Tag Archives: Immortal Bollywood Songs

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!


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! 


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! 


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! 


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: 

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वर्तमान हिंदी फिल्मी गीत यूँ कि जैसे ढेला खाए कुत्ते की चीख पुकार

मुकेश: आत्मा से उठती आवाज

मुकेश: आत्मा से उठती आवाज

कल सत्ताईस अगस्त को महान गायक मुकेश और ऋषिकेश मुखर्जी  दोनों की पुण्यतिथि थी. दोनों ही उस सादगी का प्रतिनिधित्व करते है जो आजकल के दौर में लुप्तप्राय सी हो चली है. मुकेश आत्मा में डूबकर गीत गाते थे तो ऋषिकेश दा आत्मा में डूबकर फिल्मे बनाते थे. जाहिर है इन दोनों के संगम के बाद आनंद की उत्पत्ति होनी ही थी. इस गहरी सोच को जन्म लेना ही था कि जिंदगी कैसी है पहेली. जब ऐसे लोगो कि याद रखकर हम आज के दौर में नज़र डालते है तो आनंद दुःख के सागर में विलीन हो जाता है. आज के गीतों को आप सुनिए तो लगता है जैसे किसी ने कुत्ते को ईंट का ढेला खीच कर मार दिया हो. या कोई कुत्ते का गला दबा रहा हो. या सूअर के बच्चे को बोरी में बंद कर के कही ले जा रहे हो! अजीब सी ध्वनियाँ की बोर्ड और ड्रम बीट्स के मिलन से पैदा की जा रही है जिनका कोई मतलब नहीं  सिवाय इसके कि युवा कदमो को नाईट क्लब में झूमने में आसानी हो. 

आश्चर्य इस बात पर है कि ये सब तमाशा प्रयोगवाद  के नाम पर स्पांसर हो रहा है. इस में बहुत से मूढ़ लोगो को आधुनिकता का सम्मान सा होता दिख रहा है. आप इन गीतों की आलोचना कर के देखिये तो आपको समझाया जाएगा, आप के अन्दर इस बात को जबरदस्ती ठूंसा जायगा कि वक्त बदलता है और बदलते वक्त के साथ कदम मिला के चलना ही अक्लमंदी है. तो बदलते वक्त कि मेहरबानी क्या है देखे तो? ऐसी वाहियात बोल और धुन कि आप लाख सर पटक ले आप  बहुत बार सुनने के बाद भी सही सही ना समझ पायेंगे कि गीत में आखिर है क्या. पहले जहां गीत सर दर्द की दवा की आवश्यकता को कम करते थे आज इन दवाओं की बिक्री में सहायक है. एक बात तो तय है कि आज के गीत मार्केट के हिसाब से बन रहे है और मार्केट पे युवा हावी है तो गीत भी इनके टेस्ट के हिसाब से भड़भड़िया हथौड़ाछाप  हो गए है. फिर गीत मार्केट में आये नए म्यूजिक सिस्टम के हिसाब से बन रहे है. 

ऋषिकेश मुखर्जी: सादगी की अनमोल विरासत

ऋषिकेश मुखर्जी: सादगी की अनमोल विरासत

अब ये बताये जब गीत इस प्रकार से जन्म लेंगे तो इनमे आत्मा को छूने की ताकत क्या ख़ाक पैदा होगी?  इक्का दुक्का अपवाद  गिना देने से कि साहब ये देखिये फला ने कितना बढ़िया काम किया है से काम नहीं चलने वाला. ये बात सही है कि हर युग का अपना  अलग रंग ढंग होता है, एक अलग मिजाज़ होता है, अपने प्रतीक होते है इसके बावजूद भी ये साबित नहीं किया जा सकता या ये महसूस करने के बहुत कारण नहीं है कि  आज के हिंदी फिल्मी गीत उत्कृष्ट कोटि के है. भाई जस्टिफाय करने वाले तो गालीनुमा शब्दों के समूह को भी गीत साबित कर देंगे तो क्या साबित कर देने से गीत एक अच्छे गीत या सिर्फ गीत की श्रेणि में आ जाएगा? आज के गीतों को सुन के ही समझ में आ जाएगा कि गीत पूंजीवादी संस्कृति के संरक्षक है और मुंबई के मंडी में बैठे दलालनुमा दिमागों की उपज है. तो ऐसे गीतों से तौबा जिनसे दिमाग का दही बनने में जरा भी देर ना लगे.

शाम के धुंधलके में बैठे हुए  मुझे तो आनंद का ये  गीत “कहीं दूर जब दिन ढल जाए”  याद आ रहा है जो मै मुकेश और ऋषिकेश मुखर्जी को श्रद्धांजलि स्वरूप भेंट कर रहा हूँ और ये महसूस कर रहा हूँ कि हम ये कहा आ गए है.

Pics Credit: 

Pic One 

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Unfolding the Magic Of K L Saigal: The Evergreen Golden Voice

Unfolding the Magic Of K L Saigal: The Evergreen Golden  Voice

There are many mysteries in the world whose real elements keep eluding us. It’s beyond human intellect to comprehend the making of such mysteries with our limited human understanding. The enchanting voice of K L Saigal which refuses to lose its appeal, having transcended many generations since it first appeared in early 30s, is one of the karishmas (miracles) nature brought in existence.  One is filled with awe and wonder on noticing that with changes in world of music coupled with changes in taste of youngsters the voice of K L Saigal keeps making its presence felt. If that’s not the case what was the need to have a spoof on K L Saigal’s voice in Delhi Belly(2011) via Chetan Shashital’s Saigal Blues?

Let’s not try to analyze the charm inherent in the voice but let’s try to feel it within. That’s the only way to realize the elements which have immortality to songs sung by K L Saigal. In my eyes, one of the greatest factors that his voice never fails to deep lasting impressions on the listeners is that these songs have been rendered in amazingly simple manner. It appears that emotions of hearts are manifesting in a rhythmic way without being influenced by the impurities existing in the mental plane. When I delve deep into the K L Saigal’s magic it becomes evidently clear that his voice was the medium to unfold our own divinity lying in latent form within us.

We are potentially divine in nature no matter what’s the level of our materialistic association. Any happening that helps us to connect with us divinity within is sure to retain its appeal and charm. That’s the case with Saigal’s songs too. These songs help us to attain meditative pose. They let us move into newer realms of thought patterns- the ones closest to divine plane. Even people who just cannot identify themselves with songs sung by K L Saigal shall be deeply influenced by his silver screen presence. Notice him on the silver screen. This tall guy with ocean like depth eyes and face wrapped in innocence appears some Gandharva ( male spirit who facilitates communication between the gods and humans) having lost his way and landed on our planet earth !

It’s time to listen some of his songs to realize that what we today listen is not music but mere cacophony of harsh voices. These songs I have been hearing since early 80s. Listen these great songs to realize that to be simple is to be divine. Hear these songs to realize that there was an age when humans knew the art from speaking straight from the heart- the rarest of rare art in our times when complexities rule the roost !

1. Madhukar Shyam Humare Chor ( Bhakta Soordas, 1942)

2. Suno Suno He Krishna Kala (Chandidas, 1934)

3. Kahe Guman Kare ( Tansen)

4. Gham Diye Mustaqil (Shahjehan, 1946)

5. Do Naina Matware (My Sister)

6. Karun Kya Aas Nirash Bhai
(Dushman, 1939)

Unfolding the Magic Of K L Saigal: The Evergreen Golden  Voice


K L Saigal

Pic Credit:

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