Ek raah to woh hogi.. the meeting path.

Movie – Aandhi.
Singers – Lata Mangeshkar, Kishor Kumar.
Composer – R. D. Burman.
Lyricist – Gulzar.

13th February. Aandhi completes glorious 43 years today and still the charisma seems everlasting!! Before a couple of year, I shared my thoughts and feel for one of my most loved song, not only from Aandhi, but from whole treasure of Hindi film music – “Is mod se jaate hai..” My dear friend Deepa Buty had shared the same write-up on her immensely popular page – Thesongpedia. Reminiscing it by posting it here at ‘A pinch of lyfe’!

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost.

To me, Aandhi is all about the roads they choose to travel by. Here, ‘they’ includes not only Aarti (Suchitra Sen) and JK (Sanjeev Kumar) but also Gulzar and R. D. Burman. A lot has been written and discussed about its storyline and characterisation resembling much to the greatest lady in Indian politics but to me what Aandhi says in so serene yet subtle way is – “Kitaabon pe dhool jamne se kahaani kahaan badalti hai.!” (penned by Gulzar only).

They meet at a ‘mod’ – at a point. They cherish walking hand in hand. Roads diverge. They select their own roads to travel. They depart. Yet again at a ‘mod’, they meet. Again they cherish past and present moments of togetherness. Again, roads diverge. And again..

Just as Guide and Abhiman, Aandhi says the story of a couple wherein lady/wife is having greater potential than her spouse. But Aandhi stands much different because it’s a Gulzar movie after all. Unlike others, Gulzar here features a man who is neither envious nor possessive. Just that he is so simple and grounded. He loves to explore little pleasures of life offered by so simple and ‘sust kadam raste’ (like him) which always end to his own nasheman – nest. On the contrary, Aarti is quite a confident and flamboyant lady who loves to fly on faster roads which leads to foremost destinations. One fine day they meet on a ‘mod’ and the saga starts. IMO this song sings the complete journey of this couple.

Song is conceived in 1975 – before my birth and still whenever I listen to it, it feels as fresh as the first touch of a cool morning breeze blowing inside through an open window and giving a pleasant shiver to your whole being or the first hot sip of your morning coffee warming and stimulating your senses. It starts with so sweet sounds of swarmandal and vibraphone, then sway in the violins and finally flows in a honey-dipped voice as fresh as morning dew to blow you far away.. Even if you are not watching the song, this aalap makes you feel as if the golden rays of sun are rising from the mountains and dazzling through lushly green woods.

Is mod se jaate hai..
Lataji starts singing one of the best poetries penned by Gulzar and one of the greatest tunes composed by Pancham. Her ascending to the ‘mod’ is so mesmerizing that it takes over you completely right from there! Rhythm starts with tabla and after repeating the first line Lataji ends it to a higher note to invite so soft and soulful voice of KK moulded perfectly for JK’s character. And how aptly lyrics too defines their mindsets!

Is mode se jaate hai..
Kuchh sust kadam raste..
Kuchh tez kadam raahen.. Sings Aarti. How the path ahead is full of possibilities!

Paththar ki haveli ko..
sheeshe ke gharondon mein..
tinkon ke nasheman tak..
is mod se jaate hai.. Adds JK. Wherever you wander, ultimate destination is the place where you get love and warmth. This reminds one more Gulzar poem. “panaah mil jaaye rooh ko jiska haath chhu kar, usi hatheli pe ghar banaa lo.. Ki ghar wohi hai, aur panaah bhi..”
She exactly does so!

First interlude is sweeter than sweet! Again swarmadal gives the clue to that playful notes of flute. Sarod and sitar sing here an equally beautiful duet just as Lata-Kishor. Again flute pours in with so warming lower notes but violins pick it up to match up with the tale renditioned in first stanza.

“Aandhi ki tarah ud kar.. Ek raah guzarti hai..
Sharmati hui koi.. Kadamon se utarti hai..
In reshmi raahon main.. Ek raah to woh hogi..
Tum tak jo pahonchati hai..Is mod se jaate hai.”

And how it goes with the storyline! An ambitious Oxford alumni, filthy rich girl having a famous family background and a storm-like persona falls in love with quite a simple, humble and down to earth hotel manager who is quite good at cracking very funny jokes and writing very beautiful poems. She gets married with him against her father’s will who has brought her up so surpassingly to conquer higher goals of life like joining politics and being a great leader like Indira Gandhi rather than being house wife of a middle class man and breeding his children.

Together they spend some loveliest days/years of their lives but soon after being mother of their daughter – Mannu, Aarti starts feeling that she can’t live like this. She is not made for being at home merely. And finally her ambition takes her out of home and makes her choose quite a less traveled road where she departs not only from her husband but also leaves her 3 years old little daughter far behind.

But their roads cross again. When they meet and see each other, their love for each other springs out again which was forcibly buried alive by both of them. Story goes further displaying some cheap political twists and turns taking place and some of the greatest screenplays written by Gulzar where he has squeezed the finest of the acting abilities of wonderfully versatile Haribhai and immensely impressive Suchitra Sen.

Second stanza says it all in an amazing way!
“Ek door se aati hai.. Paas aa ke palata-ti hai..”
After that oh so long nine years, they come closer again. Aarti enters one more time in JK’s lonely life as if to fill the void both have been bearing deep inside their hearts throughout. But.. Again.. “Paas aa ke palata-ti hai..” She has to take turn one more time.. She has to move ahead.. And JK stays there only – alone – “ek raah akeli si.. rukti hai na chalti hai..”
How finally she wishes that..
“Yeh soch ke baithi hun.. Ek raah to woh hogi..
Tum tak jo pahonchati hai.. Is mod se jaate hai.”

Same song flows in one more time at the end of this movie. The scene so deeply moves you. It’s not always like you choose the road. Sometimes the road itself chooses you to conquer some destinations and that’s we call destiny. Their hands meet and depart.. But just as their servant – Brinda once says “woh rishta hi kya jo haath chhutne se toot jaaye..”

How meaningfully this time Pancham places those words in Lataji’s voice who sings on behalf of Aarti..
Patthar ki haveli ko..
Sheeshe ke gharondon mein..
Tinkon ke nasheman tak..
Is mod se jaate hai..

Aandhi is one of my top favorite Pancham-Gulzar soundtrack. And to me, this one is the song of love and hope. Melody starts flowing through your veins while listening it. I would never be able to express how much I love this song.
Actually Gulazar sahab had written an urdu nazm with same opening lines which is part of his collection of urdu poetries named ‘Pukhraaj’. Some of nazms from the same collection has been composed and sung by our legendary singer Bhupindersingh ji for one of his albums ‘Woh jo shayar tha’ having all Gulzar creations in it. Sharing here that urdu nazm also.

Is mod se jaate hain
Kuchh sust kadam raste
kuchh tez kadam raahen.
Is mod se jaate hain..

Sahara ki taraf jaakar, ek raah bagolon mein
kho jaati hai chakara kar, ik raah udhadati si..
chhilati hui kaanto se, jangal se gujarati hai..
ek daud ke jaati hai, aur kood ke girati hai
Anajaan khalaaon mein, is mod se jaate hain..

Us mod pe baitha hun.
Jis mod se jaati hai, har ek taraf raahen..
ek roz toh yun hoga..
Is mod pe aa kar tum, ruk jaaogi kahe dogi..
Woh kaun sa rasta hai, jis raah pe jana hai..
Woh kaun sa rasta hai………

Both Hindi and urdu nazms meet at a point.

Yeh soch ke baithi hun ek raah to woh hogi
Tum tak jo pahonchati hai..is mod se jaate hai..
Us mod pe baitha hun..
Is mod pe aa kar tum ruk jaaogi kahe dogi..
Woh kaun sa rasta hai.. Jis raah pe jana hai..
Woh kaun sa rasta hai..

Yeah, those who love, hope and wait. https://youtu.be/STOM6NZfcrs

Hum bewafa hargiz na they – Chants of piercing poignance.

Movie – Shalimar.
Singer – Kishore Kumar.
Composer – R. D. Burman.
Lyricist – Anand Bakshi.

Hum bewafa hargiz na they…
How much difficult it would be not to shed even a single tear when you feel like crying your heart out.! How dreadful it would be not to say a word when you need to shout out loud.! How devastating it would be to stay silent even if you are being gravely misunderstood and watching your world falling apart helplessly…
Any ‘007’ too has a heart, he feels, he too loves, he too weeps as he is a human.. yeah, and it’s not like that revelation we got only after Casino Royal! Men on mission are not machines as something is throbbing inside them too.. Just like Agent 3694 – Kumar on mission “Shalimar”.

Shalimar was one of the most expensive movies ever made of its time by our Gujarati filmmaker Krishna Shah who was working in Hollywood far earlier than Shekhar kapur started. Movie was shot both in English and Hindi and released both in India and US together in 1978. In spite of having quite an interesting plot and awesome starcast like Rex Harrison, Sylvia Miles, John Saxon from Hollywood and Dharmendra, Shammi kapur, Zeenat Aman, O P Ralhan from bollywood, both the versions got shattered so badly on box office. And Still! How Shalimar has been throbbing throughout the years in hearts of Indian mass. Reason? Of course, its mind blowing soundtrack. Songs composed by R D Burman were/are actually breaths of this movie. Picking a personal favourite which comes from a personal favourite voice – Kishore Kumar and so beautifully penned by Anand Bakshi.

Sir John( Rex Harrison), a millionaire dying from cancer invites top thieves of world on a private island to steal his precious most asset, a ruby – Shalimar worth Rs. 135 crores which is kept safe in a bullettproof case surrounded by minefield and hundreds of armed guards. An uninvited, anonymous thief Kumar( Dharmendra) reaches there somehow and joins this deadning game. He gets stumped when he finds his lost love Sheila ( Zeenat Aman) working there as Sir John’s personal assistant. Both the hearts endure vortexes of pinning past memories.
Dharmendra here startles you.. In my opinion, this is the height of interpretation of the character by him particularly for this song! He reminds you once again that he is the same actor who did Anupama and Satyakam!

Song starts with quite a short prelude. Chorus. Those so weird but unforgettable chants – jhinga la la hum jhinga la la hum jhinga la la hum hurr hurr.. Some percussions. Sober strums on guitar. Little sound of flames coming from hundreds of burning fire lights. And breezes in the most sonorous voice..
NONE in the world can replace this soulful voice here which takes over the song completely till the end. Each of words is coming straight from heart with sea-full of emotions.
“Hum bewafa hargiz na they..”
The pain peals more with the word – HARGIZ. You feel a silent sob when KK sings “par hum wafaaaa..”
and an exhausting helplessness in “kar na sake..”
Second line is even more grievous..
“Hum ko milie.. uski sazaa…
hum jo khataa… kar na sake.”

That hum by chorus lifts the sadness in the air. But soon gushes back those weird chants which has hardly anything to do with the mood of the song! And how convincingly it flows throughout the song without affecting the emotions depicted in lyrics!! Who else could even think so??! Lord Pancham creates here an unprecedented, unexplored, mystic world of melody wherein all such contradictions blooming on same span making it ethereal and eternal.

For the first interlude, besides chorus, R.D.Burman has used some wonderful percussions synced with thumping tribal chants. Calm notes of synthesiser wind it all up. A single strum on guitar and 3 words all alone in Kishore’s voice.. “kitnee akeli thi woh..” feel of stark loneliness piercing straight. Can you imagine any other way to make it more poignant?

“kitnee akeli thi woh.. raahen hum jin par..
Ab tak akele chalte rahe..”

No. His pained eyes are not welling but gazing far back somewhere reluctantly.. Dharmendra has done a stupifying job by doing nothing! That lonesome lamp burning just besides him reveals his condition – a fancy glass outside covering a scorching fire inside..

Tujh se bichhad ke bhi.. o bekhabar..
tere hi ghum mein.. jalte rahe..

Guitar, bongo and subtle sound of violins make it more and more numbing. None except those mourn-like hums respond when his groans,
“Tune kiya jo shiqva..
hum woh gilaa kar na sake..”.

In second interlude too, chorus and percussions sing the same mismatched saga. Some wierd notes from synth matching tribal figures on screen, striking sticks on dhols, a beautiful bass flute flowing with rising sound of violins. Nothing comes to help Kishore Kumar and lyrics except those violins soaring like an unresting pang. Perhaps it depicts his situation more effectively. He is standing there all alone where just none is able to understand his words(pain). No one cares. None who shares.

Bakshi babu’s pen flows on…

“Tumne jo dekha-suna sach tha magar..
Kitna tha sach ye Kis ko pataa..
Jane tumhe maine koi dhokha diya..
Jane tumhe koi dhokha hua.. “

Nothing to explain. Nothing to complain. Nothing to blame.. just saying,
“is pyaar mein.. sach-jhooth ka..
tum faisala.. kar na sake..”
You could have done. You didn’t.

Song completes with the same weird chants and same sound of flames coming from burning fire lights. And still, here no sound is coming from all those fire lights burning inside him and no water even from his own eyes to blow them out..
But he has R.D.Burman, Anand Bakshi and Kishore Kumar and finally that fire gets its way out and all his pain floats along with this mourning melody.


Saga of woven cords – Saaree umar humein sang rahena hai..

Movie – Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Singer – Kishore Kumar. Composer – R. D. Burman. Lyricist – Anand Bakshi.

“Jab se meri aankhon se ho gai tu door..
Tab se saare jeevan ke sapne hai choor..
Aankhon men neend na..
man main chaina hai..”

Hindi film music has a big treasure of such melodies depicting the piercing pain of parting.
…Is that so??
Well.. Not really. When you listen the last line of the same stanza, it moves you deep within. Tell me, how many songs you have listened earlier and even later wherein a brother is yearning for his younger sister to this much extent?!

‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ brought a lot to think and feel for the society in early 70s. So many subjects to cover in a single commercial movie! Misled youths devastating themselves in drugs, woes of broken marriages and sliced families, increasing issue of smuggling of our heritage masterpieces and all that in a completely commercial movie! The film was a smashing hit. And the reasons behind that in my opinion were undoubtedly its music, flaunting presence of that debutant diva – Zeenat Aman and quite a touching storyline.
A misunderstood, lonesome lassie splitted from her loved ones flies far away from all fake relations and tries to alleviate her pain with the help of drugs and some unknown friends gravely detached from the society just like her!
And there comes her angel – her brother who used to be one and only loving, caring, warming and blaming person in her life…

Whenever I watch this movie, the thing moves me the most is those pinning efforts of Prashant – Dev Anand to fetch back his sister to the life again.! Climax and also the end of this movie is so much saddening. This song startles you and leaves an everlasting emotion in your heart.

Kishore Kumar starts humming and something starts pulsating restlessly inside you with those gentle strums on guitar and so subtle sound of bongo. As Kishor Kumar repeats the same notes, you feel that something in you too is melting with that rendition and you too feel a lump chocking your throat just as Janice – Zeenat Aman feels when she listens the most loved and cherished words and dhun of her life till that moment.
“Phoolon ka taron ka sabka kehna hai
Ek hazaron mein meri behna hai
Saaree umar humein sang rehna hai…”

Soon the song completely takes over you and even you miss to notice that corners of your eyes are welling now..
In interlude, that haunting notes of guitar and violins forecast to happen something too bad and sad in coming moments but soon that flute brings you back there where Anand Bakshi’s pen leaves you struggling to hold all the water inside your eyes only.
“Jab se meri aankhon se ho gayi tu door
Tab se saare jeevan ke sapne hain choor
Aankhon mein neend na man mein chaina hai
Ek hazaron mein meri behna hai
Saaree umar humein sang rehna hai..”

Those tweeting notes of flute played along with hearty voice of Kishore Kumar sounds as if someone splashes the drops of water to the fainted mindset of Janice and those so fond memories of her childhood flash back to her! Her eyes restlessly search where the song is coming from and she finally gets a glimpse of her brother singing..
“Dekho hum-tum dono hai ek daali ke phool..
Main na bhoola tumko tu mujh ko gai bhool..
Aa mere paas aa kahe jo kahena hai…
Ek hazaaron mein meri bahena hai..”

It stuns her..! She stands still..! And ultimately takes that anesthetic escape to calm the poignant pang deafening her senses.

In last interlude, that sobbing notes of violin, numbing bell sound, swaying violins and strumming guitar take the feel of poignance at its peak and Janice takes that last ‘dam’ of her life.. She rushes there where her brother is, stops for a while and comes closer giving him a deadening gaze.. Drug overdose picks her from present and takes her back to the most blissful moments of her life where her loving little brother has held her on his back..
“Phoolon ka taaron ka sab ka kahena hai..
Ek hazaaron men meri bahena hai..
Saree umar humen sang rahena hai.. “

I equally love the childhood version of this song. Lataji sounds immensely adorable and Pancham too gives his lovely little share singing two lines here. HFM has hundreds or even more kasme-vaade songs, but to me, this classic remains the most affectionable always..