Monday, February 13, 2006

Memories Of Another Day

Delhi, 1996.

It was the kind of day you usually find described in the opening chapter of a novel: a pleasant spring morning when there was a mild chill in the air even though the sun shone brightly. The birds sang outside and inside, on the radio, on 102.6 FM, Leo Sayer was singing Love you more than I can say. The time was 9.55. Or maybe 9.56. I left the bed and walked into the bathroom and began lathering my chin. I had a date.

As I prepared to shave I could hear the RJ for the English programme signing off. Then a couple of commercials. I was waiting for the Hindi RJ to take over. I was wondering what he had to say, for it was Valentine's Day. I was also wondering if the first song would be Kishore Kumar or RD or both (the RJs, like me, are usually partial to them). But the jockey did not speak. What I heard was strains of piano. And then the silky voice of Bhupinder wafted out of the two-in-one gifted to me by my parents. Asha Bhosle joined soon after. I stopped shaving and listened.

Bhupinder: Aawaaz di aaj ik nazar ne, ya hai ye dil ko ghuman
dohraa rahi hai jaise fazaayen, bhooli hui daastan

Asha: Laut aayi hai phir roothi baharen, kitna haseen hai samaa
duniya se kehdo na humko pukaare, hum kho gaye hain yahaan

Loosely translated, it means (please correct me if I am wrong):

Bhupinder: Is her gaze seeking out my attention, or am I just imagining?
But the ambience today seems to be retelling an old story...

Asha: The spring that was sulking has returned, and how beautiful is the weather
Tell the world not to disturb us, because we are lost here...

I was transfixed. I put the razor down and came close to the radio. A die-hard fan of Kishore Kumar by now had added the image of Bhupinder to his altar. And the song was not composed by RD, as I discovered later. It was composed by the much-maligned Bappi Lahiri -- India's 'Disco King' who thrived in the early 1980's by stealing tunes from the West. But even detractors of Bappi Lahiri should acknowledge that he gave really good music before and after the Disco boom. Before the boom, you had gems like Chalte Chalte; and after, you had a sparkling piece of diamond like Aawaaz di hai.

I wished I could gift this piece of diamond to my girlfriend. But there was no time to hunt for a cassette (those days CDs were rare and prohibitively expensive) that might have had that song. Moreover, she was heavily into the Power of Love kind of music -- the compilation of mushy songs of that era. (In hindsight, that was the era which made 'love music' cliched. Rewind a little backward and you have lovely songs like George Baker's Love me like I love you and I love you even more.) In any case, she did not want songs. She had told me weeks before: "You know, on Valentine's Day, a guy is supossed to give his girlfriend a bouquet, some chocolates and a card." (Mind you, those where the days when Valentine's Day was just another day for the masses. It was only after Hrithik Roshan's Kaho Na Pyaar Hai that February 14 became a national festival).

So I asked my local florist to rustle up a bouqeut, and while he was at it, I ran to a nearby shop and bought an Amul chocolate (you no longer find them, but at one time, they were supposed to be the utlimate gift for "someone you love") and a greeting card. Armed with the three things, I reached the bus-stop where I was supposed to meet her. The bus-stop was next to her place. I sat there for almost an hour -- the huge plastic-covered bouquet inviting giggles from girls waiting for their buses.

And then my girlfriend showed up (there were no mobile phones then to confirm if one would show up: one just banked on faith). She was bleary-eyed: we had fought the previous night. She came and took the bouquet and stuff and left. I hopped into the next bus that came by.

That was ten years ago.

The girlfriend is long gone and the memories of that bright morning are slowly fading. But Aawaz di hai remains embedded in my heart. The song is getting fresher every passing year.

Enjoy:
 
 

17 comments:

Prerona said...

when i had heard this song, i had not realised how beautiful it was

and so it is ...

till the song has died away; and you are left straining to hear the echoes, looking for some trace it might have left behind; u don't realise how hauntingly beautiful it was.

visithra said...

I still prefer the love songs of the 80s ( i mean english ones am not familiar with hindi numbers except a few) - the richard marx's right here waiting - still as crazy of it today ;)

happy valentines day Bishwa ;)

radhika said...

Happy Valentine Day! i m sure u hv someone to share it.

the post was lovely and me identifies with your fav.music creators..of course some songs including this one are magical...and for all times!

hope m back again : )

Anonymous said...

As you rightly pointed out, Bappi Lahiri has created some beautiful songs: Jab koi baat bigad jaaye; one of my fav (I know it is also a copy, but today is 14th Feb :-)).
Happy Valentine's Day!

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Prerona, Visithra, Radhika: Thanks, and a Happy Valentine's Day. And Radhika, no, I don't have anyone to share it with. ;) In any case, am too old for V-Day.

Anonymous: Jab koi baat bigad jaye is Rajesh Roshan, not Bappi. But Rajesn Roshan is another of my favourites.

Anonymous said...

"jin raaston par tere kadam ho manjil hai meri vahaan,duniyaa se keh do na ham ko pukaare,ham kho gaye hain yahaaN, laut aayii hain phir,ruuthii bahaaren,kitnaa hasiin hai samaan,duniyaa se kah do na ham ko pukaare,ham kho gaye hain yahaan"
Isnt it from the movie Aitabar? i really love this song,Infact was listening to it yesterday.

Do you remember another song from this movie? "Kisi nazar ko tera intezaar aaj bhi hain"

Words might go silent,People might leave,Friends might move away:) But music remains just like a memory etched on a wall,Forever.

Deepa said...

happy Valentine's day! hope a secret admirer came up to u to ask that ultimate question like you had written about.

Pradeep said...

Those songs are just magical!!

anil shankar said...

jab koi baat bigad jaaye is from the film JURM released in 1991,and music is by rajesh roshan.much ridiculed bappida created some sparkling gems with Dassettan(our own yessudas)like "maana ho tum,gao mere man chahe sooraj chamkere chahe,dheere dheere subah hui jag uthi zindagi, to name a few.BG, ever listened to the album "aaj bichde hain" by bhupi and gulzar saab?

radhika said...

@ Biswa - u had urself if noone else! ever tried romancing with self - its even more special : )

ppm said...

:)
Bappi lahri was a good musician who let glamour of the biz kick him in his head-- I think he got his head turned ( in the wrong direction) by Elvis :P

My personal fav from his movies is the music of apne paraye(1980)...
wistful is the word that comes to mind, but my music choice is a little different than yours.... A little more folk/classically inclined than ghazalish...
I prefer Manna Dey over Kishore kumar and Mohd Rafi over Mukesh, but love RD:) who would not...

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

PPM, I dunno who you are, but I agree Bappi Lahiri gave really good music for Apne Paraye. The film had brought tears to my eyes when I watched it for the first time in the 1980's. Who can forget Shyam Rang Rangaa Re, Har Din Meera Re....

vandy said...

and I always associated Bhappi Lahari only with "Jubbi jubbi jubbi" and 'I'm a disco Dancer' songs.
Lets see if i get this song in 'Raga.com.

Saakaar said...

does anyone know if the album aaj bichde hain is still available?

Charioteer said...

Hey, I was unable to remember which movie the song was from! Neither was i getting the exact lyrics, nor was i very sure about the male singer but i wanted to lay my hands on this song desperately... so i googled "duniya se keh do na hum ko " since i was sure about this part and lo behold! i stumbled upon ur blog! Then armed with info of Bhupinder singh, I have reached "Aitbaar" and i am listening to this song which has taken me into a state of bliss...
Thanks!!!
and yes, this is a lovely post... enjoyed reading it...

dormitorio juvenil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Tamarind city n now this, u always talk of gf's in derogatory manner. : (