Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mukeshji's voice still haunts listeners.


Remembering Mukesh on his death anniversary. Great singer Mukesh is remembered both on his birth anniversary on 22nd July, 2016 and death anniversary on 27th August, 2016. The viewers of bollywood films remember legendary singer Mukesh on his death anniversary on 27th August, 2014. He was born on 22nd July, 1923 and died on 27th August, 1976 and people all over the world remember his great works. Mukesh was probably the most popular singer of the 50s, 60s and 70s after Mohammad Rafi. His nazal tune had huge amount of sensitiveness and he gave expression to brilliant composers of the golden age with the romantic voice. His combination with Showman Raj Kapoor was considered one of the golden combinations of the 40s, 50s, 60s. His notable songs for Raj Kapoor included “awara hoon” from film Awara, composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “aaja re” from film Aah, composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “ramaiya vasta maiya” and “mera joota hai japani” from film Shree 420 composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “sab kuch sikha humne”, “dil ki nazar se” and “kisiki muskurahaton pe ho nisar” from film Anari, “ai sanama jish ne tujhe chand sa surat di hai” from film Diwana, “sajanwa bairi ho gaye hamar”, from film Teesri Kasam, composed by SJ, etc. The list can go on. Shankar Jaikishan stormed bollywood films with their everlasting tunes for more than 25 years, and wherever they were associated with Raj Kapoor, Mukesh sang the songs of his lifetime. The combination gave everlasting hits in films like Barsaat, Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, Ek Dil Sau Afsana, Around the World, Diwana, Teesri Kasam, Mera Naam Joker, to name a few. In non-Raj Kapoor films also Mukesh did a superlative job. His performance in Dilip Kumar’s Madhumati, composed by Salil Choudhury, Manoj Kumar’s Hariyali Aur Raasta composed by Shankar Jaikishan, Rajender Kumar’s Saathi composed by Naushad Ali, Manoj Kumar’s Pathar Ke Sanam composed by LP, require special mention. Some of the notable songs of Mukesh which had remained immortal in those films included “dil tarap tarap ke kehrahahe aabhi ja” in Madhumati, “ifteda-e-ishq me” in Hariyali Aur Raasta, “mera pyar bhi tuhe” in Saathi, “tauba yeh matwali chal” in Patthar Ke Sanam, etc. He died in 1976, and ended the era relating to soft romantic songs. His journay from the film Nirdosh in 1941 to Amar Akbar Anthony in 1977, remained unblemish. In 1974, he received national award for best singer for the song “kai baar yun hi dekha hai” from the film Rajnigandha, composed by Salil Choudhury. He deserved many more national awards, as he had sung from his soul bringing tears in the listener’s eyes. Besides he received filmfare awards for his best performance in films like Anari, Pehchan, Beimaan, Kabhi Kabhi. Even in the 70s, when slow music gradually lost its predominance, Mukesh’s songs in somber mood like “mai pal do pal ka shayar hoon” and “kabhi kabhi mere dil me” in the film Kabhi Kabhi composed by Khayyam and written by Sahir Ludhiyanvi created a permanent place in the hearts of millions of musiclovers. Articles after articles can be devoted on the successful combination of Mukesh with Shankar Jaikishan, Salil Choudhury, Naushad, Roshan, and others. His films and songs should be preserved.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Remembering Hemanta Mukherjee on his birth anniversary.


Remembering Hemant Kumar on his birth anniversary. The viewers of bollywood and Bengali films pay their homage to evergreen singer Hemant Kumar on his birthday on 16th June, 2017. He had died more than 17 years back, but had left lot of memories which are cherished by the following generations. He composed music in many bollywood films in the 50s and 60s and carried forward the legacy of Rabindra Sangeet beyond the Bengal border and made it popular all across India. He composed music in the film Nagin and got the filmfare award for the best composer in 1955. His tune “man dole” sung by Lata for Vaijayantimala became extremely popular in the mid -50s. He sang a number of songs for Dev Anand including “yeh raat yeh chandni” in the film Jaal, “yeh apna dil” in Solwa Saal composed by SD Burman, songs in Patita composed by Shankar Jaikishan, etc. He also sang the legendary song “jane yeh kaise” for Guru Dutt in the film Pyaasa. His composition in Biswajeet’s films Bees Saal Baad and Kohra, became super hit. Successful songs included “yeh nayan dhali dhali”, “zara nazron se kahdo ji”, etc. In fact Hemant Kumar produced the film Bees Saal Baad, which was the sequel of Bengali crime thriller Jighansha, directed by Ajoy Kar. Hemant Kumar’s composition in the other films included Biswajeet’s Do Dil, Dilip Kumar’s Paigam, Dharmender’s Khamoshi, Guru Dutt’s Sahe Bibi Aur Ghulam, to name a few. Some of the hit songs sung by Hemant Kumar in those films included “tum pukarke”, and others. Besides he had given many hit songs to Lata, Asha and Geeta Dutt in those films. Hemant Kumar had sung majority of playback songs for Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar in the 50s. His songs included “surer akashe tumi je go shuktara” from the film Shapmochon in 1955, “tare bole diyo” from the film Dui Bhai in 1961, “nir choto khoti nei” from the film Indrani in 1958, “ei poth Jodi na shesh hoi” from the film Saptapadi in 1961, “jai chole jai” from the film Kal Tumi Aleya in 1965, “sapno jagano raat” from the film Shudhu Ekti Bachar in 1966, “mou bane aaj” from the film Bondhu in 1958, to name a few. Besides most of the Rabindra Sangeet sung by Hemant Kumar in Bengali films became hits, including “tumi robe nirobe” in Biswajeet’s Kuheli, “ami pothbhola ek pathik” in Uttam Kumar’s Mon Niye, “jokhon porbe na mor” in Uttam Kumar’s film Bibhas, “purano shei diner kotha” in Uttam Kumar’s Agnisshar, etc. Hemant Kumar had composed songs in more than 50 bengali films like Shap Mochon, Harano Sur, Saptapadi, Deep Jele Jai, Sathihara, Palatak, Phuleshwari, Dadar Kirti, Dui Bhai, Surjotoron, etc., most of which became dashing hits. Hemant Kumar had sung more than 1000 bengali modern songs under different composers. He had sung trend-setting songs composed by Salil Choudhury like “runner”, “kono ek gayer bodhu”, “patha harabo bole ebar”, “palki chole”. Nochiketa Ghosh composed landmark song for Hemant Kumar titled “amar ganer shorolipi lekha robe”. He had sung many ranbindra sangeet and showed his own skill aside other giants like Pankaj Mallick, Subinoy Ray, Dijen Mukherjee, Debrata Biswas and others. Hemant Kumar’s contribution in Bengali modern songs and film songs is so huge that articles after articles can be devoted for the melody king of Bengal. The viewers pay their respect for the departed soul of legendary singer Hemant Kumar on his birthday.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Meena Kumari's films are still relevant today.


Remembering Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari on her birth
anniversary. The viewers of bollywood films remembered Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari both on her birth anniversary on 1st August, 2016 on her death anniversary on 31st March, 2017. Meena Kumari can be considered as the greatest actress of Bollywood during the golden age who had portrayed images and characters showing complexity of the mind of the Indian women and the social ostentations that they had faced during different periods of time. Meena Kumari, born on 1st August, 1932, known as Mahjabeen Bano, stormed into the Indian silver screen in 1952, with the sublime performance in Baiju Bawra. Although the film had been renowned for everlasting composition of Hindustani ragas by Naushad and supreme performance of Mohammad Rafi, with songs like “man tarpata”, “woh duniya ke rakhwale”, etc., Meena Kumari’s performance opposite Bharat Bhushan showed the filmlovers that she had come to conquer Bollywood with her soft style of acting. In the 50s Meena Kumari’s performance in films like Parineeta, 1953, Footpath, 1954, Yahudi, 1958, etc. were appreciated by critics, but she had created her image of martyr in the film Sharda, 1957, where even after having an affair with Raj Kapoor, in the film she had to sarcrifice her affection to marry Raj Mehra, his father, who was much older than her. In Dil Ek Mandir, 1963, Meena Kumari after having affair with Rajender Kumar in her youth had to marry Raj Kumar, due to social pressure. But from the time she had married Raj Kumar, she fulfilled all the duties of a middle class Hindu woman, and brought her sick husband to the hospital at the mercy of Rajender Kumar. She prayed to God, for the recovery of Raj Kumar. Rajender Kumar sacrificed his life to treat her husband and died at the end of the film. The songs composed by Shankar Jaikishan and sung by Rafi and Lata, had not lost their significance even today. In 1962, Meena Kumari, performed the role of choti bahu, in Guru Dutt’s Saheb Bibi aur Ghulam, the film showing the zamindari raj (dominance of Feudal lords) existing in the British capital in India, that is Kolkata. She was married to the youngest son in a family of zamindars who used to attend mujras in Jaan bazaar, in Kolkata, where performers from Lucknow, Benaras used to come and exhibit their skills of singing classical songs. She tried to retain her husband Rehman at home, and through her conversation, Guru Dutt, the observer came to know about the history of the family. Meena Kumar’s performance opposite Pradeep Kumar, used to create a different dimension, as her pardanashin image had matched with royal style of acting of Pradeep Kumar. After the success of Aarti, 1962; Meena Kumari, acted in the blockbusters Bheegi Raat, 1965, and Bahu Begum, 1967, opposite Pradeep Kumar and Ashok Kumar. In Bheegi Raat, she loved Pradeep Kumar, yet due to an accident which made her legs paralysed she could not attend the engagement and worked in the house of Ashok Kumar as governess. When society boycotted Ashok Kumar, she agreed to marry her, but presence of Pradeep Kumar at the end of the film in the song “dil jo na keh saka” compelled Ashok Kumar to sacrifice his affair and go back to London. It was a film where, Rafi, Lata, Roshan and the actors all had provided their best performance possible. Meena Kumar’s other film with Pradeep Kumar titled Chitralekha was also successful. Meena Kumari had become immortal with her classic performance in the film Pakeeza, 1971, opposite Raj Kumar, which took around 10 years to be completed. It was created on a subject related to women brought up in kotha and exhibited the class of women who could not give the recognition to their next generation as their father’s are not known. The music composed by Ghulam Mohammad, Lata and Rafi’s songs, Kamal Humrohi’s direction (the husband of Meena Kumari) all complemented each other, and the film became historical piece of document. The greatest hallmark of Meena Kumari lied in her ability to depict the helplessness of Indian women existing specially in the 50s and 60s, when the patriarchal society dominated them and they had no independent income to live separately against the pressure of society. In her performances, beauty, aristrocracy, tragedy, personality all blended into one. Whenever we think about cine-classics like Dil Apna aur Preet Parayi, 1960, or Ghazal, 1965, Meena Kumari’s image automatically comes in our mind. She died in 1972, only at an age of 41. Meena Kumari’s films should be restored in an archive for future generations to learn the art of understanding the characters from the core of the heart the way Meena Kumari had done during the golden age of Indian cinema.