Shanker & Jaikishen both were romantic, but to my ears, Shankar-ji’s baton seemed to have those little extra flourishes that added a bit more colour, a bit more of that overwhelming heady effect, mainly through the use of his multi-layered violins, that seemed to diverge in different levels like some wildly flowing waterfall but converged gloriously in unision merging seamlessly with the singers’ voice—and continued to flow at the background throughout the song! It is this ornate trade-mark `dressing up’ of the song that had always identified to my ears the `S-J brand’. Maybe occasionally I would have mistaken some of Jaikishen’s compositions to be of some other MDs like Roshan, or vice-versa, but with Shankar-ji’s songs, it was instant recognition! It is fascinating, the way he could infuse so much glamour and glitter in a `halka-phulka’ song ( to use his own adjective) by the sheer use of extra-ordinarily imaginative orchestra! `Raatke hamsafar, `Na main hoon main’, `Ai chandki zebaai’ and countless other songs are testimonies to the fact that Shankar-ji was indeed an incurable `Romantic’, which was belied by his `no-nonsense’ serious demeanor ! I hope I am not mistaken in assuming that these are Shankar-ji’s tunes.
This in no way suggests
any less `romantic’! Unka andaz bhi kuch alag-hi nirala tha! I feel that Jai preferred to tone down the orchestra a bit, but flashed the brilliance of each instrument one at a time, rather than creating `the cock-tail goonj effect’ which was essentially Shankar-brand, in my humble opinion. Open to corrections.
I am just listening to `Woh chale haan who chale’ from `Hamrahi’, which I guess is Jai’s typical style. I am no expert in music, but I learnt a bit, how to savour an `S-J song’ bit by bit, thanks to the article by Anand-ji forwarded by Shahrukh-bhai! So I relished the beauty of this under-rated song right from the quick introductory Sitar, followed by a violin piece, then the sudden silence of instruments handing over the mike to Rafi Saab, Rafi’s grace of uttering `jhatakke daaman meri aarzoo mitake mitalke’— then those wonderful `dholaks’ taking off and drumming and gently massaging the insides of your brain! The pattern continues through the antaras and after the delightfully playful Sitar/Violin/ Flute interludes, as you immerse in Rafi’s sincere appeal `Koi itna unse keh de ki main unhika ho chukka hoon’ and come to `Unhe kya milega aakhir—`, the instruments go silent again and you are already in happy anticipation of the `dholaks’ to strike right at the instant of Rafi’s repetition, `jalaake jalaake—`! Then they go again, `dhag dhig—`!
The `larger-than- life’ heady flourishes of a Shankar song may be missing, but the solo-play of each instrument is distinct and absolutely charming!
“If Music be the food of love Play on” , Sang the bard of Avon over 400 years ago-But still even today it rings so true, so very true.
The world has changed so much and is changing continuously every year every month every day every hour every minute every second but not so the Dame Love.
From bullock cart to the jet and the sputnik man has changed his saddle but not so LOVE who is still riding its old old very very old the same old winged horse-the SONG. And when that song comes to you on the wings of Rafi’s voice “Yes we call him Rafi-He has no airs nor does he glory in any sort of exhibitionism, otherwise you would see him carrying everywhere with him his load full of Trophies, & Medals he has been bestowed upon by his admirers all over the world and to crown all the much coveted medal hearing the title of Padma Shree which the President of India was pleased to confer on him in the year 1967. No he has no airs about him. He is Rafi to us all his lovers and admirers. His humility and his devotion to his art are his great assests along with the rich melodious voice God has blessed him with”.
Well-What was I saying?–Yes–the Song–when it comes to you on the wings of Rafi’s rich and melodious voice it carries you away–far away, far far away from the madding crowds’ ignoble strife to the “FAIRLY LANDS” where love and love alone holds its court–where there is no hatred, no jealousy, no mine and thine and thine and mine, hustlings and pushings and pullings, where peace reigns supreme–and bliss kisses your brow.
I congratulate H.M.V. for doing this for us through their
“AN EVENING WITH MOHD. RAFI.” God bless them, God bless our Rafi.”