Mitwa bole meetthe bol, ‘Soem’ by Deepa Buty

(Many of us may have seen a team of two-men street performers called ustad-jamura, or madari-chela. The author takes us on such a fun journey, with many songs in a series, one of which finds analysis here)

Ustaad, spin the handle
Ab kaun hai!!
Inke geet jaise bahaar bhara chaman
Pancham swar se unche Rahul Dev Burman

Pancham, his name itself has music. Born and brought up in a family which was submerged in music. Pancham had music running through his veins and arteries. For me, he holds a special place because I’ve grown up listening to his songs. I was so happy when his name showed on one of the chits in the lottery.

Time and again, Pancham has been associated with pop music. True, his music was influenced by Western music and albums. But on the other hand, he has also given some very good refined music connected to this soil. Can anyone beat Amar Prem? Or Aandhi, Khushboo, Ijaazat or even Masoom? From his signature of Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaye Badra to his sign off Kuch Na Kaho, his musical graph was as unsteady as his life.

They touched all the highs and lows. Yet Pancham’s share in HFM is a large one, which cannot be overlooked. His songs were that of an untamed melody. They have a timeless quality. He juggled both the genres successfully. That is the reason why we have maximum number of his songs remixed since every new generation relates to Pancham through his music. Time to choose from his repertoire, and I’m in a fix! I like all. Yes, even his ‘hoo haa’ ones. I love to go through them once in a while. His gossamer melodies always lure me. More so if topped with Gulzar’s lyrics. The twosome came together for the first time in Parichay (1972). Meaningful cinema with unforgettable songs. An example of simplicity spread lavishly.

Mitwa mitwa bole meethe bain
Saanware kajraare nain….
Sanjeev Kumar is sort of humming the bandish for his riyaz. Based on Rageshree (a ragini), this piece is rendered by Bhupinder Singh. This ragini mostly depicts the emotions of a person waiting for a reunion with his/her lover. I love the way Sanjeev Kumar has lip synced this song cum poem (soem). Accompanied by flute and tabla. It sounds as sweet as his beau’s words (meethe bain). Saccharine!! Her black kohl lined eyes…and…nterrupted!!
Oh why did Gulzar stop this song midway? A question that comes to my mind every time I see this film. But then Gulzar is like-Guru like-chela. His guru Bimal Roy did this to a Madhumati number by Mubarak Begum! (made it look natural).
Back to Pancham…..the entire song is worth listening. Some lovely sitar pieces in the interludes, but the flute takes the cake in this saccharine soem.

(This essay was written on 26th March 2017.


Deepa Buty lives in Nagpur, and writes beautifully. This is what her facebook page says about her: “(She) Loves Dev Anand and music. Not sure in which order!” She is also a founder and admin of The SongPedia.

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