Monthly Archives: December 2017

A film which was inspired by Jaiprakash Narayan’s continuation of the ‘Sarvodaya’ movement.


Dinesh Shankar Shailendra

I am re-posting this piece…

Whenever I listen to this song, it always makes me wonder…. Why on earth did Shailendra and Jaikishen have to go into self-destructive mode…
The world of Music and Poetry would have been richer for a longer period of time…

But on second thought, Will this magic ever die ???


Radhu Karmakar ( Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai )

Raj Kapoor had called Shanker, Jaikishen, Hasrat, Shailendra and Mukeshji to his ‘cottage’ in R K Studios…. He narrated a script to all of them….. As he finished, there was silence…. Suddenly, Shanker banged his cup of tea on the table, shouted out an expletive, ( referring to somebody’s sister ) and stormed out of the cold, smoke-filled room !

Everybody was stunned…. then Raj Kapoor asked Shailendra…. ” Pehelwaan ko kya ho gaya ? Story pasand nahin aayi “? Shailendra followed Shanker out of the cottage…. When he asked Shanker what the matter was, Shanker again let out a volley of ‘gaalis’…… He said….
” Daakuon ki film mein, music ka kya kaam hai ? Banaa lein binaa gaanon ki film…. Humein yahan kyon bulaaya hai…..” ?

Shailendra managed to pacify him and convinced him that there would be songs and music in the film….. Shanker returned and all of them discussed the appropriate situations for songs in the film…. The film, finally had nine songs…. Incidentally, eight were written by Shailendra….

Radhu Karmakar was to direct the film which was inspired by Jaiprakash Narayan’s continuation of the ‘Sarvodaya’ movement….. Getting the hardened dacoits of the ‘Chambal’ ravines to surrender…… join the mainstream and lead a normal life…..

The film was a stupendous success all over India…. Shanker-Jaikishen, Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri scored a perfect ” Nine”….. all the nine songs were hits….. Shailendra’s ” Hothon pe sachchai rehti hai ” was nominated for the Filmfare awards, but lost out to Shakeel Badayuni’s ” Husn waaley, teraa jawab nahin ”

The climax of the film is about the simple villager, Raju, finally convincing the gang of dacoits to surrender…. The director uses a song to end his story ….. On one side is Raju walking along with the dacoits, on the other side is Padmini, who has come with the whole Police force…. armed fully…. there is always a chance that they are being led into a trap…
The song itself is BIG….. and the director matches it with great shots….. Raj Kapoor, the producer, gives his director everything he wants to make this song as spectacular as possible….

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest songs recorded around that time, as far as music goes….. Probably a 100 violins…. a big chorus and two main singers…. There were so many musicians that some of them had to be seated on the pavement outside Famous Tardeo Recording Studio….. The studio where Shanker Jaikishen recorded almost all their songs….

The song starts with violins and the brass section creating suspense and drama…. The shots are perfectly in sync with the music….. truckloads of men in uniform….they alight and march…. The loud music suddenly makes way for the soft sound of ‘pizzicato’ ….. the musical term for plucking of strings of instruments like violin, cellos and double bass…… A guitar joins in and the song starts….

“Aa ab lau chalein,
nain bichhaye, baahein pasaarey,
tujhko pukaarey, desh tera….. ”

A beautiful violin run….
The ‘mukhdaa is repeated…. The gang of dacoits starts moving….
The director cuts to a shot of the marching troops…. as they separate, we hear Lata Mangeshkar’s piercing voice…

” Aa jaa re,
aa jaa re, aa jaa…..”

This by itself is one of the most amazing bits of singing in the history of Hindi Film Music…. I have yet to hear someone else do it so perfectly….
We see Padmini running towards the camera…. The men march past her…. another mind-blowing, earth shattering ‘aalaap’ from the great lady…. and she holds the notes perfectly !

Cut to Raj Kapoor…. he sings the verse…

” Sehej hai seedhi,raah pe chalnaa,
dekh ke uljhan, bach ke nikalnaa,
koyi yeh chaahey, maaney na maaney,
bahut hai mushkil, girr ke sambhalnaa…”

The ‘mukhdaa’ is repeated….

We see a frantic Padmini searching for him…. She sings

” Aa jaa re….
aa jaa re, aa jaa…”

The chorus joins in….mandolins end the interlude…
The next verse…

” Aankh hamari, manzil parr hai,
dil mein khushi ki, masst leher hai,
laakh lubhaayein, mahal paraaye,
apna ghar, phir, apna ghar hai…… ”

The ‘mukhdaa’ is repeated….

The director intercuts between Padmini and Raj Kapoor…. she finally spots him and the dacoits… The Police see that the dacoits are unarmed …. The song ends….

The music is just what only Shanker Jaikishen could have done….. The singing….. Mukesh is great and he keeps it simple…. Lata Mangeshkar does wonders….Shailendra writes simple words that bring home the message…. ” Sehej hai seedhi, raah pe chalnaa….. bahut hai mushkil, girr ke sambhalnaa….” He takes it right to your heart with ” Apna ghar, phir, apna ghar hai….”

Radhu Karmakar has the gang of dacoits on one side and the Police on the other…. The location….. the bare ravines….. But see the drama he creates with the deft camera placing and movements ( Cinematographer : Taru Dutt )
He does full justice to match the music, the words and the singing….

Raj Kapoor and Padmini play their parts to perfection…. But the others match up too ! Nana Palsikar smoking a ‘chillum’…. unaffected…. Pran…lagging behind…. he is unsure…. apprehensive….

I can only think of how Shanker would have reacted after seeing this song on the screen…. Probably banged a tea-cup on the table and uttered an expletive ( referring to somebody’s sister ) !!!!!!

A 60s Mohammed Rafi Song That Has A Cult Following In The West

Though No Rafi Fan in India would agree to this authors observation that

But there’s one song that even the most die-hard Rafi fans might not have heard. This is it.”


Mohammed Rafi was a genius, there are no two ways about it. Bollywood films would have been very different right from the 40s to the 70s had the man decided to do something else. Thankfully, he didn’t and we were treated to gems such as Chaudhvin ka chand hoKya hua tera wada and Dard-e-dil dard-e-jigar among many others.

But there’s one song that even the most die-hard Rafi fans might not have heard. This is it.

Known for his soulful songs, we bet this one came as a surprise. The song is called ‘Jaan Pehechan Ho’ and was shot for the 1965 suspense thriller Gumnaam starring Manoj Kumar and Nanda. The 60s were the years of rock and roll, and Shankar Jaikishan’s music was spot on. Shailendra’s lyrics have been skilfully sung by Rafi. The enthusiastic dance by Laxmi Chhaya and Herman Benjamin is not something today’s actors will be able to pull off with the same ease and grace.

Go ahead and listen to it again. We bet you can’t listen to it just once.

Apart from never really realizing that this gem of a song was here all along, another thing you may not know is that the song has a cult status in the west. Don’t believe us? Here’s proof.

The song was a part of the opening sequence of 2001 Scarlett Johansson movie Ghost World. Watch it here.

An Australian band ‘The Bombay Royale’ covered the song. Here’s their cover of it.

The cover was picked up for the first person shooter Far Cry 4 and can be heard when the player reaches the fortress. Don’t know about you, but the music is perfect for shooting at video game characters.

We’re not done. Heineken also used the song for their advertisement.

So, what makes the song such a cult hit? For starters, the song’s psychedelic tunes were made possible because of the use of western instruments. So, west can relate to it more easily. Not to forget ‘Ted Lyons and his Cubs’ did an awesome job with the music. Put this song in a Japanese movie about Yakuza gang wars and it wouldn’t be out of place. Because where else will you find a yakuza boss if not the club. In fact, we can’t think of another song with a more universal appeal than this. Then there’s the crazy dancing. Even the most heartless and dead-inside can’t help but help but shake a leg. Then there are the backup dancers with boy-wonder masks which are quintessentially 60s.


This feature Courtesy