Song Sketch

The Original And The Spoof – Preetam Aan Milo

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Preetam aan milo pritam aan milo
Dukhiya jiya pukare pritam aan milo

Raat andheri aayi balma
Mann mora ghabaraye hai
Duur ped par baitha panchhi yahi ratna lagaye hai
Aan milo, Preetam aan milo….

Bheegi raat mein ped ke niche
Aankh micholi khel rachaya
Preetam yaad karo jab tumne prem bhara ik geet sunaya
Aan milo, Preetam aan milo….

C.H.Atma rendered this above non film (original) version in his nasal but resonant voice. O.P.Nayyar, the composer was just 20 something when he gave music to this lilting melody, written by his wife Saroj Mohini Nayyar. It was way different from his usual hoof beat rhythm. Just a tabla, sitar and organ and OPN weaved magic right at the beginning of his career (he was yet to enter films). C.H.Atma then was a known singer, more so because of the uncanny resemblance of his voice with another legend K.L.Saigal. When the records came out in the market, it is said that only C.H.Atma’s name was printed on it. No one then knew who the composer or lyricist was!!

It was not known until the producer of Aasman (1952) took OPN as the composer for the film. People gradually started knowing the composer. By 1953-54, OPN was already on his way to become a star composer. Along came Guru Dutt’s Mr & Mrs 55 (1955) where he reused his ever popular tune of Preetam aan milo….this time in the affectionate voice of Geeta Dutt. Though only the second stanza of the song was used. Guru Dutt loved the song so much that he chose the protagonist’s name (played by him) as Preetam. Here too, OPN retains the initial flavour of the song by keeping the instruments minimum. He highlights Geeta Dutt’s voice for the forlorn Madhubala.

The original and the reused versions were so hit with the music lovers that its spoof also became a hit. The spoof was redone aesthetically by the lethal pair – Pancham and Gulzar.
Shakespeare and Gulzar, 2 names which make you incline towards the solemn and earnest subjects they have tackled with, in their respective fields. But Comedy of Errors and Angoor (which again was a remake of Do Dooni Char) showed their mastery over the art of comedy too. The madness, the silliness in Angoor is unmatched. But it is silliness at its wittiest best. And I think the silliest dialogues have gone to Bahadur 1 & 2 (Deven Verma). His banter with Sanjeev Kumar is delightful throughout the film and he says the dialogues with such a straight face, you are bound to laugh. Subtle comedy was Deven Verma’s forte. He was never gaudy with his dialogues. An excellent actor with a great sense of comic timing. With his gentle and straight faced humour, he won the heart of Hindi movie lovers. A perfect accomplice to Ashok 1 & 2 in Angoor, it is difficult to imagine any other actor as Bahadur 1 & 2 than Deven Verma. He made silliness adorable. He made comedy clean and classy.
Aap hain William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare solahvi sadi ke bahut bade naatak-kaar maane jaate hain. Ye kahani unhi ki soch ka natijaa hai, jiska naam unhone Comedy of Errors rakha tha.
You are absolutely right. This is how the movie begins. Which movie? Angoor, of course. Everyone must have seen this Indian version of Shakespeare’s comedy. Not only seen but enjoyed. Not only enjoyed but some might be knowing the dialogues by heart. Not only dialogues, some might be thorough with the songs and background score too. Not only songs and background score, but the fanatics of the movie might be knowing all the characters, small or big. But very few keedas must be having the Manzarnama (screenplay/scenario) of the movie. I love reading this Manzarnama very often. Believe me, its impact is almost the same as the movie. In the introduction for Angoor, Gulzar describes thus –
Ek zamana tha Bangalore gulmohar ka shaher kehlata tha. Sadak ke do kinaron par kai rangon ke gulmohar nazar aa jaate the. Unmein jaamni rang ka ek ped bahot khoosurat lagta tha. Pataa lagvakar ek nursery se uski kalam mil gayi…bambai aakar lagva di. Ped ugaa toh phoolon ka rang badal gaya. Na surkh na jaamni, kuch kuch mahua rang ka ho gaya. Angoor ke saath bhi kuch aisa hi hua. Kalam videshi hai, uspar koi bhi kahaani ug sakti thi….ek bel hindustani mahaul mein lagi, uska naam Angoor rakha.
The present song from the film also has been grafted intelligently by Pancham for the situation. A masterful spoof on OPN’s very initial composition. The original had C H Atma’s vintage voice almost sounding like Saigal whereas in the spoof, Sapan Chakravarty tries to sound like C H Atma. Ped bhi desi aur kalam bhi desi. And the new song which grew is neither pathos nor philosophy. It is comedy. Just like Gulzar said na surkh na jamni, mahua rang. Of course grafting of lyrics by Gulzar himself is an added advantage. But I find this as one of a kind song which has unusual audio and visual treats respectively. Visuals for instance, show Bahadur (Deven Verma) is under the influence of bhaang. Hence Sapan Chakravarty sounds muzzy. Inside the house, Bahadur is waiting for his maalik Ashok (Sanjeev Kumar), so that they can run away from the clutches of the so called gaaannngg!! And Pancham has very deftly adapted the sounds from the everyday life and used it in the track. Lets count as we check out the song (It begins instantly) –
Preetam aan milo
Preetam aan milo
Ho dukhiya jeevan kaise bitaun
Preetam aan milo…

The song has only percussion and sound effects to support. The percussion is all vilambit, to go with Bahadur’s muzzy state. First interlude has the brilliant kalimba hopping along with the ball on the stairs. Sound effect no.1 – eerie feeling of night brought in by cricket’s chirping.
Raat akele darr lagta hai
Jungle jaisa ghar lagta hai…

(Sound effect no.2 – winds whooshing and lyrics to go with it)
Chalti hain jab tez hawaein
Leherata hunter lagta hai
(sound effect no. 3 – hunter whips in)
Kitne hunter khaun…..
(Sound effect no. 4) – A frog not only croaks, he says waah waah…(bhaang ka asar, nothing else).
Bahadur now feels as if he’s flying. And kalimba again takes him on the wings, along with horse’s hoofbeats (sound effect no. 5), the grandfather’s clock chimes (sound effect no.6) dogs barking (Sound effect no. 7)
Birha mein koi bol raha hai
(owwww – wolf howls – sound effect no. 8)
Peeda ka ras ghol raha hai
(watch Bahadur’s action, he’s still in that bhaang making process)
(Creaking of a door – sound effect no.9)
Phir se jaan labon par aayi
Phir koi ghoonghat khol raha hai
Mukhda kaise chhupaun…Preetam aan milo!!

If these are Foley effects, Jack Foley would be delighted to hear these effects used with ambient noises in a song. One of a kind, isn’t it? All the sound effects have been brought out by the use of various percussion instruments like kalimba, baya, dimdi and tabla tarang (as pointed out by one of our readers, Sandeep Kulkarni)
Meaningless lyrics yet so meaningful that we laugh at each action, each line. Preetam aan milo, which is shown as an indication call to open the door (all is well) is converted into a muzzy, wobbly song. Couldn’t get any better. Pancham this time gives a slip to the listeners, makes them think it as an outdoor song with all those ambient night noises, but it happens to be an indoor one. Just as the dialogue by Bahadur goes – Yaani machhar-daani baandhi hai bistar pe aur aap let jao chataai pe. Machhar ko lagega, aap machhar-daani mein hain, toh machhar wahan chale jaayenge…..!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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