A mellifluous, soothing and haunting number from Raziya Sultan (1983) rendered soulfully by Lata Mangeshkar, excellently composed by Khayyam and beautifully written by Jan Nisar Akhtar
This swan song from Jan Nisar Akhtar released only in 1983 but the Urdu writer had died back in August 1976. That tells you about how long it took for Kamal Amrohi to complete this movie! Khayyam trumped Laxmikant-Pyarelal to compose this great score with such a hummable number due to latter’s high-headedness and Kamal Amrohi’s liking for the former. The beauty of this number lies in the fact that it has an excellent use of percussion via the tabla and the santoor. If you ever wanted to know how big a spell a santoor could cast on a song, this number is the answer. As the song progresses, you will find a long uncomfortable pause followed by (and signifying) ‘yeh zameen chup hai, aasmaan chup hai’ and then starting-off again with a thumping heartbeat. As we reach closer to the end of the track, I feel like the rhythm gathers some pace …but maybe that’s just me! The crescendo has a beautiful jugalbandi of the santoor and the sarangi. Jan Nisar Akhtar’s words go deep into the heart when he says ‘Aisi raahon mein kitne kaante hain, aarzooon ne har kisi dil ko dard baaten hain; kitne ghaayal hain, kitne bismil hain, is khudaai mein ek tu kya hai, ek tu kya hai ae dil-e-nadaan’. Khayyam magic ensures the santoor strings will keep ringing in your ears long after you have heard this number. No wonder Lata Mangeshkar herself considers this one as one of top compositions she has sung. Extremely soothing, haunting and appealing!