3 May 2016

My Favourites: 'Don't Go' Songs

What happens when you spend time with someone you love and it's just not enough? When you want them to stay longer? Not leave? As is usual with Hindi film songs, if you can think of a theme, there are songs to fit it.

Recently, I found myself humming Na ja kahin ab na ja. I'd long planned a series of posts on this theme - the 'aaja' and 'na ja' songs being complementary, while the songs exhorting the beloved to go away ('jaa') provided the third ang;e. However, both 'aaja' and 'ja' songs have been wonderfully compiled by fellow-blogger, Dustedoff. Hence, I decided I would stick to songs that plead, 'Na ja'. 

All the songs in this list have that one thing in common - they are all songs that entreat someone not to leave. It doesn't necessarily have to be the first phrase in the mukhda, but the entreaty has to appear in the mukhda itself. So, in no particular order, here are some of my favourite songs, starting with the song that kicked off this post.

Mere Humdam Mere Dost (1968)
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
I love this song - its music, the melody, the lyrics, the way Rafi has sung it... not to mention watching Sharmila Tagore and Dharmendra on screen. The latter even managed not to look embarrassed - he was notorious for being extremely shy about doing romantic scenes. While the film itself was rather a bore, despite their charming presence, the musical score more than made up for a story that meandered its weary way to clich├ędom, with Chhalkaaye jaam, Chalo sajna jahan tak and  Huyi shaam unko khayaal aa gaya. Here, like in most scenarios, they have spent the day together, and it's time for her to leave; only, he doesn't want her to go. 
Na ja, he begs her, kahin ab na ja, dil ke siva... he makes wild promises of what he will do for her, if she only stays...
Aake khoon-e-dil milaake
Bhar doon in labon ke khaake
Bhujha bhujha badan tera

Kamal kamal banake
Khila doon rang-e-hina 

2. O basanti pavan pagal
Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain (1960)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Shankar-Jaikishan
Lyrics: Shailendra
This is the one song in this list which is filled with despair, for the man she loves is not just leaving at the end of the day; he's leaving for good. Not being able to stomach their way of life, Raju is leaving the jungle and Kammo behind. Hurt and desperate, she begs him not to leave, reminding him of his own words, and pleads with anyone who will listen to stop him from leaving. 
Yaad kar tune kaha tha pyar se sansaar hai
Hum jo haare dil ki baazi ye teri hi haar hai
Sun ke kya kehti hain paayal
Na ja re na ja, roko koyi...
O basanti pawan paagal, na ja re na ja, roko koyi...
Shot on location in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh, this film, directed by Raj Kapoor's long time camera man, Radhu Karmakar, was a visual treat. This particular song sequence was shot in a temple near Jabalpur. I love the prelude, and the extended ending where, after her entreaties are not heard, she dances up a storm to propitiate the gods, hoping they will listen to her, and stop him. 
Aakhri Khat (1966)
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music: Khayyam
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
The lyrics are rather explicit, talking of a passion that has consumed them, but it's not enough; it's never enough. 
Raat baaki hai abhi, raat mein ras baaki hain,
Paake tujhko, tujhe paane ki hawas baake hain...
It's unusual to hear of 'hawas' - lust, passion - in what would usually be a romantic song. There's an appealing honesty about the expressed emotions, and a slight embarrassment as well. There's sensuousness in Mohammed Rafi's voice as well as a quiet romanticism. To me, this is a very romantic song, Rafi's voice complemented by Khayyam's quiet melody.   

Singer: Geeta Dutt
Music: Hemant Kumar
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
When she has failed in every attempt to bring her husband back to her side, a desperate Chhoti Bahu asks her husband to tell her what she should do that he will stay. When he does, the desperate woman stoops to serving him alcohol, while drinking it herself. It's a path that has dire consequences. Her husband is both attracted to, and repelled by his wife's seductive behaviour under the influence of drink. Double standards are alive and well - the tawaifs he visits can be all that and more; his wife, on the other hand, should be pure. Finally, realising that even her wiles cannot keep him from searching out more compatible companionship, she pleads:
Jo mujhse ankhiyaan chura rahe ho
Toh meri itni araj bhi sun lo
Piya meri ye araj bhi sun lo
Tumhaari charnon mein aa gayi hoon
Yahin jiyoongi yahin maroongi, yahin maroongi

Na jao saiyyan encapsulates the desire, the yearning, the love this woman has for a man who does not want (or deserve) a tithe of what she has to offer.   

5. Abhi na jao chhodkar
Singer: Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle
Music: Jaidev
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
A song list, and no Dev - aisa kabhi ho sakta hai, bhala? This song is quintessential Dev Anand, quintessentially romantic. Don't leave yet, he pleads; he hasn't had enough of her company. There's much to talk about, don't go. Don't stop me from going, she demurs; if I don't go now, I'll never be able to leave. He pleads in earnest - don't go, leaving our dreams, our desires unfulfilled. 
Adhoori aas chhod ke
Adhoori pyaas chhod ke
Jo roz yunhi jaaogi
Toh kis tarah nibhaaogi
Ke zindagi ki raah mein
Jawaan dilon ki chaah mein
Kayi makaam aayenge
Jo hum ko aazmaayenge 

Don't go... ki dil abhi bhara nahin...   

Noor Mahal (1965)
Singer: Suman Kalyanpur
Music: Jaani Babu Qawwal
Lyrics: Saba Afghani
An obscure film, an unheard-of music director, and an unknown lyricist. The film, as such films usually are, is nothing much to write home about, but this song is quite nice. I would have thought it made more sense for the 'living' hero to say 'Na ja' to the ghost of his beloved (?), instead of the reverse, but here, the ghost is merrily walking along, dressed in white as usual, and with a candle in her hand - perhaps she needed to see where she was going, heavily veiled as she is? Especially since ghosts seem to only like wandering around on dark nights? 

In any case, she asks her beloved to not leave, at least not this particular night. The night is beautiful, she's been waiting for him for so long, please stay awhile...
Mere mehboob na ja, aaj ki raat na ja
Honewaali hai sahar, thodi der aur thehar
Dekh kitna haseen mausam hai
Har taraf ik ajeeb aalam hai
Jalwe is tarah aaj nikhre hain
Jaise taare zameen pe bikhre hain

I have no clue who the woman is, but the man she is supposedly haunting is Jagdeep.  

7. Tarsaake na ja tadpaake na ja
Dilruba (1950)
Singer: Geeta Dutt
Music: Gyan Dutt
Lyrics: SH Bihari
She's (Rehana) been sitting quietly, dreaming of her lover, when she's abruptly disturbed by her friend (Cuckoo) who wants her to go to sleep. But our young damsel is recalcitrant - she'd been imagining a world in which she and her beloved are alone; the man she loves was just going to embrace her when she was disturbed. Now, if she goes to sleep, he will leave. Then, she will have to search for him, and when she finally finds him again, and he is ready leave, this is what she'll tell him: 
Tarsaake na ja
Tadpaake na ja
O jaane waale aa ke na ja
Tujhe pyaar bhare is dil ki kasam
Is dil me aag lagaake na jaa
For a song that is ostensibly about missing her beloved, she seems very happy. 

Singer: Hemant Kumar
Music: Hemant Kumar
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
One of my absolute all-time favourites, this song has some lovely memories attached to it. Here, the plea to not leave is underlined by humour, by some affectionate teasing, and another plea to return. And when she doesn't listen, he changes tack to warn her of the dangers on the path she's travelling, telling her she has to choose a companion...
Zindagi ke raaste ajeeb hain
Inmein is tarah chalaa na kijiye
Khair hai isi mein aapki huzoor
Apna koyi saathi dhoondh lijiye
Sunke dil ki baat yun na muskuraayiye
Aapko hamaari kasam laut aayiye

Arab ka Sitare (1961)
Singer: Mubarak Begum
Music: Saadat
Lyrics: Ehsaan Rizvi
I have not heard of the film, the music director or the lyricist. I have, however, heard Mubarak Begum, and liked quite a few of her songs. This one, from an obscure film, is a melodious number, that sings of the despair of being left behind. 
Jaanewaale mujhe kis raah mein
chhoda tune oone 
Yaad aa bhi na sakoon
Tujh ko bhula bhi na sakoon 
Shama gul kar ke na ja
Yun ke jalaa bhi na sakoon

10. Kaare badra tu na ja na ja
Shikast (1953)
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Shankar-Jaikishan
Lyrics: Shailendra
Let me end this with a song that is not about romance at all. Or even about a person. (This scene must perhaps be the only one where Nalini Jaywant smiles in the film; for most of the film, she's an embittered widow and a cruel landlord, zealously guarding her son's inheritance.) Here, she is begging the dark, rain-bearing clouds not to go. Please stay, she begs them, and rain down on us. 
Kaare badra tu na ja na ja
Bairi tu bides na ja
Ghananan megh-malhaar suna 
Rimjhim ras barsaa ja...
Metaphorically, it could also be her plea to Dilip Kumar's character, her erstwhile lover, to not leave the village.

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