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Friday, September 15, 2017

rains make some remembrances alive….

caught in a sudden down pour… running to the coffee-hut on the bank of the canal… and squeezing under its eaves shivering like a drooping leaf in the breeze… whispered to the boy: “strong coffee ...no sugar…”

the hissing sound of the wind and the tipper taper of rain rhymed so well like that of the violin bowing of MSG and mrudangam beat of Umayalapuram Sivaraman  …  gave a fine background score to the scene.  as  we gazed at the beautiful showers of water falling from above into the flowing canal—water joining the water and running off as swiftly as the both merged—the wet evening suddenly stirred up a collage of moods that lie buried in the deep recess of mind —all infused with multitude of colours ….

long back, on a cloudy sunday morning of the bygone days of the Kalyani hostel … getting up late … lazily walked towards the shanty of pannada for breakfast.. .. half the way it started drizzling … we could make it to his shanty only half-wet…  and squeezed into an already crowded bench...

 “… Kee hobe dada … Kee Dim?”

“nan aa… Jhal mudi… ettu piyaj beshi …”

“teekachi!”

Even in that drone of pannada’s hand-operated blower at his hearth, we could still hear the hindi songs being blared out by his Radio  hanging from a nail in the central post. 

So, at last, jhal mudi was into hand …and as we were about to bite a mouthful … there came that fine tune … and amar jumped at once shouting excitedly: “mera favourite ganaa aaschi…” at once the whole scene flashed before my eyes …

as the prelude to the song came out …. we hear enchanting Santoor strokes producing a sweet meend …  softly and tenderly as though from far off… the whole scene flashed before eyes: as the camera pans  over the lake—still water and the sylvan surroundings dotted with palaces, their domes, … . and as the camera zeroes in on the hero, sitar takes over for a lovely routine with tabla and then santoor overlaps as a call-and-response mode creating an enthralling effect ….   

as the prelude terminates, there comes the sweet voice of Lata albeit faintly, for it comes from a far off… naino mein badaraa chhaye” (clouds fill the eyes)…then as gorgeous sadhana, the scene-stealer with her near naturalness comes in front of the  camera, we hear Lata crooning in her full throat, “bijalee see chamake haaye (lighthening flashes,) / ayese mein balam mohe” (In this instant, my lover), and now get ready to relish the sensuous modulation that she gives to the word, ‘garawaaa’ of the next line -  “garawaa lagaa le” (hug me to your bosom) … simply enticing…and we only listen the honeyed-voice of Lata repeating the stanza full-throttle…simply  mesmerizes…  

then comes the first interlude starting with santoor again but taken over by Sitar and after a while tabla renders percussion support …that finally terminates into violin phrases …  …
as violins subdue, there comes Lata’s voice rendering the first antara …. “Madira me dube akhiyan,  chanchal hain dono sakhiyaan” (eyes, heavy with intoxication of love, both the girl-friends are restless)  …and as Lata repeats the line Madira me dube akhiyan accompanied by roaring violins, listeners really get immersed in the madira… the next line is rendered still more beautifully, for its rendered in a matching chanchal tone  ….. “chanchal hain dono sakhiyaan”  even the heroine…..draped in a light blue nylon saree with a bright-floral-motif border … tresses freely resting on  shoulder…  with a streak of seductive smile on lips … walking tall in the lawn … regally renders the line lilting her neck in such a chanchal style… ….  …. “Chhalte rahegee tohe palkon kee pyaaree pakhiyaan (my eyelashes will keep fanning you like beautiful fans) / sharmaake dengee tohe adiraa ke pyaale” (shyly they will offer you cups of wine)…. that everything jells so well that it lulls the audience into a sweet romantic mood. 

as one sways in that sweet silence, the 2nd interlude of santoor strokes commences… followed by Lata’s humming aa aa.. aa aa aa… aa aa aa–indeed this humming  in the interlude is my refrain in the song – followed by sitar and violins…all put together so well embellishes the boat ride of the  hero and heroine in the lake, that it creates a mesmerising effect on the viewers …

as the interlude ends we see hero and heroine …  Sadhana in the attire of a typical Baharatiya nari with ghoonghat and a plate in both hands that hold it so reverently …  climbing up the steps of a temple while the last antara surges out in Lata’s full throat ... “prem deewanee hoon main,   sapno ki raani hoon main  (being a queen of dreams, I crave for your love) / pichle janam se teri prem kahaani hoon main (I am the tale of your love from a previous birth) aa is janam mein bhi tu apanaa banaa le” (come, in this birth too, make me yours)… interestingly, Lata phoneticizes the words with such a mardrata and Sadhana—that nargis-e-mastaana , phoolon ki Rani—playing to the emotions that Lata’s voice is expressing so matching, those reverberating santoor strokes, sweet santoor beats … recollection of that scene added greater spice to the jhal mudi… or should I say all that gave a unique intoxication…

this "nainon mein badra chhaaye" penned by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and sung by lata mangeshkar  and set to music by Madan Mohan—acclaimed as the  best expression ever given in a hindi song to rag bhimpalasiwon him the "Sur Singar" award for the best classical song for the year 1966.



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