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RMIM Archives..

Subject: Kishore Kumar sings for C. Ramchandra


Posted by: Ashok (ADhareshwar@WorldBank.Org)

Author: Ashok Dhareshwar



Recently, Pradeep had expressed an interest in knowing about

Kishore songs under the baton of C. Ramchandra. Here's what lit-

tle I know. I suspect there isn't a whole lot more (although I

would be happy to be proved wrong). The rarity of KK-CR combina-

tion is surprising to say the least, given the flair for both the

"comedic" and the tragic that the two artists displayed in their

respective roles. It points up the lack of imagination on the

part of the Bombay film makers, and that too, not for pursuing

any artistic hobby-horse, but for expoiting what must surely have

had tremendous commercial potential. Whatever little we have of

these two unique artists is due almost exclusively to the vision

of one film maker from Madras, MV Raman. who stayed with this

combination through three (perhaps four) films.

Interestingly, one of KK's earliest acting assignments was in a

celebrated CR film: "Shehnai." I don't think KK has a song in the

film, either sung by him or picturized on him. Either KK's sing-

ing prowess wasn't yet evident (although by then he had sung in

the chorus for Saraswati Devi at Bombay Talkies) or CR fancied

his own singing too much to notice KK! I often try to imagine

"aanaa meri jaan" sung by KK, Geeta, and Asha! Idle thoughts!

Perhaps wrong also, because KK's earliest songs for Khemchand

Prakash are quite sombre, almost Saigalish, e.g. "jagamag

jagamag kartaa nikalaa" from Rimjhim ('49). As an aside, note

that most of the films produced by Kishore were very serious.

I"m afraid I have to start off on an uncertain footing. I don"t

know the MD of credit, by song, for MV Raman"s "Ladki" ("53).

The film has one rollicking Kishore song, written by Rajendra


shaadi (music: zshhh), shaadi (zshhhh)

shaadi, shaadi, shaadi (zshhhh)


haa, kismat ki baat hai, maalik ki hath hai

(very fast) kismat ki baat, maalik ki hath, jeevan ka sath hai


The MDs for "Ladki" (which is a remake of Tamil "PeNN") are

Dhaniram and R. Sudarshanam, with the collaboration of C. Ram-

chandra. The Geeta Dutt song "baaT chalat nayi chunari rang

Dhaari" is credited to the firs two MDs. According to Anil

Hingorani, the Lata solo "sajanaa aa jaa, daras dikhaa jaa" is

credited to CR and so is the Lata-Geeta duet "man more machaaye

shor." I hope some nettor can pinpoint the MD for the above

Kihore song, which must be one of his earliest humorous songs.

The first film with Kishore as the leading man and CR as the MD

was I think MV Raman's 'Pehli Jhalak' ('54). Vyjayanthimala was

the heroine. As an aside, this film might be the first screen

appearance of Dara Singh, who comes in for a bout with Om

Prakash! The film had great music in all respects but one: it is

a disappointment as far as KK the singer is concerned. I

remember only one KK song from the film:

charan daas ko pine ki jo aadat na hoti

to aaj miaa baahar bibi andar na soti

It is a humorous song, with KK on a stage, imitating the voice of

many different characters. The song ends with KK sounding almost

like the Tuvan throat singers! Strange rhymes abound, e.g.,

shabaab-khabaab, bartan-ghan (Yes, it looks like Rajendra Krishan

anticipated Gulzaar by more than q quarter century!) The only

other Kishore piece is a brief parody of the Ladki song:

kismat ki baat, patton ke haath, pustak ko maat hai


In sum, the KK output in "Pehli Jhalak" is of interest vocally,

rather than musically! As was customary with CR films in the

early-to-mid 1950s, the music for the film is dominated by spark-

ling Lata gems, such as,

kaise bhaaye sahi rut saawan hi

piyaa ke bin patiyaa aawan ki


na maaro nazariyaa ke baan

akeli aayi paniyaa bharana

Interestingly, "Pehli Jhalak" has one of the earliest Asha songs

for CR, a mujra number:

mohabbat ne mujhe maaraa, meri toba, meri toba

Of course, I cannot go past "Pehli Jhalak" without mentioning the

great Hemant song from the film:

zamee.n chal rahi, aasamaa.n chal rahaa hai

ye kis ke ishhare jahaa.n chal rahaa hai

Next is "Asha "(1957), another Raman film, with the same cast and

lyricist. We all know that it introduced scat singing into Hindi

film music via the Kishore/Asha tandem "ina mina Dika." (scat,

that is singing with nonsense words, became popular in jazz sing-

ing in the early 30s. It is not really that easy to make up long

strings of meaningless words! In the 'Asha' song a few KonkaNi

words tumble in!). "Asha" had two other Kishore songs. One is a

rather insipid affair with chorus: "ye insaaf kahaa.n ka hai."

The other one is very nice, but went pretty much unnoticed, be-

cause it was embedded in a long sequence of staged drama, full of

many songlines and dialogue. The song is

haal tujhe apni duniya ki nazar to aataa hoga.

As usual, there are an uncountable number of great Lata songs,



chal chal re kanhaayi chhaliyaa

naa doongi ab tore ye muraliyaa


tu na aaye hone lagi shaam re

saanwariyaa, saanwariyaa

An interesting feature of the music for the film is that Asha

Bhonsle gets nearly an equal billing with Lata, singing for the

leading lady. In addition to her share of "ina mina Dika", she

has a very nice lori

so jaa re chandaa so jaa

chandaniyaa araj kare

Asha also shows up in the long drama sequence.

The last of the KK-CR films produced by Raman was "Payal Ki Jhan-

kaar" ("68). It starred Kishore and Rajashri. I don"t know the

music of the film well, only that it featured a couple of

"straight" songs by KK-CR combination (finally!). One is a

KK/Asha tandem song:

ae mere soye hue pyar zaraa hosh mein aa

ho chuki neend bahut jaag zaraa josh mein aa

This one is so-so song, but the film does have my favorite song

among the KK solos with CR:

mukhaDe pe gesoo.n aa gaye

aadhe idhar aadhe udhar (2)

chanda pe baadal chhaa gaye

aadhe idhar aadhe udhar (2)

This song pairs Qamar Jalalabadi and C. Ramchandra. They had

come together earlier in "Shabistan" ('51), which had a couple of

other unusual features: Its MDs are CR and Madan Mohan! And it

has quite a few duets by Talat and Geeta!

To my knowledge, the only time CR and KK the playback singer have

come together is for "Rootha Na Karo", one of the last CR films

(1970). It was a Shashi-Nanda starrer, whcich went nowhere. The

lyrics were by Hasrat Jaipuri (another occasion when Hasrat-CR

came together was for a couple of Anarkali songs, including

"mohabbat aisi dhaDkan hai", which Chetan had posted recently,

with incorrect lyricist, courtesy Vividh Bharati!) Kishore sings

the title song of "Rootha Na Karo"; it"s a mediocre song. I

think the only song from the film that became very popular was

the Rafi-Asha duet, "aap ka chehraa, maasha allaa". It"s a

catchy tune, but a more or less direct lift from the western in-

strumental "The Swinging Safari."

To conclude, C. Ramchandra"s Kishore repertoire is limited. He

did not explore many facets of Kishore"s singing in a workman-

like fashion (happy song, sad song, duet, and so on ..) the way

Chitragupta did in "Ek Raaz" and "Ganga Ki Lehren" and Shankar-

Jaikishan did in "Shararat" and "Rungoli". More disappointingly,

CR did not turn in any great melody involving Kishore as did oth-

er great MDs in the limited opportunities they had to work with

Kishore, e.g., Anil Biswas in "Fareb" (Kishore-Lata duet "aa

mohabbat ki basti basaahenge ham" and "husn bhi hai udaas

udaas"), Husnlal-Bhagatram in "Kafila" (Kishore-Lata duet "lehron

se poochh lo"), Hemant Kumar in "Girl Friend" (Kishore-Sudha duet

"kashti ka khamosh safar hai") or "Do Duni Char" ("hawaaon pe

likh"), and OP Nayyar in "Naya Andaz" (Kishore-Shamshad duet

"mere neendon mein tum"). Thus, it would appear that the only

enduring Kishore legacy of CR is "ina mina Dika" (and perhaps the

shaadi song from "Ladki.")


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