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A song for every mood

Human emotions are unpredictable. And if there's something that finds resonance with our various moods, various emotions, it's music. So we asked some celebs about the songs that define their different emotions.

brunch Updated: Aug 31, 2013 17:34 IST

Human emotions are unpredictable. And if there's something that finds resonance with our various moods, various emotions, it's music. There isn't any mood, any situation for which a song has not been penned. So we asked some celebs about the songs that define their different emotions. And here's what they told us:


Jerry Pinto

I believe that it is almost impossible to judge lyrics out of context. A song always has so much going for it, so many memories tied to it. "Here I come and there you hum," says Raju Bharatan in his book on Lata Mangeshkar. The tune is a huge crutch and can often cover up weak lyrics. And then there is the movie itself: few unsuccessful films leave any music behind but equally few successful films have unsuccessful music. And yet so many of the songs I have loved, I remember in tandem: can I separate the delicate beauty of Supriya Pathak and the gentleness of Farooque Shaikh from Dikhaayi diye yoon and Phir chhidi raat baat phoolon ki from Bazaar? Or the face and adaas of Rekha in Umrao Jaan's Yeh kya jagah hai doston or even the sudden perfection of Asha Bhosle's singing, a perfection we had not noticed before that?

1. Seene mein jalan, aankhon mein toofaan (Gaman, 1979). Singer: Suresh Wadkar. Music: Jaidev. Lyrics: Shahryar.
Muzaffar Ali used Shahryar's poem with great respect and to great effect to emphasise the alienation of his hero. (Aaina hamein dekh-ke hairaan-sa kyon hai?) I also feel that most lyricists pay attention to the first few lines or to the lines they think will 'catch' and patch the rest of the song together.

2. The qawwali in Mughal-e-Azam holds for me as a perfect dialogue between the pragmatic and the romantic. It is sung exquisitely too so that the two versions of Teri mehfil mein kismat aazmaakar hum bhi dekhenge... in the voices of Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar are inflected differently; the first with suggestiveness and the second with yielding. And there is the cold "kisi din yeh tamaashaa muskuraake hum bhi dekhenge" with that close-up intensifying the predestination of the words.

3. There is the lovely Shokhiyon mein ghola jaaye from Prem Pujari which defies its stupid picturisation; there's Phoolon ke rang se, Dil ki kalam se which I also love for the way the words move.


4. And for their huge denunciation of modern society those two songs from Pyaasa: Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahaan hai? and Yeh takhton, yeh taajon, samaajon ki duniya. From the same film, for its yearning: Aaj sajan mohe ang laga lo.

5. From Saahib, Biwi aur Ghulam, the magnificent: Na jaao saiyyan which marks the descent of the suhaagan of Piya aiso jiya mein samaay gayo re to the solipsism on the floor of her own bedroom, making drunken love to a bottle.

6. There's the politically charged, Aap ki duaa se sab theek-thaak hai from Mere Apne and the elegant dismissive cynicism of Kuch to log kahenge from Amar Prem.
A thousand songs in my head. I have been unfair, unfaithful.

The writer is the author of Helen: the life and times of an H-Bomb that won the National Award for the best book on cinema in 2006.


Aamir Raza Hussain

1. Jaane kahan gaye woh din (Mera Naam Joker, 1972) Singer: Mukesh. Music: Shanker-Jaikishan Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
It always manages to make me nostalgic, particularly about the development of Lucknow, the city from where I hail. I used to go back to the city every year, but I don't get the time to do that now.
2. Ae mere watan ke logon Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Lyrics:
For obvious reasons, Aa mere watan ke logon still gives you the heeby-jeebies. It was sung after the India-China war of 1962 and Lata has sung it so beautifully.
3. When you talk about the mood and emotion of romance, I used to hum a host of songs for my wife, mostly sung by Rafi and picturised on Shammi Kapoor, such as O Hasina Zulfon Wali from Teesri Manzil.

The author is a playwright and director best known for his large outdoor stage productions such as The Fifty Day War, based on the Kargil War and The Legend of Ram, based on the Ramayana.


Ajay Bijli

I can't think of any anecdotes related to songs, but some stir up memories of the time in my life when they came out and that I still find that they stir up my emotions whenever I listen to them or sing them.

1. I'm quite a romantic, and sing Oh mere dil ke chaen (Mere Jeevan Saathi) to my wife.
2. Yeh jeevan hai (Piya Ka Ghar). Another Kishore Kumar number, this song is the slice of life - not too sad, not too happy - I like it and my mom really likes it
3. Ajj din chadheya (Love Aaj Kal). Though it's a slow song, I love it for its positivity.
Ajay Bijli is chairman and managing director, PVR Limited & Trustee, PVR Nest

Bhaichand Patel

1. Ajeeb dastan hai yeh (Dil Apna Preet Parai, 1960) Singer: Lata Mangeshkar. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan. Lyrics: Shailendra
I was on my first serious date soon after the onslaught of puberty. I splurged and bought two balcony seats for Dil Apna Preet Parai at the Roxy in Bombay, three rupees each, for the 3:30 show. After the interval I nervously, very nervously, put my hand on hers on the arm rest. She immediately withdrew hers. Later, we had cold coffee, very sophisticated, at The Parisian on Marine Drive while we listened to the jukebox. Remember them? She had a late night pass from her student hostel but now she insisted on being dropped before the eight o'clock curfew.

There is a happy ending to the story. Some years later, when my bank balance was better and I could afford a candle-lit dinner, I managed to seduce her. The film was forgettable but the song has endured. Karan Johar paid tribute to it in the recent film, Bombay Talkies. Shankar-Jaikishan drew 'inspiration' for the tune from a popular Jim Reeves number, My lips are sealed.

2. Jaayein toh jaayein kahaan (Taxi Driver, 1952) Singer: Talat Mahmood. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
When I am in a melancholic mood I listen to the songs of Talat Mehmood, one of our most under-rated playback singers, always in the shadows of Mohd Rafi and Mukesh. Among my favourites is Jayein to jayein kahaan from the 1954 film, Taxi Driver, with Dev Anand at his best. The song is best heard in the wee hours of the morning, lights down, with a glass of cognac in hand.

3. Gore gore o banke chore (Samadhi, 1950) Singers: Amirbai Karnataki and Lata Mangeshkar. Music: C Ramchandra. Lyrics: Rajinder Krishan



This rousing number is guaranteed to get everyone on the floor. It is so easy to dance to. Raja Bhattacharya and his band play it every year towards the end of my Valentine's Day party, just before the police arrive.

C Ramchandra was a hugely popular composer during his short tenure beginning in the mid-1940s. He was equally at ease with jazz, ghazals and Indian folk. Gore gore o banke chhore is also a copy, along forgotten cha cha number, Chico Chico, from Puerto Rico.

Bhaichand Patel is a columnist and author of the books, Bollywood's Top 20 and Chasing The Good Life

Surender Mohan Pathak

1. Mata o mata, jo tu aaj hoti (Ab Dilli Door Nahin, 1957) Singer: Sudha Malhotra. Music: Dutta Ram. Lyrics: Shailendra
I was quite young when my mother passed away and this song always haunted me whenever I was reminded of her. It does so even today.

2. Munna bada pyara, mummy ka dulaara (Musafir, 1957) Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Salil Chowdhury. Lyrics: Shailendra
The fondest wish of my life was becoming a father - strangely, not getting married - and that too of a male child. In year 1971 this wish of mine was fulfilled and on the first look of the kid, I was immediately reminded of this song. Now he is 41 but whenever I look at him I reminisce about Munna bada pyara.

3. Dil ki umangein hain jawaan (Munimji, 1955) Singers: Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt. Music: SD Burman. Lyrics: Sahir Ludhyanvi
I was 15 when I saw the trailer of this film while on a visit to my maternal uncle's house at Amritsar. After I returned to Delhi, every single day I waited and waited and waited for the release of the film so that I could enjoy the full song with charismatic presence of the leading man Dev Anand. Even today when I hear this song I feel like a 15-year-old kid.

4. O bichhare hue saathi (Hulchul, 1948). Singer: Mohd Rafi. Music: Mohd Shafi Niyazi. Lyrics: Khumar Barabankwi
I got my government employment with ITI in 1964 and was immediately shunted to Bangalore for six months. I had a girlfriend in Delhi and the rest can be understood without my drawing a diagram.

5. Mere mehboob qayamat hogi (Mr X in Bombay, 1964) Singer: Kishore Kumar. Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
It was the same year of my exile to Bangalore. It had nothing to do with my love affair but the sad tone, the lyrics... The melodious voice of Kishore Kumar always haunted me and it does even today, particularly this stanza in the sadder 'Neem niklega tera hi lab se, jaan jis din dli-e- nakaam se rukhsat hogi'.

The author is a bestselling Hindi detective fiction writer.

Sanjay Manjrekar

Cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar is a Kishore Kumar devotee. "I can listen to Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeskhar anytime of the day and they invariably lift my mood. Kishore is my God. But his Phoolon ke rang se from Prem Pujari, is my favourite. It is romantic and mellow and the lyrics by Neeraj and the music by SD Burman have done tremendous justice to Kishore's haunting voice," says Manjrekar.

Sanjay Manjrekar is a former Mumbai batsman who has played for India.

From HT Brunch, September 1

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