Zameen Kha Gayi Aasman Kaise Kaise – Some Non-Picturized Songs Of R D Burman – Part 2

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Part 2 – Skies of 80s , cloudy in the middle and the final break-out to Shiny 90s
Welcome back with part 2. Let’s continue with the remaining half from where we left you, Pancham and the readers, in part 1 and talk about
Woh jo film mein geet naheen tere,
Main bataoonga , aap aao aur gaao sang mere.

Kya karein, that ‘bade dilwala’ tune is so lingering and also keeps the continuity between two parts.
Anyways, on to the decade of 80s and what a start! With the bang!!

Mitwa….. tere liye jeena – (Shaan -1980)- Lata Mangeshkar-Asha Bhosale-Chorus
After Sholay, Ramesh Sippy dreamed of a film project that would be even bigger than Sholay. The production team was nearly same including you and your lyricist buddy, Anand Bakshi. Unfortunately Shaan couldn’t fulfill the expectation of the audience although it had the James Bond kind technology at its disposal but somehow most of the length of the film was wasted on the parallel story of Amitabh and Shashi. Kulbhushan Kharbanda couldn’t cast the spell of Gabbar on the audience. Like Sholay, the movie had a fantastic title song by Usha Uthup with innovative picturisation and a gypsy-arabic song at the villain’s den, ‘Yamma yamma’ , just like ‘mehbooba mehbooba’ but as your male duet with Rafi. Unfortunately the other song with similar Gypsy Arabic influence couldn’t hold on the limelight of the silver screen. Lata or Asha alone are sufficient to cast the magical spell on the listener but when they combine together in this sisters’ concert it’s like ‘sone pe suhaaga’. It could obviously be for the two heroines, Bindiya and Parveen in a stage show, probably, with the group of male and female dancers and as some clues suggest another plot of the theft conceptualized by the notorious couples and the single Johnny Walker. And what a grand welcome you gave to the each singing star in the best stereophonic sound arrangement! It’s simply bliss to enjoy them on the headphone/ earphone. After a bang sound on the gong, the chorus gushes in from both the wings (read speakers) of the stage with its exuberant yells and how beautifully you discriminated the gender sounds! Male from one and female from other. In the next cycle, violin bows in to play tango with those chorals to give a rhythmic punch. That arrangement is simply to welcome the theme (spine) tune played on mandolin ( or a similar from lute family of instruments) , the tune you repeated in that Kavita K solo in ‘hum hai lajawaab’ (visit ‘main dilrooba’ – Hum hai lajawaab). Then you call upon the Arabic rhythmic instrument with ‘aaja re meri tambourine’ to add that middle-east zest. The chorals stop yelling and do their talk with their clapping hands.
The lute phrase takes over again, now with the lovely support on the tumba beats, the accordion croons in with the counter of choral punches in the background. You had that expertise of making a lovely collage of sounds and still make each sound distinctly heard thereby protecting its unique identity. The lute comes now for the last time in the prelude, the violins then take the procession to the crescendo thereby hinting this grand prelude to be over and provide launch pad for Lata with her announcing ‘Mitwa’. Her sonorous sound is yet to die when the progression takes a dip along the flanged sounds of the guitar like an ice cube along the reflecting and refracting curves of the glass holding the golden Arabian Wine. And we know what intoxicating treat we will be getting. The instrumentals take over again after Lata’s punctuating mukhada with a never heard before phrase on the wind instrument with a synth twist. We know that we are now in the instrumental paradise again. The slow but definite rise of chorals takes the progression to the crescendo topped by the dramatic brass. And whoa!!!!!!!!!!
It’s not the interlude but another prelude to welcome the younger diva! You fooled us just like the mirage does while walking in the desert. But this fooling is simply adorable which is proved by the zing that is brought by Asha with her Arabic (w)oo-ing in the way only she could do. Now the violins want to do the honors to play the theme tune to give a different launching pad to Asha, relatively flat, to come up with the mukhada in her own intoxicating style.
You have simply satiated us by the grand prelude-mukhada treat of full 3 and half minutes, the duration in which many times a full three stanza song could get over. But this is a grand film, grand album, grand 70 mm stage and full stereophonic sound and you did it with your full AAN, BAAN and SHAAN. Although satiated we could be hungry for the next treat, this time a proper interlude. But just four strums (synth or guitar?) garnished by the bass guitar and we are in the antara. Fooled again! But probably you didn’t want to test the patience of the sisters further. That anatara magic is now ready to cast the spell with lovely Lata vocals in a deceptively smooth progression and brief (20 seconds) compared to the long(er) lasting excitement earlier. Finally that proper interlude arrives with all those prime instrumental elements shuffled and presented beautifully and presented with some lovely violin runs and new mandolin nuances.
The following Asha antara presents lovely vocal nuances to lead to the finale of an interlude and the prelude elements like the mandolin tune, violin runs and choral buildup and clapping return but with subtle variations. And as is the case of duets , the final antara unites both the sisters to weave a grand sequence with their melodious vocal strands after their individual performances and to end on the high note of the title word ‘SHAAN’.

There are two stunning versions of this Shaan-dar song, one is from bangla Ekanto apon ( another entry from same film is also sharing same misfortune), “Emon modhur shondhay”

Another one was from a 1992 release film, Sarphira, “Deewane o deewane”
Indeed, Pancham, tum jeete ya haare, the movies hit or flop, picturised or unpicturised, aap ne aur aapke in geeton ne har haal mein apni shaan naheen chhodi.

Kisi ke wade pe kyun aitbaar humne kiya – (The Burning train -1980)- Asha Bhosale
When your right (percussion) hand, Marutirao Keer took the center of the panchammagic stage, probably the only time when he talked about his memorable association with you and your illustrious father and didn’t perform, he invariably mentioned this unpicturised beauty of a mujara from another epic movie of your career, this time from the Chopra productions and multi starrer, ‘The burning train’. Probably inspired from the Hollywood movies in the league of ‘The towering inferno’, Ravi Chopra thought of making a movie on the train mishap and the adventures of heroes to rescue many innocents on-board. But to make it appealing to the general bollywood audience, they had to lay parallel tracks of love, hatred, misunderstandings, separation and reuniting. Out of those, the love track was the one which inspired you to compose the synchronous duet of four singers where at any given time, the male/female singers sang in unison and not individually. The other duet was a proper two singer duet picturised on the most adorable romantic pair, Dharam and Hema. The tune and singing was equally adorable although challenged by Sahir’s difficult-to-make-them-sound-melodic ending words of antara like ‘nigaah’, ‘nibaah’ ,’gavaah’ , ‘chaah’ and more. There was also the emphasis on ‘waada’ in the song. By Bollywood experience, when the emphasis was so explicit on the promising word, the separation of the couple was just round the corner that led Dharam to ‘ikhtiyar’ the route of ‘sharaabkhaana’, although in his real life, by his track record, he doesn’t need any reason to take that route. But in the reel life he might have turned drinker after the so called betrayal by his beloved. But destiny shows sympathy to the pair by reuniting them, although in a very tense situation. Pancham, you and your (constantly) churning brain were simply brilliant when you harmonized those tender moments with your trademark harmonica. You didn’t stop there but remembered to place the phrase right in the middle of the intense pace and action of the title music.
Anyways, coming to the mujara, salutes to you, your buddies , Asha and Marutirao for giving those intense and painful (and pen-full) Saahir lyrics such a lovely melodic complement to help vent out the frustration of Dharam’s lonely heart through the dancer’s steps, lips and heart. Asha’s overwhelmed singing, those tinkling anklet sounds and Marutirao’s out-of-this-mortal-world tabla play go so much hand-in-hand, feet-in-feet that they connect with our hearts instantly and leave us dazed even after the song ends. That sarangi, so quintessential of the mujara genre, is also worth of its mention. Its immaculate placement and soulful play add their own pensive frills to the emotional libaas of the performer. The dynamics of the violin ensemble adds to the agility of the composition even in this pensive situation, adhering to the after-all-the-entertainment-show-must-go-on attitude to help it to make a ‘moving’ experience in all the aspects of a film song barring one, the picturisation. I am sure, had it been done would be as spectacular experience as the double track (read locations and genres) qawali and the masterstroke of showing bi-pedal bicycle to symbolize the synchronous duet.

Tum jahaan jaaoge wahee mujhe paaoge (Gunaahgaar -1980)- Asha Bhosale
Kaazi Nazrul Islam, known as Bidroha Kobi (rebellion poet) is the national poet of Bangla Desh. He wrote many poems and songs and there is a separate genre of songs named ‘Nazrul geeti’ dedicated to his songs. Many bangla composers have based their compositions on his songs and tunes. Your father, too, was no exception. One of such Nazrul Geet is ‘meghla nishi bhore’ which is available in quite a few singers’ voices like your father, Manna da and Asha Bhosale on YouTube. Even your role model , Salil da used the tune to compose a song in ‘Mere Apne’ where your buddy Gulzar presented his buddy cum slave ‘Chaand’ in the form of a beggar’s empty pot, the song was ‘Roaz akeli aaye’. The tune and the song is indeed very beautiful with the hints of Arabian melancholy. Like your father you, too, were tempted to use the tune , but the experimental ‘Keeda’ in your brain made you present it in (at least) two songs. Firstly you used the antara tune, even that with subtle variations, to come up with ‘ek main hoon’ (Darling darling) and then use the same mukhada but you gave it a face lift, in fact going by the sentiment of the song, a face down to come up with this romantic melancholy in this lesser known debut movie of Rahul Rawail which didn’t get a proper release, at least in the Mumbai circuit, they say. The things, of the interest of your fans, got further messed up when this best song of the album wasn’t able to hold the limelight of the silver screen. Wonder what could be the issue behind deleting it because there were only four songs presented on a 45 r.p.m. vinyl to last the duration of a 12” disc. The vinyl interestingly featured five singers. Lata got the pious share of a bhajan although sung for a purpose (‘mera laal mujhe lauta do’ ) and featuring the yesteryear’s heroine now turned mother, Asha Parekh. A duet between, you Miya –Biwi dreaming about the pregnant parental life ahead gave this album a lovely, romantic and playful contribution. The singing motorcycling stunts performed by the absconding quartet, namely Rishi, Parveen, Ranjeet and Asrani, gave that macho and rustic recognition on which the film was based. You picked up Asrani while the spearheads of your singer armory, Kishore-Asha picked the lead hero-heroine. All rounder Bhupi ji honored Ranjeet. Although pretty forceful and macho, the song has its own emotional moments like the linger on ‘yaara ..yaara’ and the tender romantic moments between the lead pair along ‘dil ne basaa liya pyar tumhara..pyar to hai jeene ka sahara’. You took a lovely detour from the speedy progression accompanied by poignant flute. It was the later part of that emotional twist , ‘bichhadenge hum nay eh armaan lekar..agle janam mein milenge dubara’ that gives a strong hint of the unavoidable dead end the crime life has but also gives the heartfelt tribute to the ‘yaari’ of those four yaara-s which even death fails to separate. The romantic relation of Rishi-Parveen, it seems, was supposed to be given a grand musical farewell through this melancholic solo by Asha. But it seems it was executed the other way. Such a lovely, lingering and emotional solo needed that time and the patience of the audience in those climatic action-packed moments. That could be the possible reason for its deletion. But, as usual, you came up with this great melancholic melody, pensive yet devoid of the melodrama. Another lovely lyrical complement by your sitting buddy, Gulshan ji Bawra provided the dignity to the song which had been a feature of your sad songs which compelled the listen to get engrossed so much that he would feel to cry rather than the song crying out itself in a loud melodrama.
You made some lovely variations to the original Nazrul geet to suit the dying yet passionate about her lover, Parveen. One would suspect the Arabian influence on the tune as the low melancholic notes has been the feature of the music originated from there. The orchestral theme made by you and your great associates out of the Qanoon (yes, the instrument you are seen with in the header pic. Coincidentally, you took Qanoon in your own hands even just to tune ot for those absconding couple which frequently took qanoon in their hands), the tone of the sax (or metal flute ?) played by Manohari da, the interjecting strums of guitar, the moving underplay by the violins and Asha’s longing singing, ( her ‘ho..ooooo’further confirms that suspicion. The dragging pattern of rhythm adds to the tragic sentiment. And how you reserved your trump card for the last portion when you played a one and half minute long coda right after the moment when Asha suddenly sinks to whispering ‘sirf ..tum maang sajaoge…’. And what a coda that is. Any listener’s throat is bound to get lumps out of the listening alone. The same theme of the instruments but what a telling effect! One can visualize the dying Parveen , with Rishi by her side hopelessly watching, losing her conscience and surfacing again to end this tragic saga on a sighing mukhada note to finally succumb to that inevitable death. Playing those long musical phrases in a prelude or coda of a dance /stage sequence is understandable, but applying the concept even in this sad sentimental song is simply mesmerizing. Kudos to your out-of-the-box thinking!! You don’t know how you have enriched our musical experiences owing to those countless magical touches you gave. How I pray to the God, even after twenty five years of your death to mine,
Yahi hai ek tamnna
Rut aaye rut jaaye,
Rahey labon pe (aur dil mein) mere
Tere hi geeton ke Saaye

Ek naheen do naheen sau sau baar (Biwi O Biwi-1981) – Kishore Kumar-Lata M.
The innocently beautiful heroine of this movie always makes me weak in my knees and I bet many of her co-actors and personalities including you may have felt the same way. Thanks to her beauty, the romance in your songs must have got rejuvenated, re-inspired at the start of the decade of the eighties, the second part of your illustrious career. You composed quite a few romantic songs for her, mostly through Lata (with whom the actress started her career) and Asha in red rose, saverewali gadi , shiva ka insaaf, making the list quite impressive. Even Lata and Asha must have felt youthful again after giving playback for the growing-old heroines like Hema, Rakhi and Zeenat of yester-decade. Biwi o Biwi , release in 1981, featured her against your buddy, Dabbu aka Randheer Kapoor . His father was the producer and his (Raj K’s) faithful disciple, Rahul Rawail, as director. The subject involved the efforts of a maangalik Randheer (affected by the presence of Mars in the lagna-yog of his horoscope) incidentally falling in love with the beautiful and similarly maangalik Poonam with some lovely comic twists. The songs of the album had to be predominantly romantic , be it the stage song ‘sadiyon se duniya mein’ that featured the trademark RK accordion phrase with whom RK was eternally in love, or the depsarate ‘gori ho kali ho’. “Meri bulbul’ was such a lovely revisit to hide-n-seek of that flamboyant trendsetter ‘jaane jaan dhoondhata phir raha’. The comic romance with the money along ‘paise ka khel nirala’ provided a lovely Rafi punctuation.
So, we come to this utterly romantic song which missed the romantic train of the film soundtrack. If the director, Rahul Rawail, is involved in this crime then I must say he kept that rich tradition (of leaving out the best song) alive. Indeed an utterly romantic song! With all the Punjabi actors / personalities involved, even the characters are Punjabi-s if I recall correctly, the opening near-adlib portion ‘yaar mile dildar mile’ with that touch of Punjabi Heer sounds consistent. One is tempted to remember a similarly tuned adlib opening of another of your Rawail-KK-Lata-Poonam starrer ‘ae saagar ki lehron’ from Samandar. What follows next is lovely meander of romantic emotions around those serene coniferous trees witnessed by the setting Sun and the hide-n-seek of light and shadow, thanks to those visual clues penned by Anand Bakshi .
On its aural side, it’s the eternal romantic pair of Kishore-Lata giving the sweet company to your melody while equally sweet flutes, robust and folk dholaks of Punjab and the intermittent Shehnai (probably heading a passing wedding baarat, seems like it’s presence is cliché in such type of songs) paving their way. Many of your songs have connection to the past and future work of yours and realizing and sharing them with fellow fans is favorite pastime of many of us. This song is no exception. The mukhada phrase ‘kahoon main zamane se tum se hai pyar’ has a lovely connect to the crossover ‘tere man mein bhi preet hai ke naheen’ of ‘phir se aaiyo’. When it comes to the antara, some more connection pleasures are waiting to be realized. Firstly, you made the antara progression tread on the same lush landscaped route on which you made the same Poonam/ Lata tread with the younger Kumar ( Gaurav and Amit) in the antara of ‘Teri kasam’ song, ‘Hum jis raste pe chale’ some years later. The crossover reminds me of the crossover of ‘Mohabbat baazi jeetegi’, a ‘Shareef badmash’ song. This network is simply mind boggling! The linger on that ‘yaara o yaara..jaana meri jaana’ in the main song and the lovely fadeout is simply to die for. It keeps on playing in our mind even after the end of this five minute unpicturised romantic s(w)arson ka Sa-Ga and helps us tell the whole world in an unabashed manner that we would romance you and your eternal compositions, forever.

Hum tum aur yeh nasha nasha (Shaukeeen -1982) – Sapan C- Chirashree
Hrishikesh Mukherji and Basu Chatterji were that kind of producer-directors who produced simple, middle-class stories which didn’t always need big star cast and conventional formulae and still gave hit after hit with support of stunningly simple and melodic music. If Hrishi da made the budhdha Om prakash the real hero in ‘Budhdha Mil gaya’ and quite a few films to launch Utpal Dutt as the dominant character, Basu da assembled three vintage budhdha-s of the film industry in this film which was based on the middle(or older) age crisis every man faces. The parallel love story of a conventional hero Mithun and the club singer Rati in a Goan Hotel ensured your trademark western music. Mithun driven highway song ‘wahee chal mere dil’ carried few refrains of a similar hit ‘chala jaata hoon’ for obvious reasons. The two club solos of Asha enthralled us in different ways. But the real heroes, the three old males had to feature in some songs. Kishore da presented the theme song, the lyrics of which revealed the quintessential pain of the young heart of an aging male so beautifully and equally beautiful and rhythmic tune that was the remake of your father’s bangle classic ‘nitol paye rinik jhinik’. And here comes the troubled part. We have heard the story of how the grand daddy of film industry, Dadamuni (Ashok kumar), summarily rejected a Span-Chirashree duet that was supposed to be sung on him and Rati Agnihotri. He declared that Sapan had messed up the beautiful tune of ‘chalo haseen geet ek banaye’ with his (Sapan’s) horribly ‘besura’ rendition and said ‘chalo (phir se) who haseen geet hum geet har ek sun ke gungunaye’. How could all argue with that towering personality and particularly you, the person who made you immortal by giving you a note-iceable identity? And rest was the history. The man who then had become rich like a vintage wine , with the music and drama in his dialogue delivery and stride (as seen in ‘jab bhi koi kangna bole’) simply changed the appearance of the song. Your tune was already lovely but even the orchestral part was equally lovely, the grand pianic keys and even the traditionally classical sarangi swayed gracefully on the western jazz.
So we come to the second duet. Two possibilities behind it’s deletion exist here (I may be totally wrong but thinking logically). Firstly , the second duet sung again by the same pair , Sapan C and Chriashree, may have been planned on the other two oldies, who might turn jealous thinking why Dadamuni only have fun?, and the idea was dropped later. Good idea as you can’t imagine, even in your wildest dreams, of A.K.Hangal/ Utpal Dutt singing a romantic song. Other possibility could be that this second song, too, was planned to be picturised on Dadamuni only. With the previous experience, you all possibly hadn’t courage to present another Sapan song and shelved it permanently. Everything is pleasant in this song, the feel, the orchestration and the progression except the rendition of the singers. Chirashree, whose vocal tone goes much close to Rati’s voice and her impish character in the song, was acceptable in ‘chalo haseen’ simply because of vintage Dadamuni. That’s the greatness of the geniuses. Their midas touch alone can turn the amateur iron into adorable gold. But here , in Sapan’s company, she goes worse from bad. Even her giggles sounded forceful and artificial. Anyways, aaj ka din hai masti ka ..sochna kya hai bura but only bhala.
Another striking feature of the lovely western orchestration comprised of the gorgeous piano backed by the crisp drum set and manohari flute is the second interlude. It’s like ‘Für Elise’ aaiyo composer-wa bidesi, tere pankhon pe notes jadoon’. Yes, the famous composition of Ludwig van Beethoven composed more than two centuries ago and popularly identified as the intercom music for the general public.
Simply love your attitude of playing it on Mahohari da’s Saxophone when the original phrase identifies itself more with its piano version and furthermore when the whole song, too, was piano based, predominantly. Probably you wanted to give the orchestration, with predominantly indoor feel, an outdoor detour and the dose of fresh air when the phrase rides on the windy sax and the wavy violins, probably with one of the scenic Goan beach location in the mind, to return timely on the artistic fingers of the great Louiz Banks’ piano.

Agarache is mohabbat mein – (Shakti – 1982) – Asha Bhosale
Ramesh Sippy, for the third time, lives up to the trend of leaving one song out of his films, after Sholay and Shaan. This is indeed a blind date with the song, as it’s audio also remains unreleased. Thanks to the booklet, we have the lyrics by Jaaved saab. So, we not only have to guess the picturisation but also the tune. The former is simple that way. It’s quite apparent from the lyrics that the song is a mujara and so in all probabilities filmed on Smita Patil who already had a mujara sung by the Senior Diva, Lata Mangeshkar. As is the case in many mujaras and qawalis this song starts with antara (a possibility of adlib rendition) with real hook line ‘ja ja ja ja ui ja baalma’ coming afterwards.This song, too, could have been planned in the same hotel where the Lata mujara was picturised and may be before the scene when the trap is set for Amitabh to be involved in the fight with Dalip Tahil. Guessing the tune, however, is not possible even after knowing its genre owing to the immense capabilities of you and your muse, Asha ji , to amuse us in countless ways and ‘harkat’s. It may not have been much loss to the film in total but losing any your song is quite tragic.
(Song not available)

Udhar se tum ko jo phursat mile (Qayamat -1983) – Asha Bhosale
Another mujara is here to follow. When I first heard this song, the opening sarangi to be precise, it took me to one of the two amazing compilation videos shown on doordarshan, ‘baje ..sargam baje’ and the sarangi played by Pt Ram Narayan. I am not an expert in identification of classical Raga. I have the heart and a pair of ears to identify and savor good music but no brain to decipher the technicalities of the music but I don’t much care to know whether this mujara is based on that des raga or it’s simply a sarangi connection. Fortunate thing is that this song at least got released on the vinyl and the CDs. Majrooh saab, truly, was an outstanding lyricist as suited for the film medium as you. His lovely touch to the mukhada makes a shy yet urging invite to come to this song and listen. Yes, the song indeed needs an invite as its siblings are much aggressive and assertive. Just look at the impressive trio, the westerly havoc in the form of ‘poochho naheen dil mera’ with the extravagance of the deadly drum set played by Franco Vaaz, the high pitched action-music drama with the hint of that qayamat with some amazing metallic effect to Asha’s ethereal singing and finally the lovely effect of juxtaposition of Asha’s voice in that disco mujara ‘ek aankh to maare dankh’. But we are here to memorize the 25th anniversary of that doom’s day (qayamat) and the justice to this song is, therefore, much needed which has rested in peace over these years. Although shy, this song possesses that confidence owing to its simple yet charming beauty, the aroma of the classical Indian orchestration as intoxicating as that of the gajra of the mogra wound around the wrists of each in the limited audience, the frills of poignant still entertaining sarangi and the gracefully agile violins Of course, not to forget that classic table play, the graceful beats of which gives the dancer a resonant board to dance on. The whole setup is grand owing to its simplicity and the modesty of the self assessment as ‘not so bad’ (‘bure naheen hum’) to be favored one listen. Yes that one listen gives us the urge of visiting the ‘kotha’ again and we don’t even know how and when we got addicted. Such is the mellow power of the song that is aided by your deft touches and Asha’s fantastic singing with all those harkat-s and aa(aa..aaah)laaps that it gets us consumed throughout its length.
The charming excitement built up by the mukhada is taken in upward direction by the anatara with that even more exciting staccato pattern along ‘pya-aa-le mein –kya –rakha – o meri jaan’ with some classic sitar interjection followed by equally consuming crossover to return to the mukhada. Such a shy killer this song is that ‘laakhon apni jaan se gaye (after listening)’ is an obvious consequence.

Phirte hai kab se dar badar- Main aur meri awargee (Duniya-1984) – Kishore Kumar
You and Kishore da simply sizzled through the album while showing the different emotional colours of Rishi Kapoor, from the street smart showman in the title song (kehnewale kahe) which sums up your amazing musical world so beautifully to the party rollercoaster showing his professional and killer attitude to the energetic and smart fisherman spreading the net to catch the ‘chaand nagar ki shehzaadi’ to the soft romantic lover in that romantic getaways ‘gehre halke’ to finally this oddly introvert and brooding gentleman, expressing his loneliness while wandering along the streets. I have soft corner for this song as it brings to the fore the other side of you and Kishore da, very poignant, lonely yet richly deep and with full of dignity and the incompleteness of the visuals just adds to that sentiment. With Rishi on the screen to emote the song would certainly be worth watchable. The poignant songs of Sitamgar filmed on him are a big proof. This song is supposedly of a Pakistani origin and I thought to listen to it sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. With due respect to the popular and celebrated singer, I couldn’t bear it even for a minute. The problem is my digestive system is so much aligned to the musical food you serve that any other foreign substance is simply not tolerable. Another aspect is that the stalwarts like you and Kishore da make any adaptation so much of your own that we end up listening and getting addicted to your works more than the originals. The rendition of those long lines in mukhada and antara by Kishore da is so sober and soothing on ears. It may not be intended but I find the progression of the antara quite parallel to the progression of the antara of Salil da’s ‘itna na mujhse tu pyar badha’ with those soft flute fillers connecting me the ones of the day dreaming ‘aisa ho to kaisa hoga’. The orchestration is also apt with the soft 12 string guitar with trademark sound of your 80’s strumming in the foreground while the softly thumping bass guitar keeps to its parallel. Remember Kavita Krishnamurthi mentioning in a video that even in the sad or poignant songs the rhythm didn’t go dull or colorless, one of the striking feature of your compositions, and this song is so exception which is accompanied by colorful rhythm headed by the sharp and crisp reso-reso that keeps the pace with the sentiment brilliantly.
It is your and Kishore da’s aawargi that keeps us aligned on the tracks of our life while negotiating its highs and lows. Can’t thank you enogh for that!

Suno Sitamgar – (Zabardast -1985) – You- Asha Bhosale- Chorus
From somberness to cheerfulness, from apathy to exuberance! What a turnaround this song provides. What baffles me, however, is how this song got discarded even when it’s sung by you and your muse that too from a Nasir Hussein movie. Your music was spine of his movies ever since you joined his camp with the promise of ‘baharon ke sapne’. The immediate follower ‘teesri manzil’ was the one where you floored us with its stunning musical enthusiasm. Yaadon ki baarat still brings in the nostalgia of procession of childhood memories and with ‘hum kisise kam naheen’ you proved your metal once again. With ‘zamane ko dikhana hai’ there was a sag in the popularity of his films but your music never failed to be noticed. From a cameo in a small medley that followed ‘aap ke kamamre mein’ your vocal contribution began followed by a sufi kind ‘tum kya jaano’ in the competition medley of ‘Hum kisiss kam naheen’. It touched the peak when you sang for your favorite Rishi Kapoor who performed on the disco lit floor while singing ‘dil lena khel hai dildar ka’ which was a full scale version of that feel of betrayal on which earlier ‘tum kya jaano’ was based. In comes 1985 and we again had a feast of Zabardast songs with all round performance by Kishore kumar for both the heroes. Rest two had your vocal contribution with your muse Asha. ‘Aise na thukarao’ had your cameo and was fortunate to get the back door entry into the film but the one in the context, ‘suno sitamgar’ wasn’t that fortunate to be in the film, although being a high voltage rollercoaster in terms of every aspect of a song and why not? ‘Aakhir (aap dono) to the Biwi-Miyaan’ and you both proved it ever since the first of those partnership tracks caught the groove of the train track, ‘meri jaan maine kahaan’ wah back in 1970. If those internet rumors / forum discussions are to be believed you were furious over the omission of the track from the final cut of the movie and one believes it to be fully justifiable if he listens to this duet. Interestingly, the song, as seen in the song list of the vinyl cover scan, appears on both the sides of the vinyl bracketing the remaining songs which are equally terrific. I wonder whether it was aimed at the softening of your anger at its omission. Probably they didn’t know the century old proverb ‘boond se gayi so haud se naheen aati.’ Anyway, whatever happened can’t be changed. Let’s get back to your song and your fantastic rendition.
Your voice has an amazing range and texture could be generally classified in four types, the impish yet sincere one as we experience in ‘mone pare Rubi Ray’ or ‘sapna mera toot gaya’, one with falsetto/ yodeling touches as in ‘tomar kotha niyae aami’, the roaring one as in the as earlier mentioned ‘meri jaan maine kahaan’ and the gargling punches in ‘kis ne dekha hai kal’.

But this is that wonderful song that is blessed with all those iconic varieties that flash with a boom across the speakers within a single phrase of mukhada and antara. Check for example, the exemplary vibrato to start with ‘suno sitam – gar, o mere o mere suno aei dil bar o mere’ the progression that is very slippery and difficult to hold to that on and off pattern that continues to the crescendo to fade out with the fantastic merging into that metallic effect along ‘hum jaison ke bin piye….e..e…aaah’. The antara phrase provided even more relishing variety. The opening is similar to mukhada but then there comes the yodel touch to the aalap-ing bridge to the out-of-this-world gargling burst along ‘Dda da da da Dda Dda da’. It’s simply goose bumps to witness such vocal extravaganza. Asha ji, too, follows suit but knows she can’t reach those dazzling height still she creates her own vocal crests and valleys which are equally adorable.
It would be a big crime if I don’t pay tribute to the fantastic instrumental support your associates created. That synth-etic and groovy carpet woven and laid by the expert weaver Kersi ji is simply fantastic. It has a lovely cushioning effect for the vocals to ride effortlessly at the same time has that freaky feel of the weiRD energy in the air of a discotheque or the auditorium. I have a feel that there are two synths, the phrase of one riding on the other’s when the vocals are not there. The usual fantastic support of bass guitar, the impish violins add to the richness of the orchestration. The random entries of chorus push the happiness into higher orbits. Okay, we can say, as these instruments and their sounds are quite logical for the club/ stage song environment but what about those showers of santoor? You made us fumble sweetly even in that Arabian influenced ‘dil lena khel hai’ with that stunning strumming of santoor that came from nowhere to surprise us. Not only its appearance but the build-up / framework for it is equally astonishing helped by the staccato chorus with a magical pause and the following violins gushing in like the desert storm. Really wonder who that Sitamgar is who compelled this awesomely song qualify for this mehfil of the omitted/ unpicturised songs. It indeed deserved the razzmatazz of the silver screen.

Kisi ghareeb ke dil se – (Sitamghar -1985) – Shailendra Singh
Again who is that Sitamgar, director Raj Sippy to exclude this beautiful and poignant song not only from the visual but aural medium? Of course, thanks to its mention in Vishwas Nerurkar’s book, we came to know of its existence. Further thanks to panchammagic’s follow-up with its singer, Shailendra Singh, through whom we came to listen this song, arguably the best effort as mentioned by the singer himself. Now, this song is a regular entry whenever one searches Sitamgar audio on the nets. Indeed, the best song of Shaielndra Singh, to whom even the great Mukesh ji once taunted along ‘woh to mujh se bhi besura gaata hai ‘. But it was you, proclaimed by nearly every singer associated with you, who could take the best out of even the worse. Shabbir Kumar and his betaab songs further stand to this testimony. Shailendra Singh has always been the lucky mascot for Rishi Kapoor, owing to the grand success of the soundtrack of the blockbuster ‘Bobby’. Rishi would always insist on at least one song by Shailendra. Even under your music direction, our ears have witnessed some stunning songs of the combo in Zehreela Insaan, Khel khel mein, Raahi badal gaye and Zamane ko dikhana hai. This song, therefore, in all possibilities, was intended to be shot on Rishi. And what a softly whispering flavor you extracted from Shailendra’s vocal genre that suited underplay of emotions, as evident from its masterly lyric from Majrooh Saab, perfectly. The violin tides as the opener just pick the sentiment superbly to hand the baton to the Rababs (or similar) to emote with a melancholic tinge that is carried further by the flutes. The soulful rendition of mukhada gets the accompaniment of touching rhythm, the pattern which is certainly not dull but has your trademark dynamics and mingle of the mind blowing bass guitar. The antatra opens up new landscapes of aural pleasures with the breathtakingly soft ‘hey’ and goes on with a soothing pace and pattern that many times reminds me of the pattern of the antara of ‘naa teri haan bani’, another soothing romantic song from Bindiya Chamkegi’.

Maine kahaa tum ne suna – (Dacait -1987) – Suresh Wadkar – Asha Bhosale
Like Ramesh and Raj Sippy, Rahul Rawail , too, keeps his rich (?) tradition of leaving a better if not the best song of the album out of the film. When I listen to the song, the foremost thing that my mind notices is its freshness, not just for its mind(and wind) blowing orchestration and equally fresh singing of the fresh lyrics but also for the noticeable freedom you supposedly have got from the director. Rahul was the strong disciple of Raj Kapoor and may be he had the situation of ‘o basanti pavan paagal’ when he wanted Meenakshi to persuade Sunny from turning a dacoit and that reflected in the tune and treatment of ‘woh teri duniya naheen’. Again, wonder he forced you further to use ‘kuchh kehta hai yeh saawan’ in to-to. Of course you did beautify and ornament it with your deft touches (mera film mere touches) but then it was always that feel of the original (with due respect to the genius creators) that was never wiped out of the mind. Another song ‘gaanv mein baj gaya dhol’ was in a total folksy environment but here, too, the mukhada drifted to ‘ek gaanv ki ladki ko bhaa gaya shahar ka ladka’ along ‘too naache main gaaoon tere ghungharoo mere bol’ to ultimately connect to ‘mera gaanv mera des’. Further, Javed Saab’s saas bahu lyrics let the experience down. Even Kishore da’s only presence in this album doesn’t salvage the situation. We were tortured by the producer Deols by introducing a Rafi clone Shabbir Kumar but you gave the respite here by introducing Suresh Wadkar for Sunny and leaving only one song for the hero singer Shabbir, this time for the friend of Sunny. Waqt waqt ki baat hai! This whole sequence sounds a din dahade dacaiti on your immense powers of creativity. So, this list leaves us to the song that is last but not the least. The song simply enjoys the freedom you got to choose ‘mera tune mera bhes’. The mind blowing stereo separation of earthly sounds sounds heavenly thanks to your midas touch. Lovely shimmering violins, the folksy shehnai-s, the flirting-with-the ears sweet flutes, the counter of cello, the softly thumping bass guitar and the punchy and robust dholak pickups are some of those elements that assist the sweet and ripened vocals of Asha Bhosle and new yet firmly classical vocals of Suresh Wadkar. Indeed Pancham, this song acts as healing ‘dava’ on that otherwise ‘dard’ of SJ-LP influences.

Na na na kache eso na – (Ekanot Apon -1987) – SP Balasubramanyam- Asha Bhosale
How about some bangla variety? This song stands out in the entire compilation list not only for the lingual aspect but for its uniqueness. This song was first recorded and it is heard that the heroine Aparna was not comfortable and thought it too hot to handle its Sen-suality. The team therefore decided to drop it from the song altogether but this news made you fumingly angry and rightly so. The team sandwiched between your anger and the heroine’s reluctance messed up the things further by deciding to retain the song but with no visuals but as an aural background to the title credits of the movie. Indeed, what a mess up! When one hears the song he understands your anger considering the efforts put in by you and your amazingly marvelous team. What an amazing roller coaster experience in all! Amazing prelude to the amazing sequence, best to be experienced on good quality earphones or the full fledged musical system that decipher every nuance if every sound of every instrument and vocals. Magical strikes of the soft mallets on the vibraphone with the mind-blowing bass of the guitar strums..the melody and beat of which going hand in hand to give rise to the urging yet somewhat muted trumpets followed by a plunge into the complex matrix of rhythm beats of bass guitar and rim shots. The rhythm finally catches the groove and begins to roll out its amazing cycles just like the belt of the treadmill. The singer has to make a perfect move to catch the ‘sam’ of the pattern otherwise one wrong step and the exerciser is sure to fall off the rhythmic belt or on the face. But its not even the last thing you expect from the seasoned singers like Asha and SPBala. The tango/ complement of their vocals is simply mesmerizing. It lights those musi-magical (maayaai) raatein instantly with their brilliance. And just when my mind has subconsciously registered the influence of ‘roop tera mastana’ the following accordion phrase and SP’s quintessential scatting along ‘sha BBa sha ba BBa’ makes me realize it consciously and jump in delight and accept the song further. Even the lyrics portion ‘bhulbona na kono chholonate’ could be inspired from ‘bhool koi humse na ho jaaye’, who knows but you ? You, however, don’t give us the respite to enjoy that moment of enlightenment by bowling me out with a splendid yet wrong-one (in this westerly scenario), in the form of the classical Sitar. This makes me remember a similar sitar phrase in the high voltage club triad ‘aa dekhe zaraa’ ( Rocky) but it was for the classical dancer Reena Roy. Here, in the absence of the visuals, one has to imagine the Indian classical connection of the heroine in the film. After the magical prelude-mukhada-first interlude, the antara tops the excitement by introducing a different longing treatment as against the staccato and exciting meter in the previous progression. The staccato bossa nova-ic rhythm continues only thing is the surfing vocals have more linger with lovely classical harkat-s …the crossover pattern however drags them back on the westerly pattern with no bhool/ mistake. The second interlude brings in that terror of a tenor (sax) phrase that swivels around the spine of the bass of the guitar. The urging trumpet follows suit and so do the electrifying lead guitar. The magical setup is so astonishing that even SPBala’s at times heavily tamil accented ‘na na na’ flirt is also acceptable. The song and the treatment is so addictive that the repeat listens are bound to happen which unfold new pleasures every time along with the magical connections with your old blockbusters, ‘roop tera mastana’ being just a celebrated iceberg. How? That counter phrase ‘esho kache thako saathe’ sounds familiar, no? It is and the same one with which you made us paagal with the jhalak in that ‘jawani diwani’ song or that scatting ‘tu ru ru tu..tu ru ru tu’ in ‘botal se ek baat’ the hose hold party from Ghar’. The antara too plays its part when we realize its connection with the antara of the pensive / poignant ‘yeh zindagi’ (‘se to elo na’), another splendidly emotional song wasted on the title credits of ‘Romance’.
The full audio version:
The curtailed and visual (??) version:

Alas! All these magical elements couldn’t change the fortune of the song and you had to wait for that ‘saphal ta of your aaradhana’ in ‘Soutela Bhai’, coincidentally a Kaka starrer, Soutela Bhai, but not enacted by him. Another Sen-sational heroine of the eighties, Moon moon, did the honors to present the tune in the solo form with the vocal aid emerging Alka Yagnik and in the garden daylight, but in stark contrast with the dark fortunes of those mayavi raatein of ‘Ekanto Apon’ lit brilliantly by Asha and SP.

Your close friend SPBala didn’t forget the song and made it a point to remake it in telugu in the form of ‘natanee na deepam’, this time in the form of a male solo giving playback for the mimicry king played by the Hero for impressing the audience and the regional Khushboo. (From 7:36 min. of this movie.)

On to the last song of the compilation that was recorded and releases just a year before your untimely exit.

Aaja meri jaan – (Aaja meri jaan -1993) – SP Balasubramanyam- Anuradha
This song is indeed the parting anthem and an invariable reminder of this fateful date. Your loan association with the owner of the emerging music company, T series didn’t last beyond this song and the album (by same name) that remained unreleased. This song was supposed for the movie by same name but it simply didn’t happen.
The celebrated Jalpari couldn’t just make an appearance thanks to the torrid and stormy conflicts between you and the producer. The song sounds as heavenly as the bangla version sans the female rendition that wasn’t up to the mark and could be the principal reason for the rift between you and Mr Gulshan Kumar. The magical lyrics by Sameer still bring the shiver to my mind due to the invariable association with the most unfortunate event of the millennium and I end up in humming
“Dil na maane, jaane !! too hai kahaan”

Wherever you are, I sincerely hope that my sentiments reach you that I have tried to put in my write-up as sincerely hopefully as interestingly. I know you have no dearth of fans with nearly whole world following your works even after twenty-five years but for me you are only one and dear idol who shaped and enriched my musical life, note by note, day by day, year by year. It was so important for me to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me.

Let me rephrase Saahir saab’s lyrics of the song from this compilation only that would aptly describe my feeling, and why not?
जब मँझधार में डूबे, साहिर (सामने और) थामने आया.
महफ़िल में बताने पड़े, जज्बात तुम्हीं से
होकर भी न हो पायी, मुलाक़ात उन्हीं (गीतों) से
Yes, those released but without-the-visuals songs
दिन रात कसक रहती थी कुछ रोज़ से दिल में which only few close friends know besides me
ले बैठे है (panc)ham-daRD की सौगात किसी से
कुछ तुमको तकल्लुफ़ सा है ..Yes that self-less modesty you possessed
कुछ हमको हया सी ..of those limited capacities that I possess while appreciating you
ऐसे में जो होगी तो हो क्या बात सभी से
वोह गीत जो भर देते है दामन में सितारें
कह दी है मेरे दिल ने उन्हीं की बात सभी से

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