Song Sketch

Hothon Se Chhoo Lo Tum – Prem Geet – Psalm Of Love

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For those who are accustomed with English literature must be thorough with Psalm Of Life by H W Longfellow. It was first published in 1838 in New York. Psalm means a sacred song or hymn from the Bible but in the poem it means song of life. Appealing or acknowledging people to live life with goodness and honesty. Glorifying life and acknowledging the choices it gives you.
Life is real, Life is earnest
And the grave is not its goal
Dust thou art, to dust returnest
Was not spoken of the soul

Keeping positive attitude towards life is the answer. Because life is short and we have so much to do.
Art is long and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave…

As in life, one should also have a positive attitude towards love. To enjoy love, to experience love, one has to acknowledge love with honesty, just as life. The sanctity lies in your approach towards the one you love. For love that is eternal, for love that is everlasting, imperishable. Love that is beyond the shackles of the society. Seeking that love from your beloved and acknowledging it.
Hothon se chhoolo tum
Mera geet amar kar do
Ban jao meet mere
Meri preet amar kar do….

The eternal love poem by Indeevar – Jagjit Singh from Prem Geet (1981) has the same kind of approach towards love as Psalm of Life has towards life. Prem Geet, debut film of Anita Raj, while Raj Babbar was also just a few films old. The film was first of its kind since it highlighted the sensitive subject of cancer. It was declared tax free. The movie was shown at The Rashtrapati Bhavan and the then President Giani Zail Singh had also been in the audience. He was supposed to be there for just few minutes because of his prior commitments but he liked the movie so much that he sat throughout and appreciated Anita Raj and her work after the show (Info courtesy – Anita Raj’s interview on Vividhbharati).
Akash Bhardwaj (Raj Babbar) is on an excursion with his friends when he suddenly hears a female voice singing through the dense woods of the hill station. This song is coincidentally written by him (he writes under the pen name – Nishant). His parents do not approve of him as a poet and hence he writes under the pseudonym. The female voice is that of Shikha (Anita Raj) who is also a famous dancer. Shikha admires Nishant the poet and knows all his poems by heart. When Akash introduces himself as Nishant, she doesn’t believe him and also insults him and his friends on various occasions thinking him as a pervert. Nishant on the other hand falls in love with her. One day she’s invited as a special guest to a party but she accepts the invitation on one condition that poet Nishant is also invited. The host at the party asks Nishant to sing his new poem and Shikha is embarrassed to find Akash as Nishant when he starts singing –

Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm
Hothon se chhoolo tum
Mera geet amar kar do
Ban jao meet mere
Meri preet amar kar do…

He requests her to sing all those poems written by him in her voice (like he had first seen her) thus making them eternal. To acknowledge his love for her and making that love immortal.
Jagjit Singh, who is also the composer-singer made this ghazal by Indeevar, immortal. The song begins with a few guitar strums as its prelude and humming. Jagjit Singh used minimum instruments in all his compositions including this one. He always laid emphasis on bol-pradhan gayaki, meaning laying emphasis on the words, using poetry which was relevant to the lay people, thus reviving the ghazal genre altogether.

Na umr ki seema ho
Na janma ka ho bandhan
Jab pyar kare koi
Toh dekhe kewal mann
Nayi reet chala kar dun
Ye reet amar kar do….

The first interlude has guitar and violin come together along with the tabla.
Let this love be beyond the limitations of age and surpass the bonding of births and deaths. By doing so let us change the customs and traditions of a relationship, making it immortal.

‘Aakash’ ka soonapan
Mere tanha mann mein
Payal chhankati tum
Aa jao jeevan mein
Saansein dekar apni
Sangeet amar kar do…

His lonely heart has the emptiness of a sky. Synonymous to his original name – Aakash. He urges her to breathe some music in his life through the tinkles of her anklets (since she’s a dancer) and thus make the music immortal for him.

Jag ne chheena mujhse
Mujhe jo bhi laga pyara
Sab jeeta kiye mujhse
Main hardam hi haara
Tum haar ke dil apna
Meri jeet amar kar do…

His parents don’t approve of his poetic inclinations. They’ve thus snatched away what is very dear to his heart, snatched away the happiness from him. So he earnestly asks her to acknowledge his love, Nishant’s love and make their relationship immortal. Surrendering her heart to him and making this conquer of his, eternal.
A simple song based on the beginner’s Raag, Yaman. Jagjit Singh gives it a ghazal effect with the help of Indeevar’s lyrics. Indeevar at times has surprised us with his sensitive lyrics once in a while and this ghazal by him is certainly a surprise. The sensitivity of its lyrics and the soft music makes this song a psalm of love. It has been written and sung in a didactic way. As if it is a lesson of love. Invocating the beloved with an optimistic outlook. Not minding the consequences and acknowledging the eternal love in its glory.

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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