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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Discerning Few : Rafi Sings For Bachchan

Today is Rafi’s 29th death anniversary. Hope his soul is in peace.

na fankaar tujh sa tere baad aya
mohammed rafi tu bahut yaad aya

– A song from movie Kroadh

Just the other day I was watching the song and something struck me. I felt that the song was ironical in so many ways. Although its a tribute to Rafi Saab, it was sung by Md.Aziz, a so-called Rafi clone, whose voice is such a far cry from the soothing and melodious voice of Rafi. And the fact that the song was filmed on Amitabh Bachchan, whereas Rafi hardly sang a dozen songs for him.

That got me thinking of all the songs which Rafi Saab rendered for AB. Among the pearls of Kishore da songs, I really had to try hard to find the gems that Rafi had sung. And quite truly I found very few of those. I still wonder why the legendary singer was given such few songs to sing for the megastar. While I do agree that Kishore had become the defacto voice for AB, but you still had Mukesh singing for him in Kabhi Kabhie, Manhar Udhas sang a song in Abhimaan, Shabbir Kumar sang a dozen of them during the mid-1980’s in movies like Coolie and Mard, Md.Aziz sang for him in Khuda Gawah and more, Kumar Sanu gave us a nasal AB in Jaadugar and Geraftar; then why did music composers of 1970’s not give more songs to Rafi Saab? Anyways, instead of cribbing about what did-not and could-not happen, let us just enjoy whatever little that’s available of this actor-singer combination.

While I was making a quick list of the songs, much to my surprise I found that Manmohan Desai was the only director who got Rafi Saab to record for a lot of those BigB songs. And invariably, Laxmikant-Pyarelal was the music composer for the Desai flicks like Desh Premee, Naseeb and Suhaag. In fact, even outside of Manmohan Desai films, LP made use of Rafi’s tones for Dostana and Ek Nazar.

Let me start with one of the most melodious duets of Indian cinema, Teri Bindiya Re, what a composition it is! Everytime I hear it, I go into a wonderland of my own dream sequence. Lata-Rafi, at their very best, just take us back to the basics of classical training; and without straining a single chord deliver such fantastic melody. SD Burman, the music director who made this possible, should be given huge credit for this evergreen song. I only wish that Majrooh Saab had written a few more stanzas so that Lata-Rafi could cast a longer spell of magic. Why the hell is this song so short? Under 4 minutes! Ok, here I go cribbing again….forget it. Let me enjoy, thanking God for those little mercies that the song still exists in the hearts and minds of people.

Another Lata-Rafi duet, which did not get much airtime because the movie did not do well, was the song Patta Patta Boota Boota from the movie Ek Nazar. It was a LP composition, much in sync with the movie but not with the times that were. Its a forgotten song which comes up only when people talk about Mir’s poetry and/or Rafi’s voice and the effortless rendition. What a fine song, and it does not look odd on Bachchan’s persona either.

Let me stepback for a minute, one of the first songs which Rafi sang for BigB was for the movie Parwana and the song was Yu Na Sharma . Madan Mohan was the music composer and the situation was party-like where Kishore da sang the happy version of the song picturized on Navin Nischol. The same song is later sung in a sad version by Rafi for AB. The mood changes, the flavor changes, the voice changes, face changes but the melody remains. AB’s sullen expression and Rafi’s tones of dismay makes for such a beautfiul watch.

Another somber song which Rafi rendered wonderfully for AB was Mere Dost Kissa Ye Kya ho Gaya in Dostana. The strained relationship between AB and Shatru is brought out so well in this song. A restrained Rafi and a clean-shaven, boyish hair-cut and yet a grave-looking Bachchan was a treat. There is so much emotion in those words sung by Rafi and the expression on AB’s face is just unforgettable. In fact, except for this song, all other songs of Dostana were sung by Kishore da; including the title song, Dillagi Ne Di Hawa etc. And yet, for this song LP chose Rafi who did total justice to this gloomy song.

Having mentioned the above songs, let me now come to the Manmohan Desai and LP combo. Desh Premee was quite a long winded movie with so many twists and turns, typical of any Desai movie. The movie was based on patriotism, regional, caste, creed and racial differences. Kishore da sang the fun songs Khatoon Ki Khidmat Mei, Gore Nahi Hum Kaale Sahi etc. But it was Rafi’s song of unity in diversity that won hearts. The title song, Nafrat Ki Lathi Todo, was symbolic of Desai’s movies. Though this song may not count among best of Rafi songs, but its the perfect song for national integration. And keeping in tradition with all the patriotic songs that Rafi has sung.

Teri Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi song, which later gave the title to Adi Chopra’s movie, was sung by Rafi for another Desai movie Suhaag, with music by LP. BigB in the disguise of a ek tara strung sardar and Rekha behind the garb for almost the entire song could have spelt disaster. But AB and Rekha carried it off, with Rafi crooning this playful number and Shailendra Singh lyrically rebutting him.

Another song from the same movie was the dandiya number, Sabse Bada Tera Naam O Sherowali, was devotionally sung by Rafi. Much later, Mehul Kumar copied the same sequence in Krantiveer, where the hero sings for Maa Sherawali while waiting for the villain to arrive on the scene. Anyways, Suhaag was an exceptional case where Rafi sang entirely for AB. There were two other songs, Athra Baras Ki Tu Hone Ko Ayi filmed on AB and Rekha in her kotha; and Aye Yaar Sun was a silly song where AB was training a blind Shashi Kapoor to ride a bike on his instructions, basically AB literally doing a backseat driving. Nowhere in the movie do we feel that Rafi’s voice does not suit BigB, at least this movie should have opened more doors for this combo. But probably the box-office report and producer’s superstition held them back from doing so.

Betwixt Desh Premee and Suhaag came Desai’s Naseeb. And much before the Hey-Baby’s and the Om-Shanti-Oms, there was John Jaani Janardhan. A star-studded song which was opportunistically filmed during the golden jubilee celebrations of Desai’s Dharam Veer. Desai made the best of the situation by shooting the song as guests kept coming in; they swayed a little, lip-synced a little and the song created history. This was another song which is a symbol of Desai’s secular credentials and all-inclusive approach. And Rafi singing to the tunes of LP was icing on the cake. He gave the song the much required gaiety and enjoyment without missing a single beat. It was one of the more overtly commercial songs of Rafi that went very well with AB’s merriment.

I would like to mention two more songs which were not sung for AB, but nevertheless AB was the proxy of the voice. The song was filmed on unknown faces, but the thoughts and feelings were of AB. One of the song is Deewane Hain Deewano Ko Na Ghar Chahiye from Zanjeer which reflected AB’s thoughts in the movie; and the other is Ruthe Rab Ko Manana Asaan Hai from Majboor. Both songs were sung with great enthusiasm by Rafi Saab, although they were not to be shot on the main lead. That goes on to show the humility of this man who valued the song for what they were, nice compositions.

Amidst all these amusement let me not forget one of my favourite romantic songs of Rafi which also happens to be picturized on AB, which is Tumse Door Rehke. The movie was Aadalat and the music composer was Kalyanji-Anandji, perhaps the only time that the duo got Rafi to sing for AB. The song has such a nice ring to it, filled with fondness and yearning and the magic of Rafi’s voice and expression.

Although Kishore da has sung more songs of AB, memorable ones too, I cherish these Rafi tracks as well. These songs should not be lost in the vast ocean of AB songs.

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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talli hone ke baad …

Common lines after people get drunk :

  • tu to mera bhai hai…bhai !!!
  • you know i am not drunk…
  • gaadi mai chalaunga…
  • tu bura matt maan bhai…
  • mai teri dil se izzat karta hoon..
  • abbe, bol daal aaj usko…aar ya paar….
  • aaj saali chad nahi rahi hai, kya baat hai??
  • tu kya samajh raha hai mujhe chad gayi hai…
  • ye matt samajh ki peeke bol raha hoon…
  • yaar, tuney mera dil tod diya…
  • tu bolnaa bhai, kya chahiye… jaan chahiye?…..hazir hai
  • Abbe, mere ko aaj tak nahi chadhi…shart laga saala aaj tu..
  • chal teri baat karaata hoon usse, phone number de uska…
  • saale, teri bhabhi hai wo…bhabi ki nazar se dekh usko…
  • yaar, tu samjha kar….. wo tere layak nahi hai…
  • chal bhai, tu kah raha hai to tere liye chodh diya usko…. aaj se wo teri
  • tujhe kya lagta hai mujhe chadh gayi hai… abhi ek full aur khatam kar sakta hoon…
  • saale, mujhe matt sikha…… iss maamle mei baap hoon tera
  • yaar, aaj uski bahut yaad aa rahi hai
  • saala, aaj se daru band
 
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Posted by on July 30, 2009 in general, personal

 

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ajab sanju ki gajab kahani

Today is Sanjay Dutt’s 50th birthday. Wish him a very happy birthday.

The day I learnt that Sanjay Dutt is stepping into politics I was a little confused; I was wondering if it is his cup of tea or will he be just tasting it to add yet another experience in his already mired life. From what I have seen and heard about him, he is supposed to be a very emotional person who does things for friends, who takes decisions on the spur, and who can be frivolous at times. But, on the other hand he seems to be the ideal political candidate or guinea pig.

If we observe Sanju’s life and career graph and put it in a book or a movie, it will be an instant best-seller. The tough times that he has gone through and the happy days that he has seen have almost always been like a zebra-crossing, starting with his debut movie Rocky to joining Samajwadi Party.

With a successful father and a great dad-mom duo at home he was a much pampered child and he did get his dream debut in the movie industry with ‘Rocky’ which released in 1981. But he started off on wrong note, the movie bombed. His next movie Vidhata fared much better, more so because it had Dilip Kumar being directed by Subhash Ghai. After the success of ‘Vidhata’ he did a whole lot of forgettable movies like Mera Faisla, Jaan Ki Baazi, Jeeva etc.

Sanju shot to fame for his depiction of a guy who goes to Dubai to earn quick bucks and ends up becoming a drug peddler in ‘Naam’. I really loved this movie and this is one of the finest performances that he has given. It may have come naturally to him since he had been through a similar struggle in his personal life. His drug addiction and rehab stories are legendary and then his mother was fighting cancer and finally succumbed to it. All this may have added to his performance. He went on to act in a few more movies which fared in the box-office like Kabzaa, Mohabbat Ke Dushman, Imaandar, Kanoon Apna Apna etc.

Just when he was peaking in his career with hit movies like Sadak, Yodha, Krodh and Thaanedar; and just when he was in the league of Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol and Jackie Shorff, he got arrested under TADA for illegal possession of arms and ammunitions[AK-56 was recovered from his house] and he was also charged in connection with the Bombay bomb-blasts of 1993. Soon after his arrest, Khalnayak released. The movie was about a boy Ballu who had lost his path and ends up on the wrong side of the law. The movie was surrounded with controversy, firstly because of the movie title and secondly because of the content and of course the infamous song choli ke peeche. The movie portrayed an ideal father who wants his son to come up on his own and live with honesty, whereas the son wants instant success and luxuries of life which lead him to wrong company. People equated this portrayal to his real life scenario, thereby creating a wrong perception of Sanju.

Sanju spent 1.5 yrs in Arthur Road jail. He did confess to the fact that he possessed the arms and his companionship with the other co-accused but he denied any knowledge of the bigger conspiracy. He was finally granted bail, and so started his tryst with jail visits on and off. After getting released from jail, he made a great comeback with movies like Daag, Dushman, Vaastav, Mission Kashmir. He also tried his hands in the comedy genre with movies like Haseena Maan Jayegi, Khoobsurat, Jodi No.1 etc.

Finally, he had his best-time ever in movie industry with success of movies like Kaante, Munnabhai MBBS, Parineeta, Dus, Zinda, Lage Raho Munnabhai. It took him a lot of time to change the image from Baba to Munnabhai, from a guy who had been through rehab to a guy who rediscovered Gandhi; from being careless and ruthless to being sensitive and caring; from being a vagabond to finally settling down.

Sanju’s personal life is also zig-zagged with lots of happy and sad moments. He lost his mother and first wife, Richa Sharma to cancer. His daughter Trishala, from his first marriage, lives far away in US and he does not get to meet her often. While he was in jail, his fiance Rhea Pillai stood by him and she even led quite a few movements asking fellow actors to come in support of him. Once Sanju was out of jail, he married Rhea but that marriage did not last long. They finally called it quits and she is happily married to Leander Paes, the tennis star. Now, Sanju has involved himself in another controversy – marrying Manyata Dilnawaz Sheikh. Manyata’s previous marriage has not yet been declared null and void and she has hopped onto another one, thereby attracting media attention.

He has also estranged his sister Priya Dutt in the process. Firstly he did not inform her about his marriage with Manyata and she got to know of it through a media scoop. And now he has declared that he will stand for election on a Samajwadi party ticket because of his newfound love for Amar Singh whom he calls his elder brother.

People get involved in controversy, but in Sanju’s case he has invited controversy, befriended it and thrived on it. But what is admirable about him is the fighting spirit, never-say-die, never give-up or give-in. He has been through the toughest of situations and come out unscathed; be it his drug abuse and rehab, loss of mom and first wife, jailed under TADA … he has seen it all.

Here is a short summary of events which has finally culminated into him joining politics:

    1. a bollywood superstar
    2. son of an illustrious and well respected actor-cum-politician[Sunil
    Dutt was staunch congressman and a great example of man with Gandhian
    principles and of course a brilliant actor]
    3. a drug addict who has been through rehab
    4. twin tragedies like losing his mother and wife to cancer
    5. languished in jail under TADA on charges of abetting terrorism
    6. second innings of film career as Munnabhai, thereby making a new
    place for himself in people’s heart
    7. marrying somebody else’s wife in a controversial manner
    8. estranged relationship with sisters and daughter
    9. finally taking a plunge into politics

The first 8 points don’t necessarily lead to the 9th point, but he probably is destiny’s child.

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2009 in bollywood, general, lifestyle, movies

 

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car war … maruti ritz v/s fiat punto

i spotted a red fiat punto on the streets today and it looked awesome from the front and profile view. but its back looked so similar to the back of a maruti swift. i was actually tailing the car and did not really bother to notice it because the back resembled a swift. after overtaking the car i realized it was a fiat punto.

although that’s the case, the car will be compared with maruti ritz and not swift. reason being that, both were launched around the same time; ritz came a little earlier. both are targetting the same ‘hatchback‘ segment. both the cars have had great predecessors in the form of palio and swift, so the competition between these both will be immense.

based on design and safety features punto is way ahead, but ritz is economical and works well for the common man. the after-sales-service of maruti is unbeatable, and that will make sure that the sales of ritz far outdoes the sales of punto.

check out this TEAM-BHP link to know more.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in cars 'n' bikes

 

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Actress Of Yesteryear, Leela Naidu, Breathes Her Last

News has just come in that Leela Naidu is no more. It came as quite a surprise as she was not in her seventies yet; but her struggle with flu got the better of her this morning.

She was one of the first Femina Miss India’s to turn into an actress, she was crowned the title in 1954. She acted in very few movies as she was quite selective about her work. I had been planning on watching her movie Ye Raaste Hain Pyar Ke starring Sunil Dutt, but was unable to do so. I have not seen any movies of hers yet. Now that she has passed away, will catch up with the movie this weekend itself. May her soul rest in peace.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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don’t be concerned about public opinion … just save your ass

A pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won. The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered in another race and it won again.

The local paper read: PASTOR’S ASS OUT FRONT.

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in any more races.

The next day the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES THE PASTOR’S ASS.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline: NUN HAS THE BEST ASS IN TOWN .

The Bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey so she sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the headlines read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the high plains where it could run free.

The next day the headlines read : NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

Alas… The Bishop was buried the next day.

Being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery and even shorten your life. So, be yourself and enjoy life. Stop worrying about everyone else’s ass and you’ll live longer.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2009 in general, personal

 

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love aaj kal OR love aajkal

Aaj kal and aajkal have two different meanings. While aaj kal is a reference to today & tomorrow, aajkal means now-a-days. I am sure Imtiaz Ali has handled both meanings, aaj kal and aajkal.

Here’s the dope on the movie. It begins with Saif and Deepika being in love with each other. But love is not what can keeo them together. They are ambitious genX youth who have ambitions which are of higher priority than love. So, taking a totally practical approach they part ways seeking their own paths. That’s love aaj for you, the frivolous love of today’s times.

Rishi Kapoor, who plays Saif’s dad, narrates his lovestory. So, while the lovestory is of Rishi, Saif plays it out. Hence we see the sardar get-up of Saif, who is the younger version of Rishi. His dad narrates how his was love-at-first-sight. The moment he saw her, he just flipped. That’s love kal for you, the love which drives people totally crazy and the love which makes them do anything for it.

Now that the comparison of aaj and kal is done, we are left with aajkal. Saif takes a leaf out of Rishi’s book and chases Deepika Padukone. He realizes how love is the stability that he has been looking for and that she is the one with whom he can be happy forever. That’s the love aajkal for you. Today, yesterday and the now-a-days…all find a place in this movie. I am just itching to watch it, you too watch out!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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