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The enduring appeal of Bees Saal Baad

Hemant Kumar was a music director, singer and movie producer, all rolled into one. He left his personal distinct contact in all of the three areas. Not restricted by language, he used to sing and compose for Hindi, Bengali and regional (Tamil, Marathi, Assamese) movies.

The selection in Hemant Kumar’s music was a consequence of his being influenced by Rabindra Sangeet and folks music of Bengal and different areas. He was open to drawing from totally different musical kinds and types. His peppy and classical numbers have stood the take a look at of time, and kind an vital chapter within the golden period of movie music.

Hemant Kumar.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

The inimitable checklist contains ‘Ya dil ki suno’ ( Anupama), ‘Tum pukar lo’ ( Khamoshi), ‘Raah bani khud manzil’ and ‘Yeh nayan dare dare’ ( Kohraa), ‘Beqaraar karke hamein’ and ‘Zaraa nazron se keh do ji’ ( Bees Saal Baad), ‘Na yeh chand hoga’ ( Shart), ‘Jab jaag uthe armaan’ ( Bin Badal Barsaat), ‘O zindagi ke denewale’ and ‘Tere dwaar khadaa ek jogi’ ( Nagin).

Choosing the appropriate singer

Like all nice composers, Hemant tailor-made his compositions to swimsuit the singers. Many high singers of the time enriched his beautifully nuanced compositions. Like S.D. Burman, he additionally excelled within the artwork of choosing the proper voice.

When Hrishikesh Mukherjee needed him to sing ‘Tera husn rahe’ ( Do Dil), Hemant insisted on getting Rafi for the track. It was once more Rafi for the patriotic ‘Hum laaye hain toofan se’ ( Jagriti) and ‘Jaane kahaan dekha hai’ ( Biwi Aur Makan).

Playback singer Kishore Kumar.

Playback singer Kishore Kumar.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Though Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor and Talat Mahmood didn’t work with him a lot, Kishore Kumar sang some iconic numbers equivalent to ‘Hawaon pe likh do’ ( Do Dooni Chaar, enacted by Kishore himself), in addition to ‘Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi’ ( Khamoshi), a track Rajesh Khanna requested Hemant Kumar to create for Kishore.


| Photo Credit: P.V. SIVAKUMAR/The Hindu Archives

Lata Mangeshkar, of course, remained an everlasting favorite of the composer, ever since her model of ‘Vande Mataram’ from Anand Math outmoded the standard one in recognition. At their collaborative peak, the duo had chartbusters in Nagin (led by ‘Jadugar saiyan’ and ‘Man dole mera tan dole’), Bees Saal Baad (‘Kahin deep jale’ and ‘Sapne suhane’), Kohraa (’Jhoom jhoom dhalti raat’ and ‘O beqaraar dil’), Anupama (‘Dheere dheere machal’ and ‘Aisi bhi baatein hoti hai’) and Khamoshi (‘Humne dekhi hai’).

But if I had been to pick one Lata humdinger that by no means received the hosannas it deserved it might be ‘Pyaasi hirni’ from Do Dil. As in most of his melodies, Hemant’s compositions, and the preparations he selected had been so atmosphere-rich that the intrinsic compositional, vocal and lyrical richness snowballed right into a crescendo of excellence. In its refined trace at erotic romance, this track stays an unforgettable audio-visual expertise.

But if Lata was his favorite, he made even Asha dazzle when he selected her, starting with ‘Sabarmati ke sant’ from Jagriti, in motion pictures as various as Anupama (‘Bheegi bheegi fiza’ and ‘Kyoon mujhe itni khushi’) and the beautiful Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (‘Meri baat rahi mere man mein’, ‘Meri jaan’ and ‘Saaqiya aaj mujhe neend’).

And speaking of Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam how can we neglect Geeta Dutt in ‘Na jaao saiyan’, ‘Piya aiso jiya mein’ and ‘Koi door se awaaz de’? Probably by no means earlier than, and by no means once more, have two good vocalists battled it out so intensely in a single movie.

Lata-Asha duet

Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle.

Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Duets of all kinds, nevertheless, had been actually not Hemant’s forte as a composer, although he achieved the feat of bringing Lata and Suman Kalyanpur collectively for the one time in ‘Kabhi aaj kabhi kal’ ( Chand) and created maybe the tangiest Lata-Asha duet ever ‘Dabe labon se kabhi jo koi’ ( Biwi Aur Makan). Lata-Mohammed Rafi’s ‘Brindaban ke Krishna Kanhaiya’ ( Miss Mary) and Lata-Hemant’s ‘Sanwale salone’ ( Ek Hi Rasta) had been among the many few notable ones, although he experimented, if we might use the time period, with varied combos of female and male singers.

For all that, he by no means shirked from situational work. Composer Ravi, his one-time assistant, revealed how he can be instructed to take heed to western compositions, and work on what may very well be tailored into a brand new track. When the scenario warranted, the maverick maestro may give us an evergreen kids’s track, ‘Nani teri morni’, sung by his child daughter Ranu Mukherjee for Masoom (1960), and varied ensemble all-male and male-female numbers in motion pictures like Rahgir and Biwi Aur Makan, the latter having a surfeit of comedian numbers.

And if we want to perceive Hemant Kumar’s excellence at composing for a voice, all we’d like as proof is his house manufacturing, Do Ladke Dono Ladke (1979), whereby the then-trendy-in-Hindi cinema Yesudas sang Hemant’s final widespread quantity, ‘Kise khabar kahaan dagar’.

The Mumbai-based author is an impartial journalist.

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