An evergreen classic from Prem Pujari (1970) sung beautifully by Lata Mangeshkar, pieced together meticulously by SD Burman and nicely written by Neeraj.
SD Burman, being his usual self, creates a super catchy and extremely hummable tune and adorns the mukhda, antara with magical preludes and interludes and heart-warming instrumentation using the guitars, the violin and percussion. Lata Mangeshkar brings the pain out with some really heart-stealing couplets from Neeraj be it ‘Maine to seenchi re teri hi raahen, baahon mein teri kyon auron ki baahen,’ ‘Palkon ke jhhoole se, sapnon ki dori pyaar ne baandhi jo tune woh todi’ or ‘dukh mera dulha hai, birha hain doli aansu ki saadi hai, aahon ki choli, aag main piyoon re jaise ho pani na re diwani hoon, peeda ki rani’. Simply mesmerizing to say the least! There needs to be a special mention for some of the instrumental pieces like 4:26 through 4:56 beautifully played by the guitarists and violinists. The latter deserve a special mention for the solo piece between 4:44 to 4:53. This racy but sad masterpiece has the ability to colour you in its own colour.
This soothing number is from the upcoming Yash Raj film Sui Dhaaga: Made in India nicely rendered by Papon and newcomer Ronkini Gupta composed by Anu Malik and simplistically penned by Varun Grover
Kabhi sheet laaga, kabhi taap laaga
Tere saath ka hai, jo shaap laaga,
Tera chaav laaga jaise koi ghaav laaga!
There are bound to be comparisons with the hugely successful and popular Moh Moh ke Dhaage (Dum Laga ke Haisha; 2015) as Anu Malik composes once again for the same filmmakers! There are similarities like Papon, the flute riffs, the rhythm pattern and most importantly the soothing melody-focused feel. Nevertheless, this one’s also extremely hummable and Papon and Ronkini take it up one level. Anu meanders into the Vishal Bhardwaj territory with similarities especially from 0:20 – 0:25s with O saathi re (Omkara; 2006; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xthAVytCTPI; 0:24 – 0:29s). To top it up, Ronkini’s voice also sounds somewhat similar to Rekha Bhardwaj’s. The ace composer also starts the antara (1:34 – 1:38s) revisiting his own Aisa lagta hai (Refugee; 2000; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai8ycTID1bs; 1:13 – 1:18s). Varun Grover will make you fall in love with simple words, earthiness and cute expressions. The less you compare this one with Moh Moh the better even if you can’t ignore the similarities. Enjoy this one, sing along, hum it and you are bound to say ‘tera chaav laaga’!
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!
A romantic track from the upcoming Karan Johar film Dhadak soulfully sung by Ajay Gogavale and Shreya Ghoshal composed by tunesmith duo Ajay-Atul and beautifully written by Amitabh Bhattacharya
Jo meri manzilon ko jaati hai
Tere naam ki koi sadak hai na
Jo mere dil ko dil banaati hai
Tere naam ki koi dhadak hai na!
Music-director brother duo, Ajay-Atul, have been in the news and the music-lover radars for the past many years. For me, the number Abhi mujh mein kahin (Agneepath; 2012) earned them their place in the sun! With scores like Dhadak up their sleeve, they are poised to take a flight and this number will be a big contributing factor methinks. Although not innovative, this one is a soulful melody with some soothing vocals with Ajay Gogavale, the younger of the Ajay-Atul duo and the ‘sweet-as-honey’ Shreya Ghoshal! The track isn’t very breezy and immediately catchy but tends to grow on you. The composer pair use traditional instruments, piano riffs and chorus trying to keep focus on Amitabh Bhattacharya’s words that has some earthy lines like Pyaar se thaamna dor baareek hai, saat janmon ki yeh pehli tareeq hai. A discerning ear may be able to notice a slight similarity of the mukhada at 0:48 – 0:52 with one of the interludes of Ladki badi anjaani hai (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai; 1998; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlWlGlvN4L4; 1:23 – 1:38s). Experience it, fall in love and let this one grow on you!
An instantly appealing and serene track from Prem Geet (1981) sung and composed by the legendary Jagjit Singh and beautifully written by Indeevar
With the onset of the ghazal era in the late 1970s and early 80s, Jagjit Singh emerged as the front-runner with years of struggle and a few super-hit non-film albums – with wife and co-singer Chitra Singh – like The Unforgettables (1976), A Milestone and Main Aur Meri Tanhai (both 1980) under his belt. Many filmmakers started using ghazals in their films in the early 80s with some very good results. This album had music honours done by the ghazal maestro himself. Indeevar’s words will stay with you long after you have heard this number – my favourite is Jag ne chheena mujhse mujhe jo bhi lagaa pyaara, sab jeeta kiye mujhse main har dam hi haara, tum haar ke dil apna meri jeet amar kar do, hoton se chhoo lo tum mera geet amar kar do. Jagjit Singh imparts his bass-laden soothing vocals with near-perfect expression to bring the easy-on-the-lips couplets to life. Extremely hummable and endearing number that touches the heart! Re-play and fall in love with it…
Film: Piya ka Ghar (1972)
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singer: Kishore Kumar
Of the many ways to lead a life, accepting things as they are is one of the best! Anand Bakshi demonstrates that here in an inspiring way so much so that one line in this number sums up life for me – Yeh na socho is mein apni haar hai ke jeet hai, use apna lo jo bhi jeevan ki reet hai. Laxmikant-Pyarelal use light guitar strums, the whistle and soft beats accompanied by Kishore Kumar’s unusually soft vocals and emphasize the leitmotif yehi hai multiple times. Very soothing, inspiring and hummable!
Lyricists are typically unsung heroes and Anand Bakshi was no different. Across his illustrious career spanning almost 40 years and 4,000+ songs, Bakshi kept is simple with easy-on-the-lips words that were a ‘gift’ to a generation! Right from Ek tha gul aur ek thi bulbul (Jab Jab Phool Khile, 1965) to Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, 1995), he demonstrated his versatility across a wide range of emotions, situation and films.
Film: Jism (2003)
Music: MM Kreem
Lyrics: Sayeed Quadri
MM Kreem compositions over the years have had the ability to steal your heart silently and this number is no different! KK, one of the better but most under-rated mainstream singers, takes it to a different level with a husky hue and makes you feel the pain. The single instrument pieces that are nicely weaved in one after the other enhance the beauty so much that you’ll feel like listening to this one all alone in a quiet, moonlit night. Sayeed Quadri’s words are ultra-expressive and will make you feel like a mere mortal with lines like Kahaan kisi ke liye hai mumkin sabke liye ik sa honaa, thoda sa dil mera bura hai thoda bhala hai seene mein!
The versatile but modest KK (Krishnakumar Kunnath) started his career by singing ad jingles (did 3,500 of them!) and hit the bull’s eye with his non-film, solo album Pal (1999) that made him very popular with the youth at that time. Then came Tadap tadap ke is dil se (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam; 1999 again) and he had ‘arrived’. With other unforgettable hits like Tu Aashiqui hai (Jhankaar Beats; 2003), Maine dil se kaha (Rog; 2005), Tu hi meri shab hai (Gangster; 2006), O meri jaan (Life In A Metro; 2007), Ajab si (Om Shanti Om; 2007), Khuda jaane (Bachna Ae Haseeno; 2008) and Tune maari entriyaan (Gunday; 2014), he continues to rule people’s hearts!