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Shailendra : Man whose life was a song!

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Barnali

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Barnali

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 10:32pm | IP Logged

Shailendra - His Life Was A Song

 

In an era where the top lyricists pat their backs in the full media-glare for writing something as mundane as Ik garam chai ki pyali ho, reviving memories of the times when film music had a dazzling array of great lyricists, has assumed even greater value.

Poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badyuni, Pt. Narendra Sharma and Kavi Pradeep enriched film music by penning film songs worthy of competing with best of their poems. In a way all these glittering names belonged to poet-lyricists genre, who did their bit in films as well as in Hindi-Urdu literature. But there was one penman in that golden era who remained a quintessential lyricist all throughout, who used almost all his literary genius for writing great songs which were poems in themselves and in my opinion, he was second to none. His name was Shankardas Kesrilal Shailendra – for his countless admirers he was simply- Shailendra!

Shailendra was born on August30, 1923 at Ravalpindi. Later in his childhood their family moved to Mathura in U.P. His father hailed from Bihar. This U.P. – Bihar cultural influence was to show later in his folk-style film songs. The origins of Chadh gayo paapi bichhua, Sajanwa bairi ho gaye hamar http://www.dishant.com/jukebox.php?songid=4231 and Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya ko babul  http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/14QmTeM-0S.As1NMvHdW/  thus can be traced to this family back-ground.

Poetry was his first love but family situation forced him to take up a job of a railway mechanic. He used to work in the railway workshop at Parel. His colleagues would later recall amusedly how they thought this 'crazy' man was 'wasting' his time writing and reciting some 'meaningless' poems! How they were to know that the same man would later proudly proclaim through his song –

Kaam naye nit geet banana,
geet banake jahan ko sunana,
koi na mile to akele mein gaana
!

This poetic zeal and passion appealed to a young film-maker called Raj Kapoor who was in the audience of a stage programme where Shailendra recited his patriotically charged poem Jalta hai Punjab. Raj was making his first film Aag then and he immediately approached Shailendra to ask whether he could write songs for his film. The poet flatly refused the offer saying that his poetry was not for sale!

The birth of his first child Shaily and worsening financial situation finally forced Shailendra to forego any reservations about writing film-songs. After all how long, he could debate with his wife whether they should use one potato for the lunch or for dinner! So he came to the very man, whose offer he had so audaciously turned down. He came to Raj Kapoor who was now in the process of making his second film Barsaat and said, "Now I am in need of money. Is your offer still open?" Raj welcomed him to his fold with open arms. From then onwards, he was to become the permanent member of the famous R.K. musical quartet – Shankar, Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra!

This group of talented artists was to remain together for years and make some of the greatest songs. Shailendra worked mainly with Shankar and this team was responsible for almost all the theme songs of R.K. movies. Through this association we got so many evergreen songs like Barsaat mein hum se mile tum, Mera joota hai japani, Awara hoon and Dost dost na raha. Shailendra's relationship with Raj always remained special. Later on, even in his heydays when he was commanding a then whopping 10,000 rupees per song from others, he worked on a fixed, monthly salary of Rs.500/- for R.K. films.

 

There was such comraderie among Shankar, Jaikishan and Shailendra that many songs were conceived on spur of the moment, based on real life incidents. Mud mud ke na dekh mud mud ke (Shri 420) was born out of the friendly banter between Shailendra and Jaikishan when the latter kept on looking back at a young beautiful passer-by – obviously from the fairer sex! Ramaiya vasta vaiya from the same film was inspired by a folk song sung by some building workers in the neighbourhood. Once after a tiff with the composer duo, Shailendra wrote mockingly-

Chhotisi yeh duniya, pahchane raaste hain,
kabhi to miloge, kahin to miloge, to poochhenge haal
.

http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/jVvmFHhfF9.As1NMvHdW/

That later became a hit song in Rangoli.

Barring Naushad and O.P.Nayyar, he worked with almost all the leading composers of the era. As with S.J., he also had a special rapport with Sachindev Burman for whom he penned such wonderful songs like O jaanewale ho sake to lautke aana (Bandini), Na main dhan chahoon, na ratan chahoon (Kaala bazaar) and Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai (Guide). But then he wrote beautiful lyrics for every composer, that's why we got gems like Toote huye khwabone in Salil Choudhury's Madhumati, Haaye re woh din kyun na aaye in Pt.Ravishankar's Anuradha and Kuchh aur zamana kaheta hai in Anil Biswas's Chhoti chhoti baatein. (Links to all these songs hav been given at the end)

Shailendra's poetic genius was in his ability to convey deepest of thoughts in simplest of words. It was amazing because here was a man penning a film song which had its own commercial demands, most of the times juggling to tailor his words to suit an already conceived tune and in spite of these constraints he was almost always able to create something which was not only musically stirring but which also shone with literary brilliance. Vivid imagery and intensity of expression in his lyrics made a profound impact on a sensitive mind.

That dreamy recall of a love-lost moment of rain drenched togetherness in

Aisi hi rimjhim, aisi fuharein,
aisi hi thi barsaat,
jag se juda aur khudse paraye
hum dono the saath

(Guide),

that stark, dark view of a starry night through sad and lonely maternal eyes in

Aag ke phool aanchal mein daale huye,
kab se jalta hai woh aasman dekh le

(Parakh)

and that superb metaphoric expression bringing forth the feelings of a young bride missing her innocent, carefree childhood in

Zaalim jawaani ne chheene khilone
aur meri gudiya churayee

(Bandini)

– all these lyrics were moving experiences in themselves.

Simplicity and sincerity of his expressions made his songs immortal. He had a tremendous sense of music and never did his words fail to fit like hand in glove to the tune. He brought many of his personality traits into his songwriting. His romantic nature expressed itself through songs like Khoya Khoya Chand. His fun loving persona showed itself in songs like Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee. His supreme self-confidence peeped through when he said Gardish mein hoon, asmaan ka taara hoon Aawara Hoon. His patriotic feelings so touchingly came across in Aa ab laut chale…tujhko pukare desh tera Aa Ab Laut Chalen. His fatalistic thinking gave itself away through expressions like Jin raaton ki bhor nahi hai, aaj aisi hi raat aayee.

His film project Teesri kasam proved to be his undoing. He couldn't handle the stresses and strains of film-making. As the film bombed at box-office initially, Shailendra found himself at the center of an emotional storm, not to mention its economic implications. He was deserted by those whom he had considered his friends. It was as if he was reliving his own nightmarish prophecy –

Main akela to na tha,
the mere saathi kai,
ek aandhi si uthi,
jo bhi tha leke gayi
!

Raj Kapoor – who had worked free for the film and Mukesh were his only supporters in those dark days.

His health suffered in this setback. On December 13, 1966, he was told to get admitted in hospital. While on the way to hospital, Shailendra and his wife stopped over at Raj Kapoor's cottage where the showman reminded his friend that he was still to complete the theme song for Mera naam joker. The lyricist jokingly told Raj to finish off his next day's Tamasha. (Raj's birthday fell on December 14.) But that song was never to be completed by the great man. On December 14, 1966, Shailendra left the world for his final journey. That incomplete song was finally completed by his son Shailey Shailendra and still ranks as one of the all time greats. That song was Jeena yahan, marna yahan, iske siwa jaana kahan!

Such was a strange twist in the tale that Teesri kasam – the same movie which had brought the doomsday and finally death for Shailendra, then went on to win 'President's Gold Medal' and also became a commission earner.

His songs with their rich human values will keep his memories lingering on. Maybe that's what he meant when he wrote these lines in Anari -

Rishta dil se dil ke aitbaar ka,
Zinda hain hum hi se naam pyaar ka
Ke marke bhi kisi ko yaad aayenge
Kisi ke aansuon mein muskurayenge
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena isi ka naam hai!

 Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe

 

Some sings considered as his best ones :

 

Mera Joota Hai Japani  (Shree 420)

Aawara Hoon (Shree 420)

Dost Dost Na Raha (sangam)

Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh  (Shree 420)

Ramaiya Vastavaiya  (Shree 420)
O jaanewale ho sake to lautke aana (Bandini)
Na Main Dhan Chahoon(Kaala bazaar)
Aaj Phir Jeene Ki(Guide).
Toote Hue Khwabon Ne  (Madhumati)

 

 

 

Some songs of his that are my own favourite numbers :

 

Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein

Chadh Gayo Papi Bichhua

Jaag Dard-E-Ishq Jaag

Jabsen Mile Tose Ankhiyan  

O Panchhi Pyare

Nanhe Munne Bachche Teri  

Bhay Banjana  

Aye Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal

Door Ka Rahi

Ajeeb Dastan Yeh Hai

Din Dhal Jaye

 

 

 

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 10:46pm | IP Logged

Shailendra


Shailendra

Birth: 30th August 1923
Birthplace: Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Profession: Poet, Bollywood Film song Lyricists
Born in Rawalpindi on 30th August 1923 as Shankardas Kesrilal Shailendra, Shailendra was the eldest of the four sons of Parvati Devi and Sri Kesrilal. During his childhood days his family moved to Mathura for good but the accidental death of his mother after the shift caused a deep pain for Shailendra, which almost turned him an atheist. Shailendra started his career with the orthodox method of joining the government organization and lead his secure life. His job in Indian Railways brought him to the city of Bombay in 1947, when the Indian freedom struggle was at its best. The stereotype and technical aspect of his job was totally out of line with is artistic nature. He spent more of his duty hours writing poetry than toiling in the workshop. His Incharge always used to complain about his working habits and was the cause of general resentment. Raj Kapoor discovers Shailendra Shailendra decided to take part in the Freedom struggle in his own style. He used to write verses and fiery poems, which would ignite the masses. His poem 'Jalta hai Punjab' was a highlight and when reading out aloud during a public meeting, Raj Kapoor caught eye of him. Raj Kapoor saw an emerging star for Indian history and expressed his desire to buy the poems Shailendra has written for his new production. Shailendra, the young patriot blood refused to do so. But due to some domestic reasons and responsibilities, Shailendra approached Raj Kapoor and agreed to his terms. His first project was 'Barsaat'. 'Barsaat' is one of the musical hit of the last century. Shailendra had best of his association with Shankar-Jaikishan, but shared a equally pleasant rappot with musical giants of those days, like Salil Chowdhary (Madhumati), S. N. Tripathi, (Sangeet Samrat Tanseen), S.D. Burman (Guide and Bandini) and Pt. Ravi Shankar (Anuradha). He won the Filmfare award for Best Lyricist thrice. Out of the three two were won in consecutive years. The first came in 1958 for the song 'Ye mera deewanapan hai' from the film Yahudi, and the second in 1959 for the evergreen 'Sab kuch seekha hamne' from Anari. In 1968 Shailendra won it again for the third time for 'Main gaaun tum so jaao', from 'Brahmachari. Shailendra considered his life as his real poetry. He used to derive inspiration from his walks along Juhu beach every morning. He wrote songs for almost all occasions of life, let alone ordinary situations. Those lyrics were vibrantly alive, in the sense they went far beyond the context of the film situation for which they were intended, and lived on long after the film itself had passed from memory. There is a Shailendra song for any emotion, any situation, from birth to death, such was his versatility. Shailendra's end days It is quite ironical that for the man who loved life so much, the spectra of death always haunted him. He was obsessed by death. There was no fear involved, but a kind of helplessness drew him towards it. His producing Teesri Kasam caused him several heartaches and it was also the ultimate cause of his death. But what bothered him was not the film's failure at the box-office, but that his investment in friends he trusted and loved went wrong. Shailendra was admitted to the hospital on December 13 1966, but on his way he decided to stop at the famous cottage at the RK Studios to call on Raj Kapoor, where he promised R.K. that he would complete the lyrics for 'Jeena yahan marna yahan' for Mera Naam Joker. That was one promise he could never keep, for Shailendra died on the following day, which also happened to be R.K's birthday. Reading the following lines from 'Anari' can see his obsession for death: "Ke mar ke bhi kisi ko yaad aaenge
Kisi ke aansuon mein muskuraenge
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena isi ka naam hai"

Lyricist Shailendra is most remembered for his outstanding achievements with Raj Kapoor and Shankar Jaikishan in almost all the R.K. films. His death on December 14, 1966 saw one of the leading lights of the film industry extinguished.

The Best of Shailendra
Song Movie
Ramaiya Vastavaiya Shree 420
Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh Shree 420
Shaam Gayi Raat Aayi Shree 420
Barsaat Mein Barsaat
Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Guide
Gata Rahe Mera Dil Guide
Piya Tose Naina Laage Re Guide
Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya Guide
Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega Sangam
Bol Radha Bol Sangam
O Mehbooba Sangam
Dost Dost Na Raha Sangam
ASab Kuch Seekha Anari
Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe Anari
Dil Ki Nazar Se Anari
Mera Joota Hai Japani Shree 420



Edited by vinnie-thepooh - 14 January 2007 at 10:58pm

vinnie-thepooh

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 10:53pm | IP Logged

Shailendra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
Shankardas Kesarilal Shailendra (August 30, 1923 Rawalpindi-December 14, 1966 Mumbai) was a popular Indian Hindi lyricist.
 Early days

Shailendra was born in Rawalpindi (Undivided India) to Kesarilal and Parvati Devi. He was eldest of their four sons. When he was a child, his family moved to Mathura. Soon after, his mother died.

 Days with Raj Kapoor

Shailedra started his career as an employee with Indian Railways. His job bought him to Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1947. He started writing poetry during these days. Once, when he was reading out his poem Jalta hai Punjab at a public meeting, filmmaker Raj Kapoor noticed him. He offered to buy poems written by Shailendra and use them for his movie Aag (1948). Shailendra, a member of the left wing IPTA, was wary of mainstream Indian cinema and refused. However, after the birth of his son, Shaily, he needed money and himself approached Raj Kapoor.

Shailendra's first project for Raj Kapoor was the movie Barsaat (1949). For Rs 500, he wrote two songs: Patli kamar hai and Barsaat mein. The music for Barsaat was composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. The team of Raj Kapoor, Shailendra and Shankar-Jaikishan produced many superhits.

Apart from Shankar-Jaikishan, Shailendra also shared a rapport with composers such as Salil Chowdhary (Madhumati), Sachin Dev Burman (Guide, Bandini) and Ravi Shankar (Anuradha). Apart from Raj Kapoor, he shared a rapport with filmmakers such as Bimal Roy (Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumati, Bandini) and Dev Anand (Guide).

Shailendra had invested in the movie Teesri Kasam, which was not successful. It is said that this was the ultimate cause of his death.. His son Shaily Shailendra is also a lyricist.

 Awards

Shailendra won the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist thee times.

    1958 Yeh mera deewanapan hai (Yahudi) 1959 Sab kuch seekha hamne (Anari)
  • 1968 Main gaoon tum so jaao (Brahmachari

Shailendra's most popular song

 

    Ramaiya Vastavaiya (Shri 420) Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (Shri 420) Mera Joota Hai Japani (Shri 420) Aaj Phir Jeene Ki (Guide) Gata Rahe Mera Dil (Guide) Piya Tose Naina Laage Re (Guide) Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya (Guide) Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (Sangam) Dost Dost Na Raha (Sangam) Sab Kuchh Seekha hamne (Anari) Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe/Jeen isi ka naam hai (Anari)
  • Dil Ki Nazar Se (Anari)


Edited by vinnie-thepooh - 14 January 2007 at 10:54pm

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 10:55pm | IP Logged

ASCII Devnagri Jtrans a.ndhe jahaa.n ke a.ndhe raaste, jaaye.n to jaaye.n kahaa.n [#136]
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ASCII Devnagri Xxxxxx vafaao.n kaa majabuur daaman bichhaakar [#N8237]
ASCII Devnagri Jtrans vahaa.n kaun hai teraa, musaafir jaayegaa kahaa.n [#1016]
ASCII Devnagri Jtrans yaad na jaaye, biite dino.n kii [#56]
ASCII Devnagri Jtrans ye meraa prema patra pa.Dha kara ke tuma naaraaja naa honaa [#871]
ASCII Devnagri Jtrans zi.ndagii ek safar hai suhaanaa [#790]
ASCII Devnagri Xxxxxx zi.ndagii khvaab hai, thaa hame.n bhii pataa [#N9167]
ASCII Devnagri Jtrans zindagii khvaab hai, khvaab me.n jhuuTh kyaa, aur bhalaa sach hai kyaa [#554]
ASCII Devnagri Jtrans zulmii sa.ng aa.Nkh la.Dii, zulmii sa.ng aa.Nkh la.Dii re [#718]

*dolly*

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 11:10pm | IP Logged
didi....I will post some MP3 in a day or two...if anyone has a fav. they can let me know...

*dolly*

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 11:21pm | IP Logged



Shailendra

Edited by Chalavanth - 14 January 2007 at 11:22pm

Barnali

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Posted: 14 January 2007 at 11:37pm | IP Logged

Remembering Shailendra

Author: Amla Mazumdar  
A moving piece written by Amla Mazumdar- daughter of Kavi Shailendra remembering her father.  


Sunsets are beautiful, as long as it is not your own sun that you see sinking slowly over the horizon. December 14 1966 saw one such sunset, for my Baba left us that day, never to return. Today I still wonder at my inability to get over it.

 

Baba was born Shankardas Kesrilal Shailendra in Rawalpindi on August 30 1923, the eldest of four sons of my grandmother Parvati Devi. My grandfather Sri Kesrilal originally hailed from Bihar, and already had a son and daughter from a previous marriage. Some time during Baba's childhood the family moved to Mathura.

 

Calamity struck when he was still quite young, when he learnt that his mother was dying. He often recalled the moments when he walked barefoot in the scorching sun, his body sunburnt and his feet blistered, praying for her survival. The day she died, however, he felt deeply disillusioned and let down, causing him to turn atheist for practically the rest of his life.

 

While training in Agra for employment in the Indian Railways, Baba met and fell in love with the woman who was to become his wife (and my mother). His affections were returned, but while wooing her he was generally disapproved of by all her family except my nanaji, her father. Nanaji took a strong liking to him and sanctioned their wedding on the same day that my mother's elder sister was due to be married. After the wedding Baba made my mother return expensive sarees and jewellery that she had brought from her father's, saying he would provide for her in his own way, once he was able to stand on his own feet.

 

His first full-fledged job with the railways brought him to Bombay in 1947, when India's struggle for freedom from British rule was at its peak. Technical aspects of his job did not suit his artistic nature and he would much rather spend time writing poetry than toil in the workshop. His colleagues often advised him against absconding from work to write 'senseless ramblings', but to no avail.

 

He actively joined the freedom struggle and during one public meeting his fiery poem "Jalta hai Punjab", when read out aloud, caught the attention of a film-maker in the crowd - Raj Kapoor. He wanted to buy the poem and also wanted Baba to write for his new production. Baba refused to sell the poem, but with the birth of his first child, a son (my eldest brother Shailey) came responsibility, and things changed. Baba approached Raj Kapoor and agreed to write for "Barsaat" if the offer was still open. It was, and the rest is history. Success brought wealth, and with wealth came a retinue of servants and the influence of Western culture. Yet he never allowed us to boss the servants around - he once rebuked me for allowing a servant to carry my books home from school.

 

Baba's best known work is with Shankar-Jaikishan, but he was also a favourite with the other musical giants of those days, like Salil Chaudhury (Madhumati), S.N.Tripathi (Sangeet Samrat Tansen), S.D.Burman (Guide and Bandini, among so many others), Pt. Ravi Shankar (Anuradha). He won the Filmfare Ward for Best Lyricist in 1958 (Yeh mera deewanapan hai from "Yahudi"), in 1959 (Sab kuch seekha hamne

from "Anari") and in 1968 (Main gaaun tum so jaao from "Brahmachari").

 

Baba was a true poet for whom simply being alive was poetry, and life itself a poem. He derived much inspiration for his more serious work from long walks on Juhu beach early in the morning, but was equally adept at writing the most profound lyrics for ordinary film situations. Those lyrics were vibrantly alive, in the sense they went far beyond the context of the film situation for which they were intended and lived on long after the film itself had passed from memory. For me there is a Shailendra song for any emotion, any situation, from birth to death, such was his versatility. Millions of listeners feel this way about his work.

 

At the back of his serious work was the deep-rooted dejection he felt at his mother's death. Lyrics like

Laut aayi sada meri takrake sitaron se

Ujdi hui duniya ki sunsaan kinaron se

("Madhumati");

 

Ilahi tu sun le hamari dua

Hamen sirf ek aasra hai tera

Teri rehmay raah roshan kare

Salamat rahe saaya maa baap ka

("Chhote Nawab")

 

and

 

Maata o maata jo tu aaj hoti

Mujhen yun bilakta agar dekhti

Tera dil toot jata

("Ab Dilli Door Nahin")

 

hardly sound like they were written for mere film situations, with Baba not actually reliving the agony of his mother's death.

Yet he was a true professional, and behind his success as a writer was his ability to write for a film situation irrespective of his personal views. For example, in spite of his misgivings about religion he wrote the rapturously beautiful Bhay bhanjana vandana ("Basant Bahar"). And there are the witty, fun-loving ones like Laal chadi ("Janwar"), Sooku sooku ("Junglee"), Nakhrewali ("New Delhi"), Sambhal ke karna jo bhi karna and Matwali naar ("Ek Phool Char Kaante").

 

Whenever I'm down in the dumps I take heart from these words he wrote for a song during the freedom struggle:

 

Tu zinda hai, tu zindagi ki jeet pe yakeen kar

Agar kahin hai swarg to utar la zameen par

Ye gam ke aur char din situm ke aur char din

Ye din bhi jaenge guzar, guzar gaye hazaar din

 

Yet the spectre of death always haunted him. He was obsessed by death. There was no fear involved, but a kind of helplessness drew him towards it. He saw death even in the most romantic moments, as in this verse from the song Holi aayee pyari pyari ("Pooja"):

 

Ek baras mein ek din holi jag do din ka mela

Tan ka pinjra chhod ke ek din panchi jaae akela

Do ghadi muskaaye phir jeevan hi phulwari.

 

And then there's my favourite:

 

Ke mar ke bhi kisi ko yaad aaenge

Kisi ke aansuon mein muskuraenge

Kahega phool har kali se baar baar

Jeena isi ka naam hai

("Anari")

 

The story of how his producing "Teesri Kasam" led to various problems and his untimely end is well known, but what bothered him was not the film's failure at the box-office, but that his investment in friends he trusted and loved went wrong. After a particularly bad bout of despondency my mother could take it no more, and on December 13 1966, he was to be admitted to the Northcote Nursing Home. On the way he and my mother stopped at the famous cottage at the RK Studios to call on Raj Kapoor and Baba promised Raj that he would complete the lyrics for Jeena yahan once the December 14 tamasha (Raj's birthday celebration) was over. That was one promise he never kept, for he died on Raj's birthday.

 

Baba loved the seashore. He wrote, "I am the early morning light. I cast no shadows, I leave no shadow behind. The sun is my father..."

The world has his poetry, but I would much rather have him.

 

 

Qwest

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Qwest

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Posted: 15 January 2007 at 12:29am | IP Logged
Dinesh Raheja Barsaat hspace5 At the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, three of actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor's films are being screened --- Aag, Barsaat and Awaara. Barsaat is flush with a heady, impassioned romanticism and lined with melancholy. This musical was Raj Kapoor's first directorial hit; the filmmaker came a full circle with his last Ram Teri Ganga Maili --- both stories about rustic innocence sullied by, and suffering because of contact with the outside world.
CREDITS
Producer Director Music Director Stars
 Raj Kapoor  Raj Kapoor  Shankar Jaikishen  Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Premnath, Nimmi
In Barsaat, two diametrically different cityslickers Pran (Raj Kapoor) and Gopal (Premnath) enjoy their affluence by driving a huge foreign car down to the mountains. Amidst the lush natural beauty (evocatively captured in the song Hawa mein udta jaaye sung by a mountain maid), they ponder over love. Premnath plays a blank-souled hedonist, who leaves a trail of seductions behind him. Raj plays a sensitive soul who sticks to his kisika dil na dukhana philosophy. The caddish Premnath had made loads of promises to Neela (Nimmi, in her debut film) the previous year; the innocent mountain lass is still awaiting his return. Premnath makes fresh avowals of love to her and promises to return with the barsaat. Of course, he has no intention of living up to his promises. When Nimmi sings the plaintive Barsaat mein hamse mile tum at their parting, he callously tosses peanuts and chomps on them. As the friends continue their trip, Raj saves an attractive young girl from drowning. He falls in love with this rustic beauty, Ratna (Nargis). In one of the most identifiable sequences of the Hindi screen, an emotional Raj plays a melancholy tune on his violin and Nargis rushes to him, as though pulled by a magnetic force --- the call of the violin becomes emblematic of their love. A music instrument played an integral part in later love stories too --- the flute in Hero or the mandolin in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.. Both of Barsaat's love stories have a chequered destiny. Nargis' father refuses to believe that a pardesi can have honourable intentions and Nargis, desperate to meet Raj, jumps into a raging river with only a rope tied to the shore. In a harrowing scene, her father cuts the rope and she is swept away. Raj believes Nargis is dead and resists all of Premnath's chummy efforts to cheer him up. Nargis, meanwhile, has been saved by a simple-minded lout (K N Singh in an amusing characterisation), who fetches the village vaid for her by the simple expedient of carrying him over his shoulders. His plans to forcefully marry her are foiled when Raj's car crashes near the wedding site. Premnath is touched by Nargis' staunch belief that her lover will survive the crash; just as he was by the survival of Raj's love for Nargis even after her 'death'. Love finally melts his heart and he decides to do the honourable thing with the perenially-in-waiting Nimmi. Ironically, just when all is well, Nimmi misreads his relationship with his bhabhi Nargis and commmits suicide. The rain clouds have chosen to cosmically bless just one of the love pairs. The redemptive power of love and Premnath's transformation is well-graphed and not overnight. He goes from saying Mujhse kisiki zaroorat nahin to seeing the depth of Raj's love and sighing, Mera bhi tumhari tarah tadapne ko jee karta hai. Barsaat is also more than just a simplistic conflict between the two types of the human psyche as represented by the two friends. It posits that it could be part of the same man. As Raj tells Premnath: "Insaan ke andar hamesha do shakshiyat ek doosre se bilkul doosri disha mein kaam karti hai. Kabhi kabhie main tumhe dekhkar sochta hoon tum mera hi hissa ho." The director has externalised this conflict by splitting it over two people. On the flip side, there's excessive verbosity, flowery pontifications on love and the slow-paced film can get maudlin. Jal Mistry's elaborate framing of shots and the performances lift your spirits. Premnath is perfectly cast and has a scruffy charm. Despite Nargis' presence, Nimmi gets to lip sync to such hits as Jeeya bekarar hai and Barsaat mein. She makes an arresting debut. The palpable Raj-Nargis chemistry is the raison d'etre of the film. They had already starred in another blockbuster Andaaz earlier the same year, and with Barsaat became an eternal pair in the minds of cinegoers. Sidelights: *Barsaat made several careers. It was the first hit for Raj Kapoor's banner which established the core team of RK-Nargis-Shanker-Jaikishan-Hasrat-Shailendra. It was after Barsaat's thumping success that Raj Kapoor had the money to buy RK studios in 1950. *The scene from Barsaat where Raj Kapoor holds Nargis in one hand and the violin in the other became the RK embelem. *It was Premnath's first success and he became a leading man who romanced heroines like Meena Kumari, Madhubala and Vyjayanthimala before turning towards villainy in the 60s. *The story and dialogue writer Ramanand Sagar went onto become a famous independant director. The Music:
Famous songs from Barsaat:
  Song  Singers
  Hawa mein udta jaaye
 Lata Mangeshkar
  Jeeya bekrarar hai  Lata Mangeshkar
  Barsaat mein humse mile tum  Lata Mangeshkar
  O mujhe kisise pyar ho gaya  Lata Mangeshkar
  Meri aankhon mein bas gaya  Lata Mangeshkar
  Patli qamar hai  Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh
  Ab mera kaun sahaara  Lata Mangeshkar
  Chhod gaye balaam  Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh
  Main zindagi mein hardam  Mohammed Rafi
  Bichdey huey pardesi  Lata Mangeshkar
*New music directors Shanker-Jaikishan scored a perfect ten in this film. Fifty-two years later, the film's soft melodies and the famed Tak dhina dhin refrain in Barsaat mein still fall as easily on the ears as the first rains of the season. *Fresh from her Andaz triumph, Lata established herself with Barsaat, giving vocals for both Nargis and Nimmi.

*While Hasrat wrote most of the songs, including the captivating imagery in Hawa mein udta jaaye, Kapoor cajoled poet Shailendra into making his debut as a lyricist by offering him Rs 500 for Barsaat mein and Patli kamar.



Edited by Qwest - 15 January 2007 at 12:31am

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