Planet Bollywood
Satyam Shivam Sundaram
Producer: Raj Kapoor
Director: Raj Kapoor
Starring: Zeenat Aman, Shashi Kapoor
Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal
Lyrics: Pandit Narendra Sharma, & Vithalbhai Patel
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu  - Rating: 9.0 / 10
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Music geniuses Laxmikant-Pyarelal are famous for many of their Raj Kapoor collaborations. For the more controversial yet mystical Satyam Shivam Sundaram, an ode to morals of maya and intelligence, the musical duo came up with an equally purposeful soundtrack. Whereas they have shone with their baton and romantic tunes, it is the highly engrossing bhajans that they compose for this soundtrack that make it stand out, and of course Lata Mangeshkar. This is one of the nightingale’s finest works, but she does have many. The duo has amiably switched orchestration from soft, romantic to that which enhances lyrical genius and the outcome couldn’t be more ear pleasing.

The title track is the first bhajan which not only tells the story of the film itself it is almost as if the song is a novel of its own. Truth, Destruction and Beauty never sound better at the helm of Lata Mangeshkar. She has gone to great heights in some of the verses and many have failed to hit that spot that she is able to when she has reached that peak. For, every time she goes “aah”, it feels as if our heart will too. Like the other religious dhun Pandit Narendra Sharma has penned this dholak enhanced tune.

Seeing Zeenat Aman running through a forest would be enough to enjoy “Bhor Bhaaye Pankat Pe”. But listening to Lata Mangeshkar as she softly compliments the tabla 1-2-3 beats with excellent melody is another treasure all in its own. Lata Mangeshkar performs vocal exercises to open the song as the sitar slowly plays pleasurably in the background. Here Anand Bakshi shows his creativity as a lyricist a talent he has stretched far into Bollywood this past year. A love song in essence Bakshi has interweaved religious implications amidst the sweet poetry.

Yashomatie Maiya Se”, the other bhajan is penned by Pandit Narendra Sharma. The bhajan asks why Radha is so fear yet Krishna is so dark. Appearing at an essential part of the film Lata Mangeshkar has had to tame her vocals to suite not only Zeenat Aman but also the smaller Padmini Kolhapure. And of course she does it with great care. Manna Dey opens the song for film purposes but Lata Mangeshkar completes it giving feel to each and every word Sharma has carefully and meaningfully penned.

Saiyaan, Nikas Gayee, Mai Na Ladiki” is a semi-romantic number which features Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder. Bhupinder places several inputs in what is truly Lata Mangeshkar’s song. Again we are treated to a salient song, which shines with melodious and excellent music from Laxmikant-Pyarelal. At a portion an alto is dropped for Lata Mangeshkar who aptly expresses sincerity so that the listener will feel it as well. The song is a bit sad and again its lyrics only enhance the emotives remarkably.

It’s been all females thus far, or rather, all Lata. While the film is no different focusing solely on Zeenat Aman’s distraught tale, Mukesh and Nitin Mukesh contribute for the ravished Shashi Kapoor.

‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ seems like the inspiration for the picturizations of “Chanchal, Sheetal, Normal, Komal” and while Mukesh expresses the hero’s lust for the heroine, the song shines due to its equally lustful poetry by Mr. Bakshi.

Wo h Aurat Hai, Tu Mehebooba” is the love song, mandatory. The song paired Lata Mangeshkar with Nitin Mukesh and allowed us to listen to the magic the duo could create. Nitin Mukesh shines as he has more lines and the song shows important variation from the previous songs showing the prowess Laxmikant-Pyarelal had in creating a ‘full of melody’ soundtrack.

Finally, “Suneejo Unke Aane ki Aahat” is Lata Mangeshkar’s last song to gleam with her beautiful golden voice, and she does.

It would be fair to say that like most Laxmikant-Pyarelal soundtracks, this one was a sweet refreshing soundtrack, which contained a mixture of mystical compositions that provide variety enough to please the listener immensely. It would be unfair to not say that, that withstanding, Satyam Shivam Sundaram is still a soundtrack that shines more amidst L-P’s many melody accomplishments. It has done so when it released and continuously does to this day.

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