Song Sketch

Shola Jo Bhadke – Albela – Sparks Of Love

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Do you see the winters in the offing? Does the crisp morning breeze bring in any message from the chilly weathers? Winter winds are preparing themselves to come howling to the town. Making the atmosphere around you festive. Some of the places might also be experiencing that light winter breeze in the evenings. Winter evenings are a sort of combination of pensiveness as well as joie de vivre. The rippled wind either wroughts you in your place or the crackling flames of a hearth warm up the house. Winter evenings are often associated with campfires in this part of the world. Campfires become the focal point of the gathering during such evenings. People gathered around are mesmerised by the dancing flames. They are as if eager to hear what the flames are whispering with every soft crackle. Fire symbolises passion.
Fire – one of the five elements human beings are made of. Agni tattva, as we call it, is the fire of energy that flows through our spinal cord. Aiding in digestion and absorption of food, it also burns our karmas, our blocks and our fears. It represents the strength of commitment, discipline, will-power and the ability to carry out our intentions. We have been blessed to have these elements at our fingertips with our thumb representing fire. This shows the importance of fire in one’s life. Fire in its physical form is capable of consuming everything that surrounds. In its active form it can be creative as well as destructive with same levels. Emotions, passion, creativity, sensuality are instilled in the human body because of fire. The flames, the sparks mesmerise us when we sit around a bonfire. With the flames literally dancing, emitting sparks around, spreading its warmth, just like the passion that is roused in heart, when in love. We are susceptible to this fire likeably. Young hearts being the easy target of this fire.
That’s exactly what Bhagwan dada and Geeta Bali tell us in their song!!

Shola jo bhadke dil mera dhadke
Dard jawani ka sataye badh badh ke….

The Cuban percussion at the beginning played by Chic Chocolate warns you of the fire that is about to spread. Geeta Bali herself looking like a luminous spark of that fire, with a Hawaiian lei around her neck, a floral top and a wrap around skirt. She is glowing with love for her beau, Bhagwan dada.
Albela (1951) was the brainchild of Bhagwan Dada. The actor with humble background but immense talent and the strong will power to make it big in the industry, Albela as if told Bhagwan Dada’s own story. It was an uncomplicated story of a simple man who aspired to be an artist. Indifferent to his ambitions, his family makes fun of him. But his strong will brings him in contact with a well known female artist (played by Geeta Bali). She recognises his talent and encourages him to do shows with her. Soon he finds his foot on the stage and the 2 become famous singing pair. Romance starts making its way between these 2 artists. Love – the peril, which at times makes the flutter of a leaf feel as if a lightning has struck. Bright flashes and high voltage. The winter aroma makes one sway and divagate from the routine, hints towards the romance in the air.

Mehki hawaein behke kadam mere
Aise mein thaam lo aake balam mere
Patta bhi phadke toh bijli si kadke
Dard jawani ka sataye badh badh ke….
The song though romantic is as simple as Bhagwan dada himself. He was very different from what the Hindi male lead actor usually defined. He was bulky, short, with an ordinary face, slow dance moves and can’t be compared with the likes of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand!! A simpleton by all means. And yet Albela made history with his determination to make his mark on the audience. Though choreographer for the song is Surya Kumar, the slow steps by Bhagwan dada are his own, which later became a rage on silver screen. Music by his friend and well known music director C. Ramchandra made a major contribution towards its success.

Pyar ko mere kisne pukara
Dil mein utar gaya kiska ishara
Yaad ye kiski laai pakad ke
Dard jawani ka sataye badh badh ke…..

C. Ramchandra’s music often had a western impact. But he was adept in making it melodious rather than a jarring one. In this song too, the use of the Cuban percussion, the bongo, oboe/clarinet, saxophone and the trumpet create a lively but melodious romantic number. The simple yet catchy lyrics by Rajendra Krishan suit the environment as well as Bhagwan dada’s and Geeta Bali’s character. Simple and chirpy at the same time.

Dekha jo tumko toh dard gaya tham
Ab toh na honge tumse juda hum
Jee na sakenge tumse bichhad ke
Dard jawani ka sataye badh badh ke……

Lata Mangeshkar has always sounded a tone softer in all the C. Ramchandra numbers and this song is not an exception. Similarly C. Ramchandra himself. While the instruments are peppy, the singers have maintained the softness of romance in their voice. The excitement of being in love and the longing to be with the love of your life is so deftly conveyed in a simple way. The audience in the theatres came alive with this song. Whistling, cheering, dancing, enjoying themselves to glory. The song that had set ablaze the screen some 60 plus years ago, still has the capacity to engulf a music lover in its flames. The song which is as infectious as sitting around a bonfire on a winter evening. The sparks of love giving warmth to the frozen heart just as the bonfire/campfire crackles to warm your winter evenings!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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