The enduring appeal of Bees Saal Baad


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Hemant Kumar was a music director, singer and film producer, all rolled into one. He left his mark in all three fields. Not limited to language, he used to sing and compose for Hindi, Bengali and regional (Tamil, Marathi, Assamese) films.

The diversity in Hemant Kumar’s music was a result of his influence from Rabindra Sangeet and the folk music of Bengal and other regions. He was drawn to drawings from various musical styles and forms. His soulful and classical songs have withstood the test of time, and form an important chapter in the golden age of film music.

Hemant Kumar. , Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

The unmatched list includes ‘Ya Dil Ki Suno’ ( Anupama), ‘You call’ ( silence), ‘Rah Bani Khud Manzil’ and ‘Yeh Nayan Dare Dare’ ( fog), ‘Be waiting for us’ and ‘Just tell me with eyes’ ( twenty years later), ‘Na Yeh Chand Hoga’ ( short), ‘When the awakened desire’ ( rain without clouds), ‘O giver of life’ and ‘A jogi standing at your door’ ( Nagin,

choosing the right singer

Like all great musicians, Hemant designed his compositions to suit the singers. Many of the top singers of the time enriched his nuanced compositions. Like SD Burman, he also excelled in the art of choosing the right voice.

When Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted him to sing ‘Tera Husn Rahe’ ( two hearts), Hemant insisted on getting Rafi to sing the song. Rafi was again for patriotism in ‘Hum Laye Hai Toofan Se’ ( awakening) and ‘Where have I seen’ ( wife and house,

Playback Singer Kishore Kumar.
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Playback Singer Kishore Kumar. , Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Although Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor and Talat Mehmood did not work with him much, Kishore Kumar sang some iconic songs like ‘Hawaon Pe Likh Do’ ( Two twos are four, Kishor himself), as well as ‘Woh Sham Something Awkward Thi’ ( silence), a song Rajesh Khanna requested Hemant Kumar to compose for Kishor.

Lata Mangeshkari

Lata Mangeshkar | Photo Credit: PV Shivakumar/The Hindu Archives

Lata Mangeshkar, of course, remained the composer’s eternal favorite ever since her version of ‘Vande Mataram’ Anand Math In popularity surpassed the traditional. At their allied peak, the two had chartbusters. Nagin (Led by ‘Jadugar Sai’ and ‘Mann Dole Mera Tan Dole’), twenty years later (‘Somewhere Deep Jale’ and ‘Dreams Are Sweet’), fog (‘Jhoom Jhoom Dhalti Raat’ and ‘O Bekarar Dil’), Anupama (‘Slowly chuckle’ and ‘Such things happen’) and silence

(‘See us’).

But if I were to choose a creeper Humdinger, who never got the hosan it deserved, it would be ‘Pyaasi Hirni’. two hearts, Like most of his melodies, Hemant’s compositions, and the arrangements he chose, were so atmosphere-rich that the inner composition, vocal and lyrical richness snowballed into a pinnacle of excellence. In its subtle nods on sensual romance, the song remains an unforgettable audio-visual experience.

But if Lata was his favourite, he dazzled him by choosing Asha, starting with ‘Sabarmati Ke Sant’. awakeningas diverse as in the movies Anupama (‘Bheegi Bheegi Fiza’ and ‘Why I am so happy’) and exquisite Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (‘Meri Baat Rahi Mere Mann Mein’, ‘Meri Jaan’ and ‘Sakia Today I Need’).

and talking about Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam How can we forget Geeta Dutt in ‘Na Jao Saiyan’, ‘Piya Aise Jiya Mein’ and ‘Koi Door Se Awaaz De’? Perhaps never before, and never again, have two brilliant singers fought so intensely in the same film.

creeper-asha couple

Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. , Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

However, not every duet really characterized Hemant as a musician, although he did achieve the feat of bringing Lata and Suman Kalyanpur together in ‘Kabhi Aaj Kabhi Kal’. Moon) and probably the craziest Lata-Asha duet ever made ‘Dabe Labs Se Kabhi Jo Koi’ wife and house) Lata-Mohammed Rafi’s ‘Krishna Kanhaiya of Vrindaban’ ( Miss Mary) and Lata-Hemant’s ‘Sawale Salon’ ( One way) was among a few notable people, although he did use, if we may, use the term with various combinations of male and female singers.

Despite all this, he never shied away from circumstantial actions. Composer Ravi, his one-time assistant, revealed how he would be instructed to listen to Western compositions, and could be adapted as a new song. When the situation so requires, Awara Ustad can give us an evergreen children’s song, ‘Nani Teri Morni’, sung by his daughter Ranu Mukherjee. innocent (1960), and preferring various outfits to all-male and male-female numbers in the films passersby And wife and houseThe latter has a plethora of comic numbers.

And if we want to understand Hemant Kumar’s excellence for Ek Voice, we need his home production as proof, two boys both boys (1979), in which the then trendy-in-Hindi cinema Yesudas sang Hemant’s last popular song ‘Kis Khabar Kahan Dagar’.

The writer based in Mumbai is a freelance journalist.

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