Guest article by DP Rangan
(We celebrated Holi sometime back. This is the season of romance and love, when the flowers bloom, there is music in the stream of rivulets and rustling of leaves, and the hearts of even old people are aflutter with desire. There is a folk proverb to describe this: ‘फागुन में बुढ़वा देवर लागे’. (This has nothing to do with the guest author DP Rangan’s age though.) Mr Rangan is deeply romantic, but absolutely clean; he has taken additional precaution to start this post with the evolutionary anthropology of love.
Our films are generally love stories full of songs and dances. The Bollywood hero and heroine hid in the bushes and ran around trees; when they were bashful, flowers swayed and kissed each other. In another type of love, towards the end, the woman applied the dust of her devata’s feet to her parted hair and installed the deity in the mandir of her heart. We lapped these songs. I was not surprised when I got a suggestion to write on ‘love songs’. I was hesitant because every second song was a love song, and some of the ‘romances’ made me cringe.
I find on SOY that when I am not able to fulfil the readers’ request, by some telepathy someone offers to fill up the gap. Mr Rangan is now in his 80’s, but he has the energy of an eighteen-year old. He is the most prolific guest author, having written 28 articles for SOY. Here he comes up with another exhaustive article on the commonest theme of Bollywood songs. Thank you Mr Rangan for this interesting piece. – AK)
Human beings were the last to emerge in the evolutionary process which commenced with unicell organisms progressing to multi-cell and more complicated forms of life over aeons. Initially humans were living as a hunter-gatherer society following their prey. Invention of agriculture about 12000 years ago was a great step in progress. It enabled them to stay rooted in a region and stabilise their lives. Their numbers grew into an organised society. Endowed with cognitive abilities, they developed skills as painting on rocks of which there are plenty of evidence discovered by archaeologists. To celebrate important occasions in their lives, community get together was born with activities as dancing.
Love affairs between man and woman became one of choice. The competitors accepted the fait accompli and allowed the couple to lead their life. Courtship entered into the fray and men had to employ their romantic skills to lure females to accept them. The next stage was the attraction of a man and woman to each other for living together and thus started the spirit of romanticism and love affairs. Fairs and festivals enabled intermingling of huge gathering of mankind thus providing as a means of relaxation and enjoyment.
Dramas involving physical presence of actors and actresses on live stage and presentation of stories and operas were a form of entertainment for the audience. The main limitation was their accessibility to a selective audience in a locality and constant shifting by the troupe from place to place so that more people can be entertained. This was the state of affairs almost till the end of nineteenth century. By then technology was advanced enough to listen to audios through gramophone and see still movies with the aid of celluloid films.
Integration of sound in movies led to creation of talkies around 1929 and it was lapped by the audience from the beginning. Human beings caught in the harsh realities of life of competition and stress longed for an interlude of happiness and brief sojourn in make-believe world to serve as an anodyne, particularly after the industrial revolution from the close of eighteenth century. Cinemas were the ideal means of supplying this want. Unlike dramas, they could be shown to a vast array of persons spread over a country/countries in theatres constructed for the purpose.
Music was ushered in movies as an added means of attraction enhancing entertainment value of the movie. Music directors, singers and lyricists were part of the film production unit. Initially actors with singing ability were the choice. This restriction vanished when play back singing and recording were introduced. Cinema viewers want to forget their day to day struggles for a brief interval through movies. Portraying a slice of the reality of life with all its grief is anathema to them and such films bite the dust and impoverish the producers. Films with a happy ending where heroes vanquish villains and claim the heroines are preferred and many of them run for long in theatres. Romantic situations and love scenes are lapped up. Music directors are expected to chip in with songs brimming with love and such songs are galore in our film world.
It is my earnest endeavour to make a compendium of such songs, i.e., duets and solos, and present it to the viewers with the fond hope they also will forget their problems and enjoy a brief period of bliss. Talat Mahmood as the crooner with a velvety voice should figure in a lot of songs. Mohammad Rafi is also at home in such songs thanks to his versatility. Because he lasted longer in the industry, his solos and duets may be much more than that of Talat Mahmood. Mukesh also has several romantic duets under his belt. Exposition of the theme takes precedence over chronology and I will group songs into duets and solos in my presentation. I may caution viewers in advance that the comments for each song posted are my own interpretation of imperfectly understood lyrics and many of the YouTube videos are mere mp3.songs and not live extracts from the concerned movie.
I begin with two of the earliest frontline singers, Durrani and Noorjehan.
1. Haath seene pe jo rakh do to qaraar aa jaye by G.M. Durrani and Noorjehan from Mirza Sahiban (1947), music by Pandit Amarnath, lyrics Qamar Jalalabadi
Mirza (Trilok Kapur, brother of Prithviraaj Kapur) and Sahiba (Noorjehan) are indulging in their love affair through this duet in deep jungle oblivious of the fact that vindictive relatives are searching for them. A fast-paced lilting love song by the noted singers of the era.
2. Armaan bhare dil ki lagan tere liye hai by Talat Mahmood and Geeta Dutt from Jaan Pehchan (1950), music Khemchand Prakash, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Nargis in her dream sings with Raj Kapoor, both expressing the love each had for the other. The entire song is in slow but smooth tempo with muted orchestration, and a gem from the annals of Khemchand Prakash.
3. Aayi jhoomti bahar by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood from Insaniyat (1955), music C Ramchandra, lyrics Rajendra Krishna
C Ramchandra’s magic is in full swing in this love duet between Jayalakshmi and Dev Anand. A chimpanzee called “Zippy” acted in this movie. The popular feeling was that it was the best actor in the film.
4. Teri chamakati aankhon ke by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood from Chhote Babu (1957), music Madan Mohan, lyrics Indeevar
Shekhar begins with a typical expression, i.e., the glow in your eyes is so intense that stars in the sky pale before it and Nimmi replies that the shelter his love gives is far better than what the world can bestow. A smooth flowing composition by Madan Mohan.
5. Man dheere dheere gaaye re by Talat Mahmood and Suraiya from Maalik (1958), music Ghulam Mohammad, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Talat Mahmood as a hero and singer starts with a query, i.e., why is his heart serenading softly, and Suraiya gives an equally adept reply, she is also likewise bewildered but is too shy to disclose. A masterpiece composed by Ghulam Mohammad.
6. Chheen ke dil kyon pher li aankhein by Mohammad Rafi and Shamshad Begum from Chandni Raat (1949), music Naushad, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Shyam is pleading with Naseem Banu to recognise his love for her and not be indifferent. In the last interlude the lady is in an affirmative mood and they end by singing the beginning lines together. This is a tonga song typical of Naushad.
7. Zara tumne dekha to pyar aa gaya by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi from Tarang (1949), music Husnlal-Bhagatram, lyrics Kaif Irfani
Geeta Bali states her lover’s mere glance has aroused intense love in her and Rehman emphasises it by merely repeating it. From thereon it proceeds to describe their love.
8. Ankhiyan mila ke zara baat karoji by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from Pardes (1950), music Ghulam Mohammad and lyrics Shakeel Badauni
By 1950, Rehman was a fairly established actor of many years and opposite him is 16-year old Madhubala. This love song is full of formal address as “ji”, an unusual lyric. Yet it is fast-paced and full of dialogues of romance. The film had many more hits to its credit.
9. Mehfil mein tere husna ka deewana kaun hai by Mohammad Rafi and Sumant Kalyanpur from Rooplekha (1962), music Nashad, lyrics Farooq Qaisar
This is a mujra song with its usual parameters, Mahipal seeking clarification and Vijaya Chowdhury dodging it. A thoroughly enjoyable romantic song.
10. Laayi khushi ki duniya hansti hui by Suraiya and Mukesh from Vidya (1948), music S D Burman, lyrics Anjum Pilibhati
Dev Anand and Suraiya are singing this ditty like a lark. It is well-composed by great S D Burman and the lyrics abound with expressions of love in various manifestations.
11. Tumse hi meri zindagi by Mukesh and Geeta Dutt from Apna Ghar (1960), music Ravi, lyrics Prem Dhawan
Shyama and Premnath are enacting their love scene in a garden and Ravi has composed a pleasing tune which is in sync with the situation.
12. Jhoomti hai nazar, jhoomta hai pyar by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle from Hatimtai (1956), music S N Tripathi, lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
Hatimtai (Jairaj) and an angel (pari) Shakila in mutual love are traipsing around each other. The angel seems to defy gravity and is freely floating in the sky while singing. The song is a blend of sweet music and grace viewing the video.
Duets are the well-known and dominant form in expressing mutual love between male and female of humans. Solos by male or female actors have also their own niche in this genre of songs. I observe that female solos dominate over male’s. I will now present a few solos – female and male.
13. O ji dheere dheere, haule haule angna mein aa ja piya by Lata Mangeshkar from Pardes (1950), music Ghulam Mohammad, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Madhubala is enticing Rehman to come to her “angna” and accept her love. A brisk song from Ghulam Mohammad.
14. Kitna meetha hota hai kitna pyaara hota hai by Lata Mangeshkar from Teen Batti Chaar Raasta (1953), music Shivram Krishna, lyrics Pyarelal Santoshi
The song lives up to its lyrics and is really sweet from beginning to end. It flows like a brook in a mountain valley with bubbling sound. Sandhya is flitting like a butterfly. Not a frontline music director, but a song of as much quality as any by top composers.
15. Saajan se pehli bar hum kaise bole by Lata Mangeshkar from Rishta (1954), music Datta Korgaonkar, lyrics Pt. Phani
Nigar Sultana is in a quandary how to express her love for Suresh and elaborates it line after line. Sung very sweetly, and a good tune composed by K. Datta.
16. Mohabbat hi na jo samjhe wo zaalim pyaar kya jaane by Talat Mohammad from Parchhayiyan (1952), music C Ramchandra, lyrics Noor Lakhanavi
Jayshree, a rich heiress, avers her ignorance about ‘mohabbat’ with accompanying laugh and Shantaram, a blind guest in her mansion, elaborates on the quality of love in this enchanting song. This is a great song with three antaras, all different including the intervening orchestration.
17. Tumse hai pyaar mujhe by Talat Mahmood from Teen Batti Chaar Rasta (1953), music Shivram Krishna, lyrics Pyarelal Santoshi
Karan Dewan is composing a song expressing his deep love for Sandhya. The music director has excelled himself and produced a tune as good as that of the front-liners in the line.
18. Jeevan ke safar mein raahi by Kishore Kumar from Munimji (1955), music S D Burman, lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanavi
Dev Anand mimics the role of a troubadour expressing his love for Nalini Jaywant, his co passenger in the car conveying her to a zamindar estate. Kishore Kumar is the ideal foil and Burman produces a song with verve for the scene in the movie. There is also a sad version with slightly altered lyrics, sung by Lata Mangeshkar for Nalini Jaywant, when she finds out that the old munimji and her dashing young lover are one and the same.
19. Dil mein chhupa ke pyar ka toofan le chale by Mohammad Rafi from Aan (1952), music Naushad, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni
Dilip Kumar reveals himself, while driving the tonga, to Nadira and conveys his love through this song and Mohammad Rafi is not one to miss this opportunity to sing as needed of the situation. This film had a grand gala premiere at the Realto, London, on 18th July, 1952, the first film from Bollywood in full colour to be exhibited abroad.
Animals also seek their opposites during their mating season by calls. Jim Corbett (1875-1950), a noted hunter of maneating tigers in Kumaon from about 1900 to 1935 had recorded that one tigress closed a jungle road for traffic for a few days till she was joined by a tiger. Their courtship are rough tumbles and very noisy and wary of intruders. Birds are at the apex in this regard and they indulge in spectacular courtship dances. I am presenting two such instances.
Sandhill cranes are busy in dancing, flapping their wings and jumping in the air during courtship.
There is no end to ecstatic love songs, solo or duet and I have to stop at some stage. It will be evident that all the songs posted here are sung in a happy mood. I did not post many more popular songs as I strove to bring to the fore songs from B grade films or not so well known music directors. I expect the blog followers to flood the post with songs of this kind.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer:
The song links have been embedded from the YouTube only for the listening pleasure of music lovers. Some songs you have to play on the YouTube by clicking on the link. This blog does not claim any copyright over these songs which vests with the respective copyright owners.
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