Monday, January 28, 2013

My favourite 15 RD songs (for today!)

Today was Pancham's ! I had half-written this post after reading my good friend's post on his favourite Pancham songs. What prompted finishing it today were two things - listening to a collection of songs from RD that one of my maternal uncles had recorded for me on one of my trips back to India. The way he recorded it had the Bengali song and the corresponding Hindi version next to each other. The other driving force was watching Pancham Unmixed that the same friend of mine had sent me as a gift, most likely, on the same trip to India.  Diptakirti, I owe you a big one for this.

I remember that there was a distinct phase lag in my humming Pancham's tunes in shower and the realization that they all were creations of one genius of a music director. Sometime in college, I bought one of the first Golden Collection 4 cassette series that HMV published. I was surprised how hard it is to find the cover image of that collection now, even with the help of the mighty Google but this may be it


In any case, this 4 cassette (yes, CD's were expensive those days) series introduced me to some of the gems of RD's compositions. It will be a fun exercise to repeat choosing 15 favourite songs some other day and see how many common ones pop up. The amazing thing about RD is that there are almost an infinite number of 15-tuples that can be chosen with complete mutual exclusivity.

kahin na jaa

 I first heard this song coming from the other side of the building in Hall 5 at IIT K and wondered where on earth had I been living that I had missed it till then. Although I have switched from my old two-in-one to listening to songs mostly on youtube these days, I still find it impossible to stop this song midway, ever.

katra katra

Mera Kuchh Saman was a close contender from Ijaazat but musically Katra Katra is completely engulfing including the musical interludes, in a way that is hard to even begin to describe.

rishte bante hain

It was hard, yet again, to pick a single song from Dil Padosi Hain but that was a constraint I made for myself - no more than one song per album or movie. 

dil dhoondta hai

I had a hard time deciding whether to chose the sad version or the happy one and ended up with the solo by Bhupinder. On second thoughts, isn't it completely amazing how the same song can be tuned so well, yet in two completely different moods ?

aanewala pal

The one song from Dipta's list that is here as well and will find its way to most RD favourite lists, I suspect. Kishore in completely sublime form - completely sublime !

roz roz aankhon tale

I often wonder how RD decided between Asha and Lata when it came to choose  his lead female vocalist. For this one, I often wonder what it would have been like if Kishore sang it. Nevertheless, the Amit-Asha combination worked wonders !

do lafzon ki hi dil ki kahani

Vintage Asha-RD cocktail. 

yeh sham mastani

This is, in some ways, a predictable choice but who is to say that it is not a worthwhile one ? I am equally in love with the Bengali version - "akaash kyano daake" by Kishore.

biti na bitai raina

A lot has been said about the Asha-RD combination and how it worked wonders. I think it is somewhat understated the many magical moments that RD created with the venerable elder sister, may be because she had created many other such magical moments with other music directors as well.  This song from Parichay has Bhupinder joining in the later parts, making for a stunning duet.

raina beeti jaaye

In the middle of this song, Sharmila Tagore stops in the movie and Rajesh Khanna urges, almost begs - "gaiye na, aap ruk kyon gaye ?" The pathos in that request does completely judgement to this song and what happens to the listener when it stops so abruptly !

naam gum jayega

I hope no one ever dares to make a remix of this. I will personally go pee on his/her head.

tu tu hai wahi

Once again, a personal favourite. This song seems to flow so easily, creating almost a web of notes around you that I always have to play it twice, at least.

rah pe rehte hain

Okay, I was trying to decide between this and Musafir Hoon Yaaron and this one won. I suspect the words have something to do with that choice. "jo guzar jaati hai bas, us pe guzar karte hain" - Gulzar, oh Gulzar, did I ever tell you I love you so ?

sawan ki jhole pade

Monsoon is such an integral part of life in the subcontinent and is central to so much music, including that of RD, that it was hard to choose only one "rain song". But this song, in my mind, completely evokes the mood of the first monsoon, that comes only after a long wait.

phir kisi shaakh ne

Silli Hawa was a close contender but then I asked myself that if someone held a gun to my head and asked me to choose only one before I died, which one I would choose and here is the answer !

No comments: