I am giving below a link to one of my old posts on this site .The post was about Music Director O. P. Nayyar and his penchant for rhythm and Tonga beats. I wrote based mainly on the gramophone records in my possession and on my experience of listening to his songs on the radio in my younger days.
I was searching for old Hindi film songs, for a program I am handling on a local FM Station. My search was mainly about old Hindi film songs with thematic content like tonga songs, train songs, songs picturised in motor cars, songs in Piano playing scenes,boatsongs, Jewellary(Jhumka) songs, songs with whistling and so on. It was then that I came ocross, once again, a few O.P Nayyar gems which had faded from my memory over the years. The songs are a Tonga beat song, a train song, a whistling song and a song in a motor car scene.
The tonga beat song is from a 1966 film DO DILON KI DAASTAN with Pradeep Kumar, Vijayanthimala and Rehman in lead roles. The song is , ‘Aji pehli mulaqat’, a duet by Asha Bhosle and Muhammed Rafi. I wonder how I missed this song in my earlier post about O P Nayyar. The film was directed by Pradeep Kumar himself. Not much information about this film is readily available . But the song has the unmistakable stamp of OPN with the rhythm and tonga beats standing out prominently; Rafi and Asha Bhosle, as usual,at their best.
The train song of O P Nayyar is from the 1960 film KALPANA, an Asok Kumar, Padmini, Ragini starrer. While there are several train songs from S.D. Burman, R D Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal etc, I could find only two train songs of OP Nayyar, one, the famous “Badal Jaaye Agar Mali” from film Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi and the other ‘ Humko samajh’ from KALPANA. This song is rhythmic as usual for an OPN song. But what differentiates this song from other OPN songs is its simplicity and softness. Asha Bhosle’s voice and singing gel with the mood of the situation. The dance movements of Ragini in the limited space in the train cabin also make the song enjoyable.
It was an oft-repeated feature those days to shoot romantic songs in a motor car with the lead pair travelling in the car singing to their hearts’ content. It also gives scope for showing beautiful outdoor locations .This is one such song from the 1964 film KASHMIR KI KALI, a Shammi Kapur Sharmila Tagore starrer, though in this scene only the hero is seen driving an old white Studebaker car singing this OPN number and playing the Mouth Organ during interludes. OPN’s rhythm, beautiful outdoor scenes, the mouth organ and Rafi’s singing to the antics of Shammi Kapur make the song an audio visual delight. The words “dil lagana padega” at the end of each stanza and the short beat along with it fascinate me even now and I could repeatedly listen to the song just to hear these words!
Songs accompanied by/with whistling have been very popular even in recent films. O P Nayyar used to be a master in “whitsle songs” just as he was known for Tonga beat songs. In fact his many Tonga beat songs were a mixture of Tonga beats and Whistling. The ‘Jara haule haule chalo’ song of film Sawan ki Ghata, the ‘Dil par hua aisa jadoo’ song from film Mr. And Mrs. 55 and the ‘Kya kar daala tu ne’ from film Howrah Bridge are examples. But there is a ‘not much heard of’ pure whistling song in the 1960 Shammi Kapur /Nutan film BASANT. The duet written by Qamar Jalalabadi and sung by Asha Bhosle and Rafi is again an audio visual treat in black and white. The simplicity of the tune, the soft rhythm and beat, the breezy singing and the presence of the graceful Nutan and the subdued yet youthful Shammi Kapur make the song different. Alas! The film and the song did not get the popular support it richly deserved. The song just faded out whistling all the way.