Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy birthday to melody-queen Lata Mangeshkar.

Happy birthday to melody-queen Lata Mangeshkar. The listeners of music in India and abroad wish happy birthday to Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen on 28th September, 2014. She had remained a sensation even in her 80s. Starting her journey from the early 40s, Lataji created an impression with the songs “ayega anewala” in the film Mahal, released in 1947 composed by Khemchand Prakash. The songs of the horror film were picturised on Madhubala who later became a legendary star of bollywood films. Lata faced the competition from eminent singers Noorjahan, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, Rajkumari, and others and emerged victorious in the 50s and 60s. Her sweetness of voice compelled composers to give the best tunes ever created in Indian film history. Along with Rafi, Lata had the record of singing songs of almost all the composers of the golden age. Everlasting gems of Lata include “tu jaha jahan chalega” composed by Madanmohan Kohli, “duniya kare sawal” composed by Roshanagrath , “hume tum mil gaye humdum” composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “phir teri kahani yaad aye” composed by Naushad Ali , “ajare pardesi” composed by Salil Choudhury, “allah tero naam” composed by Jaidev, “piya tose naina lage re” composed by SD Burman, to name a few. Lata had sung more than 30000 songs during her singing career which was more than 65 years long. She had sung for Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Wahida Rehman, on one hand, and did sing for the new actresses of the 90s namely Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, etc. Her patriotic songs “aye mere watan ke logon” brought tears even in the eyes of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Articles after articles can be devoted to the Indian nightingale, Lata who had remained an institution in different types of songs including Hindustani classical, folk songs, lift romantic songs, to name a few. Lata Mangeshkar sung songs in more than 15 regional languages including Marathi, Bengali and others. She played a very significant role in Bengali film industry in the world of playback singing. Some of her hit songs included “jago” in Raj Kapoor’s film Ekdin Ratre, composed by Salil Choudhury, “aaj mon cheyeche ami hariye jabo” composed by Sudhin Dasgupta in Uttam Kumar’s film Shankhabela, to name a few. Goddess Saraswati was very kind to the nightingale of India, Lataji, and that was the reason the sweetness of her voice remained intact for the last 60 years. Articles after articles can be written about the musical genius. Singers of the present age consider Lataji as their idol and try to emulate her style. Even reputed singers like Sonu Nigam feel privileged to get his son record his son at such tender age with evergreen legend Lata Mangeshkar. The listeners of music all over the world expect Lataji to continue the great work that she started 70 years ago. Her works should be restored.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shankar Jaikishan, Rafi and Dev Anand.

Shankar Jaikishan, Rafi and Dev Anand. Dev Anand, the stylish actor of the 50s and 60s was generally associated with towering composer SD Burman as he was preferred under the Navketan banner and contributed in most of Dev’s films from 40s to 60s. The team of Dev Anand comprising of SD Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Lata, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, Kishore, Hemant Kumar, Talat Mehmood, was different from the team of Dilip Kumar, Naushad, Shakeel Badayani, Rafi, or the team of Raj Kapoor, Shankar Jaikishan, Manna Dey, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Mukesh, etc. But when producers and directors approached Shankar Jaikishan for composing music in Dev Anand’s films, they did not follow the existing trend. Shankar Jaikishan either broke the existing trends of music or created a new trend which was followed by the following generations. In the film Patita, in the 50s, songs were sung by mainly Hemant Kumar and Lata. But the combination of SJ and Dev Anand stormed bollywood from the time he used Rafi for almost all the songs in the film Love Marriage in 1959. Love Marriage became super hit, with Dev Anand and Mala Sinha and the songs became everlasting hits. Rafi’s songs included “kahan ja rahe the”, “dheere dheere chal”, etc. The songs were mostly picturised in the studios but had great appeal. The combination of Rafi, SJ and Dev Anand created storms in the film Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai. Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai was a musical film with Asha Parekh and all the songs became super hit in the early 60s. Some of them included “jiya ho, jiya ho jiya kuch bol do”, “sau saal pehele hume tumse pyar tha”, “yeh aankhe uff yummma”, “teri zulfonki”, to name a few. The success of the film Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai was followed up in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film Asli Nakli. In Asli Nakli, Sadhna acted opposite Dev Anand, and all the songs were super hit again. Rafi and Lata’s songs included “tera mera pyara amar”, “tujhe jeevan ki dor se bandh liya hai”, “ek budh banayunga”, “asli nakli chehera”, etc. Some songs were picturised on the Bengali actress Sandhya Roy who played the role of the sister of Dev Anand in the film. In the late 60s Dev Anand’s popularity decreased with rise of new stars like Shammi Kapoor, Rajender Kumar, Joy Mukherjee, Manoj Kumar, etc., so the films like Pyar Mohabbat or Duriyan did moderate business if compared with the hits of the early 60s. So Rafi and SJ’s combination with Dev Anand could not get recognition to that extent. Even then the songs in the film Pyar Mohabbat, like “dil ki awaaz khuda khair Karen”, “pyar muhobbat” and duet songs with Sharda like “sun sun, sun re balam, dil tujhko pukare” were hits. Music lovers across the country feel that had Shankar Jaikishan not been busy with Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Rajender Kumar in the 50s and 60s, the golden combination of Rafi, SJ and Dev Anand could have given many more number of melodious hits. The songs and the films should be preserved.

The nation remembers style icon Feroz Khan on his birthday.

The nation remembers style icon Feroz Khan on his birthday. The nation remembers Feroz Khan on his birthday on 25th September, 2014. He had died in 2009, four years back and the nation had missed the style icon very badly. Feroz Khan started his career with romantic films. His performance in the film Aarzoo, in the mid-60s with Rajender Kumar and Sadhna is well remembered even today. He played the role of friend of Rajender Kumar who sacrificed his wife for the best interest of his friend Rajender Kumar. While Feroz Khan’s performance in romantic films like Ek Sapera Aur Ek Lutera was well appreciated, his skills in action films like Aadmi Aur Insaan, Mela, etc., created a separate identity for himself. Feroz Khan did a great job in the film Oonche Log along with Raj Kumar and Ashok Kumar. It was a romantic film with Rafi’s romantic song “jag dil-e diwana”. Feroz Khan was killed at the end of the film by Tarun Bose. From the 70s, Feroz Khan got involved in production and direction of his own films and created gold in the next 20 years. His film Apradh with Mumtaz became super hit. He brought in many dimensions of car driving in Indian cinema. He showed car racing in Apradh. His film Dharmatma with Hema Malini and Rekha created history in the mid-70s. It was modeled in the lines of Hollywood film Godfather where Marlon Brando played the lead role. Part of the film was shot in Dubai, and from that time Feroz Khan used Dubai for shooting many of his blockbuster films. Feroz Khan’s action style mesmerized the viewers. He gave a stylish performance in the film Khote Sikke and Kala Sona. His Robinhood like image haunted the viewers. He did wear a black dress which was very popular among the youngstars of the 1970s. Whatever he did wear in his young days used to declare fashion statement. His style of riding cars, riding horses and jugglery with the guns showed touch of Hollywood actors. With the advent of action films in the mid-70s with the emerging of Amitabh Bacchan in the bollywood scenario, Feroz Khan’s demand in action film increased and increased. His film Qurbani with Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman created storms in the early 80s. Rafi’s song ‘kya dekhteho” picturised on Feroz Khan, became hit in the early 80s. He gave a new definition to action films with the film Jaanbaaz, where he protested against the trade of LSD and other Narcotic drugs. Villains like Raza Murad and Shakti Kapoor gained prominence from Feroz Khan’s films. Feroz Khan used Anil Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia and Sri Devi in Jaanbaaz in his unique style. His film Yaalgaar with Sanjay Dutt, Manisha Koirala and Kabir Bedi also became super hit in the early 90s. One of the other shades of character of Feroz Khan was to promote the newcomers. He acknowledged the brilliant skills of Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, who were much younger than him and formed the next generation of actors. Feroz Khan maintained his body for more than 30 years and that was the reason who could act opposite three generation of actresses, including Sadhna in Aarzoo in 1965, to Hema Malini in Dharmatma in 1975, to Sri Devi in Jaanbaaz in 1985. In the late 90s he promoted his own son Fardeen Khan. Even in recent films like Welcome he showed his comedy skills opposite Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Paresh Rawal, Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar. His death brought a great loss to the film industry. He is remembered on his birthday and will always be remembered in the years to come.