mumtaz, Geeta Roy and Lata Mangeshkar. We have then concluded the Micro View of Female Solo Songs for 1946.

To end the present post with a few songs of Mohammad Rafi, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post, we have picked up:.

Ye Jhulfein Jadoo Sa Kar Rahi Hai, Tauba Tauba – Unreleased song – with Lata Mangeshkar

Abhi Kamseen Ho Nadaan Ho Jaane Jaana – Aaya Toofan (1964) – Laxmikant Pyarelal – Asad Bhopali

Shola Ulfat Ka Bhadaka De Mere Dil Mein Aag Laga De – Aurat (1967) – with Asha Bhosle – Ravi- Shakeel Badayuni

Jaane Kahan Gaye Tum.. Bechain Hai Nazare  – Aaja Sanam (1975) – Usha Khanna – M K Javed

I earnestly solicit your inputs for further broad-basing our cache for the content for our carnival of blogs on the 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.

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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….