What happens when a distraught mother suddenly sights her lost child? Ecstatic, you might say! Well, I had lost all the rest of the songs I played at the Vadodara baithak on Feb 20, after posting three of these songs on the YouTube last month. Can you imagine my joy when I learned that some of these songs were retrieved?
So, here is the one I enjoyed playing the most, guiding the young table accompanist Tushar Solanki along. Madan Mohan is one my most favorite of the Hindi Film composers. I simply love the way he composed the gazals and the way he brought out the best in Lata!
“Too pyaar kare yaa thukaraayen Hum to hai tere diwaano mein” – from the 1957 film, “Dekh Kabira Roya set in raga bhairavi to a regular theka-wala kehrva, Wow! To be able to play is a challenge – a challenge I always relish.
Listen to the way the unforgettable composition, starting from the achal Sa, “kabadding” (as in the game called Kabaddi) all the way to the Komal Re of the taar saptak, then teasingly loiter about in the middle octave; only to retreat to the home Sa once again. Marvelous!
Now take the ‘antara’ – starting from the Pa of the middle octave, stretching all the way to the Shuddh Re of the taar ‘saptak’, lilt around the ‘uttarang’ of bhairavi between; only to settle down at the temporary home of Pa.
That’s all! Only four melodic lines – one the mukhda, then the manzaa (in the language of a Sitarist- ‘hum to hair tere…’); the third line- the antara, followed by the last line starting with ‘Jite….n hai magar…The entire song is made up of just four lines!
Note the finely balanced ‘..yen’ when I play the phrase “Thukaraa yen”, it is a challenge to bring out the right balance, the right stress on the string with the right hand.
tu pyar kare ya thukrayen
hum to hain tere diwano me
Try and see if you can watch how I use one side of the triangular plectrum instead of the regular pointed angle with my right hand, coordinated with the finger movements of the left hand, to get as close to the mesmerizing gamak that Lata brings out at that ecstatic moment.
You will see the same magic when I play “…ten…” in the phrase “jeet…en… hai “ in the antara.
marne se hume inkaar nahi
jeeten hain magar ek hasrat me
This is even more challenging than the one in ‘’yen...” as above. The cruel pick-up mike tends to pick up the big strokes and amplifies it the loudest. So, one has to be very alert not making it too loud, otherwise it will turn out to be a jarring exercise!
I have just played one antara of this song – the time constraint, you know; besides, the tune of the second antara is identical to the first one, except the lyrics.
Lastly, when I return to the mukhda after playing the antara, Tushar takes a cue from me and launches into a ‘laggi’ – a fast paced piece within the framework of the basic taal that is kehrava.
Oh, before I sing off this post, just compare the tune of the first line of this song with that of the first line of another song, “Muzpe ilzaam bewafaai hai” – from the 1955 film ‘yasmin’ music by the incomparable C. Ramchandra. Similar?
Very naughty of me, indeed! But more on this some other time.
Anything more I write, will do injustice to the lovely song.