Friday, June 27, 2008

Roshan- music director par excellence

After quite some time, I am back to doing what I love doing the most- i.e. talking about a legendary music director of the past.

This time,I will like to discuss Music director Roshan,a name that is known today as being the grandfather of Hrithik Roshan, but who was in reality a bigger name,and made a bigger contribution to Bollywood than any of his descendants, Hrithik Roshan included. In fact, Roshan was his first name, not his surname. He was Roshan Lal Nagrath,but his first name became such a brand name that his sons and grandson( Rajesh and Rakesh, and Rakesh's son Hrithik) adopted this as their surnames.

Like most music directors of that era, he was very well trained in classical music. He joined Morris College of Music in Lucknow,studied there for 5 years and took degree of Master of Music.Not content with that, he went to ustad Allauddin Khan Dagar of Maihar, where Ustadji would typically train him for six hours daily only on one Raag.

Roshan made his debut as a music director in 1949 in "Neki aur Badi" as a raw and inexperienced music director. Then he got his next movie "Baawre nain" in 1950, and that had some wonderful songs.

One of the songs, which sounds so sweet even today, was

Khayalon me kisike yun aaya nahin karte (Baawre nain 1950) (Singers-Geeta Dutt,Mukesh, Lyrics-Kidar Sharma)

What a lovely duet this next song is. Gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it

Bade armaan se rakha hai (Malhaar 1951) Singers-Mukesh,Lata

Roshan, by his own admission, was not prepared as a music director when he made his debut.And as a result, he did not have much success in early parts of his career. But as he gained experience, and honed his musical skills as a music director, he started giving hits after hits in copious numbers, beginning from around 1960.Many of his compositions went on to become immortal songs.

"Barsaat ki raat" in 1960 was a movie that was enough to immortalise Roshan in the history of Bollywood music. Every song of this movie continues to be a rage even today.

Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi wo barsaat ki raat(Barsaat ki raat 1960)

This title song of "Barsaat ki Raat" also became the top song of Binaca geetmala 1960final.

This movie also had some very popular quawalis, for example this one:

Ye ishq ishq hai (Barsaat ki raat 1960)

Though it is Madan Mohan who earned the accolades as the King of ghazals,Roshan was no less in this field, as his songs show."Aarti",the first movie of Rajshree Productions in 1962 was a big musical hit. Roshan was the music director, and he came up with a gem like this:

Aapne yaad dilaya to mujhe yaad aaya (Aarti 1962) Singer-Rafi,Lata, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri

And also

Ab kya misal doon (Aarti 1962)Singer-Rafi, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri

This song, despite being a "classy" song, i.e. a ghazal, managed 3rd position in Binaca geetmala 1962, one place ahead of Madan Mohan's equally classy ghazal
("Aapki nazron ne samjha" from "Anpadh").

I cannot resist including one more song from this movie ( I could include every song, that is how good the songs of this movie were)

Baar baar tohe kya samjhaaye (Aarti 1962) Singer-Rafi,Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri

And what about the songs of "Dil Hi to hai" (1963)? what immortal songs they are! Let me list just a few of them:

Tum agar mujhko na chaho to koi baat nahin (Dil hi to hai 1963) Singer-Mukesh,Lyrics-Saahir Ludhianvi

Laaga chunri me daag chupaaoon kaise (Dil hi to hai 1963)Singer-Manna Dey, Lyrics-Saahir Ludhianvi

And the immortal quawwali from this movie:

Nigaahen milane ko dil chahta hai (Dil hi to hai 1963)

If you thought Dil hi to hai was all Roshan had to offer in 1963, he had another musical blockbuster this year called Taj Mahal.

Is there any Bollywood fan who has not heard this song, or indeed not hummed it?

Jo wada kiya wo nibhana padega (Tajmahal 1963)Singer-Rafi,lata, lyrics-Saahir Ludhianvi

or this one,

Paaon choo lene do inaayat hogi (Tajmahal 1963) singer-Rafi,Lata,lyrics-Saahir Ludhianvi

Among music directors of that era, Roshan can be called King of quawwalis, as many of his quawalies became immortal. Here is the quawali from Taj mahal

Chandi ka badan sone ki nazar (Tajmahal 1963)

A few years ago, an Indian magazine polled a few celebrities ( singers, music directors, lyricists etc) from Bollywood to find out which songs were their
favourite songs in Bollywood. The song that came out as their most favourite song was this Roshan composition:

Man re tu kaahe na dheer dhare ( Chitralekha 1964), Singer-Rafi,Lyrics-Saahir Ludhianvi

If it was "Barsaat ki raat" in 1960, then it was "Bheegi raat" in 1965, in which Rafi and Lata sang another unforgettable duet:

Dil jo na kah saka (Bheegi raat 1965)Singers-Rafi,Lata Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri

Among all the songs that extol the virtue of mothers, here is the grandmother of all such songs,which was composed by Roshan:

Usko nahin dekha hamne kabhi,teri sootat se alag, bhagwaan ki soorat ky hogi, Ae Maa (Daadi Ma 1966)

For the nostalgic people who want to recall their bachpan, here is just the song:

Aaya hai mujhe phir yaad wo jaalim, guzra zamana bachpan ka ( Devar 1966)

Time stands for no one, and the songs that talk about this fact always appeal to our hearts. And this song certainly touches our heart strings, and would continue to do so everytime we hear this song:

Rahen na rahen hum mahka karenge (Mamta 1966), Singer-Lata, Rafi, Lyrics-Majrooh Sultanpuri

Another powerful emotion is that of waiting, and people in past really could wait for ages for their beloved to come. And this feeling has been captured so

wonderfully in this Roshan composition from Bahu Begum (1967)

Hum intezaar karenge tera qayamat tak (Bahu Begum 1967) Singers- Asha,Rafi, Lyrics-Saahir Ludhianvi

Movies with the word "raat" in them brought the best from Roshan. After "Barsaat ki raat" and "Bheegi raat", it was the turn of "Anokhi Raat". And this movie has wonderful songs capturing many emotions.

Mile na phool to kaanton se dosti kar li(Anokhi Raat 1967) Singer-Rafi,Lyrics-Indeevar

Mahalon ka raja mila (Anokhi Raat 1968),Singer-Lata,Lyrics-Indeevar

The much remixed,karakoed,copied,"cover versioned" and otherwise mutilated song "meri beri ke ber mat todo" was originally from this movie.

Meri beri ke ber mat toda (anokhi raat 1968)

The songs from Anokhi Raat had taken the nation by storm,but just when it looked like Roshan was burning the brightest,and looked like he was at the peak of his prowess,he died all of a sudden, and the Bollywood world suffered first of its major losses in 1960s. It was one of the deaths that ultimately brought the end to the golden era of Bollywood music in late 1960s- early 1970s.

To round up this discussion on Roshan, here is this wonderful philosophical song from "Anokhi raat " which found appreciation from all and sundry,including masses, as shown by the fact that this song finished number 2 in Binaca geetmala 1969.

Oh re taal mile nadi ke jal mein, nadi mile saagar mein, saagar mile kaun se jal mein koi jaane na (Anokhi Raat 1968) Singer-Mukesh,Lyrics-Indeevar

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