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.
I love this song for its sheer instrumentation. 2 months ago while I was doing a write up for this song, I realized instruments not only play a vital role in a song but they also sometimes form the soul of the song. Some instruments/instrumentation either off screen or on screen become the identity of that particular song. Instruments define the energies of mind and body. They bring out the emotions of a song. For this song, Shahu Modak who is lip syncing, is playing a swarmandal and the rest of his team is playing various other instruments–tabla, sarod, tanpura, tabla tarang.
The thirst of becoming rich and respectful, the ambition to rise high in the society, brings Raj Kumar (Rajendra Kumar) to work for the elite Ranjit Rai (Balraj Sahni). Improving his work and position at work he soon becomes a top favorite of the boss. Only to find that the boss wants Raj Kumar to get married to his only daughter, the svelte and sophisticated Madhu (Sharmila Tagore). To make matters worse, she looks exactly like the village belle Gauri (Sharmila again) the love of his life. Raj Kumar now stands at the crossroads: which one should he choose?
Khoyi khoyi aankh hai jhuki palak hai
Jahaan jahaan dekhegaa tu wahin jhalak hai
The soft tones of Manna Dey summarize the above situation, lip syncing for Shahu Modak (sitting with a swarmandal in his hand) performing at a party hosted by Ranjit Rai at his place. Suddenly the atmosphere wakes up to a scintillating tabla and the magic of Dada Burman begins. Madhumati, the dancer is all set to seam the floor with the Bharatnatyam steps. Dada Burman doesn’t forget to hem the song with the tinkle of the ghungroos, in sync with the dance steps. Not a single step is missed (if you watch the entire song closely, you will understand this) we can hear the ghungroos only along with the dancer’s steps. That’s the perfection of Dada Burman. In the interludes, we have a jashn of sarod, sitar, and sarangi, topped with the tabla tarang. And when it is Bharatnatyam, how can Dada the perfectionist not add the mridangam?! The interlude now has a rapturous mridangam piece and a sort of jugalbandi of the sitar and sarod.
By the time the interlude finishes, you will want to hear it again. This is the marvel magic of Dada Burman. Based on Raag Chhayanat which is a late evening or early night Raag. The melody remains dominant in this Raag and it gives you a feeling of drifting smoothly. Manna Dey’s voice adds so much more flow to the song. His elaborate singing suits the beautiful instrumentation used by Dada Burman. This soul search is certainly buoyant and heavenly.
(Originally written: 25 May 2017)