Friday, July 1, 2011


The other day, rather bored with the numerous reality shows and news channels repeatedly dishing out visuals of same events, I was furiously clicking the remote control when I saw in the B4U Music channel the famous quawali scene from the film BARSAT KI RAAT, with the actors singing with gusto, in the true quawali style, the song, 'Nato karavan ki talaash hai''. The song penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and set to music by Roshan and sung by MannaDey, Asha Bhosle, S.D. Batish,Sudha Malhotra and chorus is, to me, one of the best ever film quawalis matched only by a few others like,e.g, ' Parda hai parda' from Amar Akbar Antony, 'Hamein to loot liya' from film Al Hi Lal, and the other quawali from Barsat ki Raat itself, viz.,'Yeh hai ishq ishq hai' in which Rafi also joins.The 'na to karavan' song and the scene with the lead artistes of the film, Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala and Shyama, participating, was also a visual treat in black and white which lifted me out of my boredom and took my mind to the contribution of Roshan to Hinfi film music during his rather short career.(1917-1967)

The music of Barsat ki Raat was sensational and popular and the success of the film was, to a large extent, due to the quality of the songs which made the names Roshan and Barsat ki Raat synonymous. The song,'Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat' sung solo by Rafi, which was the No.1 song in Binaca Geetmala for the year 1960, and also as duet with Lata continues to be as hauntin
g as ever. There is another beautiful Rafi song,'Main ne shayad' and a Lata solo,'Mujhe milgaya bahana' , both with melody and 'bhav' at their best. As the theme of the film demanded, there are two more quawalis, 'Niga-e-raazki' and 'Ji chahta hey jhoom loon' and the LP record is a must for quawali lovers and it is a rare LP where we can listen to the great S.D.Batish,Sudha Malhotra, Balbir, Shankar Shanbhu,Bande Hasan in addition to a semi-classical duet by Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot,'Garjat barsat sawan ayo re'.

Roshan went on to give outstanding music in the period film 'Taj Mahal'. a Pradeep Kumar- Bina Rai starrer. The evergreen duet,'Jo wada kiya woh'by Lata and Rafi(two versions, one sad and the other happy) was the No.1 song of 1963 in the Binaca Geetmala and the music of the film also bagged the Filmfare Award for the year. The melodious ,'Jo baat tuj me hai'(Rafi)and 'Julme ulfat pe'(Lata) were also ranked high in Hindi film music. Yes, being a period film it has also a very popular quawali,'Chandi ka badan sone ki nazar' emphasising Roshan's penchant for Quawalis proved again in another film with similar back ground, "Bahu Begum'. In 'Bahu begum', a Pradip Kumar-Meena Kumari film. there are two famous quawalis, 'Waqif hun khub ishqake' and Dhund ke laoon kahan se' both sung by Rafi and Manna Dey apart from a Rafi melody,'Hum intezar karenge'. The success of Taj Mahal also was due, a large extent,to the popularity of Roshan's music. In film ,'Dil Hi To Hai', with Raj kapoor-Nutan duo, apart from Manna Dey's, 'Laga chunari me daag' and the title song,'Dil jo bhi kahega' by Mukesh, there is the quawali, 'Nigahe Milane ko jee chahata hai' by Asha Bhosle in her inimitable style reinforcing Roshan's contribution to filmy quawalis.

It is not only in 'Bahu Begum' that Pradip Kumar, the handsome hero, and Meena Kumari, the tragedy queen, had appeared together with outstanding m
usic by Roshan. In 'Bheegi raat' there is this haunting Rafi number of Roshan,'Dil jo na kahsaka'; in 'Aarti' there is the 'Ab kya mishal doon' by Rafi; in 'Chitralekha' there is an all time great number (I had mentioned about this in a previous post) by Rafi,' Man re tu kahe na dheer dare'. Pradip Kumar, Meena Kumari, Roshan team appeared to be a sure success mantra those days!!

While the films mentioned were of the 60s, there were a few films of the 50s in which Roshan had tuned music in the traditional style with which listeners were so familiar with. But what made these songs outstanding was the modernity he infused in them which made them far beyond their time and loved even now.While in the 60s he used the voice of Rafi more , it was Mukesh he depended on to render some of his classic numbers in the 50s. The Raj Kapur-Geeta Bali film, 'Bawre Nain' comes to mind in this context. The Mukesh-Geeta Roy(Dutt) duet, 'Khayalon mein kisi ke' is one such song heard occasionally even now on Sri Lankan radio. The grief filled,'Teri Duniya men dil lagta nahin' by Mukesh is another great number'. It was after a lot of search and waiting that I got the LP record of Bawre Nain and it is a valuable one as it contains three solo songs of the legendary singer-actress, Rajkumari, including the most famous and popular song,'Sun Bairi Balam'. The other two are,'Kyon mera dil mein' and 'Roothe hua chanda'.The nostalgic Rajkumari-Mukesh duet,'Mujhe such such batado' is also there in the LP. That again eminds me of the 1952 Raj Kapur-Nargis film, Anhonee, in which Roshan had used the voice of Rajkumari for two of her sweet songs, 'Zindagi badli'(with Lata) and 'Sharifon ke mehfil mein'. It is also the film in which Roshan used the sweet, trembling voice of Talat Mahmood to create the evergreen,'Mein dil hoon ek armaan bada' and two other duets with Lata,'Mere Dil ki dhadkan kya bole' and, 'Sama ke dil mein humare'.

It is in film Malhar, a film produced by Mukesh himself under the banner, Darling Films, that the Roshan- Mukesh duo is at their best. Two beautiful duets with Lata, 'Bade armanon se' and 'Ek bar agar too kah de' are nostalgic.Who can forget the' 'Zalim zamana' by Lata and 'Dil tujhe diya tha rakhne ko ' by Mukesh?But in spite of these songs the film did not succeed in the box-office probably in the absence of a big star cast! In 1966 Roshan again came up with two melodious Mukesh songs, 'Baharon ne mera chaman' and 'Aaya hai mujhe phir yaad' in film Devar, a Dharmendra-Sharmila starrer. There were several other films also where Roshan had given memorable tunes like e.g, Noor Jahan, Chandni chowk, Humlog, Soorat aur Seerat, Nayi Umar ki Nayi Fazal and so on. Let me mention only the Mukesh number;'Bahut diyaa denewale ne tujhko' from Surat aur Seerat and 'Aaj ki raat bahut shok badi natkat hai' by Rafi in film 'Nayi Umar ki Nayi Fazal''.I cannot but mention two great songs by Lata from film,'Mamta', ' Rehena rahen' and 'Rahte they kabhi'. His last film was Anokhi Raat released pothmously in 1968 with the poignant Mukesh song,'Ore taal mile nadi ki jal mein Nadi mile sagar mein.'

In his rather short career Roshan had not created music for a large number of films when compared to some other music directors of his time. But the quality of his songs is that matters.The songs of Barsat ki Raat and Taj Mahal alone gave him a permanent place in the hearts of music lovers.'Zindagi bhar.............. Barsat ki Raat'. What a song it is!!

Like the combination of Roshan and Barsat ki Raat, there are also other similar combinations like Hemant Kumar- Nagin.... S.D.Burman-Aaradhana...Shankar Jaikishan- Awaara....Khayyam-Kabi Kabhi..... Jaidev-Hum Dono.....R.D.Burman- Kati Patang.....O.P.Nayyar-Naya Daur....Naushad- Mughal-E-Azam....Kishor kumar-Jhumroo....Khemchand Prakash-Mahal....Salil Choudhuri-Madhumati........... Can any music lover think about these music directors and these films separately?

Tail piece: While searching I realized that CHITRAHAR the most popular TV program of the 80s on the DD is still on!!

1 comment:

sumi said...

Na to karvaan ki talaash hai".. the mention of this song brought a smile to my lips when i fondly remembered you singing this song and breaking into a your signature dance step with a sideward twist of your arms..