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01 February 2014

Mukesh Sings For Raj Kapoor

There was Mukesh - my soul, my voice, I was a mere body. 
It was he who sang to the hearts of the people all over the world, not me. 
Raj Kapoor was an image, just a carcass of flesh and bones. 
When he died, it was destroyed, I felt there goes my breath, there goes my soul. 
I know what went away from me. 
- Raj Kapoor Speaks (Ritu Nanda)
When Raj Kapoor stood at the airport on that fateful day in August 1976, he was, in his own words, 'just a carcass'. Ten years prior to Mukesh's death, on December 14, 1966 (coincidentally, Raj Kapoor's birthday), lyricist Shailendra had passed away leaving Raj Kapoor bereft.  Just five years after that, in 1971, Jaikishen would leave another hole in Raj Kapoor's life. Speaking of their deaths in connection with Mukesh, he would later say, "When Shailendra left us, I felt I’d lost one arm; when Jaikishen passed away I lost another. But when Mukesh passed away, meri jaan hi chali gayi (I lost my life). I am the body, my soul was Mukesh.”

It was a broken man who waited to receive the mortal remains of a man who had meant more to him than just another colleague. Along with Rajendra Kumar, he waited, trying hard to control himself. Finally, when the coffin came out of the hold, he turned to Rajendra Kumar and burst out in agony,"He went there as a passenger; he's returning as luggage!" Ironically, the same fate awaited the showman. In 1988, twelve years after his soul left his body, Raj Kapoor, having gone to Delhi to receive the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, would return in a casket. 

Mukesh's relationship with Raj Kapoor went back a long way. He had sung for Raj Kapoor in his first film Neel Kamal (1947), but they had met earlier at Ranjit Movietone. Mukesh, an aspiring singer, was rehearsing a song while playing the piano when Raj Kapoor, then an assistant director, entered the room and introduced himself as Prithviraj Kapoor's son. In 1948, when Raj Kapoor turned director with his RK Films' Aag, he offered Mukesh a solo and a duet. However, it wasn't until after Barsaat the next year that Mukesh would become an indispensable part of both RK films and Raj Kapoor himself. Who was made for whom? Was Raj Kapoor complete without Mukesh? Or was Mukesh incomplete without Raj Kapoor? 
Mukesh and Raj Kapoor in Moscow
It would help that Raj Kapoor had a great interest in music, and was quite an accomplished musician himself. In fact, his ambition was to become a music director. While most people listened to tunes, he 'saw' music; he visualised his songs, he spent time getting exactly what he wanted, and he thought of himself as a conductor. When he went to a composer, whether it was Ram Ganguly in Aag, Shankar-Jaikishen for all his films after until Jaikishen's death, Laxmikant-Pyarelal or Ravindra Jain, he would tell them the character for whom they were composing, his narrative arc in the story, the scenes preceding and succeeding the song sequence... songs in his films pulled the narrative along and he understood their importance. Lata Mangeshkar is on record as saying that the music of of RK films may have been attributed to the various music directors, but that all of RK music is, in the final analysis, the creation of Raj Kapoor himself.* Perhaps it was this understanding of what music meant that bound the two men together, and made Mukesh a part of the charmed inner circle of Raj Kapoor's music group.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times
Theirs was a friendship of equals, a friendship between two men who loved and respected each other, as people, as artistes. And so it came about that when Mukesh was in financial trouble in the 50s, Raj Kapoor was there to help. (As were others.) As he was there, after Mukesh's death, to offer support to a bereaved son. "Whatever little I have achieved in life is because of Raj Uncle," says a grateful Nitin Mukesh. Raj Kapoor had not known Nitin Mukesh was an aspiring singer; he only knew him as his friend's son. But when the young man came to him, on his guru's behest, to ask if Raj Kapoor would be the chief guest at a concert that Mukesh had committed to, but that the son would be singing in, Raj Kapoor kept aside the shooting of the climax of Satyam Shivam Sundaram, and lent his name and star power to help launch the boy. And Nitin Mukesh recalls that the entire film industry turned out to see him, just because of Raj Kapoor's presence.

Raj Kapoor's association with Mukesh could have ended only with death. And while the show had to go on, and did, it was never quite the same. But this association of two disparate talents lives on, in their songs, in our memories, and in our retelling of the stories of their friendship for future generations to read. 

Here are some of my favourite Mukesh melodies picturised on Raj Kapoor. Actor and singer. Face and voice. Body and soul.

1. Zinda hoon is tarah  Aag (1948) Ram Ganguly/Behzad Lucknowi
This is a tragic song in a tragic film. And Mukesh sings it with so much feeling that the pain, the hurt, touches you. Sometime, somewhere, perhaps we have also felt that desolation. Or perhaps we have been fortunate not to. 
Zinda hoon is tarah ke humein zindagi nahin
Jalta hua diya hoon magar roshni nahin
There is something about this song that appeals to me - it is as if my emotions - at one point in time - were personified on screen. Raj Kapoor once said that it was after Chhod gaye baalam in Barsaat that he and Mukesh forged the bond that lasted until the latter's death. To me, this song was the cry of a man's soul, and Mukesh voiced it with all the pathos that his voice could hold. Unforgettable.

2. Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahin Bawre Nain (1950) Roshan/Kidar Sharma
A story of star-crossed lovers, and separation and much melodrama before it winds down to its inevitable end, the songs were much better than the film in which they were used (the sorry tale of many a film during that period). One should be grateful for small mercies, however. This is the film that ensured that Roshan stayed on in the film industry and gave us many, many hours of listening pleasure. This song of heartbreak was right up Mukesh's alley and he gave it his all. Director Kidar Sharma moonlighted as the lyricist and eked out every bit of grief that he could:
 Bahaar aayi thi kismet ne
Magar ye gul khilaaya
Jalaaya aashiaan sayyad ne
Noch dale
Mujkho ae maalik utha le
Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahin...

3. Hum tujhse muhobath karke sanam Awara (1951) Shankar-Jaikishen/Hasrat Jaipuri
Yes, it is another song of heartbreak. Yes, there is pathos. Yes, it is Mukesh. And Raj Kapoor. So what is the difference? The self-deprecation that is so evident on screen. And off. The persona on screen is of a man who has gambled and lost. And he knows he is at fault, but circumstances dictate his life. There is regret, there is loss, there is acceptance of sorts. And all the things that he cannot tell his beloved? 
Har dil ki lagi kya tujhko khabar
Ik dard utha tharrayi nazar
Khamosh the hum
Is gham ki kasam
Rote bhi rahe, hanste bhi rahe 
He sings them out in his loneliness, on the beach where he had spent happier days with her. They are poles apart, he and she, and would she even know what it is like to be him? It is not as much an accusation as a humorous acceptance of his own grief. Perfect. 

4. Chino arab hamara Phir Subah Hogi (1958) Khayyam/Sahir Ludhianvi
Not heartbreak over a failed love affair this time, but a disillusionment with society at large, and with the government in particular. Eleven years after independance, what had looked like a free country and a promising state of affairs was now a nation in shambles. Unemployment was rampant. It is amidst this chaos that Dostoevesky's Crime and Punishment would inspire an adaptation. Sahir's vitriolic pen provided a voice to the disenchanted youth. Parodying Iqbal's Taran-e-Milli and making a mockery of verses from the same poet's Taran-e-Hind, Sahir gave trenchant voice to his disillusionment with Nehruvian socialism.
Taalim hai adhuri, milti nahin majoori
Maloom kya kisi ko, dard-e-nihaan hamara
Chin-o- arab hamara, hindustan hamara
Rehne ko ghar nahin hai, saara jahaan hamara

It is because lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi insisted that the music director had to be someone who had actually read the novel that the score was handed over to Khayyam, instead of RK regulars Shankar-Jaikishen. Raj Kapoor agreed with one caveat - he would vet every single composition. Khayyam agreed. When Raj Kapoor heard the score, he was gracious enough to acknowledge that it couldn't have been bettered.

5. Sajanwa bairi ho gai hamar Teesri Kasam (1967) Shankar-Jaikishen/Shailendra
The story of a simple cart driver and an itinerant nautanki dancer, Teesri Kasam, based on Phaneeswarnath Renu's novel Maare Gaye Gulfam, was almost a home production for Raj Kapoor - it was produced by his long-time lyricist and close friend, Shailendra. And as was his wont with his friends and family, Raj Kapoor was generous - knowing that Shailendra had invested all his money into producing the film, he asked for his market price. A shocked Shailendra was disarmed completely when he heard what the 'market price' was: one rupee. Along with Raj Kapoor came Mukesh, who was equally close to Shailendra. The story had the cart driver singing songs along the way to ease the tedium of a long journey. And as part of a narrative, he tells his passenger the sad story of a woman who is deserted by her husband. 
Sooni sej god mori sooni
Marham na jaane koyi
Chatpat tadpe preet bechari
Mamta aansoo roye
Na koi iss paar hamara
Na koi uss paar
Sajanwa bairi ho gayi hamaar
And his passenger, a hardened woman accustomed to being on her own, who has no dreams of a husband or children, is brought to tears. 

6. Kisi ki muskurahaton se  Anari (1959) Shankar-Jaikishen/Shailendra
This is the way life must be lived - with love and laughter and selflessness. By all accounts, Mukesh did live such a life. His voice is filled with the simple joys, and the lyrics reflect a simple faith - in himself, and in others. 
Rishta dil se dil ke aitbaar ka
Zinda hai humee se naam pyaar ka
Ki marke bhi kisi ko yaad aayenge
Kisi ki aansuon pe muskuraayenge
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena isi ka naam hai... 

7. Haal e dil hamara Shriman Satyawadi (1960) Dattaram/Hasrat Jaipuri
How far can one go in the pursuit of truth? The movie traces the journey of a man who will not swerve from the path of truth, regardless of personal consequences. The music was composed by Dattaram, who is more famous for the 'Dattaram theka'. Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri came in to write this one song (the others in this film were penned by Gulzar), and Mukesh gave voice to Vijay's (Raj Kapoor) principles. 
Jhooth ki manzil pe yaaron hum na hargiz jaayenge
Hum zameen ki khaakh sahi asmaan par chhayenge
Kyun bhala dabkar rahe darte nahin bhaiyya
Haal-e-dil hamara jaane na bewafaa ye zamaana zamaana...
8. Jaane kahaan gaye woh din Mera Naam Joker (1970) Shankar-Jaikishen/Hasrat Jaipuri
By this time, cracks had begun to appear in RK's dream team. Shailendra was dead, Shankar and Jaikishen were composing separately even though they still leveraged the brand they had created as a musical duo (Kal Aaj aur Kal would be the last RK film they would compose for; Jaikishen's untimely death would end their reign as RK's music directors), and the singer whom Raj Kapoor called his prerna (inspiration), Lata, would refuse to sing for him. What made matters worse was that Raj Kapoor's magnum opus failed big time at the box-office. In hindsight, Jaane kahan gaye woh din may have seemed rather prophetic.
Apni nazar mein aaj kal, din bhi andheri raat hai
Saayaa hi apne saath tha, saayaa hi apne saath hai
Today, the same film is hailed as a classic, but its failure hit Raj Kapoor hard. He had mortgaged both his house and RK Studios to make this film. The music of this film, however, matched RK's exacting standards. Shankar and Jaikishen may have composed separately, but no one could tell the difference, the absence of Lata notwithstanding. Asha stepped in to do the honours, and came up trumps. 

9. Tu agar mujhko na chaho Dil Hi Toh Hai (1963) Roshan/Sahir Ludhianvi
I remember thinking when I first heard this song that I couldn't love someone who was so whiny, and so self-indulgent to boot. I mean, what's the point in telling the girl, "It's okay if you don't love me, but you can't love anyone else"? That's hardly going to endear him to the girl.
Ab agar mel nahin hai to judaai bhi nahin
Baat todi bhi nahin tumne banaayi bhi nahin
Ye sahaara hi bahut hai mere jeene ke liye
Tum agar meri nahin ho to paraayi bhi nahin
Mere dil ko na saraaho toh koyi baat nahin
Ghair ke dil ko saraahogi to mushkil hogi
Tum kisi aur ko chaahogi to mushkil hogi

Then, I watched the film. In the context of the film, everything changes. It is not a whiny song at all! On the contrary, it is a teasing one - and the chemistry between Raj Kapoor and Nutan really simmered on screen. Pran is there as well, clueless though occasionally glowering (it would be a complete doofus who couldn't recognise the intensity of feeling between the two!), and is so obviously the person Raj Kapoor is referring to in the song, all the while knowing full well that Nutan loves him. It is in songs like these that I realise what Raj Kapoor meant by 'soul'. Mukesh sang the song with such panache, it's as if Raj Kapoor and Mukesh are one person, that one feels the emotions that the other is singing about. Just watch the video for the most complete melding of voice, emotion and expression. Truly. 

10.  Aansoo bhari hai  Parvarish (1958) Dattaram/Hasrat Jaipuri
The anthem for dejected lovers everywhere, Aansoo bhari hai had Mukesh at what he did best - drip pathos. You could feel the depths of the hero's despair, the agony that he tries so hard to hide. He's lost the girl, though of course, while he's moaning and groaning over the heartbreak, he seems to forget that he brought it all upon himself - with that pesky self-sacrificing gene that all Hindi film heroes and heroines seem to have by the bushel. 
Vaade bhulaa de kasam tod de woh
Haalat pe apni humein chhod de woh
Aise jahaan se kyun hum dil lagaaye

Koyi unse keh de humein bhool jaaye

Done! No one, of course, asks the heroine (or the hero) what they want. Everyone unilaterally decides for the other, like they are all pawns on a chessboard, and then of course, no one is happy. 
Barbaadiyon ki ajab dastaan hoon
Shabnam bhi roye main woh aasmaan hoon
Unhen ghar mubaarak humein apni aahein
Koyi unse keh de humein bhool jaaye

And of course, he doesn't have the guts to tell her himself! Forgive me if I don't have much sympathy for such martyrdom!

I shouldn't complain, I suppose. I love the song. :(  

11.  Main aashiq hoon baharon ka Aashiq(1962) Shankar-Jaikishen/Shahrayar
It is a love triangle, and in the way of other cinematic love triangles winds down in pretty much the same fashion. But the film is directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee (not one of his better attempts), and is therefore much more restrained than others of their ilk. S-J came up with a rather decent score, and we had Shahrayar step in, instead of RK regulars Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri.  This is neither a tragic song (as one would expect in a love triangle) nor a romantic one. Hrishikesh Mukherjee's heroes were generally a tad bit more natural than that. This is a lovely song for all that, and Mukesh's voice ebbs and flows as Raj Kapoor traipses through the countryside (much in the same manner as it did in Suhana safar when it was Dilip Kumar wandering up the hills and vales), his voice lifted in sheer happiness. 
Kabhi maine haske deepak jalaaye
Kabhi banke baadal aansoo bahaaye
Mere rasta pyaar ka raasta
Main aashiq hoon bahaaron ka nazaaron ka fizaaon ka ishaaron ka
Main mastaana musaafir hoon jawaan dharti ke anjaane kinaaron ka
Main aashiq hoon bahaaron ka...

12. O mehbooba Sangam (1964) Shankar-Jaikishen/Hasrat Jaipuri
Okay, someone tell me how anyone can grow up and be so clueless? Sundar seems to be the only one who doesn't know that Radha is not in love with him, but with Gopal. He makes an absolute pest of himself following her around, proclaiming his love. He stalks Radha, and teases the life out of her; she is boating with Gopal, for heavens' sake! Why on earth can't the man see what's before his blessed eyes? Even while he knows she is annoyed? (*head to desk*) Considering that no one, least of all Gopal or even Radha herself, seem to bother to set him right, I suppose one cannot blame him for thinking his attentions are welcome. (While confessing that personally, what I wanted to do was to pick up a bat and hit him on the head!) But the song, the song! On the face of it, it sounds like a roothna-manaana song, one where the hero is trying his best to cajole the heroine out of her sulks...
 Kis baat se naaraaz ho
Kis baat ka hai gham
Kis soch mein doobi ho tum
Ho jaayega sangam
O mehbooba O mehbooba
Tere dil ke paas hi hai meri manzil-e-maqsood...

But it was more than just that. It was a joyous song, one filled with love that he cannot be bothered to hide, with reassurance that they will be one after all. However mistaken he is about her feelings, there is no mistaking his. Mukesh got the nuances just right, and this is one of my favourite songs from the film. (Personal peeve is the Bol Radha bol sangam hoga ke nahin.)

13. Mere toote hue dil se Chhalia (1959) Kalyanji-Anandji/Qamar Jalalabadi
Kalyanji-Anandji have been vocal in their gratitude towards Mukesh, and have gone on record to say that had it not been for the late singer, their path to success wouldn't have been as assured. That went not just for the beginning of their career, but also when they were firmly entrenched, but were competing against idols Shankar-Jaikishen on the one hand, and proteges Laxmikant-Pyarelal on the other. I like this song for the self-mockery evident in the lyrics. He mistakes her gratitude for love, and is heart-broken when he finds out that his love is unrequited. Yet, he is man enough to realise that it was his own delusions. The song is a mixture of so many emotions and Mukesh does full justice to the conflict. 
Jise ulfat samajh baitha, meri nazron ka dhokha tha
Kisi ki kya khata hai, kisi ki kya khata hai
Mere toote hue dil se koyi toh aaj ye poochhe
Ke tera haal kya hai ke tera haal kya hai

14. Yaad aayi aadhi raat ko Kanhaiyya (1959) Shankar-Jaikishen/Shailendra
This is yet another film in which the songs trumped the film itself. In other words, do yourself a favour and listen to the songs or watch it on YouTube, but avoid the film like plague. In this song, Kanhaiya is remembering the incidents of the previous night and hoping against hope that it was all just a dream. 
Chaahat mein wafa aur woh mar mitne ki kasmein
Kya khwaab tha behke huye jazbaat ki tauba,
Yaad aayi aadhi raat ko kal raat ki taubaa
Dil poochhtaa hai jhoom ke, kis baat ki taubaa?
The slightly rueful, yet cheerful note in Mukesh's voice caught the essence of the good-natured village ne'er-do-well who is caught in a trap not of his own making. 

And so, with this lot of songs, I have finally come to the end of the Mukesh saga. It is fitting, perhaps, that the last song that he recorded was for a RK film - Chanchal sheetal nirmal komal from Satyam Shivam Sundaram and that the last song he sang before his death was Jaane kahan gaye woh din. If nothing else, the spirit of the RK team was intact. And now that they have all left us - Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, Shankar-Jaikishen, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri - perhaps they are making more music together wherever they are. 

*Raj Kapoor: The Great Showman (Lata Khubchandani)
p.s. The playlist for the songs in this post is here.


  1. A good list of unforgettable songs. I like Humne tujhko pyar kiya hai (Dulha Dulhan). Indeevar's lyrics were extremely simple and easy to relate to in this lovable song. My favorites will also include the two free flowing songs in Teesri Kasam, Sajan re jhoot mat bolo and Duniya bananewale. The lyrics were simple and noteworthy, in my view. However, my 'top of the list songs' are both the Mukesh solos Jaane kahaan gaye woh din and Jeena yahan marna yahan (Mera Naam Joker). I think both the songs showcased the pathos and philosophy beautifully. Of course, the 'soulful' quality of Mukesh's singing was at it's best in these two songs. Though this has nothing to do with music, I remember a piece of great direction in Mera Naam Joker. On board a flight, we are shown Rajendra Kumar reading FORTUNE magazine, Padmini reading LIFE magazine and Raj Kapoor reading TIME magazine. As the actors bury themselves in the magazines, the camera closes in for a closeup of magazine covers. This was a brilliant piece of symbolism to show some aspects of the characters played by the three.

  2. Superb post! .To quote a line from a song from Sangam Raj Kapoor and Mukesh were "do dil magar ek jaan hain hum".So touching! barely succeeding to contain my tears(so forgive me for any typos)..Mukesh has always been one of my favorite singers,Thank you for another post on him and inclusion of Raj Kapoor is a double treat!
    Almost every song you have included in the list is my favorite,athough the song Kanhaiyya (1959) is quite new to me. I recollect a song from Dulha Dulhan which is my all time favorite

    BTW,In the first screenshot from Aag,is'n Raj Kapoor look like his son Rajeev?

  3. Manmadhan Ullattil1 February 2014 at 09:32

    Great post, with Mukesh being my favorite singer, I would have added Zindagi khwab mein and many others.. but i guess everbody have their own favorites, In fact just last week i finished browsing Bollywood melodies by ganesh anatharaman.. a good book for a rainy day.... covers all singers, their songs & the makers...

  4. Thank you, Coolone. I'm glad you liked the post so much. Thank you for the song from Dulha Dulhan. There are so many songs that it is difficult to decide what will make the final post. I thought Rajeev looked a lot like the younger Shammi. But then, Shammi and Raj looked a lot alike in their early days. And Shammi resembled Prithviraj Kapoor quite a lot as did Shashi, though as they grew older, they all developed their own looks.

  5. Thanks, Maddy. I couldn't have added Zindagi khwab hai in this list - it is picturised on Motilal. But the song is one of my favourites, so it is there on The Legends: Mukesh, the first part of this marathon post, which covered his solos.

    Yes, I have Bollywood Melodies; another good book (if you haven't read it yet) on Hindi film music, this time concentrating on the background musicians is Behind the Curtain by Gregory Booth. Lots of interviews, and many delightful anecdotes about what it meant to be a musician at that time.

  6. Anu, you are making up indeed for all those 'besura' comments! Each song in this list is perfect, with the possible exception of 'Aansoo bhari hain yeh jeevan ki raahen' - and even here it is more of a personal opinion than dispassionate judgment on my part. I was very fond of this song during my college days, but at some stage had too much of its cloying sentimentality. Something similar happened with 'Mujhko is raat ki tanhayi mein' and 'Aa laut ke aaja mere meet.'
    One thing that distinguished Mukesh was his humility. When it was his turn to present the special Jaimala program on All India Radio, he turned it into a tribute to K L Saigal. More than that, he didn't give his own selection of Saigal songs but played extracts from presentations by other film artists relating to Saigal. His early songs have a clear imprint of Saigal, but later he developed a distinctive voice and style.
    Thanks for this wonderful list. If I had to choose one, it would be 'Sajanwa bairi ho gaye hamar'. It is one of the best folk based film songs ever. I do wonder, however, about the credits for lyrics - if my memory serves me right it is there in the original story by Phanishwar Nath Renu. The lyrics are either by Renu himself, or traditional ones used by him in the story.

  7. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have willingly read a post about Mukesh singing for RK! But now I'm much older and wiser (or I like to think so), so, yes - thank you for this one, Anu. It's Sunday and I'm not quite so rushed, so I'm actually sitting and relistening to some of these, especially the ones I particularly like: Zinda hoon is tarah, Haal-e-dil hamaara, Cheen-o-Arab hamaara, Kisi ki muskuraahaton pe ho nisaar and the one from Sangam, which - even though the situation itself irritates the hell out of me - is a lovely song.

    I see others have listed one song I like: Humne tujhko pyaar kiya hai. Here are two other favourites of mine: from Phir Subah Hogi (and I'm not listing the title song, since I mentioned that in the comment on your earlier post): Aasmaan pe hai khuda aur zameen pe hum, and from Shriman Satyawadi, Ae dil milein hain humko.

  8. Anu,

    I can only endorse Subodh that you have more than adequately redeemed yourself about Mukesh. Serial 1, 2, 3 I would have put in the same order. No. 5 is a great song. I don't think Renu's story had this lyric. At best he might have given the first line. Narration in the song - do you mean Duniya bananewale kya tere mann main samaai? This had narration of the story of Mahua Ghatwarin interspersed in between the stanzas. You don't get the story on the records though, with the story cut out. YT has the full version.

    No. 7, 11, 12 and 13 also I like a lot.

    "...what I wanted to do was to pick up a bat and hit him on the head." Didn't you want to hit the wimp and dumbo Rajendra Kumar harder?

    One song I would especially like to mention is the following:



  9. Thank you, Subodh. :) I agree about some songs becoming (personally) painful due to overexposure. And some songs that appeal to us because of our circumstances at the time that we outgrow as we grow away into new experiences.

    Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi seemed to have been personifications of humility. It does warm the cockles of one's heart to know that people who had achieved so much could remain so grounded. I do not recall Sajanwa bairi ho gai hamaar being there in the original novel. There is a story he tells her about a village woman called Mahua that is part of the book, though. Perhaps that is what you are thinking of? It is not there in the video, usually, but each of the stanzas of Duniya bananewale is interspersed with the sad tale of Mahua.

  10. You know, Madhu, I agree with you totally about being more tolerant these days, and being more willing to read or listen to articles or songs that I would not have bothered to even glance at in the old days. (Conversely, there are some things I seem to have absolutely no patience for. Go figure!) O Mehbooba is an irritating sequence, but then, the only character I had any sympathy for in the whole film was Vyjayanthimala. I must confess that I have a sneaking admiration for RK for taking on such a horrible character. I mean, definitely not hero material, no? These are songs I prefer to listen to. :) Actually, I can even watch it, provided I do not think of its context in the film - the picturisation is rather brilliant, right up to the way he overbalances in the boat.

    I love Aasman pe hai khuda; if I weren't limiting myself to one song, I would have put that in. Thank you for posting it here. Same thing with the Shriman Satyawadi song. I'll happily link them for you (and for me!).

  11. Thank you, kind sir. I'm so glad that redemption was such a joy to achieve. :)

    Didn't you want to hit the wimp and dumbo Rajendra Kumar harder?
    That is usually my instinctive reaction whenever I watch Rajendra Kumar on screen. :) Actually, if I were Vyjayanthimala in the film, I would have left the two of them alone, and gone off on my own. Neither of them were worth ha'penny of loving. One was a clueless pest, and the other was a spineless one. Ugh!

    You are right about Sajanwa bairi ho gai hamaar not being there in the original novel. In any case, the story of Mahua is not even a part of this song. As you rightly pointed out, it is interspersed with Duniya bananewale. What lovely lyrics, though. Shailendra surpassed himself.

  12. Madhu, the song from Shriman Satyawadi is Ae dil dekhein hai humne. You had mentioned Ae dil mile hain humko. I hope the Shriman Satyawadi song is the one you meant? I changed it for you, but if it is Ae dil mile hain humko from some other film instead, I apologise. Please let me have the link, in that case? Thanks.

  13. What beautiful songs you have chosen. I love each and everyone of them. We are indeed so lucky. We have this absolute WEALTH of beautiful songs to choose from. All these singers, MD's, lyricists. We are RICH.

  14. Thank you for a wonderful post, Anu! I am sicker than a dog at the moment, and today is the first day I am sitting at the computer rather than just picking up the iPad for a few moments - and for some reason, the comments would not appear on my iPad - so I couldn't even say Thank You earlier! I love all the songs, but I can't remember the one from Shriman Satyawadi. I will write more after I listen to them. But here's a big Thank You from me!

  15. Thank you, Ava. I agree with you about the richness of our cinematic heritage. We arelucky.

  16. You are welcome, Lalitha. Poor you, you have been ill for some time now; wishing you a speedy recovery.

  17. I will be honest I have not been able to read this post, you see I am travelling, I just skimmed through it, I will read it later, but I would still like to post my favourite Raj-Mukesh song, no let me correct that, my favourite Raj-Mukesh-Shailendra-Shankar-Jaikishan song. This song is one of my personal top ten fav songs, I have often found myself asking God this question, meaningful lyrics, beautiful composition, soulful rendition, and one of those rare moments when Raj Kapoor refrained from his 'Haanji, kya boloonji' acting, and gave an excellent performance, what more could one ask more.


  18. Thanks for your email confirming that the mukhdas of four of the songs are there in the original short story, AK. I read it so long ago; I was in school then, that I have forgotten anything other than the basic story. I'm pretty sure that now my memory must be conflating the movie's plot *and* the original short story. (I made an error in writing 'novel' instead of 'short story' in my original comment.) So Subodh is also right. But since Shailendra enlarged on the mukhda I suppose the credit for lyricist should go to him. (Except for Maare gaye gulfam which was penned by Hasrat.)

  19. Thank you, Shilpi, both for skimming through it when you are so busy, and for posting one of my favourite songs. I dithered between this one and Sajanwa bairi ho gai hamaar and finally chose the latter. So I'm so glad to see this here in the comments.

  20. :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who does these things!

  21. I was eagerly looking forward to part 3 of the homage to Mukesh, and as anticipated, it was well worth the wait. What I love about your list is that is has a great collection of diverse songs, unlike his famous 'Dard' album which drives you insane with indistinguishable tracks one after the other.

    My personal favourite out of your playlist is 'Kissi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaar'. I cannot think of a better pick-me-up and wanting-to-sing-aloud song

    Some other Mukesh for RK gems that I listen quite often are,

    1. Mehtab tera chehra - I find all songs of Aashiq quite different for some reason and this one, along with 'Lo aayi milan ki aaj suhani raat' always sounds quite fresh to me


    2. Dost dost na raha - This doesn't sound like a very popular song amongst your readers or yourself, as its not been mentioned anywhere, but I find it quite captivating


    3. Chale jaana zara thehro - Used to hate it as a kid, it used to be on Chitrahaar all the time, but gradually grew on me and now often listen to it. A apt blurb for it might be - Hum se nasal kaun!


    4. Dil ki nazar se - I absolutely love all songs of Anari and this is one of my most favourite duets ever


    Once again thank you for a delightful post and hope these three articles will encourage fans of Indian film music to listen to Mukesh more often.


  22. Thank you, Sandeep. I'm so glad you enjoyed all three posts.

    Of your suggestions, yes, Dil ki nazar se and Mehtab mera chehra are both personal favourites.I used to like Dost dost na raha a lot. Perhaps familiarity breeds, well, not contempt, but certainly an irritation, with that song.

  23. Anuji, this supplements your previous two posts wonderfully. Not all leading MDs consistently favoured Mukesh for RK. In ‘Dil ki Rani’ (1947) SDB asked RK to sing for himself (O duniya ke rehnewalon) – and he
    acquitted himself very well:


    But in Pyar (1950) he preferred Kishore (for RK)! Naushad used Rafi (Andaaz 1949, Dastan 1950) and so did OPN (Do Ustad, 1959). Madanmohan relied on Talat (Ashiana, 1952), and CR gave playback for RK
    himself in Sargam (1950) but switched to Mukesh in Sharda (1957). Let me end with two songs. The first is an oldie ‘Maine dekhi jag ki reet’ (Mukesh and Shamshad, Film: Sunehre Din 1949; MD: Gyan Dutt)


    And the other is perhaps the last Mukesh song for RK, ‘Tujhe bhool ke’ (Film - Chandi Sona, 1977; MD: RDB)


  24. Anu,
    Grand Finale
    Enjoyed it all except Oh Mehbooba, I cannot take that song.
    Raj kapoor Mukesh and Shailendra have some incredible songs to their credit.
    I will add more one from Mai nashe me hoon
    I will add one more from Hasrat Jaipuri, (not a fan of hasrat) but Mukesh scores with his emotions.

  25. Thank you, Canasyaji. You are kind.

    I didn't know that Kishore had ever sung for RK. Thanks for providing the link. I did know that RK had sung for himself. Thank you for all the links.

  26. Thanks, Ashraf. I'm glad you liked the list. About O Mehbooba, where would we be if we all liked the same songs? :)
    I love Mujhko yaaron maaf karna; it would have made the list but with so many songs to choose from, it is a very difficult choice what to put in and what to leave out. I'm glad you posted the link here.

    The Diwana song is, as you say, alright for the emotion; musically, it doesn't hold a candle to many, many other songs from the same team. :)

  27. Indeed an excellent coverage, both for Mukesh as stand alone subject as well as his special bond with RK.

    The discussioons also have added a wealth of views on the subject.

    May I add a few songs from other music directors -

    Jap Jap Jap Re - Sharda - by C Ramchandra - http://youtu.be/rvVWCIE6D-o

    Ek Who Bhi Diwali Thi - Nazrana - Ravi - http://youtu.be/7YL-7mC6ceI

    Baharone Jise Chheda - Snahare Din - Gyan Dutt - http://youtu.be/eaIWX8xG0aw

    What is striking in all these songs is that each of the music director has faithfully reproduced Raj Kapoors' acting style in Mukesh's voice !

  28. Thank you, Ashokji.

    What is striking in all these songs is that each of the music director
    has faithfully reproduced Raj Kapoors' acting style in Mukesh's voice !

    Yes, Mukesh's, while I didn't think was perfect for Raj Kapoor, had a different quality to his voice when he sang for the latter. But when you see the songs on screen, it seems just the perfect combination. Thank you for these links as well.


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