Recently I could get a rare O.P.Nayyar album, titled 'The Magnificent O.P.Nayyar, His Memorable Film Hits' through a contact from Pune. The album contains a few of Nayyar's very beautiful songs from lesser known films like Choo Mantar( Tumhin ne dard diya hai),Ustad, Qaidi, Do Ustad, Diya to Jala(Dhake ki malmal-C.H.Atma), Jali Note, etc. The album also contains the great Rafi hit,'Raat bhar ka hain mehman andhera'from film 'Sone ki Chidiya' and the film Bapre Baap number,'Piya piya piya mera jiya pukare'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxgA-d_DwJY&feature=related
Listening to this record and the 'piya piya' song, another of Nayyar's famousTonga(horse drawn carriage)beat songs, took my mind to his other similar songs like the 'Maang ke saat tumhara' from Naya Daur, the 'Tumsa Nahin dekha' song and the 'haule haule' song from film Sawan ki ghata','Lakhon hain nigahon mein' from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon',and 'Deewana Huaa Baadal' from Kashmir ki Kali, Mujhe Mera Pyar de do' of film 'Humsaya' etc. All these songs have the sound of horse hooves in the background. It also made me make a mental search of songs, of other music directors, having the sound of horse hooves and the peculiar 'tonga beats' in the background.
One of the earliest of such songs was 'Chale pawan ki chal' by Pankaj Mullick from the 1941 film, 'Doctor'.There is also another song from this film again sung by Pankaj Mullick,viz., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NX6S3aw6bc " Aayi bahar aaj".These two beautiful songs are even now heard on Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation in its program 'Purani Geet' in the mornings.
Another music director who had used the sound of horse hooves and tonga beats beautifully in the background is Naushad. In film Kohinoor there is this very popular song,'koi pyar ki dekhe jaadugari'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ7ROcqGYCE (Lata-Rafi - Dilip Kumar- Meena Kumari) and in the film 'Ann', again a Dilip Kumar starrer , there is this haunting song, 'Dil mein chupake pyar (rafi)'. In these two songs and in several of his songs in films like Ram aur Shyam, Leader, Uran Khatola etc. Naushad had shown that he is as good as O.P. Nayyar in handling 'tonga beat songs'. Yes, there is one more song (Lata-Shamshad Begum)
'Bachpan ke din bhulana dena', in film Deedar, once again a Dilip Kumar starrer with Nargis, in which Naushad had shown his mastery over 'horse hooves'.
Music Director Ravi , like O.P. Nayyar, had given a lot of importance to rhythm in his music. The, 'Bar bar dekho, hazar bar dekho', song from film 'China Town'(Shammi Kapoor-Shakila starrer) is just one example. And Ravi does a Nayyar with the song 'Hamse na poocho hum kahan chale''(Rafi- Asha) in this film with the sound of trotting horse in the back ground. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEH86NVQ_yk&feature=fvw
That brings to my mind music diector Salil Chowdhury who also had the penchant for the 'tonga beats' as seen in the 'Dil tadap tadap' and the 'ghadi ghadi mere dil' songs from film Madhumati. Again just listen to the Lata-Talat song,'Itna na na mujh se' from film Chhaya and the Lata-Talat song, 'Aha rim jim ki ye pyare pyare' from film ,'Usne kaha tha,' to enjoy the beautiful blend of back ground music and the 'tak tak'of horse hooves. A pure 'horse hooves' song of Salil is in film, 'Tangawali,viz., 'Hal ke halke chalo saware', a beautiful duet by Hemanr Kumar and Lata. As in the music of O.P. Nayyar the strains of tonga beat is inbuilt in many songs of Salil Chowdhury also.
One of the features of these songs is that most of them are duets where the hero and the heroine enjoy a tonga ride singing to their hearts' content!!That reminds me of the song of Mukesh in film Lal Bungla(Music Usha Khanna), 'Chaand ko kya maalooon', with Sujith kumar and shyama(if I remember correct) riding a tonga in a scene similar to the Dilip Vyjayanthimala song in Naya Daur.
Well, with the disappearance of costume dramas, films on kings and kingdoms, charming princes and princesses and horse riding sword swinging heros and villains, village belles, their lovers and feudal go-getters, music lovers are denied new songs in this genre since long. But memories about actors, who did such roles, like Ranjan, Mahipal, Premnath, Bharat Bhushan, Dilip Kumar, ,Jairaj, Ajith, Nimmi, Suraiyya, KaminiKaushal, Bina Rai, MeenaKumari, M.G.R, M.N.Nambiar,Veerappa and several others and their period films still enliven old timers. I still remember receiving the tragic news of the death of that highly popular and handsome singer actor Shyam, of film Dillagi fame, who died falling from the horse he was riding for the film Shibistan in 1951! Who can forget the duet, in film Dillagi, he sang with Suraiya, the heroine of the film, 'Too mera chaand mein teri chandini'?( The song and its tune appeared in Malayalm as 'Neeyen chandrane njan nin chandrika,ooh......Was it in film Navalokam?)
Tail piece:-Which is the best ever duet with the sound of horse hooves in the back ground?Undoubtedly the Filmfare Award winning Asha-Rafi song,'Maang ke saath tuhmara' from film Naya Daur.