Raj Khosla was a film director who knew what he wanted when it came to music. He collaborated with many music directors from O.P. Nayyar to S.D Burman to Laxmikant-Pyarelal. But his most memorable association with a composer definitely has to be Madan Mohan. Madan worked on three films for the director, â€śWoh Kaun Thiâ€ť, â€śMera Saayaâ€ť (two films in the Sadhana/mystery trilogy) and â€śChiragâ€ť. And in these films he created timeless spellbinding scores.
Lata Mangeshkarâ€™s beautifully angelic voice enhances the jaadu of Madanâ€™s tunes. Raja Mehndi Ali Khan created some of his best poetry whenever he teamed up with Madan. His work for this album is indeed unforgettable.
Driving up a wet road in a misty fog in the middle of an eerie night, Manoj Kumar is distracted by a young woman clad in a white sari, standing in the middle of nowhere. She is the gorgeous
Sadhana. Inevitably, Manoj cannot help but stop and offer a lift to a helpless and pretty damsel in distress. Throughout the brief journey, he realizes that there is something not quite right about this strange woman. She wants to be taken home and asks Manoj to stop outside a deserted graveyard. â€śYeh to kabarstaan hai (But this is a graveyard)â€ť, he says panicking. Run Manoj run! The mad girl walks over to her so-called home. The gate creaks open itself for her, as if by magic, and Sadhana strides through the entrance with that unique classy walk of hers. Spooky!
â€śNaina Barse Rhim Jim, Rim Jhimâ€ť, echoes Lataji. This is a song that acts as a leitmotif throughout the film whenever the supernatural image of Sadhana returns to haunt Manoj. Not one word can do justice to this haunting number. It is out of this world. â€śNaina barseâ€¦ barseâ€¦ barseâ€¦â€ť Each refrain of â€śbarseâ€ť sounds like a teardrop falling gently from those bewitching eyes.
As a ghostly figure, Sadhanaâ€™s character may indulge in self-pity at times but she does not expect anyone else to feel for her. So when she spots even a trace of emotion in Manojâ€™s face, she is perplexed. She poses the question, â€śJo Humne Dastaan Apni Sunayi, Aap Kyun Roye?â€ť Why did you shed a tear when I told you my story? â€śTabaahi to hamare dil pe aayi, Aap kyun roye?â€ť Why shed tears when it was me who suffered? Self-pity is followed by regard and compassion for another personâ€™s feelings. She has gone through pain but she cannot bear to see another person go through the same emotions. â€śBahut roye magar ab aap ki khatir na royenge, Na apna chain khokar aapka hum chain khoyengeâ€ť Lataâ€™s glorious voice resonates with heartache especially when she ends the song with a reverberating â€śAap kyun roye-e-eâ€ť, leaving a stunned silence.
The trio of Lataâ€™s amazing solos ends with â€śLag Ja Gale Ke Phir Yeh Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho, Shaayad Phir Is Janam Mein Mulaqaat Ho Na Hoâ€ť. The song speaks of a splendid moment that will only last for a short time and the ideal thing to do is to make the most of it. What if this perfect moment never returns? The other personâ€™s unwillingness to make most of their time together makes the girl impatient. â€śPaas aaiye ke hum naheen aayenge baar baarâ€ť
Mahendra Kapoor joins Lataji for a duet in â€śChhod Kar Tere Pyar Ka Daamanâ€¦â€ť. Mahendra saab is impressive though it is obvious that his singing style is influenced by Mohammad Rafi. Lata grabs the best line for herself. â€śHum ko darr hai ke teri baahon mein, Hum khushi se na aaj marjaayenâ€ť The theme in the last song is of wanting time to stand still. Here, the man too expresses a similar wish. â€śKitni pyari hai yeh haseen ghadiyan, In se kehdo yehi thehrjaayenâ€ť A beautiful gem.
â€śAha ahahahaha aha ahahahahaâ€ť, hums Asha Bhosle in the scintillating prelude to â€śShokh Nazar Ki Bijliyanâ€ť. When Ashaji approached Madan Mohan to ask him if she could sing more of his compositions for him, he retorted, â€śnahin, jab tak Lata hai, tab tak aur koi nahinâ€ť. Lata may have been Madan saabâ€™s favorite singer but Ashaâ€™s contribution to his immortal collection of tunes should not go underestimated. Asha brings a sense of effervescent playfulness to a song like â€śShokh Nazar Ki Bijliyanâ€ť. She is brilliant at changing moods within her vocal chords. One minute she sounds very sensuous in the opening line and the next she sounds innocent, â€śAb to wafa ki raah main, Hum tere saath chal padeâ€ť.
Rafi saabâ€™s only contribution to the album, â€śTiki Riki Tiki Rikiâ€ť (with Asha) sticks out like a sore thumb. It is not bad as the singersâ€™ enthusiasm and the jolly tune is infectious. However, the song is unlikely to make you hit the repeat button.
Madan Mohanâ€™s superlative work on this album was ignored completely at awards ceremonies even though it was one of his few commercial successes. Sadly, he was ignored for most of his career even when he composed such astounding classic albums like â€śAnpadhâ€ť, â€śHanste Zakhmâ€ť, â€śMera Saayaâ€ť, â€śDulhan Ek Raat Kiâ€ť etc Oddly, the first ever award he was given was very late in his career in the year 1971 when he won the National Award for the music of â€śDastakâ€ť. He received massive popular and critical acclaim only soon after his death when the mega-melodious album of â€śLaila Majnuâ€ť hit the charts (and stayed at the top for twenty weeks!). Fate sure does work in strange ways.