We always wonder why songs from the past stand out compared to recent songs .
There is no doubt that there are music directors and lyricists who do great work even today.
Then what is lacking???
Screenplay writers and directors have, over the years, lost faith in lyricists.
I would not name anybody in particular but in the seventies eighties and nineties very few lyricists have been able to impress.
It has been a two way traffic…there has been a dearth of good screenplay writers and directors…and stars have taken over the business of film-making.
Raj Kapoor, the director, from the very beginning, believed that songs were an essential part of narrating a story on screen.
After making ‘Aag’, in ‘Barsaat’, he discovered the talent of Shanker Jaikishan and Hasrat Jaipuri….
Towards the end of ‘Barsaat’, Shailendra joined them. RK knew, he had a team that would literally rewrite the history of Hindi film music.
All his films depended on songs to take his story forward…His first colour film ‘Sangam’ was no exception.
Effectively, Sangam had two theme songs….one at the beginning of the film and one towards the end. The first is a joyful party song where, the three main characters in the film…Raj Kapoor, Vyajantimala and Rajendra Kumar actually introduce themselves to the audience….They in fact reveal to the audience the part they will be playing as the story of the film unfolds.
The second is a song that comes towards the end…after most of the story has unfolded (Dost dost na raha…)
“Harr dil jo pyaar karega…”, taken at face value, is a party song full of fun….started by Raj Kapoor, true to his character of a fun loving, good for nothing person who is madly in love with Radha played by Vajyantimala.
BUT the words Shailendra has written, take the song to a different level….Added to this, the little touches that the director has contributed, have the desired effect on the audience.
In this song, like so many of his songs, Shailendra chooses his words like a highly talented screenplay writer. According to where the song comes in the film, his words reveal certain things to the audience, yet, he makes them curious about what will happen as the film progresses…..Writing a good screenplay is tough….but to do it with lyrics??? JUST OUT OF THIS WORLD !!!
The song starts with Raj Kapoor playing the accordion that makes up the introduction music….he sings the mukhda…
” Harr dil jo pyar karegaa, woh gaana gaayega,
diwana saikdon mein, pehchaana jaayega….”
In the interlude, he moves towards Vyajantimala, who moves away towards Rajendra Kumar, who, in turn moves away to isolate himself…
Raj Kapoor sings the verse…
” Aap hamare, dil ko churaa kar,
aankh churaaye jaatey hain,
yeh ek tarfaa, rasme wafaa hum,
phir bhi nibhaaye jaatey hain,
chaahat ka dastoor hai lekin, aapko hi maaloom nahin…
jiss mehfil mein shamaa ho, parwana jaayega…”
Vyajantimala joins in… she sings the mukhda… Raj is ecstatic… he thinks she is addressing him…
After the interlude, she sings…
” Bhooli bisri, yaadein mere,
hanstey gaatey bachpan ki,
raat biraat, chali aati hain,
neend churaaney nainan ki,
ab keh doongi, kartey kartey, kitney saawan beet gaye…
jaane kab in aankhon ka, sharmaana jaayega…”
She is addressing Rajendra Kumar… he understands…. but his loyalty towards his friend makes him awkward….
The next verse is sung by Rajendra Kumar….
” Apni apni, sab ne keh li,
lekin hum chup chaap rahey,
dard paraaya, jisko pyara,
woh kya apni baat kahey,
khaamoshi ka, yeh afsaana, reh jaayega, baad mere….
apnaake harr kisiko, begaana jaayega…..”
When one is watching this film for the first time, the words, the expressions of the actors and the movements, sound nice and look good…. But in turn, they churn up a kind of curiosity in the mind of the audience….
Raj Kapoor’s lines are a blatant expression of love and a little complaint as to how, the love of his life is not really understanding how much he loves her…He will pursue relentlessly….. ” Jis mehfil mein shamaa ho, parwaana jaayega…. “
Vyjantimala expresses that she feels the pangs of love …. the seeds of which were sown in her childhood itself…. ( Her love for Rajendra Kumar ) But, her shyness, ( the typical Indian upbringing ) has stopped her, many a time from expressing this love overtly to him…. She complains…. ” Jaaney kab inn aankhon ka, sharmaana jaayega…”
Rajendra Kumar expresses anguish…. He loves Vyjantimala too…. But his friendship with Raj Kapoor, and the fact that he knows how crazy his friend is about the lady, is forcing him to remain silent….” Dard paraaya, jissko pyara, woh kya apni baat kahey….”
The song ends… Raj Kapoor asks people to dance… he is still playing the accordion…Rajendra Kumar requests Vyajantimala to partner him … she eagerly joins him… Raj is happy to see his best friend dance with the woman he is madly in love with… In a compact shot…. there is a romantic exchange between Rajendra Kumar and Vyajantimala… she puts her head on his shoulder… Raj notices and he is a tad envious…
He suddenly starts playing the ‘Anniversary Waltz’…. ( Used as the RK theme in all his films )… it borders on sadness… Raj, then picks himself up and goes back to playing the happy notes of the song…
Shanker Jaikishen stand out among the crowd of music directors…. They use the piano, the accordion and violins to perfection… Note the subtle changes in these three instruments when required to go from gaiety to seriousness…. They understand exactly what their beloved ‘Rajsahab’ wants ….. The deliver…. AND HOW !!!
Very few people, including many music directors understand the importance of balancing sound levels to perfection….. They should listen to any song composed by Shanker Jaikishen…. They were the undisputed champions !
The subtle changes in expressions of the three main actors…. handled excellently by the director, make this great song greater… Raj Kapoor gives his co-actors proper screen space and manages to bring out the best performances…
Shailendra’s words are great… but Raj Kapoor, the director, does not let his Kaviraj down !!!!!