Unleashing Magic Of “Triple S” Of Indian Cinema: Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badayuni and Shailendra!

Sahir: The Poet Very Close To My Heart!

Sahir: The Poet Very Close To My Heart!

  

         (Also published in Northern India Patrika, December 22, 2013)

Once upon a time Hindi movie songs acted as anti-depressants. Now Hindi film music gives rise to depression! Modern songs devoid of meaning and set upon incoherent beats in the name of music give rise to headache instead of removing it! Earlier songs depicted certain philosophy, which added a new dimension in the script of the movie. The movies made by Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor effectively used songs to introduce new twist in the story. It’s altogether a different story in modern cinema. There are item numbers or poorly inserted hopelessly romantic numbers.

First, there is dearth of talented lyricists and, second, there is lack of good music directors. The bunch of music directors that we see are primarily technocrats, relying heavily on technology. Some will argue that we have talented lyricists but the ability to write one or two catchy one-liners doesn’t make anyone a lyricist! Listen the lyrics and it would be hard for you to decide whether it’s an English song, or a Punjabi song, or a Hindi song.  Look at the music compositions. It’s either for the hip-hop generation or it’s for the night clubs. It’s not merely that times have changed and we need to adjust to new trends. There is something terribly wrong with the creativity involved in making of songs! Should we not assume that capitalistic traits have murdered real creativity? Overseas rights of distribution, heavy fees extracted from rights of satellite channels and numerous other equations enjoy greater concern than ensuring bliss! 

I do not wish to appear stupidly nostalgic caught in the time warp. As an evidence of the creativity, which prevailed in 50s and 60s, I am presenting four songs of lyricists who have really inspired me a lot. Every time I come to hear a song written by them, it leaves me in state of intoxication. I am referring to trio comprised of Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badauini and Shailendra. These “Triple S” always stirred my emotions to no extent.  

Shakeel Badayuni: Great Poets Are Always Down-To-Earth!

Shakeel Badayuni: Great Poets Are Always Down-To-Earth!

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1. Ye Raat Ya Chandni Phir KahanListen this song from Hindi movie Jaal (1952). The heavenly voice of Hemant Kumar, wonderful composition by S D Burman and soul stirring  verses by Sahir Ludhianvi made this song timeless!  Guru Dutt was the director of this movie- a thriller which involved Dev Anand, Geeta Bali and Purnima. Excellent cinematography by VK Murthy has made this song a poetry carved on silver screen. As I said the songs of this era were borrowed from literature. This song echoes the eternal theme that “time and tide wait for no man” – “Ek baar chal diye ager tujhe pukar ke laut ke na aayenge kaafile bahar ke”. The movie depicted Goan Christian culture and so we find the music having western effect based on sweet Guitar pieces. However, the most important aspect about this song is that it’s based on Raga Kafi, which is a midnight raga. That matches with the picturization of the song, depicting a moonlit night! 

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Shailendra:  He Always Lived A Simple Life. That's Why He Emerged As Icon Of  Simplicity!

Shailendra: He Always Lived A Simple Life. That’s Why He Emerged As Icon Of Simplicity!

2. Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen

Bimal Roy’s Madhumati (1958) is very close to my heart. Not only it strengthens our belief in re-birth, a prominent concept in Indian philosophy, but also it makes us believe in the power of true love. As per this movie the impact of true love transcend many generations. This movie is really a classic in world cinema. Right from the first scene till the last frame of this movie, it keeps the viewer in state of trance with its gripping presentation of the story and its enchanting music. I remember when I went to see this movie in a theater couple of months ago in a film festival, the theater was jam-packed. Not a single seat was available. And I saw many of the viewers sitting on the floor of the balcony and many others still having argument with the gate-keeper to move inside even as the movie had started. Shailendra and Salil Chaudhary made each song a masterpiece. Well, this time I wish to introduce first song of this movie “Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen”. Every time I move on a beautiful passage passing through the valleys, I always come to remember this song. Shailendra has borrowed the appeal present in poems of Wordsworth. Nature has come alive in this song where one can actually feel that clouds are kissing the earth! – “Ye Aasman Jhuk Raha Hai Jameen Par”. Notice the wonderful prelude of this song. It’s so impressive that it has virtually become part of my consciousness! Immediately you come to realize that this song features mountains! That’s the magic of these songs. One of my favourite past-time in school and college days was to identify the song after listening clip of prelude. Anyway, it’s time to listen the whole song! Also notice the way how great maestro Bimal Da has picturized this song! 

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3. Aaj Purani Raho Se Koi Mujhe 

That’s  a song which speaks volume about the singing ability of Mohammed Rafi. It’s been so deeply and soulfully sung by Rafi that it leaves you speechless. Aadmi was released in 1968 which had music under direction of Naushad and songs were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. Naushad had a special place for Shakeel in his heart and he went out of the way to help Shakeel in his last days troubled both by financial crisis and bad health. The movie highlighted love triangle and fascinating performances on part of Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rahman and Manoj Kumar made it an unforgettable movie. The song makes it clear that one can be strong willed even if one’s heart and mind have been shattered by the cruel twists and turns of the fate. The song has tragic melody which not only depicts personal loss but also highlights that pain ultimately leads to realization of highest type- perfect union with the Lord! The camera work is wonderful in this song as it captures the roaring sea waves hitting the rocks! The song makes an appeal that someone who has begun a new journey should not be haunted by the past episodes of life! 

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Shailendra’s fame attained new heights after the release of Vijay Anand’s Guide (1965). It is considered to be one of the finest movies made in Bollywood. Hats off to the courage of Vijay Anand, who went ahead with the release of this movie despite failure of  movie version of  R K Narayan’s ‘The Guide’ in English. The distributors were very much impressed with the efforts of Vijay Anand. The Hindi version proved out to be phenomenal success. S D Burman was seriously ill during making of this movie but he regained health to create some unforgettable numbers. “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai” became one of the representative songs of women’s emancipation. However, I wish to present this number which represents the pinnacle of love, commitment and togetherness. Shailendra was a class poet, who had gifted ability to write verses in most simple language without losing sight of loftiness. When I hear these immortal songs and contrast them with songs made in present era a sense of discomfort prevails within. Well, instead of lamenting about the loss of creativity, let’s hear this song which is an ode to love and get lost in an era when music was a way to connect with higher forces!
 Pics Credit: 

Pic One 

Pic Two 

Pic Three

11 responses

  1. Many thanks to these music lovers who were early birds visitors on this post:

    Radiodost Snd, Ranchi, Jharkhand; Nikhil Garg, Noida, Uttar Pradesh; Shweta Dubey, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; Mohan Srivastava, Uttar Pradesh; Rajesh Pandey, Jalandhar, Punjab; Sudhakar Roy, Purnia, Bihar, and Himanshu B. Pandey, Siwan, Bihar.

  2. Author’s words for Nikhil Garg, Noida, Uttar Pradesh:

    Besides cricket, Indian movies always fascinated me, especially the arena involving music and lyrics. I have penned number of research based articles. Although I am not aware whether or not you are a movie buff ( especially ones from vintage era) but I know well this is perfect post for ones interested in Indian movies. It has some beautiful songs.

    ***************************

    Author’s words for Rajesh Pandey, Jalandhar, Punjab:

    An attempt to bring out the best of the lyricists who wrote some of the most memorable songs….

  3. Bhagirathi Kumar Singh | Reply

    ☆ ♥ .•
    बहुत अच्छे !!

    बहुत सुन्दर , मित्र
    इन गीतकारों और संगीतकारों
    पर जितना लिखें
    कम ही लगता है

    एक गीत स्मरण आ रहा है
    शकील बदायुनी का शेयर कर रहा हूँ

    उमरिया घटती जाये रे
    गुजरिया कटती जाये रे
    ~ फ़िल्म : मदर इण्डिया ~

    ♥ .•

    1. Manny thanks that you made me listen this song from Mother India.I come to remember these two songs also which echo the same sentiments-the quick passing away of time..”Apni kahani chhod ja, Kuch to Nishani Chhod ja, Mausam Beeta Jaye” from Do Bigha Jameen and “Suno Gajar Kya Gaye, Samay Gujarta Jaaye”. Thanks a lot Swamiji for leaving such a heartfelt words on this post..

  4. Many thanks to these readers also: Carmen Ampuero, Lima Peru; Ravi Hooda, Canada; Chandrapal S.Bhasker, United Kingdom; Shashikant R Pandey, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Shubhranshu Pandey, Advocate, Allahabad High Court, Allahabad, Kartik Jain; Men’s Rights, Bangalore, Karnataka; Rajesh Vakharia, Nagpur, Mahatashtra, and Swami Prabhu Chaitanya, Patna, Bihar.

  5. Sudhir Dwivedi, New Delhi, said:

    I went through ur whole article but couldn’t comment there as i m using net through mobile these days.

    I became happy to see my favourite song in your list i.e” tere mere sapne”
    Sahir sahab is mine favourite as well. Songs from the Pyaasa movie are his best composition.

    Author’s Response:

    Thanks for being so deeply involved with this post…You will be glad to know that many music lovers found this post very interesting…Yes, these lyricists elevated the standard of movies…That’s why the songs composed by them have retained the staying power to transcend generations…Not only in Pyaasa but I find that he delivered his best whenever he came to write for movies..Not an easy task since he had a literary bent of mind whereas the movies demanded a different standard..Happily, he managed to strike a perfect balance….

    Lastly, do read this post when you are online on PC…

  6. Author’s words for Carmen Ampuero, Lima:

    Carmen…Happy that you liked this post. Bit sad that being in alien language you might not able to associate with them in that complete way but let me add that for a concious soul like you a deeper attention would easily let you have the true feelings conveyed by these extraordinary songs..That’s because these songs speak about intense universal feelings like love, separation and intimacy etc. which any sensitive heart despite language barrier could realize well…I have narrated the makings of these timeless songs plus also narrated my own personal experiences with them…That would also help you to fnd meaning in them…Rest shall be taken care of by beautiful picturization of these songs..Hope you had a perfect look at this post….

  7. Author’s words for Men’s Rights, Bangalore, Karnataka:

    The post has soulful numbers..Hope you heard them..They were composed by the best minds in the world of movies. These very creations allow one to understand life better!

  8. Chandrapal S. Bhasker, United Kingdom, said:

    Oh my!!! I gotta read this with some nice tea, playing some classic Triple S in the background. Thank you Arvind bhai. This looks like a gem!

    Author’s Response:

    Chandrapal ji, I always work hard to present something new about issues close to my being. The world of cinema fascinates me, which always has been playground of great creative souls.The songs penned by these three gentlemen were always very thought-provoking and meaningful. I wrote this post to pay tribute to their great talent.They made us life understand better. One of them said quite well: Mai Kaha Kabhi Rota Tha,Wo To Mere Halaat Aise Thein Ki Mai Ro Diya…( Sorry ..The verse I have forgotten..I have merely written the bhava of that verse)

  9. Shubhranshu Pandey, Advocate, Allahabad High Court, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, said:

    Songs are the soul of the hindi films or indian films. This is the way of expression in the film. A song is the combined effect of lyricist, music director, director/ dance director, actor and camera man. Usually it extends the story of the film or shows the mood of the actor according the film.

    There is an interesting thing in the first song which you have mentioned in the article. This song is sung by Hemanat Kumar, a good music director and he sang for burmun da. Devanand was the hero and he was directed by guru dutta, a good actor himself.

    In the second song you selected the film which was based on reincarnation. Dilip kumar was not a good looking hero but Bimal da made him look good. In the song when Mukesh hummed ho hoo..and the sound gradually echo vanished and there is a pause, that is the best part.

    Third song again a Yusuf khan film as he portrayed depressed lover. On wheel chair he moves from sea shore to mountain. A good song.

    This song is the one of the best love song. Just listen this song on earphone. It is a incomparable.

    Thanks of made me nostalgic.

    **************************

    Author’s Response:

    Sorry! I am responding bit late…That’s because I wasn’t online in proper way and your commented demanded bit greater attention …Thanks for being involved with this post in such an incisive way..The reason why I have so much respect for these lyricists is that despite being involved with world of movies, they never came to compromise with their literary instincts.. For that they also paid a heavy price since that resulted in untimely death of all these three gentlemen one after another…Almost all of them faced financial crisis..For instance, Shailendra never recovered from the traumatic experience he underwent during making of Teesri Kasam…

    Thank God! Nature made these souls, who suffered badly in their lifetimes, attained permanent place in hearts of millions of souls once they moved to other heavenly planes of existence…However, it really hurts me that such sensitive souls never get their due when they live among us like ordinary mortals..Majrooh Sultanpuri’s verse is fitting tribute for these great lyricists:

    हमारे बाद अब महफ़िल में अफ़साने बया होंगे,

    बहारें हमको ढूंढेगी ना जाने हम कहाँ होँगे

  10. Sucheta Singhal, USA, said:

    I have no words to describe my heartfelt feelings for these beautiful lyrics music and picturization .. they seem to take me to another life once lived .. thanks from the bottom of my heart Arvind ji .. you are the best🙂

    ******************************

    Author’s Response:

    Sucheta ji…

    Many thanks for being so candid in stating your emotions..I am happy that my work is being acknowledged in circles and among people who really matter… That’s the only ultimate aim of any creative soul like myself…And I am sure I will be enjoying the same stature once I am part of some different heavenly word…

    हमारे बाद अब महफ़िल में अफ़साने बया होंगे,

    बहारें हमको ढूंढेगी ना जाने हम कहाँ होँगे

    ( Majrooh)

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