Sunday, June 9, 2013

Musical friends -- Kaise Kategi Zindagi, tere bagair.....

The joy of landing on something rare randomly is exhilarating. On a recent flight, while casually listening to some songs I chanced upon this very nice Madan Mohan composition which I must say is a pure Rafi gem.

If you are the type (rare but priceless) who like the melancholy of slow but serene music then this surely is worth the “add on your playlist”. And if you have been unfortunate like me to have not heard this like me before, please join me in enjoying the discovery. This one was recorded by Madan Mohan for a film that never saw the light of the day. It lied unheard in the archives until a few years back when his family found it and thankfully for us, released it !!

Without much ado, here it is.

Frankly, there is no need to read any further as I always feel that music is a very personal experience, with each song touching each one of us very differently - and rightly so.

In my nomadic life voyage so far, I have made a lot of friends, but very few with whom I can discuss and enjoy all kinds of music, more so music of this genre. It is rare to find someone who does not enjoy ANY music at all, but most have a specific genre that appeals to them more than the others. There is always a set of folks with whom you are comfortable discussing every type of music. I have always had a very diverse set of friends and every group has had its own taste of music...... Guns N Roses.... Madan Mohan... Beatles.... C Ramchamdra.... John Elton.... Nadeem Shravan....Shankar Jaikishan…One direction

With these friends we had these little mehfils, just listening to something, enjoying its effect, humming it, then discussing the song, its lyrics, the composer, the shayar, and the singer and so on..

I think my urge to write on this particular song emanates not only to share it but more so from missing some of those really rare friends who would have enjoyed listening to this collectively.

We would have started with the lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. Simple, meaningful and apt, which was always his style like “Naina Barase Rimjhim Rimjhim” or “Tum bin jeevan kaise beeta – pooch mere dil se” or “vatan ki raah mein vatan ke naujavan shaheed ho”.  No chaste Urdu or heavy words unless required . We would talk about how he stays true to the spirit through to the end. Longing conveyed without a lot of dramatization in the song, which makes the magic of this song an actual team work.

The opening line itself completes the thought of the song

Kaise kategi Zindagi, tere bagair, tere bagair
Paunga har shay me kami... Tere bagair tere bagair.

We would listen to the song again and then come to the real magic of this song - Madan Mohan and Rafi. We would rewind to just enjoy the way the "tere bagair" is sung at the end of the mukhdaa… pure magic….. Or we would discuss and sample the ..”jaise bujhe chiraag hain” the frist antaraa.... We would try humming it....

I am not trained in music, to know if this based on something classical, but knowing Madan Mohan, this is undoubtedly in his inimitable style. Soft, simple, serene yet divinely classical. He will always remain the Ghazal king, and I will continue to miss my friends who could have enjoyed this with me… not to say I don’t have friends now in Dallas who don’t like Music, we all enjoy music every weekend too…. Just not this genre … Yet

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