Song Sketch

Chanda Re Chhupe Rehna – Lajwanti – A Tender Tale

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Naad. Our entire Universe was built on sound, on vibration. It is said that, God vibrated, occured a sound and all the universes, solar systems, oceans, land, sky, and the myriad of beings appeared. Naad means the essence of all sound. And according to our Vedanta, this sound – Naad is AUM. Naad is the medium which connects ‘aham’ (me) with ‘brahm’ or say, aham with ‘anant’ (the infinite). It is the vibrational harmony through which the Infinite can be experienced. And is it said, AUM is on going. If it stops for even a micro second, the whole universe would stop at the very moment!
When a finite me enters the earth and breathe for the first time, what carries it with godly love is mother. Any doubt about it? The default sound in the being is AUM. The one who has just entered – breathed has yet to know the earthly sounds. And so, and may be that’s why something similar to AUM is poured into that little one’s ears – hum…
Otherwise what do you think, why each of our lories, lullabies starts with a hum.. humming…!!?? This humming is as devine as AUM is.. equally pure and pious.. full of godly love.

And Sachin Dev Burman very well knew that, so he starts this lovely lullaby from Lajwanti (1958) with this ethereal humming.! How affectionate this humming sounds in the beginning – essential part of any lori as I said! Those who have sung it ever would be agree 100%.😊. Twinkling notes of jaltarang as if a mother’s fingers are delicately tapping her Maina’s back.! Fainted strums of guitar.. that feather-soft flute flowing all over in a wave-some manner.. violins swinging as a jhula, sublime swarmandal and that translunary humming in awesome, cherishing voice of Ashaji weave here a warm blossoming blanket of melody.!
Chanda re..
Chanda re chhupe rahena, soye meri maina..
Le ke meri nindiya re…

And visuals! Nargis is always the most natural actress ever while playing a character of a mother. She has always lived this character with utmost feeling and depth. Just look at the way she has held the child! Her bent elbow supporting the head of the child (quite requisite!! ) keeping her close to her chest and holding the child firmly with the grasp of her palm. Other hand just below the child’s back carrying her so gently ! Quite calm and composed as a mother tends to be! Lajwanti was released in 1958 and Sanju baba was born a year later! How accurately Mehboob Khan has chosen none other than Nargis to be Mother India!

Interlude is minimalism at its best! Just 2 repeated notes on jaltarang and then swarmandal. Third time a little different. Just a little! Sheer tranquility!
And Asha Bhonsle breezes in with equal serenity..
Phool chameli dheere maheko
Jhonka na lag jaaye..
Naazuk daali kajra waali
Sapne mein muskaaye..
Le ke meri nindiya re…

So daintily worded by Majrooh Sultanpuri! As if poetry too is whispering with sheer delicacy. Indeed, how gentle and soft everything has to be when a nanhi kali is going to sleep.!!! This is how a lori should be. Soothing.. whispering.. pampering.. tapping a little like those palms passing all the love and affection to the little angel lying in the lap. Minimal yet magical, which is capable enough to carry the little one so gently and drop in the dreamland without disturbing her slumberous voyage.Here too, Nargis warms your heart to the core when she takes her ‘Maina’ even closer while singing ‘jhonka na lag jaye…’

Second interlude too has jaltarang all the way with oh-so-soft sways on violin and gentle guitar strums. And Asha Bhonsle breaks again..
Haath kaheen hai paanv kaheen hai
Laage pyaari pyaari…
Mamta gaaye pavan jhulaaye
Jhoole raaj kumaari
Le ke meri nindiya re..

Maina is now shifted into jhoola. And because of this turbulence in her flight to dreamland, she wakes up. How natural! She misses the warmth of the safest place of the earth – her mother’s lap. And her mother’s loving, assuring taps again make her sleep. Nargis here proclaims in such a modest way that ‘motherhood’ can’t be just biological. It’s a part of any woman’s mould – her temperament with which God has filled her unfailingly, exquisitely..

And the same Lori sings a saga of a bleak emptiness when comes one more time in the movie. This mother – Kavita is quite a loving, caring and conscientious wife too. Fate strikes and because of some grave misunderstanding, her gullible husband falsely accuses her to be disloyal and fickle. Kavita is thunderstruck! Shattered. This libeled and humiliated wife leaves the home and keeps her dignity intact by saying she will not enter the house again until her husband will apologise. But at the same time this extremely pained mother breaks down completely when her husband doesn’t allow her to take her little daughter with her or even see or hug her for the last time. This lullaby comes second time as a cry of a sore heart.

And I would call it magic only (of composer) when in same composition, same violins start weeping.. jaltarang gets stuck on the same note witnessing those empty arms once holding her piece of heart. Majrooh’s pen is dripping dispair. Asha Bhonsle’s whimpering voice floats to stunned sky..
Chaand bataa de maa ki mamta..
Chaina kaise paaye..
Sundar mukhda dil ka tukda
Door hai mujhse haaye
Le ke meri nindiya re..

When come after chaand bataa de maa ki mamata chaina kaise paaye those sobbing notes on flute shake you till deep and those tears of torment sear your chest too just like this pinning mother. Through this divine melody created by S.D.Burman, sobs reaches to the height of sanctitude.
This lori is one of the closest songs to heart. It was, is and will remain precious, as there would be no other characters like Kavita, there would be no other actors like Nargis. There would be no other Asha Bhosle and there would be definitely no other composer like S.D.Burman.

Sad version –

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