29 August, 2007

Indian Idol, Voice of India or SaReGaMaPa Vishvayuddh

These days we are being bombarded with reality shows of the musical kind. Three of them are running simultaneously on SONY (Indian Idol), ZEE (SaRe....) and STAR (Voice of India). All of them claim to be the REAL talent hunt show and are claiming high TRPs and contestant turnout for their show. So which do you readers think is the best show? I would like to analyse each show one by one.

1. INDIAN IDOL - This how SUCKS and sucks heavily! Want to know why? No talent at all! The piano round is over and 14 contestants have been shortlisted for final eliminations. I would say even if they LONGLIST the contestants, they can never put up a decent singer. The fault lies probably with the jury who are dramatists par excellence but poor judges of talent. It is clear even to a tone deaf person that none of the contestants are talented enough even to sing in bathrooms, yet the judges wax eloquent after each performance.The entire thrust in this show is to project the contestants as "Performers" and not singers.Thats why we have participants gaudily dressed up as rockstars and contorting their faces in all shapes and trying to put up a rock show instead of singing decently! BTW where are Abhijit Sawant and sandeep Acharya these days? Why are'nt they singing in any films or any award functions? My opinion - SONY TV, YOU GUYS JUST LOST IT, SO BEAT IT!

2. SaReGaMaPa-VISHWAYUDH -This show does have some talented singers, especially Pakistanis (Amanat, Junaid and Mussarrat) and of course Raja and Aneek. The jury too is more knowledgable but no less dramatic! The episodes where Himesh clashed with Asha Bhosale were hyped up for the sake of TRPs.Yet, the jury do manage to give unbiased views most of the times. Most importantly, there IS talent in at least some of the participants. Also, the show is trying to project singers and not mere hyped up rockstars like Sony TV. My opinion - REASONABLY GOOD SHOW.

3. VOICE OF INDIA - I started watching this show from its Indore auditions only. It is the dark horse amongst all taent hunt shows. The Indore and Delhi auditions were real eye openers for me. One after another there was a steady stream of SINCERE, NATURAL AND TALENTED singers. Their song selection, rendition, performance and presentation was fabulous. Most importantly the show is being projected as a pure singing talent hunt show and so far there doesn't appear to be any compromise on the singing quality of contestants. The show does have its fair share of drama no doubt, yet I found it to be the most watchable show if not for anything else, at least to listen to the talented singers. The singers to look out for in view are Abhaas, Sumithra Iyer, Priyaani and Toshi. MY opinion - THIS SHOW ROCKS ! GO FOR IT!

I request readers to contribute their comments freely.

04 June, 2007

Vividh Bharathi or FM radio?

Finally, after much propaganda, 3 FM channels were launched in Bhopal city on 1st June.It is somewhat akin to cable TV channels mushrooming these days. I too was obvioiusly excited at the launch of new FM channels But my excitment is fast turning to disillusionment. For all its media hype, the FM channels are dishing out pure CRAP 24 x 7!!!

Shocking isn't it. Everyone was so eagerly awaiting the launch of FM channels for the past 1 year or so, in order to "teach a lesson" to the AIR. The same AIR which appeared so drab with its oft repeated public service message (quotes of Gandhiji, Vivekananda etc!), the insipid style of news reading (Yeh akaashvani hai....), those programmes for farmers on how to get a better yield for your potato crop, the programmes in afternoon for housewives (Sakhi saheli), the film music on demand for lay public (Man chaahe geet, with demands from Jhumri talaiyya, kaanta toli etc!), the "Fauji bhaiyon ka programme - Jaimaala", the list is endless. With such boring programmes being aired, your mind yearned for something fresh and tangy. In come the FM channels with their peppy hosts, zany ads, traffic updates, phone in talks etc. Yet what happens next - it all fizzles out in no time at all! No doubt, the broadcast is stereophonic, which AIR cannot replicate, I will stand by my Vividh Bharathi.

Why did this happen? Mind you, the public is still enjoying it. Its only yours truly thats complaining. So please read on for my list of grouses -
1. For me, the primary reason that FM channels couldn't hold my attention is UTTER LACK OF VARIETY. From morning till late night you get to hear only one type of music on and on again - latest film songs or remixed old songs set to crazy beats. In fact even the beats in all these FM channels hear the same every time you switch on your radio / moble set.
2. Second reason why FM channels couldn't match Vividh Bharathi is that the FM channels cater to the taste of only one generation i.e. youth whether they be college going or jobbers. What about Old people, housewives, employees in police, defence, government servants, lower middle class section like tailors, dhabawalas, truck drivers, barbers, burchers etc?
3. Thirdly, there is no thought given to different genres of music. All you get to hear is "Dhakchik dhakchik" type of beats and unpronouncable lyrics! What about devotional
music, classical (you got to be joking man!), old film songs, folk songs, etc?
4. Fourth grouse is NO SERIOUS CONTENT. There's no analysis of current affairs. In the name of news you get to 3 headlines!

Die hard FM enthusiasts will argue that for news, and other variety of music you can always go back to AIR. Well then, I AM going back to my beloved Vividh Bharathi and I'm not coming back. For me the day begins with devotional music, foloowed by some classical music and then to GOOD film songs old or new. Its just impossible to rock 24 x 7 with the latest songs like Abhishek does in the Motorola

28 May, 2007

Composers who brought winds of change in hindi film music

When "Alam ara" was released in 1931 it created a revolution of sorts since it was a "Talking" film (hence the name - Talikes!). It also had songs picturised on the main characters. From 1931 to 2007, the hindi film music has come a long long way, passing through various phases like simplicity, classical, western, Rock'n roll, Disco, to the current generation of Hip hop etc. Who were the people who gave the film music its form and substance? Who were responsible for it evolving from one generation to another? Lets take a look at them.

1. ANIL BISWAS - He arrived on the scene in 1936 in a big way with "Achhoot Kanya" and the famous song Main ban ki panchchi. This was probably the first hindi film with a full fledged orchestra for its songs. Thus we need not say that the western influence in film music began only in 1970s! This was also the era of K L Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, C H Atma, R C Boral, Noorjehaan, Surendra etc. The music of this era was heavily classical oriented which required formally trained singers. Unlike today's era where even glaring imperfections in voice can be easily masked by technology, then the voice and its inflections had to be perfect. Also we saw "Nasal" voices in that era.

2. THE GOLDEN ERA - It will be a blasphemy if I name only one of the composers of this era, since ALL had an equal role to play in immortalizing this period enshrined as the golden era of hindi film music (From 1950s to 1960s). The protagonists of this period were Naushaad, S D Burman, Shanker - Jaikishen, O P Nayyar, Madaan Mohan, Roshan, Khayyyam, Jaidev, Kalyanji - Anandji, Laxmikant - Pyarelal etc. The last two of ourse continued well into the Disco generation also. In this era for the first time, pulse of the general public was catered to. Thus, apart from classical influence, we also saw heavy rock roll, pop etc. Who can forget S-J's rollicking songs composed for the maerick Shammi Kapoor? All composers at some time or the other DID delve into western music to fuse with the Indian sounds. The resultant music was a heady mixture of Folk, Classical, Western clasical, rock n roll and pop. Thus we had "Laaga chunari main daag" based on Raag Sindhu Bhairavi, "Merra naam chin chin choo" a cabaret song, " Nain lad gayee hai" a folk song and "Thundee hawaayen, lehraa ke aayen" based on western classical, just to name a few!

3. R D BURMAN - He arrived on the film music scene with Chhote nawaab" in 1967. With "Teesari manzil" in 1968 he replaced all others from the top position. His ascent marked a new era in hindi film music. The sounds changed completely towards western orchestration with synthesizer and guitars featuring heavily, in complete contrast to Tabla, Harmonium, sitar etc of he golden era. RD was probably the first composer to experiment with unusual sounds. For example who can forget the opening bars of "Chura liya hai tumne..." played by striking a glass with a steel spoon? Or for that matter the background rhythm in the song "O manjhi re" in Khusboo where he used bottles filled to different levels with water and then blowing into them? In the song "Mehbooba, mehbooba" from Sholay, the opening notes were produced by RD blowing over the top of empty glass bottles! All this is not to tale away the credit from other composers like Kalyanji-Anandji or L-P. They too gave memorable hits in the 70s and 80s era. But you must realize that they gravitated to this genre only AFTER RD proved his succes in this genre.

4. BAPPI LAHIRI - Blasphemy again? Hardly, I would say. The man who gave us sensible, sensitive tunes like "Dheere dheere subah hui" based on Raag Ahir Bhairav or "Zid na karo" from Lahoo ke do rang was also single handedly responsible for ushering in the Disco era in the 1980s. So what if culturally, even in the west, Disco is considered the trashiest of all genres? Bappida captured the mood of the people and revelled in the adulation of public. Thus followed Disco dancer, Tarzan, Saheb, Namak halal and a score of some mediocre songs too. This era then gradually degenerated into trashiness (not that it is any better today !) due to most composers cashing on the disco rage by producing synthesizer sounds with crude lyrics to titillate the front benchers of cinema halls.

5. A R REHMAN - In 1994, Roja was released and film music once again was metamorphosed. Be it Western clasical, Indian clasical, Arabic, Reggae, jazz, rock, Pop, A R experimented with all types of music I think he can safely be credited with the next renaissance of hindi film music after R D Burman, which has made experimentation with other music genres more acceptable today. This has spawned the likes of Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekhar, Preetam, Himesh Reshammiya etc who are experimenting with Hip hop, Sufi, Rock n roll jazz etc. .

Though the analysis ends here, debate will surely take place as to which era was better, with the old timers swearibg by K L Saigal, middle generation by the Golden era and Gennext with Reshammiya etc. I personally favour the Golden era, though I am not that old! Why I like songs of this era I cannot explain satisfactorily. It will suffice to say that I prefer sentimental, classical based songs more than anything else, hence he preferrance to Golden era.

Mine is NOT an original article. In fact it is based totally on Luke Kenny's (Programming head, Channel V) article published in Hindustan Times on May 26th 2007.

17 May, 2007

Indian classical danceuse Sonal mansingh threatens to return the Kalidas Sanmaan !

This post once again deals with the ego of an artiste, but this time it is more in suppot of the concerned artiste. I have received enough flak for attempting to paint Kishoritai in a poor light in one of my previous posts! There, it was more about the frills to a performance which could have been done away with.

It has happened on innumerable occassions and it happened again. Kishoritai has been reported to have stopped her recital midway when she espied Farooq Abdullah chit chatting, sitting in the front row. I supprot her stance in this regard at least. It was the turn of the noted Odissi Danceuse, Sonal Mansingh this time to register her protest at the lack of etiquettes shown by the BJP ministers in Bhopal. The same BJP fellas who keep harping about our "Sabhyata" and "Sanskriti" ad nauseum ! It was not a simple performance to boot. The occassion was to felicitate the danceuse herself with Kalidas Sammaan, the highest honour conferred by the MP government. After the felicitations, Sonal Mansingh began her performance and within minutes of commencing, Rajnath Singh, Shivraj Chouhan (CM of MP), Lakshmikant Sharma (ironically, the culture minister !!!) all began to leave the Ravindra Bhavan auditorium. Sonalji was so incensed that she stopped her performance instantly and spoke on the mike regarding such shocking manners or the lack of them! She also threatened to return the Kalidas Sammaan. However, the situaion was somewhat brought under control by the intervention of other dignitaries and ministers and the show then continued till its end.

Similar incident had occured at the residence of Vidushi Gangubai Hangal, the noted singer of Kirana Gharana. In this instance, she was to be conferred the Karnataka Rajya Ratna award by the CM Dharam Singh, who was quite late in arriving as is the wont of all politicians. Gangubai being the outspoken lady she's always been, lambasted the CM after his arrival, who was reduced to his apologetic best !

It only showcases the utter callousness of he ruling lot towards the performing artistes especially classical / folk arts. Had it been Aishwarya Rai's felicitation or any other Tom, Dick and Harry two bit Television stars also, the ministers would have queued up long before the appointed hour to pay homage to those idiots ! I have only disgust for such people. I had expected better manners from the guardians of our "Sabhya" and "Samskari" BJPministers. SHAME ON YOU BJP MINISTERS !

02 May, 2007

Sufi element in film "Anwar", just fantastic!

Just heard the music of film "Anwar". Nobody recommended it to me, I just had it in my MP3 which I purchased recently. In fact I skipped it many times while I was listening to some other more famous songs in that CD. I happened to watch "Antakshari" this friday where Vasundhara Das was the invited guest. In the show she sang her song from Anwar "Tose naina lagey....". At that moment however, with the spirit of the Game, I forgot all about it. However last night, I just happened to take out the particular MP3 again in order to play some songs for my daughter. I suddenly remembered Vasundhara's recital and thought lets try out the songs.

It was night and I was dog tired of roaming in the heat (43 degrees C!) all day. When the music started playing, I stopped all my work and was all ears to the song. LO! I was transported to another world. Its haunting music with its soothing rhythm just got to me and since yesterday I must have listened to it at least 20 times! Even the other song "Maula mere..." too is hauntingly sufi in its feel. My daughter too is very fond of this song. Why don't such compositions achieve popularity? Is it that the taste of the public is so bad that they can't tolerate such beautiful compositions?

I want to know who is the composer of this film. Also, I am not able to place the song regarding its original Raga. Can anyone help me?

24 April, 2007

Greatest hindi film music composer of all times - an analysis

From the past 2 sundays, HINDUSTAN TIMES is running a series on hindi film music directors, written by Ravi Patwardhan. This started me thinking - who's the greatest of them all? The question is formidable and answer is not easy to seek at all! Consider the array of music directors for this award. You got to choose between, Naushad, Madan Mohan, Shanker - Jaikishen, S D Burman and his son, O P Nayyar, Ravi, Khayyam, Laxmikant - Pyarelaal, Kalyanji - Anandji, Roshan, Hemant Kumar, Ghulam Mohammad, Sajjad Hussain, A R Rehman, Jatin - Lalit, Anu Mallik and last but not the least Himmesh Reshammiya!

How do we begin? First of all we must decide the criteria on which to award. I think the criteria must include - versatility, sound knowledge of music, commercial appeal, appeal across all ages (controversial!) and quality of music (again a subjective matter).

1. Versatility - For this criteria, we can exclude most composers and retain SD, RD, AR, S-J and L-P. I would not like to include O P Nayyar, as his music had started to become repititive in the early 70s after hitting an all time high in the late 50s and throughout the 60s. Naushad saab was more in the mould of a classicist and rarely if ever gave compositions apart from folk tunes or pure classical. At this let juncture let me clarify that versatility according to me means compositions of all types viz, Indian classical, western, devotionals, folk etc. Roshan and Madan Mohan were more into classical music although in "Manmauji", Madan Mohan did give a good western tune in the form of Nakhrewaali!

2. Knowledge - Here, I must include Naushad, SD, S-J and almost all the old timers, since all of them came from the old school of classical musical training. I will include AR also here.

3. Commercial appeal - surely Reshammiya can fit in here if not anywhere else!!! Jokes apart, SD, RD, S-J, Naushad, O P, L-P, K-A, A R, Anu Mallik and Jatin- Lalit can easily make the grade in this category.

4. Appeal across all ages - Songs composed by SD, RD, S-J, O P, L-P, Roshan and Madan Mohan have stood the test of time. Same may not be true of a Rehman or Reshammiya or even Anu Malik.

5. Quality of music - has no relation to its saleability. So, I think all old timers can easily be fitted in this category. As far as newer composers are concerned I'm not very sure of their quality, with the possible exception of Rehman.

Now, to shortlist the nominees. I find SD, RD, S-J and L-P in all the categories. We must therefore find out the greatest amongst these. I must reluctantly add that fans of Naushad, Madan Mohan, Nayyarsaab and Roshan may very well kill me for this act! Now L-P's quality of music I find very slightly inferior to those of SD, RD and S-J, although that's purely subjective. That leaves us with 3 composers. Out of them I will remove RD, as his duration as the top composer was much shorter than that of his father or Shanker - Jaikishen. Both SD and S-J reigned supreme for over four decades and thats no mean acheivement! Now comes the biggest challenge. How do you decide amongst SD and SJ as the greatest? Both reigned at the very top for decades and their careers culminated almost simultaneously. Personally, I favour SD a bit more as most of my favourite songs are SD's. I think I will not go any further and declare both as joint winners!

Readers, please let me know if I have committed any serious acts of omissions and notify me. I apologize to all genuine fans if I have inadvertantly hurt anybody's feeling or offended any sensibilities.

01 April, 2007

A vibrant dance drama form of coastal Karnataka - Yakshagana

I'm ashamed to admit that though I hail from coastal Karnataka (Village - Karki, Taluk - Honnavar), I've never ever watched a live performance of a Yakshagana! This, after coming to know years back that our surname BHAGWATH is derived from our forefathers who were singers (called a Bhagwatha) in Yakshaganas! Therefore, when I came to know that Keremane Shambhu Hegdeis going to perform a Yakshagana during the "Anushruti"series of functions in Ravindra Bhavan at Bhopal on 26th March, I decided that the time has finally arrived when I MUST watch a Yakshagana. For the uninitiated, Yakshagana or the song by Yakshas, is a vibrant, vivacious dance - drama form native to coastal Karnataka. Its a centuries old style of narrating mythological stories mainly from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas etc. On this day, it was to "Duryodhana Vadha", recounting the Pandava's search for Duryodhana and his subsequent killing. The performance began with the "Ranga Pooje" or worshipping of the stage by a lady (actually a male dressed in feminine attire). But I couldn't get the point about worshipping a draped deity, as is evident in the picture below. Any answers anyone ?

Next, came the Pandavas, also draped and revealed their identity later while dancing (pic below).
Pandavas search for the elusive Duryodhana and confer amongst themselves as to his whereabouts (pic below).
Duryodhana in the meanwhile is desparate to hide himself. Sanjaya (old man), who's blessed with divine vision comes to kow of duryodhana's fate and comes to meet him in the forest (pic below). Duryodhana confides to him that he's about to hide himself in a nearby lake.
A Gowda (farmer / woodcutter) eavesdrops on them and rushes to inform the Pandavas about Duryodhana's whereabouts (pic below).
Pandavas reach the lake and try to challenge duryodhana to urge him to come out of his hiding (pic below).
Even Lord Krishna tries his hand at it (pic below), but he comes out only after hearing the challenge of his sworn enemy Bhima.
Duryodhana is given a choice to fight with any one of the Pandavas of his choice. As expected, he chooses Bhima! (pic below)
In the initial encouinter, Duryodhana seriously hurts Bhima who is now fallen down in a swoon. Pandavas are shocked and crestfallen at this turn of events (pic below)
After the divine intervention from Lord Krishna, Bhima is resurrected as it were and after a most controversial prompt from Krishna, strikes Duryodhana on his thigh (pic below)
Duryodhana bites the dust and thus Pandavas avenge themselves (Pic below).
At the end of the super performance when I went backstage to meet the performers I found that all were gathered and were praying to Lord Shiva before removing their attire. It was rather unfortunate that Keremane Shambhu Hegde himself couldn't make the trip and instaed, his son Shivram Hegde performed the lead role of Duryodhana (pic below)
Let me tell the uninformed that Keremane Shambhu Hegde is probably the greatest ever Yakshagana performer. In conclusion I must add that I'm now addicted to this uniquee dance drama form. Actually I never was much interested in ANY form of dance, born as it is I am with two left feet and have absolutely no understanding of rhythm! However, ever since I started accompanying my daughter to her Bharatnatyam classes I have begun to appreciate the dance forms. Thus I wanted to take my daughter & wife to the Yakshagana so that they could enjoy it. However, once the show began, I was rooted to the seat !

11 February, 2007

An enchanting evening of Old hindi film songs

It was probably the most enchanting and nostalgic evening that I must have spent in the last 5 - 6 years. The occassion was "Sur Singaar" an evening of a trip down the memory lane of the golden era of hindi film music viz, 1950s and 1960s. It couldn't have been better for me as some of my most favourite numbers belong to this era, the era of singers like Rafi, Kishore, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Lata , Asha and composres like S D Burman, Shanker Jaikishen, Naushad, Roshan Madan Mohan et al.

The evening began with an instrumental peice played on Hawaian guitar. The numbers were "Man re tu..... " from Chitralekha, followed by a a 3 peice duet of O P Nayyar - Zara hole hole, Balma khuli hawa mai and Deewana hua badal. Then the evening took off as it were with one hit after the other. There was one singer in particular Mr Anil Vajpayee, mechanical engineer by profession, who brought alive the memories of Rafisab. I think he just made a wrong decision to enter a tinkerer's profession ! Probab;ly he's right in his own way - he DID tinker with our souls by his flawless and excellant rendering.

What these songs reiterated was that there's just no comparison with the past masters. Where can you bring the magic of Mere mehboob tujhe meri..., Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat...., Tumne mujhe dekha ho kar meherbaan, Parde main rehane do etc? I think the credit must go to the composers who fused folk melodies, Indian classical and western music harmoniously to leave an indelible mark on history. Also the singers were thoroughly trained in clasical music (except the maverick genius - Kishore!), who could understand the mood of the scene and sing accroding to the actor / actress. Thus you have Rafi bringing out different quality of voice for Shammi, Shashi, Dileep kumar, Rajendr kumar, or a KK for Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev kumar or Amitabh! Now we have the same Reshammiya for himself or everyone else, or Kumar Sanu, Babul supriyo, Sonu Nigam for everyone ! No difference at all sir !Even Rehman's orchestration appears same now days. These days you can spot any composer by listening once to his orchestration. All Himesh songs sound same, all Rehman songs the same. Where's the variety? Gone with the past masters I will say !!!

03 February, 2007

Kishoritai Amonkar - A larger than life ego

The signs were unmistabale as we approached the gates of Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal. The security cordon was befitting a VVIP or a bollywood star rather than a classical musician. As I presented my invitation card to the volunteers with my daughter in tow, I was issued a warning that children may not be allowed inside the hall. Finally, at the entrance door of the concert hall, security persons almost seized my cellphone as I was slow in switching it off! All this was now adding up to whatever I had heard about the reclusive Diva - Kishori Amonkar. She's the highest paid classical musician in India and is reported to have stopped her recital midway after she spotted a certain Farooq Abdullah chatting in the front row.
Before the start of performance, there were innumerable instructions regarding cell phone, photography, videography etc. The seating arrangement was of the "Baithak" type in Indian fashion. At last the Diva arrived and after sundry intro's the performance began. She commenced with a Vilambit Khayal in Raag Bhoopali and culimnated it with a taraana in drut teental. She then continued with a "Sahela" in the same Raag. Now I must admit to my ignorance about Sahela. I have heard Thumris, Daadras, Chaitis, Kajris and Tappas, but never Sahela. Neverthless it was enchantable. After taking a break of 15 minutes, the Diva then sang a Khayal in Raag Kedaar and ended the evening (nay night !) with a bhajan.
As far as the performance was concerned, let me confess that I am not too fond of the Jaipur - Atrauli Gharaana "Shaili". Niether was I too fond of Pt Mallikarjun Mansoor, nor am I much appreciative of this lady. Since I'm not trained in Classical music, I may not be able to express my point eloquently. I feel that its precisely for this reason that Jaipur-Atrauli gharaana doesn't appeal to people like us. I feel there's too much of "Vyakarana" or grammar and too little of "Shringaar" or adornings, which makes a recital technically flawless, but less beautiful. Its somewhat like the difference between the batting of Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishvanath !
But that's not he point. What I am about to write is about the massive ego of a person. I sincerely feel that that a "Kalakaar" must be humble above all. Just last month I had attended the concert of Parveen Sultana. What a difference between the attitudes of both exalted personages ! I had blogged about her performance and narrated her humility. Sadly tht's lacking totally in this Diva. At the outset itself she'd said that "Mere paas sirf shaastreeya sangeet ke sur hain, aur aakhir main academic minded persons ke liye bhajan shayad gaoon." To me it means that only her music is music, rest all is hogwash ! I'm sorry madame, I don't agree with you at all. While I too do not consider today's film music as something to cherish, but I dont find anything degrading in Thumris, tappas or Bhajans. Anyways its a democratic country and she'sentitled to her views as I am to mine ! In total contrast, in Parveen Sultana's concert none of such "Nautanki" was evident anywhere. No one was forced to switch off their mobiles. yet, the moment recital commenced, there was pin drop silence. To summarize in th end, I found the atmosphere too "Natkiya" and artificial. I did enjoy the concert despite my misgivings about the gharana, but I came away a disenchanted soul !

29 January, 2007

Jaaeye aap kahaan jaaenge Nayyarsaab

Hindi film industry lost one of its most charismatic and enigmatic composers when Shri O P Nayyar breathed his last on the night intervening between January 27th and 28th. If Asha Bhosale could come out of the shadows of her elder sibling, the credit entirely should go to Nayyarsaab. It was he alone who detected the sensuous quality in Asha's voice and the rest as they say, is history. Nayyarsaab's music had the earthly quality of the soil of Punjab, yet at the same time he could infuse a soft romantic quality to his music too. He could compose heavy tragic music also, as is evidenced by "Chain se humko kabhi...." or "Chal akela, chal akela.....".
My personal favourites include:-
1. Udein jab jab zulfein teri- Nya Daur (1957)
2. Mera naam chin chin chu -Howrah bridge (1958)
3. Jaaeye aap kahaan jaaenge- Mere sanam (1965)
4. Pukarta chalaa hoon main - Mere sanam
5.Chal akela - Sambandh(1974)
6. Chain se humko kabhi aapne - Praan jaye par vachan na jaaye (1974)
7. Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra - Kashmir ki kali (1964)
8. Kajra mohabbatwala - Kismet (1968)
9.Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahaan - Mr & Mrs 55 (1959)
10. Laakhon hain nigaah main - Phir wohi dil laaya hoon (1967)
It was rather shocking to learn that in the twilight of his life he had to be cared for by a poor family in Thane, Maharashtra. It is understood that his wife and son had filed a suit against him. We all stand humbled before the genius of Nayyarsaab and pray to the Almighty that his oul may rest in peace. Adieu Nayyarsaab!

18 January, 2007

Everlasting classical old songs

Why the old songs/compositions are everlasting, I realized when my 7 year old daughter took a fancy to the song "Laaga chunari main daag", sung by Mana Dey from the film - Dil hi to hai. It so happened that I selected this particular song for singing in our annual college gathering. When I first switched on the CD player and the opening bars were played, my daughter wrinkled her nose in disgust at my selection. She probably expected me to sing some of those God awful "Reshammiyasque" songs. However, my daughter is a keen listener and was playing nearby in the adjacent room, when the famous Taraana at the end began. Now my daughter is undergoing training for Bharatnatyam dance and therefore just could'nt resist the furious Teen taal and came into the room and started dancing wildly to the rhythm. As soon as the song ended, she then immediately went away and I too did not reflect too much over the incident.
Next day when I started to practice the song along with the CD track, she was present in the room with me and somehow sat through the entire song. Thus ended the 2nd day. Now on the 3rd day, my daughter paid more attention and began to sing snatches of the song along with me. This forced me to pay more attention to the entire scenario as 7 year old kids showing undue attention to a 50 year old song is quite unusul to me at least! After that day, there was no stopping her and she used to pester me to practice the song every day, and was the one, most wildly cheering me during the entire performance on the college day. Things have come to such a pass now, that she has forced me to download the entire song into my Cell's mp3 player and she's listening to it whenever we go out on a drive (I don't have a cassette/CD deck in my car).
There's more to come ! After having once "tasted" this song, my daughter's now turned her attention to Manna Dey's another classic(al) "Jhanak jhanak tori baaje paayaliya", from the film - Mere huzoor!!! This song too has been downloaded into my cell's mp3 player and I'm being forced to listen to the song as well as her vocal exertions along with it. Not that I am complaining !!!