1993 – ’94
I was 12 (I don’t believe in hiding my age!), I had recently ‘grown up’ and was basking in the glory of the new found adolescence! I don’t remember that age as being awkward in the typical sense that so called experts call it! Puberty and adolescence was fun, I suddenly had wings…you see, I graduated to being labelled ‘mature’ overnight! And so everything adult was no longer brushed away from conversations. And neither was I! Suddenly it was alright for me to part of discussions that my mom and aunt had!
But my grandmother thought otherwise. Here I am talking about Didan, my mother’s mother. She would smirk at all the adult conversations that I had recently gained entry into, but she had some other sacrosanct rules for her first grandchild. For instance, songs that I could hum! 1993, happened to be the year when two films released…Subhash Ghai’s Khal Nayak and Yash Chopra’s Darr. The latter had my latest heart throb Shahrukh Khan in a villianous role and the former, my ultimate dancing diva Madhuri Dixit. For reasons quite public, I loved both the films…and particularly the pun in the lyrics of the famous Choli Ke Peeche was an ultimate high! So during one of our all and sundry discussions (this was clearly sometime early 1994) when we happened to talk about the lyrics in Hindi Cinema, this particular song came up as a volatile subject! My mother and aunt mutually consented to the fact that the music of the 70’s (that corresponded to their youth) was several notch higher than the music that I was growing up to! You will never know the lyricism that is gone…what composers, SD Burman, RD Burman, Hemant, Salil Chowdhury?? Somehow they always mentioned Bengali composers! But for singers they always mentioned Kishore, Rafi, Asha and Lata…song writers always missed out on the praises! Perhaps because they never bothered to look beyond composers and singers. Anyways, the discussion was about the non sensical lyrics in the songs of the 90s! To which my grandmother liberally added her opinion – “There is nothing wrong with Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai?” A statement that raised all our eyebrows…a 60 year old, old fashioned, grandmother of 4 didn’t mind the song at all??
The answer was simple, “Doesn’t the song answer the question in the second line? What was it?”
The question was of course directed to me, and I promptly replied, “Choli Ke Peeche Dil Hai Mera!”
“See! This is what I meant…the song is answering the question, how can you imply anything else?”
It made sense!
“What about, ‘Darwaza band karlo’?” I asked.
“Is there a song like that?” she gasped!
“Of course! in Darr!” I said in glee!
“Sing it for me!” she demanded, and I followed her order!
All this while my mother and grandmother shifted their gaze from her to me as if watching a game of tennis!
She pondered over it for a while and fidgeted with her specs. She was in the habit of losing them everywhere, sometimes while wearing them on the bridge of her nose she’d ask, has anyone seen my chashma?
Anyways, a silent minute passed, before she looked up and gave her verdict!
“It’s a bad bad song and you of all people should not sing it!”
She pursed her lips, frowned her not-so-nice-nice frown, and glared down at all of us – “C’mon, darwaza bandh karlo? Who knows what’s happening inside the closed doors?? Such songs spoil the mind of innocent viewers!! Maam (my nickname), don’t you listen to such songs!!!“
We all nodded in unison, as if her statement was meant for all of us…but inside we were all trying to control ourselves from breaking out into peals of laughter!
Years later, as I look back at the work of Anand Bakshi, I wonder what will I tell Didan if she discovers that I still listen to the song that she ordered me to stay away from? Let’s say, 17 years later this is a professional hazard for me…to watch and write about films! If I were to talk about my choice of Hindi film music today, I’d agree with my mother’s point of view…that songs of her generation and that before her were of a different league! The case in point would be the writing of a certain lyricist called Anand Bakshi. The author of both the disputed songs from 1993 had been in the industry from the 60’s! A song writer that gave us songs like…Yeh Jeevan Hai from Piya Ka Ghar, Chingari Koi Bhadke from Amar Prem, and also Tujhe Dekha Toh from DDLJ!! A man who got 4 Filmfare Awards from among 40 nominations! He wasn’t all that bad, you say…? Then I wonder why did he draw such criticism from my grandmother?
I didn’t have a justified argument then…years later, I have found one! Wasn’t he the one who wrote Roop Tera Mastana from the smashing hit of 1969 – Aradhana?
Sample the following lines…
Roop Tera Mastanaa Pyaar Mera Dewaana
Bhool Kabhi Humse Na Ho Jaye
Raat Nashilee Mast Shamma Hai
Aaj Nashe Me Sara Jahan Hai
Haay Sharabi Mausam Behakaye
Aankhon Se Aankh Miltee Hai Aise
Bechain Hoke Sahil Se Takaraye
Rok Raha Hai Humko Jamana
Door He Rehana Paas Na Aana
Kaise Magar Koi Dil Ko Samjayee
Roop Tera Mastanaa Pyaar Mera Dewaana
Bhool Kabhi Humse Na Ho Jaye
Or this one from Ajnabee…again a Rajesh Khanna number!
Kishore: Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein, Meeti Meeti Baaton Mein
Aise Barsaaton Mein Kaisa Lagtaa Hai?
Lata: Aisa Lagtaa Hai Tum Banke Baadal,
Mere Badan Ko Bhigoke Mujhe Chhed Rahe Ho Ho O
Chhed Rahe Ho (2)
Lat: Ambar Khele Holi Ui Ma
Bheegi Mori Choli Hamjoli Hamjoli (2)
O Paani Ke Is Rele Mein Saavan Ke Is Mele Mein
Chhat Pe Akele Mein
Kaisa Lagtaa Hai
Kishore: Aisa Lagtaa Hai Tum Banke Ghata
Apne Sajan Ko Bhigoke Khel Khel Rahi Ho O
Khel Rahi Ho
Lata : Aisa Lagtaa Hai
Tum Banke Baadal Mere Badan Ko Bhigoke Mujeh Chhed Rahe Ho Chedd Rahe Ho
Kishore: Barakha Se Bachhalun Tujeh
Seene Se Lagaa Loon
Aa Chhupaalun Aa Chhupaalun (2)
Dil Ne Pukara Dekho Rut Ka Ishaara Dekho
Uf Ye Nazara Dekho
Kaisa Lagtaa Hai, Bolo?
Lata: Aisa Lagtaa Hai Kuchh Ho Jayega
Mast Pavan Ke Ye Jhoke Saiyaan Dekh Rahe Ho O
Dekh Rahe Ho
Aisa Lagtaa Hai
Tum Banke Baadal Mere Badan Ko Bhigoke Mujeh Chhed Rahe Ho O
Chhed Rahe Ho O
Now this is the same lyricist who moved with the times to write songs in a language that suited the audience of the 90’s…the audience had changed, the film makers changed, how can you blame the song writer for not creating the mood two decades back??? There is also another point about the cinema that was made long before we were born…the audiences loved subtlety, and so the sense of sexuality and its representation on screen was far muted. So even while Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore looked for warmth on a rainy night, it didn’t hurt our sensibilities too much. The audience must have muttered under the breath, but then no one would have taken offence! Anyways, at the first screening of Aradhana people were more upset to the see the dimpled, and otherwise glamorous Sharmila in a greyed wig! A few years later, no one raised an eyebrow when Zeenat Aman sizzled in this spectacular rain song in Ajnabee…again, who didn’t want to watch Zeenat drenched in the rain? Or, for that matter, let’s go back a little, sometime after Aradhana came a teenage romance that took the nation by storm…Raj Kapoor’s Bobby! Wasn’t it the same film that had the song, Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Bandho Ho??? C’mon how different is it from Darwaza Bandh Kar Lo?
Anand Bakshi wrote according to the situations in the film. He was the one lyricist who gave the composer his first step to song composition when he gave him the tune to which he had set his lines…and since you have read the post till this point, and I have successfully whetted your appetite for Anand Bakshi’s music…I shall reward you with a 2-part special episode on the lyricist! Watch Total Recall, on 18th & 25th Sept at 12pm & 8 pm!!
Now don’t ask me which channel!!
P.S: He also wrote Tip Tip Barsa Paani for Mohra…another favourite rain song!!