In the season when Cupid serves love with the breeze, it is pertinent to ask whether love inspires poetry or poetry ignites love? Whatever the answer, one is convinced a day without a song, a smile or a hug is a complete waste of time. Obviously, if music is the food of love, then Valentine’s Day is just the perfect occasion to play some soul stirring, rarely heard love songs of Hindi films that bless us with pristine joy of togetherness.
Most people can cite famous love songs such as “Chaudhavin Ka Chand Ho” (“Chaudhavin Ka Chand”), “Abhi Na Jaao Chhod Kar” (“Hum Dono”), “Tera Mera Pyaar Amar” (“Asli Naqli”), “Chand Aahein Bharega” (“Pooja Ke Phool”), “Tere Mere Sapne Ab Ek Rang Hain” (“Guide”), “Agar Mujhse Mohabbat Hai” (“Aap Ki Parchaayeen”) in a jiffy as these and many equally popular numbers have been on the list of listeners for decades. But nostalgia makesone unravel other delightfully ‘fragrant’ songs that have faded but not certainly forgotten and though the list could run in to hundreds, for lack of space, one will confine to a few that constantly tickle the aural taste buds!
The first to resonate is the dulcet “Aaj Ki Raat Nahin Shikwe Shikaayat Ke Liye” (“Dharamputra”) rendered by Mahendra Kapoor when his voice wasn’t reserved for by loud decibels of nationalism. Outlining sublime allure of conjugal bliss in a delicate tone, Kapoor is a revelation in N Datta’s soothing notes heightening Sahir Ludhianvi’s classic use of motifs and phrases to unravel subtle emotions. Surprisingly, Mahendra Kapoor is equally good in “Bhool Sakta Hai Bhala Kaun Tumhari Aankhein” from the same film and one wonders why he gave up the softer notes after the release of “Gumrah” in which too his voice gave wings to Ravi-Sahir’s hauntingly evocative “Ye Hawa Ye Fiza”.
Two compositions from “Bachpan” by Sardar Malik are arguably equal to the entire repertoire of his son Anu Malik. Lend ears to Rafi’s feather soft “Mujhe Tumse Mohabbat Hai Magar Main Kah Nahin Sakta” and you’ll float in an ocean of love… thereafter, play the silken soft duet “Tere Hum O Sanam” of Rafi – Suman Kalyanpur to understand how tenderness is bedrock of eternal love. One must add a word of caution that these songs are for listening and not for watching as they have been awfully filmed.
Duets are synonyms for togetherness and two creations, separated by a decade, are the mesmeric Rafi Sahab – Lata Mangeshkar numbers “Sun Mere Saajna” (“Ansoo”) and “Tum To Pyaar Ho Sajnaa” (“Sehra”). Lyrics of Qamar Jalalabadi and Hasrat Jaipuri evoke the finest virtues of an affectionate bond and are in perfect harmony with the musical notes of Husnlal Bhagatram and Ramlal; prodigies that inexplicably never attained commercial statures despite their respective genius. Two other alluring numbers by Rafi-Lata that take your breath away are “Saaz-e-Dil Chhed De” (“Passport”) and “Meri Duniya Mein Tum Aayee” (“Heer Raanjha”).
If the first penned by Qamar Jalalabadi under Kalyanji-Anandji’s baton is soothing water, the other composed by Madan Mohan is “smouldering ice” of fiery passion. The beauty of the second song by Kaifi Azmi is that it is the most sacred poem of sensuality you could ever hear anywhere…. provoking a calm but haloed tempest.
If Lata could enchant in Rafi Sahab’s company, Asha too could certainly sparkle with equal ease and though long overlooked by music directors, her prowess was never less than her sister. “Ye Haseen Raat Ye Bahaar Ka Samaa” (“Girls Hostel”) is so delectably uplifting that one is caressed to bewilderment… each word of S H Behari appeals to lovers since Rafi-Asha transport you into a dream world wherein Ravi synchronises each instrument and beat with the lovers’ longing. “Bombai Ka Babu” may have been a box office failure but Rafi-Asha’s “Deewana Mastana Hua Dil” is still a magical wand to win a lover’s heart. Dada Burman, in step with Majrooh Sultanpuri’s poetic imagery, allows the two singers to go back and forth in vocal modulations just like the way Suchitra Sen swings to Dev Anand’s entreaties. So blissfully enamouring are these two songs that they could evoke amorous feelings in anyone listening to them on a moonlit night!
There are many songs that could make anyone swoon in delight but none more so than “Koyi Mujhse Pooche Ke Tum Mere Kya Ho” (“Ye Raaste Hain Pyar Ke”). Mind you there is also a flip and fiery side to this number but the tender, romantic version is perhaps one of the finest pieces of love poetry ever rendered on Indian screen. Each word from Rajendra Krishan’s pen is a poignant thought of supreme devotion and dedication to a beloved, worth miles to go and listen especially since Ravi serves poetry in soft, delectable arrays of musical patterns. And if Sunil Dutt brings credibility with his portrayal, it is all thanks to the genius of Rafi Sahab echoing the pine and the pangs with immaculate perfection. This ability to emote the honest feelings of longing lovers is something Rafi could do with unfailing regularity and two memorable numbers come to mind that could perhaps even entrap the Cupid with their honeyed rendition. “Tum Ek Baar Mohabbat Ka Imtihaan To Lo’ (“Babar”) and “Ek But Banaunga Tera Aur Pooja Karunga” (“Asli Naqli”) are simplest of songs but Rafi’s exposition haunts you long with the emotions served by Sahir and Hasrat via Roshan and Shankar-Jaikishan’s musical offering. Listen with your eyes closed and probably you would attain peace of nirvana!
Indeed, there are several such melodies that are equally arresting and pleasing. But just as not every diamond adorns the crown, many invaluable song gotlost in the dark alleys of time. A musical pearl is there for picking everywhere provided we look for it. Since life goes better with music, let us pick these rare gems to enrich ourselves sublime romance.