Today , I encountered something called a writer’s block...that , too , without really being a writer !
I thought I would write on unknown gems of bygone era …..May be start with Suraiya ….but alas ! I made three attempts today , and none of them was remotely satisfying .
Now , what ? Thought of taking a small break….a power nap perhaps , and refer to my writing bible ….You know , as they say , when you are looking for some answers , you open a book randomly , and you find your answer ! Well ….I tried that today and look what I found !!
IF YOU CAN NOT APPROACH A TOPIC DIRECTLY , TRY APPROACHING IT SIDEWAYS .
Hmm….Now , I want to write about a song sung by Suraiya ….If I close my eyes , and think of that song , what images do I see ?
Evenings ….Black & white T.V ( from EC )…...sitting cross-legged on the floor...on a khaki colored mat ….neighbour’s house….It’s a wednesday...a day when Chhaya Geet comes on Doordarshan…..sitting with me are other neighbourhood kids ( There was only one T.V. in our building...and it was very kind of Mr.Wavikar to allow us to watch .)....looking at the T.V. in anticipation and expectation….( Aah ! that brought on , one unpleasant memory …. In order to acquire a better seat , I wrestled with my neighbour one day ,and slipped on that khaki mat….there was a deep wound on my chin and a lot of blood ! aaaargh ! )
What songs were my favourite those days ? Hmmmmm….It was always Lata and only Lata …..I also waited for Dev Saab , Sadhana , and Madhubala to appear...so when this Suraiya song came up ….I was bitterly disappointed . Over the years , my choice of film songs has changed . ( But Lata will always remain there...at the number 1 spot ! ) I have started enjoying , songs by Noor Jehan , Suraiya , Mubarak Begum , But those days , we kids laughed at these songs in a heavy voice with a nasal twang .
I acquired a cassette player after I passed eighth standard . Once the era of cassettes started , I went and hunted for Lata’s cassettes . Rhythm house was like treasure trove ….aah...the joy of getting a rare Lata song ! Then , there was the neighbourhood cassette shop called Jai Ganesh music centre . We gave him a list of songs , he recorded them . I had a notebook those days , in which I wrote down all the “ recordable “ songs …..gathered from radio , TV or from articles of one Mr. Raju Bharathan , which were published in a fortnightly called “ Chanderi “…. I am indebted to Mr. Bharathan...my current vast collection and good knowledge of hindi songs is due to him .
Before the cassette player , there was only radio ….Vividh Bharati…..with programmes such as Bela ke phool , Chhaya Geet , Ek Fankar ( I always heard it as Ek Jhankar ! I didn't know the meaning of word Fankar . ) Most of us had a notebook in which we recorded the lyrics of songs we loved . That was a way of “ having “ a song , before cassettes arrived . You listened on the radio , and wrote whatever you heard .
I had some of the notebooks with me till very recently . They were weirdly creative and therefore hilarious !
“ आवन केह गये , अजहू न आये “ became “ अजूनही आये “
RTGM was released around that time . I remember singing “ तुझे बुलाये ये मेरी बाहे “ in school . ( If I knew how the song was picturised , I would have never touched that song ! But that’s not the point here…) There is a line in one of the songs “ तेरी धरोहर , तेरी निशानी”
With my great knowledge of hindi , I wrote it down as “ तेरी गरोदर “( which means pregnant ) ….which was actually correct in the context of story ….but …
In the same song , ie “तुझे बुलाये ये मेरी बाहे “ there is a line called
“ कोहरे की चादर लपेटे हू “ I always thought it was “ पोहरे की “ . A पोहरा is a vessel with which one draws water from the well . Never thought , how Mandakini would fit into a पोहरा ! Never had any doubts , about how these hindi songwriters knew so many marathi words !
A friend tells me , he always sang “ we are made for each other , समझे ? “from Ek duje ke liye as “ E,I , O ,U ...each other ...समझे ? “ Why would Rati and Kamal would teach us vowels ?
“ रुखसत के वक्त तुम ने जो आंसू हमे दिये “ became “ फुरसत के वक्त “ probably depicting cruel nature of the hero , in torturing heroine whenever he had time .. “ यादोंके परदेस से “ became “ यादोंके परदे फटे “ ….the hero tearing away the curtains to make a grand entry in heroine’s dreams . Sometimes it was a harmless substitution of a benign word , like “ तो क्यू गुनाह समझते है लोग “ where “ गुनाह “ became “ बुरा “. But at times it was horrendous and disastrous , “ कभी होगी मुख्त्सर भी “ had become “ मुक्त चरबी “ Thankfully , I never sang that song !
Thinking of suraiya , took me literally to “ यादोंके परदेस में”.......
Hopefully , by next time I should be back from there , talking about her songs !