My Father’s Favourite

My father was no music wizard, but he had an ear for music. He could identify ragas and was the main inspiration behind my mother taking up singing seriously and making a profession out of it.

He would dutifully tune to Radio Ceylon every morning to listen to old Hindi film songs that used to be broadcasted between 7.30 am and 8 am every day. Two of his favourite songs were – Jhoom jhoom ke gao aaj from Andaz and Gaaye ja Geet Milan ke from Mela- both sung by Mukesh and composed by Naushad. Ironically, after composing these evergreen ditties for Mukesh in late 40s or early 50s, Naushad did not work with Mukesh till they reunited in 1968 for Saathi. By that time, Naushad was well past his best. After early success with Sahgal, Talat and Mukesh, Naushad almost exclusively worked with Rafi during his prime, composing some gems but probably depriving music lovers from immortal melodies like my father’s favourites. On the contrary , the great Pancham hit high notes riding on Rafi’s magic in super hit Teesri Manzil, though later on he created most of the evergreen eternal magic with maverick Kishore Kumar. Naushad never worked with Kishore, like OP Nayyar never worked with Lata. It just leaves one’s heart craving, imagining how if these all time greats of yesteryears had combined more differently rather than sticking to their personal whims, egos and fancies, how many more songs that would have touched the chord of hearts of millions of simple music lovers like my father could have been created. Not that he didn’t like other songs – he used to wait for the 1st of every month not only for his salary but also to listen to Kishore’s all time favourite “Khush hai zamana aaj pahli tarikh hai” from the movie Pahli Tarikh, composed by elusive Sudhir Phadke that used to be broadcasted by Radio Ceylon on the first of each month. However, the magic of two Mukesh/Naushad ditties remained unmatched in his lifetime.

8 thoughts on “My Father’s Favourite

  1. A nice tribute from a loveable son to his father. My memory goes back to the time when my father daily used to hum Rafi Saheb’s मैंने चांद और सितारों की तमन्ना की थी song from 1950’s Chanderkanta with Bharat husband in lead. The song still haunts me with my father humming it.

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  2. I can well imagine a middle-aged gentleman waiting patiently for the first of every month … waiting for food both for the body and the soul!

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  3. These were some of the most talented and versatile singers. We used to have small tape recorder at home and I used to listen to songs of Rafi Saab, Mukesh ji, Kishor kumar, Hemant Kumar and Lata ji everyday during morning and evening. kashmir ki Kali, Guide, Mere Sanam are some of the movies which had songs which touched the heart everytime we listen to them. Rafi saab har magic in his voice and we can actually feel or see the romance if we listen to him carefully. An amazing tribute to these singers who are legends of Indian Music.

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