Friday, February 8, 2008

Rasik Balmaa and other stories.

Hello, Hindustan ka Dehradun? Hello?
Hello, main Rangoon se bol rahaa hoon,
Main apni biwi Renuka Devi se baat karna chaahta hoon.

Mere piya gaye Rangoon
Kiya hai wahaa se telephoon!
Tumhaari yaad sataati hai
Jiya mein aag lagaati hai... the first song I registered in my head as a Hindi film song. Yes, even before Ek, Do, Teen. The song is from a film called Patanga made back in 1949, and had caught my attention as a 3 year old because the song made delightful rhymes with words like Telephoon and June, Rangoon and Patloon.

Aji lungi baandh ke karen guzaara, hum bhool gaye patloon
tumhaari yaad sataati hai, jiya main aag lagaati hai

While I got none of the pant-forgetting love that the two shared across the border over a telephone, what I did get was that this was a song I liked very much. As also this other song that came to my notice during about 1989-90, called,

Afsaana likh rahee hoon, dil-e-beqaraar ka
Aankhon mein rang bhar ke tere intezaar ka

Years later when I tell the yuppie-crowd-with-the-Iron Maiden-shirts that surround me, that this song was actually sung by Tun Tun, or Uma Devi as she was known then, the spectrum of responses beats even the ones 2001: A Space Odyssey got on its release.
Some are awed; because the 70's to them is old, and 40's was the time Adam and Eve lived and they weren't aware that music existed then.
Some are nonplussed; they look at me and say nothing, but sport a look that screams "There is such a thing called life; we have one."
Most are just amused, and do nothing to hide it. "You listen to Porcupine Tree. And you are talking of a song by a fat comedienne from the 40's. Dude, what time are you from?"

I don't know what time I am from, but I certainly know what time these songs take me to.

They take me to a time we went to sleep listening to Chayageet and Aapki Farmaaish on Vividh Bharti, and wondering where or what this Jhumri Talaiyya was exactly and how poor it must actually be that its people had to write in incessantly to a radio station to play their favorite song. (And wondering who exactly named their children Bunty, Chintu and Pinky and if they managed to live through school without at least one attempt at slashing wrists, their own or someone else's.)

It takes me back to the time when we would wake up bleary eyed to grudgingly get ready for school, refusing - with all the defiance a 4 year old could muster - to drink milk, promising to not dirty the uniform by slinging mud at other kids, and listening most intently to a voice on Bhoole Bisre Geet, even as Amma was expostulating her own brand of catechumen ("Tumbaa thaley haraTe maaDbeDa, puTTa - Don't be too cocky, sweetheart" - how well she knows me that woman) while carefully parting the always stubborn (Brahmin-boy oiling notwithstanding) mop of hair.
Now I realize that the song I heard back then was,

Rasik balmaa...
Haaye, dil kyun lagaaya tose, dil kyun lagaaya?
Jaise rog lagaaya.

I remember asking Amma, "Amma, who is singing in that box?"
"That," she said, "is Lata Mangeshkar."
"Manga-na?" (Monkey-aa?)
"Adu neenu, eeg horaDu late aaythu" (That is you, chipmunk. Now leave, it's getting late.)

To a mind that was limited by vocabulary and oblivious to the adequacy of metaphors, the voice was cotton-candy good. It felt like coming down a big slide, or going upswing in a giant swing. In other words, it stayed.
Exhilaration as a word would take a lot more years to become part of my lexicon, but I can safely say now that, that was what I felt on a lazy weekday morning, with the ghoda-gaadi with its langda-chaacha fussing impatiently. (Did anyone else go to school in a ghoda-gaadi? I think not. Wait, my brother did too.)
That was probably where my tryst with old Hindi film music began. And like the voice that has defined it over 65 years, that too has stayed.

We are a family full of crazy film music fanatics. And temple fanatics. And Kannadiga pride fanatics. So much so, we were conditioned to do a full saashTaanga namaskaara if there came on television a picture of the Shringeri Sharada Peetham, or the Kukke Subrahmanya Temple, or the Raghavendra Swami MaTha in Mantraalayam.
Also, we were expected to stand up and show respect every time a picture of Sir M. Vishveshwaraiah turned up on TV, pinocchio nose-Mysore peTa and all. To Amma, he was everything she ever wanted her sons to be.
The ultimate Kannadiga symbol of pride, she would beam. (This despite him being a Telugu Brahmin - Amma's least favorite kind, and him having married four times, a most ghastly act in most Ammas' eyes). But nothing could or can shake her belief off the fact that Sir MV was the greatest Kannadiga ever. And the brother and I gladly obliged her by standing up for a moment every time the great man with the big nose was shown on TV.

To my 5-year old analytical self, this standing up and showing respect act extended to anybody I considered great. Like, great.
And so, Amma still tells all who care to listen, that her little son was so taken in with Lata's singing that he stood an entire half hour when a concert of hers was airing on TV. I, of course, choose to not believe her. I could never have been that stupid, being my line of argument. Which of course doesn't hold out for long, for mothers have amazing memories when it comes to letting the world know of the tales of half-their-chromosomes' stupidity.
"Aane mEle koorslilla antha Agra-ne egr hOgO haag kirchidde neenu, gotthaa?"
(Do you want me to start on the tale of you threatening to uproot Agra with that shrill cry of yours, just because you couldn't sit on a frikkin elephant?)
"Or the time you almost agreed to go as Gommateshwara for the fancy dress competition?"
"You have been stupid appa, Monkey boy. Just you say yes to whatever I say. Doing fancy MBBS from fancy college does not take away the fact that you were the kid that almost peed in his chuddies watching the Zee Horror Show."

Okay, may be she is right. And why not, I say.
Lata, despite whatever people might say about her deteriorating vocals ("She sings like she is getting a tonsillectomy done without anesthesia") remains the only one I have ever considered being close to perfect. Listen to any of her songs between 1947 and 1969, and the one thing that strikes you most is how effortlessly beautiful the singing is. It's like pouring hot wax into an intricate mold. It sets just right.
Be it her songs for such excellent music directors as Salil Choudhury, Madan Mohan, SD Burman or Sajjad Hussain, or mediocre ones like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji or RD Burman (HOW overrated is this one! Pah.)
Be it her excellent abhangas in Marathi or her path breaking Adhunik Sangeet in Bengali or her pitch perfect Meera Bhajans in Rajasthani, the woman has crafted each song with a felicity may be even she is not aware of.

Which is why, it is a little disconcerting when the 20-something crowd of today shows an Andekhi anjaani si or a Hum toh bhai jaise hain as an example of the "legendary Lata prowess" and wonders what the fuss is all about. "And the Bharat Ratna? For that one?"
Their apprehension, unfortunately enough, is not misplaced. If we, the self-confessed Lata fans continue to listen to her, it is more for an emotional reason than vocal, so to speak. It is in reverence to the woman who once possessed the best set of vocal cords that God ever created. For, we will never forget that it was Lata who gave us Mohe bhool gaye saawariya, or O sajnaa barkha bahaar aayee, or Kuchh dil ne kahaa, or Ae dilruba nazrein milaa or thousands others like these.

Through Lata began my understanding of Hindi film music.
The dholak beat became synonymous with Laxmi-Pyare,
convoluted but delightfully 'breezy' tunes swung the baton to Salil Choudhury,
easy-on-the-ears meant Chitalkar,
too-many-violins-too-high-a-pitch meant Shankar Jaikishan,
and so on.

The greatest accomplishment of Hindi film music as I have come to realize, is a position it and only it can lay claim to - that of furnishing a song to every human emotion known. The second greatest, as I now understand, is its innate egalitarianism.
For every Eena Meena Deeka, there's a Haal-e-Dil yun unhein sunaaya gaya. For every Jinga-lala-hoo, jinga-lala-hoo, hurr hurr, there is a song that makes most of words I have never understood, like AngDaayiaan, karvaTein, kashmakash (Is it some kinda dish, this Angdaayi, that every one is khaa-ing angdaayi?). It appeals as much to the masala-chai-sipping-Dostoevsky-discussing crowd as it does to the auto-driver-who-swears-by-Himess. I have yet to come across a kind of music that has enthusiasts belonging to a spectrum as wide and as varied.
(I agree "Hindi film music" in itself isn't a genre, but we talk broad categories here and it certainly qualifies to be one.)

It is imperative here that I tell you all that this is no isolated statement. I am very catholic when it comes to music (No maa, for the last time, that does not mean I am Christian and No, my name won't be Fernandees or Jaan or Jaarj).

MSS appeals to me as much as much Opeth does. I do believe In The Court Of The Crimson King is the greatest ever progressive rock album, and that Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best ever album, of any genre. I enjoy Iron Maiden as much as the next guy (not if the next guy is my brother, then no). I could hang posters of Ustad Amir Khan on my walls, and would pay to watch Susheela Raman perform.


if I were to ever consider a form of music to be after my own heart,
if I were to ever think of the one aural experience that has come to define my musical sensibilities,
it would have to be being lulled into sleep as a young child with the little black Philips transistor crackling a fine crackle, and singing,

Dheere se aaja ree akhiyan mein
Nindiya aaja ree aaja, dheere se aaja
Chupke se nainan ki bagiyan mein
Nindiya aaja ree aaja, dheere se aaja...

P.S.: This post is a direct fallout of my getting a job at a radio station that specializes in old Hindi film music and has some fun people to work with. So yay me!

P.P.S.: I realize the post has been most unMonkey-like and very self indulgent. So, you guys can fill the comments section by telling me a, your earliest memory of any music and b, your favorite Hindi film song (preferably pre-90's)

P.P.P.S.: I also realize how lame this is, but hey, cut slack maadi.

P.P.P.P.S.: And all you Pineapple Thief-ridden kewl asses, do listen to some of these "boring-no-electrical-guitar-and-GOD-no-distortion" songs. They will not give you an abscess in your butt. I promise. And even if they do, come to me, I will drain them. May be that will get you off your high horse.


Adorable Pancreas said...

My favourite would have to be 'Naina barse'. I played the tape over and over until my ancient player gave out and disembowelled the cassette. I had a huge Lata collevtion, but every single one met with the same fate as naina barse. We still have that stereo... Dang! You've made me all nostalgic.

Congrats on the job. Gave up medicine? Good for you, then. I'm still delivering babies.

You didn't mention the remixes. Oh, the pain...

Siri said...

Very nice I say, clap clap.

With me, it was listening to old Kannada songs on the radio just before being rushed off to school. Listening to those songs today brings back scenes from the unbelievable days of being a silent kid in 4th grade. Sighh...

I never listened as intently, to later follow those songs/movies/artistes as closely as you,perhaps. But it feels just the same rush of warmth in revisiting Times with Songs. :)

So, Monkey is one step closer to Complete World Domination with the Radio positioning.ATB.

AnSVad said...

You are right. Very un-monkeylike, but is a nice change. My earliest memory is some kannada song that went 'what can i do, what can i do, faaaaaar you?'. For some reason i heard this as 'Uche nodu, uche nodu, faaaaaru' :-D ; and i asked my mom about it...

And congrats about the radio job btw! Aasome! Do tell me when I can listen to you rant.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is so unlike you man, but you still write so well man!
Congratulations, by the way...

Anonymous said...

coming as i do from a family that detests hindi film music be it lata or mukesh or whoever, my first-ever memory of filmsong that i remember would have to be Roja... and first-ever music video would have to be madhoo singing "chinna chinna aasai". i simply loved the shot of that single light on the boat in the river... that set the standards for music video for me... no wonder i am so critical of music videos that aren't close to perfect or something like it.
and then there was kodagina kaaveri, which used to play every morning on the radio... closely followed by madikeri sipahi... and naguva nayana madhura mouna from pallavi anupallavi.
hindi song would be "dil hai chota sa" from roja ;) I had to wait till i joined school to listen to "proper" hindi songs like "ruk ruk ruk" or "main khiladi tu anadi".
i remember having my first glimpse of MTV in '92-'93, with GnR's Estranged.... it was such a trip down memory lane when I came across that song a few years back on VH1.
and muuch before, i used to hum Michael Jackson's Black or White and Heal the World. and it helped that an uncle was a fan of Boney M.

now i see, apart from those old AR Rehman songs i am so emotionally attached to, my early years have absolutely nothing to do with the sort of music I listen to now.

pops said...

I grew up passively listening to tapes of Rafi and Lata that my mom used to play every single day. To this day I can still hum and sometimes sing along to most Rafi and Lata songs, without knowing the name of the song.

Brilliant post again and congrats on your Radio gig.

Anonymous said...

Gooch myan......vurry vurry gooch.... A friend of mine introduced me to your blogs and from then on I'm stuck like glue to your blogs... was eagerly waiting for your new blog and here it is!!

My family has always been patrons of Old hindi films. I grew up listening to huge collections of Lata, Rafi, Kishore, Hemanth Kumar and Asha's songs.

My fav Lata Song would be "Aap ki Nazroo ne samjha...pyaar ke kabil mujhe".... but I still feel that I cant choose just one as my fav... and yeh.. me n my bro preetiyinda...Lata Mangeshkar ge...Lata Didi..anta calltivi...

A fan said...

RD is overrated. You are so right about that. I think his father was sooo much better. Right until his last films like Mili and Chupke Chupke. Sajjad is an odd choice, not many have even heard his music, but it is brilliant nonetheless.
King Crimson is an awesome band of course.
Congratulations and all the best with your radio stint and all!

Watch hindi movies said...

i am interested in link xchange
mine URL is
anchor text :-Hollywood movies online
your link will be placed here

REply if interested

narendra shenoy said...

Beautifully written, old chap. Simply beautiful. Hindi films, all Indian films for that matter, have been intense about music, even when examining the delicate poetic sentiment of "Aaja mere gaadi mein baith jaa".
But the best thing I've heard about Hindi film songs is the comment by that great Marathi humorist, P. L. Deshpande who said

"You can sing all you want now. What song are you going to sing when she sends you out to buy the hing, the stove pins, ginger, kerosene or the spirit licence". Loses a bit in translation I suppose, but it captures the irritation I feel when narrative is broken by some profoundly inane song and dance sequence.

Srivatsa said...

Super write up!!
Lata is just unparalleled in a nut shell.

Anuraag said...

Are you lying about your age? You can't be 21. You write far too sensibly to be so.
Too many violins, too high a pitch is so typically SJ. Sorry mister, RD is not overrated. May be you should write reviews for like albums and all. Very good writing really.

mockerybird said...

I can't believe someone else lived exactly my life (did you also wake up early on Sunday just to watch Rangoli, and crawl back to bed after that?) and has such a closely parallel view of Hindi film music as I do (oh it IS a genre btw, to hell with what the purists say!)

I completely agree that Lata pre 1970 was brilliant. It is post 1980 that she should have stopped - half an art is knowing when to quit.

Have you heard Pankh Hote to Ud Aati? And Jyoti Kalash? It must have been 10 years since I heard either, but I still know each line in these songs.

The other person whose singing was unbelieveably good was Geeta Dutt. And she wasn't even properly trained! Try and lay your hands on her Hoon Abhi Main Jawan and Kaisa Jadoo Balam...they'll have you hooked.

Thanks again for a superb post - the standing up for Lata and all!

Opaline said...

You went to school in a horse drawn carriage? I'm a little confused here, you're talking about the eighties, aren't you?

I suppose we're all drawn to old hindi songs because that's the stuff we grew up with, no? Any old songs, actually, bangali tamil telugu anything. =)

Kavitha said...

No horse drawn carriages for me. But I used to go to school in a cycle-rikshaw :).

Nice post SM, as always. Lata undoubtedly has the best vocal chords one can get. All her pre-80 songs are lovely.

What's with Radio job and all? Let me know pa, would enjoy listening to you and Lataji's songs.

Prats said...

Radio did that to us while we were in school too. We never looked at the clock, but yes, rang tarang and bhoole misra geeth were our timelines...and now can't remember which program it was that came on between 7.45 and 8.00 AM. Each song ,5 mins...and we would go" yaava haaDu idhu?" And second song meant "Oh! my gosh, we're late for the school bus"

I so relate to the Godly occurances on TV....we were asked not stretch out legs in front of the screen if these mentioned gods were being shown...'KashTa kaala..swalpaanu maryaadhene illa'

And my most fav and very well remembered song was from Parasmani, a Mohd Rafi's song that went
" Woh Jab yaad aaye, bahut yaad aaye...."

of course, now when I think back I wonder how that song amidst so many peppy numbers could get stuck in my head..

the Monk said...

And the freshness? Of how fresh those songs are even half a century later, with no fancy instrumentation involved at all? Timeless, I think, would be an appropriate adjective you could use here.

Bikerdude said...

"It's like pouring hot wax into an intricate mold."

It's the same even after 1969. Sounds like hot wax being poured into an intricate mould. The intricate mould being the old lady's own throat.

"kyaaaaa karoooooooooon, kaise karoooooooooooon.. etc" (jiya jale)

RustyNeurons said...

hehe.. could'nt help but notice bikerdude's comment.. All that notwithstanding, Latha is still the greatest when it comes to old songs.. I bet nobody can reach the high pitch in songs of 'Aandhi'as effortlessly as she did..

Anonymous said...

"Mere piya gaye Rangoon, wahan se kiye teli-phoon,
Tumhari yaad sthaathi hai, tumhari yaad staathi hai"
Notice, not "sathaathi", the absence of a vowel being pronounced there made the song for me...
You seem a handful of years younger than me, so all these stories come from a time slightly later in my life...But very relevant nevertheless...

Shekhar Rao said...

I am a man pushing mid forties with a son probably your age. It is so unlikely to come across kids that listen to and enjoy music of the 60's and 50s today. You are one of the very few and my son is certainly not one of them. You write beautifully, young man. Cut down on the swearing, I read some of your previous posts...

Naane, inn yaaru? said...

I'm glad you admitted the intent of the post in PS 1.

Lovely read.
And I actually read through it all.

frissko said...

"her little son was so taken in with Lata's singing that he stood an entire half hour when a concert of hers was airing on TV."

If you had actually done that it is quite something :)...

Could relate to this post a wee bit...While i mostly got up to Lalita or Lakshmi sahasranamam, there would be Mukesh or Latha Mangeshkar singing tragic songs out of a sony tape recorder during the evenings and the weekends (Dad liked Mukesh's sad voice and Raj Kapoor songs which were again invariably Mukesh)...And there were sunday morning Rangolis for some B/W songs...Had a reasonable Lata and Mukesh collection in college (inherited tastes)...

Yea 'Rasik Balmaa' is a beauty...My personal favourite is 'O mere sanam' from 'Sangam'...(very few people know that song and i think it is one of the most underrated songs ever)...Love 'O basanthi pawan paagal' as well...

love and squalor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
love and squalor said...

yay you!
so, I found your blog, loved it, then lost the link to it. guess how I made my way back here? google: bangalore+amma+ayyo. I can't believe it worked!

a. a very very crappy song from a movie with chiranjeevi, who, btw, was the love of every 5-10 year old telugu child's life in the 90s.
b. Raat Bhi Hai Kuch Bheegi Bheegi:Lata+Jaidev+Waheeda Rehman = magic .

tangled said...


Cappuccino Song said...

I think Porcupine Tree is an excellent band. So is Opeth. I mean, their Deliverance and Blackwater Park are exxcellent. As for Crimson, I find some of their music a little too gimmicky and Floyd-y. Like Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Although Tarkus is brilliant. Also Brain Salad Surgery. Have you heard that one?
Hindi film music is fun. I don't get to hear it much. The old ones are certainly better than the new ones. Life in a Metro had some decent songs tho'.

Anonymous said...

Aha. Now I understand Somebody's vociferous defence of Didi. Now I understand completely. You're actually making me wonder why I like Asha Bhonsle more.

I envy your extensive knowledge of the songs. I don't even know which music director composed most of the songs I love. My parents made sure I was too busy listening to the music to actually ask anything about it. Pah.

But how to pin down one favourite? There are, quite literally, a thousand of them.

Great writing, by the way. I like that your posts are so vivid. Engaging stuff.

And congrats on the job, sounds like just the place for an enthusiast like yourself. I would say, "Enjoy," but clearly, you already are :)

neel said...

chingari koi bharke... tujhse naraaz nehi zindegi... and because so many songs of salil chaudhury and hemant kumar and sd burman were actually bengali songs, i refrain from taking their names as i like the bengali versions better... and also yeh raat yeh chandni... etc etc list goes on... and mera kuch samaan... lyrics...

the nostalgic monkey... nice nice

Anonymous said...

Super dude. Just super. And congrats!

Bikerdude said...

neel: 'chingari koi bharke'... is that why they call it the 'barking deer'? Bwahahahahaha. Thank you.

all or nothing said...

Hear! Hear!

I loved that song too! What rhymes!
And Hindi music ROCKS!

Spock said...

I remember asking Amma, "Amma, who is singing in that box?"
"That," she said, "is Lata Mangeshkar."
"Manga-na?" (Monkey-aa?)
"Adu neenu, eeg horaDu late aaythu" (That is you, chipmunk. Now leave, it's getting late.)

Is THAT the reason why you chose to call yourself spunky monkey? Or is there another reason? I would like to know very much.

Anonymous said...

Rajnigandha..first ever Hindi song that I heard- on tape, my mom's voice, practising for some competition. It's what I remember even now when I think of the song. Oh, I loved most Devanand numbers. I still recollect them as songs in which he's acted rather than the singers who sang 'em.

Neel said...

oh... just remembered a song i cant get out of my head now.... jaaneman jaane jaa tumne mujhe dekha, hokar maherbaan... and Manna Dey.... ok sorry... shall stop

Spunky Monkey said...

Heylo, dearest people. Time for responses, for unlike some 'star' bloggers, I insist on doing so. I have come to like each one of you very much.

AP - Nainaa barse is a beauty already. There's a story behind this song, quite funny. Although I feel the song should have had a maximum of three stanzas. This one goes on for four and has the same tune, which gets a little boring. But may be the song plays out in different parts of the film. I wouldn't know having not watched the film, which by the way has other beautiful songs (Lag jaa gale, Jo humne dastaan).

Thank you. No, saving lives is still top priority. With all these shenanigans, I am merely trying out frivolity.

Siri - Thanks I say. Neevu tumbaane kind-u.
You have memories of being a silent kid? Cool. I have none. I don't think I have ever shut up.

Funny you should say revisiting Times with Songs, for I listen to the voice and instrumentation and decide upon the time of the song.

And yes, Monkey's next stop is the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Ansvad - It's been a while since you visited? It IS very un-Monkeylike, isn't it? Am glad you thought it was interesting. Regular programming will soon follow.

Anon 1: Thank you man.

Priya - Roja, as a film, was near perfect. Everything about it. Even the later-on-ABYSMAL Madhoo brought in so much vulnerability to her character, it is unbelievable. May be it's all about Mani Ratnam, after all. He, Genius. I wish I could understand Tamil well enough. Half the beauty in any film is hidden in subtle language play I believe.
Pallavi Anupallavi had excellent songs. Ilaiyaraja after all. And Naguva Nayana HAS to be one of Janaki's best songs. And Ouch, your brush with "proper" Hindi songs is really not representative.
MJ was actually so big when we were kids, no? I remember certain older cousins behaving like they were possessed while listening to Dangerous. (I know, weeeird)
As for the music I listen t o, it has remained a constant. Old Hindi film music will always be choice No. 1.

Pops - Yeah, I guess that's how we all start off. It was Amma that loved Hindi film music and swore by Mukesh in our house. Appa is the Kannada film music guy and we have enough gyaan about that too to show.
Thanks and thanks.

Anon 2 - Thank you and thank your friend too.
Anpadh as an album had at least four songs that would qualify for All Time Great. I love that album. I like Hai Isi Mein Pyaar Ki Aabroo better however.
Didi has come to be accepted synonym for her anyway.

A fan - I do too. I think SD was stupendously brilliant. Sajjad is a music director not many have heard of but should have. The very little of his music that I have heard is enough for me to say that. King Crimson is awesome. Although they could never outdo the brilliance of their first album, I feel.

Watch Hindi Movies - I do not do link exchanges, thank you very much.

Narendra - Thanks, first of all. And the fact that there needs to be music for even such delicate poetic sentiments as asking someone to go pillion riding is what makes me love Film music. Zero pretentiousness value, don't you think?
I have yet to meet a Marathi who does not rave about PuLa. He sounds so much fun, although to get the full import (and hence the hilariousness) of his writing, one needs to know Marathi I feel.

Spunky Monkey said...

Srivatsa - Thank you. Yes, she is.

Anuraag - It is true. I am actually 44 masquerading as 21 to keep tabs on you kids that "blog" and all. I am undercover Moral Police.
RD is not overrated? I really don't want to get there. I will start talking too much.

Mockerybird - I DID THAT TOO! Rangoli on Sunday mornings was my favorite time of the week. Wow, I don't feel so weird anymore. And OF COURSE it is a genre.
Lata pre-70's was brilliant. Post 80's too she was brilliant, in certain songs. Okay, I really can't say she should have quit anytime. It rings in my head as treason.
Pankh hoti toh is a beauty. In fact, all songs of Sehraa are very nice. Jyoti Kalash has a roughly similar Kannada version which is one of the only two Kannada songs Lata has sung in Kannada.
Geeta was nice too. Both songs you mention are so typically Geeta. Do listen to her bhajans in Jogan. Worth listening to.
And thank you muchly.

Opaline - Oh yeah, I did. This is actually early 90's we are talking of. When I was around 4. This wasn't Bangalore, so horse drawn carriages weren't so much of a non-possibility.
I guess you are right. Talking of Bengali songs, I LOVE them. I am for reasons unbeknownst even to me, a great fan of the language. It sounds mighty sweet to me.

Kavitha - After such a long while! Thanks, first of all.
I don't think you will listen to me for a while. My boss wouldn't let me do shows.

Prats - The program was Triveni, I think? It still comes.
It's amazing how SO many of us have had the same kind of upbringing.

Woh Jab Yaad Aaye is such a beautiful song. I especially like the tone when the line "Ghame-e-zindagi ke andhere mein humne.." I think it works out beautifully. One of those few LP songs I actually like.

The monk - Yeah. Timeless as a word is so over-abused (redundancy alarm) that I chose to let that pass. And true, I can actually think of songs that have just the tanpura/harmonium as background, and STILL sound stunning.

BD - I reiterate. Aren't you just about the funniest guy there is?

Rustyneurons - Oh yeah, all three duets in Aandhi are great.

Spunky Monkey said...

Anon 3 - The pronunciation gradually improved, with the advent of Lata and Rafi, don't you think? The Zohrabai Ambalewalis, Amirbai Karnatakis, Parul Ghoshs had atrocious diction. Even Shamshad Begum of the early to mid 40's.
Relevant, of course it is, when people my age are being so misled with the remixes ruining all this music.

Shekhar Rao - Thanks, uncle. And I will keep the not too much swearing in mind next time!

Naane, inn yaaru? - You actually read through it all?
I know you hate my saying it, but really, an honour. Thank you.
(HOW you hate me!)

Frissko - I did, Amma swears. I just checked even. I still sometimes wake up to the ashtottarams. If they are on infinite loop, that is. (Nobody plays those at 12 in the afternoon which is when I wake up these days)
O Mere Sanam is quite popular, isn't it? Nice song, yes. Vyjayanthimala adds so much to it.

Love and Squalor - Guess what, I did just that, and voila, the blog does pop up! If I ever lose my own URL, I'll try your trick.
Chiranjeevigaaru! Ippudu politician aaypoyinnaaru kadaa? Chaala cool-u.
Nice song, I say. Heard about one thousand times. Listen to songs from Reshma Aur Shera also. Very nice.

Tangled - Ouch. next time, understandable post I will write.

Cappuccino - I LOVE Tarkus. Brain Salad Surgery I have heard lots about. Haven't listened to it.

Anon 3, the Icecream Junkie - Oops. Il flagrante delicto. (What pseudness!)
The ability to appreciate music is all that's vital, really. Knowing all these things is a direct result of amazingly jobless. Which, more often than not, I am.
How to pin down a favorite? Somebody asked me the same recently, and instead of coming out with hundreds of names, I think I shut up. What NOT to choose, really.
Thanks! I am swalpa enjoying only.

Neel - Oh like I have said earlier, I LOVE those Bengali originals. What beauty, my god!

BD - Ahaa Ahaa. Funneeee guy.

AON - Whatte lovely no? Full love only. Listen to it, even cooler it is.
Hindi film music RAWWWWKS.

Spock - The reasons are manifold. And shall be disclosed when my eyelids aren't threatening to sew themselves shut.

Chronicworrier - Dev Anand used to have SD compose for him which gave his songs automatic credibility. Then, it continued, although to a lesser extent, with RD. Rajnigandha is a lovely song. Salil Choudhry is God type only.

Neel - The list is really quite unending, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

i'd earlier said the songs i listen to now have nothing to do with my past.. but i remember when my gTalk status message was my current playing track, "the way you make me feel" by MJ (yes,,.. from the weird moves inducing album called Dangerous), my aunt (yes, that's right... that means end of weirdo status messages) said my taste in music hasn't changed much... i still listen to the same songs.

maybe i was right the first time, and it's just a coincidence.

MJ was such a phenomenon... i remember the early days of NDTV showing footage of girls going crazy and screaming and occasionally passing out at the very appearance of MJ in mumbai.

i guess when i mentioned "ruk ruk ruk', i should have mentioned "contemporary" in the same sentence. and by "proper", i meant Hindi songs that were purely hindi songs, and not, like rehman's creations, dubbed from another language.

Anonymous said...

Why do you take so long to write new posts? Write anything. We will lap it up anyway!!

Tys on Ice said...

man, i just loved that post of yours...i guess we are old coots at heart...i still get nostalgic about listening to 'kausalya subrabha...' early morning after being kicked out of the study hall at our school hostel in ooty...

still love that old AIR theme music .... it floods the mind with so many memories...

thnkyou for tht was beautiful

btw, u in the radio thats wht i call a perfect vocation for u...congrats

Malaveeka said...

Very nice post, Spunky. Congrats on the job. Urge them to hire me. I'll do anything. Including delivering coffee to this one and that one.

I love 'Aap ki nazron'. It is so beautiful.

Malaveeka said...

Got cut off there.

Anyway. IT's a stunning song and I love it.

Arjun Sharma said...

Interestingly, when 'Chori chori' came out, Filmfare said 'no song in this album is in the danger of becoming a hit.'

Shows what dicks critics were and continue to be.

Radio station? I bow. Now all that remains is for you to write the next Hitchhiker's guide and you will be a complete man.

I've decided to let you live for the crack at RD.

Arjun Sharma said...

By the way, what happens to the doctori-oye-votijeet now?

Thinking aloud said...

that was most unmonkey like...but what a beautiful post!! took me straight back to the 'good ol days'...i remmeber when we used to go to catch the school bus..every house used to have some kind of music going it devotional traditional or old filmy...

congrats on the radio station job...lucky you...

iz said...

LOL. You know I still sing that song everytijme Father A is out of town!

Souvik Chatterji said...

SD Burman had given landmark songs to Lata also in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film Chupke Chupke in 1975. the film was based on the story portrayed in Uttamkumar’s Choddobeshi,

TS said...

Dude you are hilarious.

And I should seriously stop reading with food in my mouth.

Harish said...

OLLe post-u. Odi khushi aytu. Aadroo neevu R D Burman bagge heLiddu sari illa annistu.

From the golden era of Bollywood, about which you have spoken, it's difficult to pick one song or even ten songs and say those are the best.There are so many of them. Alve?

Congratulations-u nimage. Nimma vaidyakeeya vrutti?

Anonymous said...

hey: immediately tell off which channel plays all old hindi film music. immediately.

Spunky Monkey said...

Priya - Close relatives on the other side of 30 on your friends list and Orkut and suchthings means daeth ho gayee only. The next thing you know, your mum is asking you questions like, Why are you so strange?

Anon - I have MPD. Meet one of my dominant selves. Say hello to Sloth.

Tys - For some reason we have stopped playing Kausalya Supraja at home these days. May be it's the Shaivites in us. The AIR is of course the best there is. And it's wonderful that they have kept the theme music pieces constant since forever.
Thank you and thank you.

Malaveeka - Thank you, Harvard girl.
It IS a stunning song. Like I said before it is a stunning album too. There is this other song called Hai Isee Mein Pyaar Ki Aabroo. Most beautifully composed, but the lyrics are a feminist's fodder for mega tirades. "Mujhe gham bhi unka azeez hai, ke unhee ki dee huyee cheez hai" and stuff. But then again, the film was called Anpadh. D'uh.

Arjun Sharma - Oh yeah, Filmfare has time and again shown that the criterion they base their appointments on is the applicant's dickheadedness. So that they can eventually make legendary mistakes, not just in reviews but also in awards.
Mughal-E-Azam lost to Dil Apna Aur Preet Paraayi in 1960.
And, Pakeezah lost to Beimaan! (THAT is YAPPA! material.)
AND, SD did not get an award for Guide! The movie sucked, but the music is another matter altogether.

Complete man, you say? My mother had convinced me it was only a matter of a well-ironed shirt. It is a little worrisome that parenting is beginning to be guided by pop culture.

RD is an inferior music director, (and before you choose to kill me) IN COMPARISON with other people who were genuinely more gifted.

Doctori bhee chalegi. Yeh toh jab-mann-aaye-tab-jaao kind of job hai.

And, Shukriya.

Thinking Aloud - You are so right. Especially in vaThaaras. Every house would have a different kind of music. These Bangalore type people (unless they are from Chamrajpet) don't even know what a vaThaara is. Ella huTTtaane America.
Thank you.

Iz - Heh. Why stick to one song? Ask me, I will give you loads more appropriate songs to phit the situaysun.

Souvik - Yes, there were three of them. Although I wouldn't call any of them landmark. Try Buzdil, Munimji, Bandini, Guide, Abhimaan, Yeh Gulistan Hamara for "landmark".

TS - Oh, then read it in front of your boss.
And, thank you.

Harish - Sariyaad maat hELiddeera nODi ivre neevu. HEge antha choose maaDOdu? Sandigdha paristhiti, yaavdann biDOdu, yaavdann iTTkoLLOdu?
RD as a phenomenon is a very yuppie crowd thing. I agree he has made some fantastic tunes. But dubbing him the loRD etc., is stretching it a tad too much.

Anon - There is one. Nice one also.

And the fact that I am writing reply comments this long should tell you that I am severely blogged out.
I CAN write, of course. But it will be about Mughal-E-Azam, and will involve Saaheb-E-Alam, Kaneez-E-Nacheez-E-Lazeez-E-Parvardegaar. And that will also herald my blog death. So please to kindly oblige.

Prats said...

HaaDu haaDidh adhmele...swalpa, hosa post bardhbitre...superappa....what station u chattering on????

Big fan said...


Spunky Monkey said...

Prats - There is one station. I am not chattering there, however.

Big fan - Ooh.

Anonymous said...

Can I marry you??? :) love you're blogs...

Anonymous said...

Ok.. it's me again.. my cousin just pointed that "you're" doesn give the correct meaning.. :) so.. here I am..
let's start all over again.... :)

Can I marry you..?? i love "your"blogs....

What it is! said...

Woah man!! am lovin it!!

Probably just a few years behind you.. I was the last cycle rickshaw school going kid generation... ;) and i had to listen to yeh haiiiiiii vividh bhaaraathi.. ting ting ti ding!!
And in the process used to get this from amma.. puttuuuuuu.. tie haakondyaaa?? shoe haakondyaaa??rickshaw banthu..i stood staring at the box emanating music... and my bro had to drop me to school.. ;)
Being a radio child, i wonder where all those nice oldies vanished..
N now that I see you're in the radio place.. tell those box(dabba) people to play some of these oldies time to time.. n yes.. you can start that show with my Fav.. Saawan ka mahina.. ;) Keep it up man...

Anonymous said...

CHECK THIS UNIQUE SITE Matrimonial Site is the worlds only Matrimonial Site for peoples who don't want to take and give dowries for their marriages.its total free site.Add your Free Matrimonial Profile Now.

Anonymous said...

[b]macromedia dreamviewer software, [url=]on software purchases[/url]
[url=][/url] store software reviews buy website design software
teacher educational software [url=]software-manager macromedia[/url] buy photoshop 7
[url=]cheap office 2003[/url] software price list
[url=]cheap software com[/url] faculty software discounts
acdsee promocode [url=]cheapest computer software[/b]

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon!!! is one of the most outstanding informational websites of its kind. I enjoy reading it every day. I will be back.

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon!!! is one of the most outstanding resourceful websites of its kind. I enjoy reading it every day. rocks!

Anonymous said...

The author of has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: Try as you might, you can never run away from your knees. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said... is the best. Thank your for this article. I enjoyed it very much.
AAA Toronto Payday Loans 1172 Bay St #101, Toronto, ON M5S 2B4 (416) 477-2817

Anonymous said...

You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest blogs online.
I am going to recommend this blog!

Also visit my web blog -