Song Sketch

Quizzical Romance – Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Kaa – Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

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Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) – an ultimate laughter on celluloid. An ensemble of brilliant actors, ornamented by timeless classic songs. The three siblings (also in real life), their garage, their trepidation for girls and their “Champion” car (Vintage model – 1928). The world of innocence seasoned with laughter and romance. A rom com classic. Madhubala and Kishore Kumar ignite spark from the moment they come together on screen. They spice up the entire screen with their romantic banter.

The banter which is very important in real life too. The long conversations with your spouse/partner/beloved which can be playful, flirtatious, aggressive or seductive. A clever joke, a verbal nudge or a silly remark. Whether it is just at the beginning of a relationship or during the course of it. Romantic banters always enliven the atmosphere. Specially if you start quizzing in the silliest way possible. Quizzical banters often tend to irritate a person too!! The quizzing in form of a rapid fire or quizzing in form of teasing. Whichever way are delightful. A monotonous relationship gets all perked up with these poked questions. There are a few questions which have the answer straight away, a few which can be answered in a roundabout manner, a few which are supposed to be answered in a dilly dally way and there are a few questions which do not have an answer or also a few questions have the answers in the question itself. Rhetorical question is a question which is asked without expecting an answer. What an explicit way of interaction, no? (That’s rhetorical again)
When it came to a grammatic like this in a song Majrooh was a champion. He mastered the art of rhetorics way before Anand Bakshi. And it was mostly with S D Burman that his art was appreciated in a musical way. His musical rhetorics already had an answer. There are different ways of asking. Example – How are you? Or more so in Hindi – Aap kaise hain? But what if one asks –
Haal kaisa hai janaab ka…..we know the answer already!! And Majrooh counters it with another one….kya khayal hai aapka? And the answers, though not needed, are given later on that too by the person who himself/herself has asked the question – Tum toh machal gaye o o o……continued by yun hi fisal gaye aa aa aa. Delightful song, isn’t it? Delightful indeed.

It begins with that sunshine gurgling laughter of Madhubala. She’s happy. She has tamed the vagabond Kishore. He is entangled in her love mesh…well literally too!! They share such a splendid chemistry on screen. S D Burman in his bonzer way has punctuated the song at various intervals with those piccolo flutes from the beginning. The piccolo flutes indeed are as chirpy as Miss Renu (Madhubala) and the trumpets are full of naughtiness like Mannu (Kishore Kumar). Leading the audience in a delightful quizzical banter.

Behki, behki, chale hai pawan jo ude hai tera aanchal
Chhodo chhodo, dekho dekho, gore gore, kaale kaale baadal
Kabhi kuchh kehti hai, kabhi kuchh kehti hai
Zaraa nazar ko sambhalnaaa…

The rhetoricals though don’t end in the mukhda but continue in the antara too –
Pagli, pagli kabhi ye bhi socha raste mein gaye mil kyun?
Pagle, pagle teri baaton baaton mein dhadakta hai dil kyun?
Kabhi kuch kehti hai kabhi kuch kehti hai
Zaraa nazar ko sambhalnaaa….

Asha and Kishore at their best. They make you feel the song.
Another set of questions come up further.

Kaho ji, kaho ji roz tere sang yun dil behelaaye kya?
Suno ji, suno ji samajh sako toh khud samjho batayein kya?
Kabhi kuch kehti hai kabhi kuch kehti hai
Zaraa nazar ko sambhalnaaa….

Madhubala matches Kishore’s antics frame by frame. Making the song sparkling and frothy. A frothy song having the dullest percussion ever!! That is SDB’s musical/magical wand doing the trick. The coda of the song also is glides smoothly into the hearts. Asha does exactly what she does best – her oo, aa and the harkats and Kishore does exactly what he does best – yodelling!!
Won’t you enjoy the song? (Rhetorical again!!)

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

1 Comment


    March 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Mahdhu bala

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