13 years in the making, but every song was so worth it! Heralded as one of the best mujra-esque albums of Hindi cinema (Umrao Jaan being the other one), every song here is worth hitting the rewind button. Too bad the much coveted Filmfare award for that year went to the comparatively ordinary Be-Imaan!
The album opens with the lovely â€śChalo Dildaar Chaloâ€ť sung by Lata and Rafi. Rafi-saab does not have much to do in the song except singing the mukhda again and again, after Lata bai finishes with the antara, but even then he sounds superb, especially in the alaap he takes in the middle of the song. Lata is superb as usual. Interestingly, the song appears in a solo (and slightly faster paced) version in the album called Pakeezah Rang-Barang (which is all the unreleased songs of Pakeezah!)
Of the several mujras in the album, "Chalte-Chalte" surely stands out. The sweetness in Lataâ€™s voice as she slows down with â€śYunhi Koi Mil Gaya Tha .. Sare-Raah â€¦" is amazing! Towards the end of the song as Lata supposedly rushes through the song as the train whistle blows â€¦ is superbly captured! The song ends on a sombre-note â€¦ â€śYe Chiragh bujh rahe hain â€¦ mere saath jalte-jalteâ€ť. Superb!
â€śInhi Logon Neâ€ť is yet another mujra, a rather ordinary fare compared to the other gems in the album, but was probably the most popular song in itâ€™s time. (Always a hot favorite in Antakshari with â€śiâ€ť). The words are interesting as the song jumps through various people who had something to do with the dupatta â€¦ Bajajwa, Sipaiyya, Rrangrajwa, et.al.. I havenâ€™t been to too many mujras in kothas, but there is a certain amount of authenticity to this!
â€śMausam Hai Ashiqanaâ€ť â€“ what can I say about this song? Awesomely rendered, awesome words and an awesome tune. Listen to Latabai going â€śSuraj Kahin bhi Jaye, tum par na dhoop aye, tumko pukarte hain, in gesuon ke saaye .. Aa Jao main bana doon, palkon ka shamiyanaâ€ť â€“ need I say more?
The one song rendered by Rajkumari â€śNazariya Ki Maariâ€ť is also a mujra, although zara hat-ke from the rest of the songs. Well sung, sounds authentic, perfect for a background song, which is how it was used in the movie anyway. A must-hear for hardcore classical/thumri lovers maybe?
My two personal favorite mujras in the album are Aaj Hum Apni .. "Teer-E-Nazarâ€ť and â€śThare Rahiyoâ€ť. The former, probably because it conjures up the image of Meena Kumari dancing on glass (or was it Padma Khanna?) â€¦ as the movie comes to a climax. As the song picks up tempo in the end, when Lata-ji hits the high-notes with â€śJaan leva hai Mohabbat ka samaa aaj ki raat â€¦â€ť. you know this is the stuff pathos is made of!
â€śThade rahiyoâ€ť â€“ a bewitching song, where Meena Kumari looked bewitching in green. Tch! Tch!! She did however have a hard time keeping up in dacing with all the beautiful swars, aalaps and tillana in the middle of the song â€¦ â€śDhaagi Dhit Dhaan Dhaan Dhaâ€ť â€“ but that doesnâ€™t take away from the beauty of the song for one bit! Great use of tabla in the song.
â€śTillanaâ€ť .. an underplayed but brilliant number. The movie opens with this song â€śDheem Tana Dere Naâ€ť and the song ends with the aalaap that is heard multiple times in the movie! Tillanas are so hard to come by in Hindi film music and this was definitely a welcome one.
Music was created by the inimitable Ghulam Mohammad. The background score was created by Naushad though. Sure, the album may lack the so-called â€śvarietyâ€ť because it was one mujra after the other, but thatâ€™s what the movie was about, wasnâ€™t it? So, if you don't own this album â€“ find out what you have been missing!!