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, 2015. 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.
Remembering Mohammad Rafi on his death anniversary.
The listeners of music all over the world remember the all-time great singer Mohammad Rafi on 31st July, 2015. The noble soul had left his admirers 35 years ago. Yet he is alive in numerous everlasting hit songs which are heard and cherished for generations.
The Poll in History TV relating to 100 years of Indian cinema was erroneous. Mohammad Rafi got the maximum amount of votes yet he was adjudicated as best singer jointly with Kishore Kumar. Firstly those admirers of Mohammad Rafi who had listened to his great songs in the 1940s and 1950s, may not have voted at all, because many of them were not computer-friendly. Otherwise he would have received 10 crores votes more from across the world. The bigger factor is the musical giants in the form of composers of 1940s, 1950s and 1960s had expired. So the view of Naushad Ali, or Shankar Jaikishan, or Madanmohan Kohli or Roshanlal Nagrath or OP Nayyar had not been taken. Neither the view of lyricists Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Shailendra and others were taken. All of them would have unimously said Mohammad Rafi was the greatest singer ever to have graced Indian soil.
A Mohammad Rafi Musical Academy should be opened in Mumbai. The aim and objective of the Academy should be to train singers in the art of playback singing. The way Pune Film and Development Institute had created acting talents like Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and others, in the same way Mohammad Rafi Academy and appoint singers of repute from different parts of the world to train young singers in the art of playback singing.
Mohammad Rafi had been the greatest playback singer ever to have been graced the Indian soil. No other singer can even imagine about visualizing the emotions of Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Bharat Bhushan, Pradip Kumar, Johnny Walker, all together in the same voice. After bringing about the acting quotients of the legendary actors Mohammad Rafi went one step further to fulfill the requirements of the best composers of the country like Naushad Ali, Shankar Jaikishan, Ghulam Mohammad, Roshan Lal Nagrath, Madanmohan Kohli, OP Nayyar, to name a few, and the greatest lyricists like Shakeel Badayani, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, and others. Rafi’s 26000 songs are invaluable musical treasure by listening to which any singer can improve his style of singing.
It is a huge question as to how can the singing parameters of Mohammad Rafi can be instilled in the new singers, because playback singing cannot be grammatically taught. But at least the new singers can be trained in classical singing, ghazals, qawallies and may be western style of singing also. The biggest thing is they can be made to listen to Rafi’s singing different types of songs. Few of the Indian classical singers like Suresh Wadkar, Yesu Das, Hariharan, can be few names who can regularly give training to new singers.
One big requirement for the present generation is to actually listen to the wide range of songs Mohammad Rafi had sung including the non-filmi albums. With the media shifting focus towards the new generation music of modern day giants like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohit Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, there is every possible chance of Rafi’s works not gaining media attention as majority of the works were during 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. The young generations hardly know the grand compositions of Naushad Ali, or Shankar Jaikishan; nor the urdu-based poetry of Raja Mehendi Ali Khan or Sahir Ludhiyanvi. So the great works of Mohammad Rafi’s generation require very strong publicity and restoration. By better knowing Mohammad Rafi’s works, Indian music can be improved, because no other playback singer in India had given adequate expression to folk songs, pure classical songs, bhajans, rock and roll songs, soft music, ghazals and other forms of Indian music the way Mohammad Rafi had done over a span of 35 years.