The Constant Companion

Right from when I can recall, Hindi film music has been a part of my life. If I had to write the first sentence in Hindi, it would sound so much more beautiful. ‘Jabse hosh sambhale hain, Hindi film ke gaane mere zindagi ka aham hissa rah chuke hain’. Music is like breath to me, I cannot exist without it!

Like breath…….

The radio, the good old cassette tapes, walkmans, CDs, MP3 players, streaming music websites and YouTube on the phone. The format has changed, the effect is the same.

And now the SaReGaMa ‘Caravan’ has entered our lives. A compact device with 5,000 pre-loaded old Hindi film songs, sorted by actors, musicians, singers and so on. You can choose the artist, the mood, or the Geethmala collections where tidbits are shared before songs are actually played. I’m mildly surprised that I didn’t know about 30-40% of the songs that have been playing, considering I think I know so many songs already!

So the Caravan played and reminded me of some really beautiful songs that I haven’t heard in years.

Jurm-e-ulfat pe humein log saza dete hain…, kaise naadan hai, sholon ko hawa dete hain‘ from Taj Mahal. My entire soul is filled with gratitude when I listen to such songs. The lyricist, music director, the singer – I say a silent prayer of thanks for making the song! Take a look at this stunning expression of love:

Aap daulat ke tarazu mein dilon ko tole, hum mohabbat se mohabbat ka sila dete hain

‘Humne dil de bhi diya, ahd-e-vafa le bhi liya, aap ab shauq se de le jo saza dete hain’

From a lyrical standpoint, this movie also has the super romantic

‘Paanv choo lene do phoolon ko inayat hogi’…

with witty repartees like ‘aap jo phool bichayein unhe hum thukraen’,

with lines I never forgot like ‘sharm gairon se hua karti hai, apnon se nahi, sharm humse bhi karogi toh musibat hogi’

When one of my most favourite artistes Waheeda Rahman was chosen, the first song played was ‘Chaudhvi ka chaand’. What can one say about this masterpiece of a song ! I think it was the most perfect filming also on Guru Dutt and Waheeda, looking ever so beautiful and ever so in love.

Chehra hai jaise jheel me khilta hua kamal, yaa zindagi ke saaz pe chedi hui ghazal,

jaan-e-bahar tum kisi shayar ka khwab ho’

So much fun reliving and re-listening to songs from the 50s, 60s – some really mind-blowing lyrics and compositions

Dekho rootha na karo from Tere Ghar Ke Saamne

Mose Chal kiye jaye from Guide

Teri Zulfon Se judai toh nahi Maangi thi from Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai

Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala from Shri 420

Yeh Mahalon Yeh Takhton Yeh Tajon ki Duniya from Pyaasa

Main hoon jhumroo from Jhumroo

Oh the tape collections we had at home! We would know all the songs from each movie, because there was no on-demand music like there is today! You had to listen to both sides, until the rewind and fast forward buttons came in, when sometimes you would skip something you absolutely detested.

Some of the amazing movies we had tapes of include

Taj Mahal, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai, CID, Abhimaan, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, Chitralekha, Teesri Manzil, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon, Pakeezah, Shree 420, Kashmir Ki Kali, Professor, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Hum Dono, Kala Bazaar, Kala Pani, Boot Polish, Mr. and Mrs.55, Umrao Jaan, Aar Paar, Nau Do Gyarah, Madhumati, Awara, Baiju Bawra, Basant Bahar, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Aah, Paying Guest, Mere Mehboob, Dil Deke Dekho, Naya Daur, Choro Chori, Anari, Guide, Bandini, Do Aankhen Barah Haath….

I could go on, I am sure I’m missing a whole ton of other tapes we had.

I have listened to every decade of Hindi film music, and even keep up with the remixes and the bad-boy rap of today! But the poetry, simplicity and romance of the 50’s and 60’s still takes my breath away! I cannot count the number of times I am in awe, and full of appreciation and gratitude for everyone who made, and make music from then until now!

Luckily, with Google, YouTube and all the streaming music apps, everything is at our fingertips now. With the Caravan coming in, I am able to have my daughters also appreciate old hindi film music now! I consider this one very important education imparted 🙂

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