Posts tagged ‘bollywood’

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

What Pyarelal-ji has to say about Shankar-Jaikishan in one of his interviews

What Pyarelal-ji has to say about Shankar-Jaikishan in one of his interview..few excerpts..

Arun Bajaj


“I love Naushad Saheb’s music, though I don’t agree with his point that one need not look beyond Indian classical music for good music. A composer has to give what the story or the situation of the film demands.

Q. Which composer would you rate as the best in the 1950’s and 1960’s..?

Look, I don’t believe in comparisons. Having said that, I would say that Laxmi-ji and I liked Shankar-Jaikishan the most. We were so fond of them that both of us used to copy all their mannerisms.


Q. What was it that Shankar-Jaikishan had which other composer didn’t..?

You tell me what they didn’t have. Is there a single flaw you can see in them as composers..? Is there any other composer who consistently gave good music in so many films..? Is there a single kind of music they have not made..? If Naushad Saheb composed Baiju Bawra, Shankar-Jaikishan followed with Basant Bahar. What superb music they gave for Raj Kapoor films! In fact, I’ll be honest and say that while we won the best composer award for Dosti in 1964, I liked Shankar-Jaikishan’s score for Sangam better!

And he concluded by saying that very early in their career, they had started composing separately. But in spite of their composing separately, they were able to give their music a distinct identity, a brand. That was their greatness.”

When Lata Mangeshkar saved a song and the day

Still from the movie
Still from the movie
Lekh Tandon’s historical biopic ‘Amrapali’ (1966) was India’s official entry for the 39th Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category. It didn’t go far because, as its 84-year-old director explains, Indian cinema didn’t have any standing in the world arena then. But years later, his costume designer, Bhanu Athaiya, became the first Indian to win an Oscar, sharing the award with John Mollo for another biopic, ‘Gandhi’ (1982).Back in the ’60s, to ensure that Vyjayanthimala looked the part of a royal courtesan from 500 BC who later becomes a disciple of Buddha, Bhanu visited the Ajanta caves to find references in the frescoes. While art director M R Acharekar found his inspiration in a centuries-old stone temple in Mysore.

“Raj Kapoor had planned a film on Ajanta and Achrekar saab had made 125 designs for him. Experts in London agreed they could be replicated and we replicated some of them,” says Tandon who himself took his album of stills to Yogesh Mishra, an authority on Amrapali, who reassured him that this was how Vaishali and its locals would have looked when Magadh Emperor Ajatshatru waged war, first to further his ambitions and then for the woman he loved. “Those war sequences were filmed by Dwarka Divechi at Saharanpur, with the army supplying the horses and soldiers. Many were actually wounded and one horse had to be shot. It frightened me to see jawans and horses tumbling to the ground,” adds Tandon.

He also recalls the first song that almost didn’t happen because when Raj Kapoor learnt on the morning of the recording that Shankar-Jaikishen had given ‘Kaate na kate raina’ to Tandon, he refused to part with it saying he had decided to use it in ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1972). Cancelling the recording would be an inauspicious start so Lata Mangeshkhar urged the composers for an alternative. They had one mukhda, ‘Jao re jogi tum jao re, yeh hai premiyon ki nagri, yahaan prem hi hai puja’. “Lataji called for a harmonium and sat down with Shankar-Jaikishan to set it to tune while Shailendra was sent off to write the antaras,” says Tandon.

“Shailendra returned to Mahalaxmi Studio after a few hours saying he could come up with just three antaras instead of the usual five. Lataji assured him they were enough and Amrapali got its first song in the shortest time possible,” reveals Tandon.

Courtesy :

More snaps relating to film Pyar Hi Pyar produced by Rajaram-Satish Wagle

At the launching of film Pyar Hi Pyar Photo courtesy : Satish Wagle, Jatin Wagle

At the launching of film Pyar Hi Pyar
Photo courtesy : Satish Wagle, Jatin Wagle

Music Director Jaikishan of Shankar-Jaikishan  giving clap to the Muhurat shot of film Pyar Hi Pyar Photo courtesy : Jatin Wagle-Satish Wagle

Music Director Jaikishan of Shankar-Jaikishan giving clap to the Muhurat shot of film YAAR MERA
Photo courtesy : Jatin Wagle-Satish Wagle

Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai

Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai

By Arun Bajaj 

When man gets buffeted by destiny, when everything seems to go wrong, when a state of utter helplessness and despair overpowers, then the only recourse which men and women across centuries, countries and communities, have clung to, is Prayer. Their Gods may be different : in colour, shape.,gender,or form but the basic leitmotif in every prayer remains the same: I am helpless, I am despaired, I do not see any light in the tunnel, please rescue me from this darkness of uncertainty and give me strength. Even the greatest atheist of this world in such times sends a small prayer up there; as very often did Khushwant Singh, a certified non-believer, by resorting to Jap-ji beads when one was not looking.

Thus the pre-condition to a prayer, of necessity, is melodramatic to say the least. Occurrence of some bad event, loss of job, death of a dear one, or suffering great humiliation etc are some of the typical movie situations which prepare the ground for beseeching divine help. And if such divine help is summoned with music, accompanied by a good voice, well the chances are He might pay more attention. It is therefore no wonder that Prayers, Bhajans and Aartis form an indispensable fabric in the colourful tapestry of Hindi films.

The ten finest prayer-ditties , according to me, have been the following:

Tu pyaar ka sagar hai from Seema
Ae maalik tere bande hum from Do Aankhen Bara Haath
Tere phoolon se bhi pyaar from Naastik
Itni shakti humen dena data from Ankush
Satyam Shivam Sundaram from Satyam Shivam Sundaram
Sukh mein sab saathi dukh mein na koy from Gopi
Banwari re jeene ka sahara tera from Ek Phool Char Kaante
Jago mohan pyare from Jagte Raho
Allah tero naam from Hum Dono
Om Jai Jagdish Hare from Purab aur Pachhim

From the above Tu Pyaar ka sagar hai stands out in solitary splendor of its own for several reasons. The lyrics are a fluid invocation for a drop of compassion from the ethereal . The metaphor of an injured bird whose wings are weak, wanting to cross the vast sea is symbolic of our fractured and selfish desires which overpower the intellect. The human mind is always insistent to take a long flight to pursue its petty interests with the baggage of ego but the cosmic energy of man , caught in the crossfire, invokes the Unknown by praying: “ Ab tu hi isse samajha”. The subtext of the poetry is very clear : If God’s grace is showered, then that drop of nectar will metamorphose the greedy, and ambitious human mind. But that calls for complete surrender to the divine order and out of this surrender, will generate a sublimity which will cleanse and purify all our mundane desires.

Manna Dey sings this number like an entranced devotee. This song was probably composed keeping only Manna in mind. His deep resonant voice creates the right mood as if one is amidst the scent of joss sticks and flowers. The throw in his voice in the octave is a marvel of auditory pleasure.

The composers Shankar Jaikishan employed a chorus of voices to enhance the musical effect and used unconventional things like cowbells to re-create a temple-like ambience. The tune having all komal swars is from his favourite Bhairavi family and extremely easy to play on any wind instrument.

Once the song is over, the listener feels purged and ennobled. The pettiness of the mind is sponged off. Compassion and love overpowers and may be for few minutes you begin finding the world a good place to live in. Well, that’s what a good song should deliver !

Song – Tu Pyaar Ka Saagar Hai ..a spiritual song Movie : Seema (1955) Singers : Manna Dey Lyricist – Shailendra Music Directors – Shankar Jaikishan

Sebastian D’ Souza – The Great Musician, The Great Arranger

Dr. Padmanabh Joshi ji with great arranger SEbastian D' Souza Photo Courtesy : Dr. P.K. Joshi

Dr. Padmanabh Joshi ji with great arranger SEbastian D’ Souza
Photo Courtesy : Dr. P.K. Joshi


Dr. Padmanabh Joshi ji with great arranger Sebastian D' Souza Photo Courtesy : Dr. Padmanabh K. Joshi

Dr. Padmanabh Joshi ji with great arranger Sebastian D’ Souza
Photo Courtesy : Dr. Padmanabh K. Joshi

Sebastian D’ Souza – The Great Musician, The Great Arranger

Ask who is Sebastian D’Souza and you may get as many answers as the number of people who venture to give it. Footballer ?,Electrician ? School teacher ? Fr.. Sebastian??
anything but music arranger.
Sebastian D’Souza is easily the most prolific arranger in all of Indian film music. Spanning a career from 1952 – 1974 much of it with the famed duo of Shankar Jaikishan Sebastian created scores for over 125 films and over 1000 songs.. No musical arranger of popular American music let alone Hollywood films of that period can match his output. Sebastian should have been in the Guiness book of secords.Instead a search on google hardly throws up his name.
Volume of output apart, for sheer imagination and variety of orchestrated music Sebastian stands head and shoulders above them all. Sebastian had an imagination not equaled by the same men on whom books have been written and whose names occupied the marquee in the same period Sebastian’s development of harmonic concepts extended across a wide range of Indian, Latin and western instruments to create a unique effect.
While Anthony Gonsalves started that trend, Sebastian carried it on enlarging and embellishing the concept He is largely responsible for changing the entire harmonic structure of the hindi film song to create an extremely listenable full body of sound behind the voice of the singer .And hence a major influence on that era. If you thrill in the songs of that period from ‘Aawara’, ‘Boot Polish’, ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’, ‘Sangam’,,’Mera Naam Joker’ all from the RK banner and want to hear them over and over again it is invariably because Sebastian was the hidden hand behind their creation.
It is said that Mukesh who playbacked Raj Kapoor had Sebastian select the instruments, provide the counterpoint in Shankar Jaikishan’s melodic structure and create the music behind the star crossed lover portrayed by Raj Kapoor Together with him and his rhythmic partner Dattaram the SJ duo created history. Raj it is said, was close to Sebastian and was present in every recording because Raj believed that what Sebastian did was key to his role. Take away that background music from the RK films and you will plunge into a huge void. Till the late 40s, background music to the singers voice was merely a narrow range of instruments playing the same tune as sung by the singer.There was no concept of counters, fills or cadences. Rhythms employed were very limited. The effect was sonorous. Beginning the 50s, Anthony and Sebastian changed that all.
And how did that happen? Brought up on a staple diet of operas and symphonies of Mozart, Schubert, Haydn,Tchaikovsky which he absorbed, Sebastian employed harmonic variation with telling effect on to hindi film music. Sebastian came to Bombay in search of work from across the border post 1947 and stumbled into hindi films. Before that he was a big band leader in hotels from Allahabad to Mussorie to Lahore where he earned a name for leading the most popular orchestra of that time at the Stiffles hotel.
Starting as a violinist he moved up rapidly. O P Nayyar gave him his break as an arranger with C H Atma’s “Pritam Aan me lo” and later in the film ‘Aasman’. With O P he forged a super relationship and what followed is still on many lips ;the songs and the music from ‘Aar Paar’ ( Sun sun sun sun jalim’), Mr & Mrs 55’( Udhar tum hasin ho idhar dil jawa hai’), Howrah Bridge (‘ Mera naam chin chin choo,chin chin choo’) and so many more….each a classic not equaled fifty years after their time. Creativity such as this is genius and geniuses are sometimes known to be irregular, erratic and difficult with time being their first victim. Not so with Sebastian who was known to be regular, consistent, methodical and disciplined. With strong writing skills, he invariably created and translated what was going in his head into written scores on the spot in the studio for the orchestral sections and the soloists and adjusted them while rehearsing. Usually, one song took a day .But it is said that on one occasion Sebastian
created 5 songs in a day traveling to different studios across the city .
But these are just snippets. Take another glance at his history sheet .Consider these; ‘Aaja sanam, madhur chandni mein hum’;,’Yeh raat bheegi bheegi’ from Chori Chori. ‘Teri yaad dil se bulane chale hum’ from ‘Hariyali aur Rasta’. ‘Dost dost na raha’ from ‘Sangam’, ‘Aae malik there bande hum’ from ‘Do Aankhen Bara Haath’, Aaja re.. pardesi’ from Madhumati.’Aansoo bahri hain yeh jeevan ki raahen’
From N Dutta’s Chandni ki Deewar’ listen closely to Talat’s song ‘Ashkon ne jo paya hai’. The violins play in three sections, embellished by a vibraphone and cellos behind Talat’s voice. The sadness of the lyric is captured in one of the most poignant violin solos in the annals of hindi film music.
It is said that Jaikishan was so taken up with Sebastian’s counters and fills he put together all of those and hey presto he had created a brand new song. Sebastian worked tirelessly till 1974. The advent of Bhappi Lahiri and styles of that kind did not call for his skills. A self effacing man who spoke less and did more, he quietly retired to Goa and began a new life teaching children, away from the stars and the greats whom he had helped create .Little did the children whom he taught quietly, know that they had the wisdom and experience of an all time great. Shocked they were, when journalists, musicians and aficionados of the music world would descend on Sebastian’ s modest home to sit at the feet of the man and reminisce. As the children grew up they were amazed that he was the same person behind all those wonderful songs.
When he died, he instructed that no money be spent on his funeral and all that was saved should go to charity; such is the modesty of greats. Sebastian left behind a rich musical legacy which will live into generations after his time. As so often happens to modest, silent and quiet achievers in India, he received no honours from the city of Bombay where he lived created and worked but a belated award from his home state of Goa.
Thanks to Ajay Kanagat ji
%d bloggers like this: