The blog is 2On the first of this month, the blog weathered another year. Well, the anniversary came and went, and I did precious little about it. I had had so many posts planned for the summer months, apart from the obligatory pat-myself-on-the-back-for-completing-another-year one that I intended - a month-long tribute to Meena Kumari, whose birthday it was at the beginning of August, another post commemorating our Independence Day, a few lists... I just didn't get around to writing any of them. Not even a tribute to Pran, even though I had planned a post on him under 'The Greats' series months before.
But it's also been a strange two months. Rather uncharacteristically for me, there was a definite lack of interest in blogging. Was it some personal angst, or the onset of summer holidays which meant the kids were home (which meant my routine was shot to pieces), or that work suddenly became even more hectic, or even that young A dropped my laptop and I lost the dozens of lists and hundreds of screenshots and song images that I had meticulously filed away? Or that I hadn't been able to muster up enough interest to watch many movies anyway (blasphemous, I know)? I truly cannot say.
I've had to push myself into blogging again and, almost two months after my last post, here I am again.
In honour of the (belated) second anniversary of the blog, I had decided to do something more than just write a post. I must confess that it was Dustedoff changing her template a few months before that inspired me to change mine.
Deciding to make changes was one thing; doing it was another. Blogger has precious few choices when it comes to templates. It was all quite dispiriting. Much heartburn ensued, since I had customised the original template to my satisfaction, googling hacks to make Blogger behave the way I want it to. Much muted swearing also ensued when I would suddenly lose one set of changes when I made another. Finally, I got it, somewhat, to be... this!
But the change is only cosmetic. The blog remains the same. (Whether that is good or bad, I leave it to my readers to judge.) I do look back with some pride at my journey from desultorily uploading old articles of mine to the number and variety of posts, from the various themed lists to reviews of films, Hindi, regional and international.
I look upon the traffic my blog generates with not a small amount of gratitude - there are many who stop by, read and encourage me with their comments. They have introduced me to 'new' films, 'new' old songs, they have commended me, corrected me and been forgiving of my errors, they have taught me much. They have become online friends, I have met a couple and broken bread with them, and somewhere, somehow, we share a bond.
There are many more who stop and read and go away to come back to read some more. Anonymous they may be, but that they give their time to read what I write is rewarding and encouraging.
I would not have kept blogging if it were not for you, my readers.This journey would not have been possible without you. This blog would not be what it is without you.
To all of you, I say a heartfelt 'Thank you'.
Last year, I celebrated the anniversary of my blog by writing a post on a list requested by one of my readers. This year, I fulfil another request from a reader - to do a list on what she called 'comparison songs'. We were discussing Annie's Song at the time and I laughingly pointed out that this was the era when 'You are my chicken fry' is a lyricist's idea of describing a woman. That was the point, she retorted. Isn't it time we remembered those songs that did liken a woman to more than a poultry dish? Too true. And so, here, Aparna, just for you, aap ki farmaish...
1. Ye chand sa roshan chehra (Kashmir ki Kali / 1964 ) Mohammed Rafi / OP Nayyar-SH Bihari
Shammi Kapoor once recounted an interesting story of how the song turned out the way it did. By this time, he shared a close relationship with Mohammed Rafi and he suggested that the lines Tareef kraoon kya uski... were repeated at the end of the song. OP Nayyar brushed the suggestion off since he felt the song would be unnecessarily lengthened, but an obstinate Shammi persuaded Rafi to plead his case.
The gentle singer told the maverick music director that he would repeat the lines as Shammi had wanted, but if OP Nayyar did not approve of the final offering, he would re-record the song as it was originally scored. Nayyar reluctantly consented, and Mohammed Rafi recorded the song as Shammi Kapoor had suggested, with the line repeated and the word tareef enunciated differently in each line. When OP Nayyar heard the recording, he hugged Shammi and admitted that the repetition of the lines added a certain edge to the original composition.
2. Ab kya misaal doon (Arti/1962) Mohammed Rafi / Roshan-Majrooh Sultanpuri)
Tasveer ho tumhi mere jannat ke
Jannat ke khwaab ki
Ab kya misaal doon main tumhaare shabaab ki...
3. Jo baat tujh mein hain (Taj Mahal/1963) Mohammed Rafi / Roshan-Sahir Ludhianvi
Rangon mein tera aks dhala tu na dhal saki
Saanson ki aanch jism ki khushboo na dhal saki
Tujh mein jo loch hai meri tehreer mein nahin
Jo baat tujh mein hai, meri tasveer mein nahin
4. Chandan sa badan (Saraswatichandra /1968) Mukesh/Kalyanji-Anandji-Indeewar
Pehle bhi bahut tarsa hoon
Tu aur na mujhko tarsaana
Mujhe dosh na dena jagwaalon
Ho jaaoon agar mein deewana
5. Aap ke haseen rukh (Bahaarein Phir Bhi Aayegi/1966) Mohammed Rafi/OP Nayyar-Anjaan
Jahan jahan pade kadam wahan fiza badal gayi
Ke jaise sar-basar bahaar aap hi mein dhal gayi
Kisi mein ye kashish kahan jo aap mein huzoor hain
Mera dil machal gaya toh mera kya qasoor hain?
6. Mere mehboob mein kya nahin (Mere Mehboob/1963) Lata Mangeshkar-Asha Bhosle/Naushad-Shakeel Badayuni
Which is all very well, but they are describing Rajendra Kumar!
7. Yun toh humne lakh haseen dekhe hain (Tumsa Nahin Dekha/) Mohammed Rafi/OP Nayyar- Sahir Ludhianvi
This must have been the first film made to launch a heroine (Ameeta), which propelled its hero (Shammi Kapoor) to stardom instead. One of Shammi Kapoor's patent tease-and-stalk-until-she-relents songs, he begins with Yun toh humne laakh haseen dekhe hai, tumsa nahin dekha (I have seen many beautiful women, but none as beautiful as you) and proceeds to sing two antaras in praise of her beauty
Uff ye nazar, uff ye ada, kaun na ab hoga fida,
zulfein hain ya badliyaan, aankhein hain ya bijliyaan, jaane kis kis ki aayegi qazaa
until he realises that she is not very enamoured of him. His praise turns into a moral lesson:
Tum na agar bologe sanam
Mar toh nahin jaayenge hum
Kya pari kya hoor ho,
Itne kyun magroor ho
Maan ke toh dekho kabhi kisi ka kahaLovely, lovely song, but I was pleased to see that Ameeta doesn't relent. At least, not then.
8. Teri pyari pyari soorat ko (Sasural/1962) Mohammed Rafi/Shankar-Jaikishen-Hasrat Jaipuri
It's rather endearing, this concern, and thank heavens it is not the usual eve-teasing-under-the-guise-of-wooing song; the two are in love after all.
9. Ek ladki ko dekha toh (1942 A Love Story/1994) Kumar Sanu/RD Burman-Javed Akhtar
Jaise khilta gulaab
Jaise shaayar ka khwaab
Jaise ujli kiran
Jaise ban mein hiran
Jaise chaandni raat
Jaise narmi ki baat
Jaise mandir mein ho ek jalta diya... was rather refreshing.
10. Chaudvin ka chand ho (Chaudvin ka Chand/1961) Mohammed Rafi/Ravi-Shakeel Badayuni
Jo bhi ho tum khuda ki kasam lajawaab ho This is probably the best of all the comparison songs. Apart from the very complimentary comparisons, there is an element of adoration, of respect, of awe (almost) that is implicit in Mohammed Rafi's rendition and Guru Dutt's enactment of it on screen as he watches his beloved sleeping. Waheeda's ethereal sensuousness deserved every bit of praise that the lyricist lavished on her.
As I leave you with
Chehra hai jaise jheel mein hansta hua kamal
Ya zindagi ke saaz pe chhedi huyi ghazal
Jaan-e-bahaar tum kisi shaayar ka khwaab ho... tell me, which are your favourite songs of comparison or praise?