Anu Mallik on tracks that his daughter Anmol and he associate with the festival of lights
Badan pe sitare lapete hue (Prince):I heard this Mohammed Rafi song for the first time on a Diwali night when I was seven years old. Since then, the word sitara has come to be associated with Diwali. The night is star-studded, literally.
Anmol connects with the song too because she imagines her father as a seven year old.
O haseena zulfonwali (Teesri Manzil):I must have been in my teens when I heard this song by Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle. It sowed the seeds of the composer in me. It was played on Diwali night at a friend’s place during a party. The high tempo had my feet tapping.
Anmol is in her teens now. That’s the connect we have with this song.
Lakhon taare (Hariyali aur Raasta):
This song fills me with emotions because it talks about disparity.. which is a reality today. There are people who spend lakhs on crackers and celebrations. And there are others who are slogging to make ends meet.
It reminds me of my struggling days when I went with a baja from door to door asking for work. Anmol is so proud that her father has worked hard to reach where he has today.
Ye kaali kaali aankhein (Baazigar):
Anmol was only two years old when I composed this song. We hadn’t recorded it for the movie then. On a Diwali evening, I came home with the cassette.
Anmol looked like Little Miss Muffet with her kohl-lined black eyes. This was the first time I saw her dancing. It was one of my most joyous Diwali moments. Even today, her eyes sparkle when I remind her of that performance.
Rab mujhe maaf kare (Sohni Mahiwaal): This is a very special song for my wife Anju, Anmol and me. It was among the first hits I gave when I was only 24.
Anju and I were invited for our first Diwali party at producer F C Mehra’s Colaba residence. We didn’t have a car then. We took the train and then a cab to his place. When we reached there, showbiz daddies like Manmohan Desai were humming my song. They all congratulated me. It was my first taste of success.
Anmol had a similar feeling recently after her debut song.
Tumhein jo maine dekha (Main Hoon Naa):
My daughter knows I’m a die-hard romantic. This tune struck me like lightning. On a Diwali night, I was driving down the Pune expressway when I saw crackers exploding in the clear dark sky.. it looked as if an artist had sprayed colours on the canvas.
Baazigar o baazigar (Baazigar): I was born on Diwali day, November 2.. something that still excites Anmol. So every year, either on my birthday or on Lakshmi puja day (tithi-wise my birthday falls on that day), sometimes on both the days, a four-five member band arrives on my doorstep. And plays this song for me. The guys then bless me and I give them their baksheesh.
Main hoon na (Main Hoon Naa):
Anmol and I have heard this song adnauseum at several Diwali parties at close friends or relatives’ homes. It’s special for both of us.
Talli ho gayi (Ugly aur Pagli): This year, for the first time, I’m going to miss my little birdie. She is miles away in London. I am happy she’s studying there but I still miss her.
I’m going to throw a grand party for the family and play her debut song loud enough for the world to hear on Diwali night. Maybe then, I won’t miss her so much.
(As told to Rachana Dubey)