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Friday, July 13, 2012

Good bye Dara Singh- music in tribute -

Dara Singh and his brother Randhawa were seasonally a topic of conversation among us kids when the free-style wrestling posters appeared on walls near my home and school at Bombay Central. I was not a movie goer in my school days. We knew Dara acted in movies. Mumtaz was his heroine after Nisha. By the time I went to college Mumtaz was heroine to Rajesh Khanna. Dara Singh was considered a "B" film hero. So, I never paid attention to any of his films. 

Today I started surfing the net for his films and any songs from his films. The pinball motion took me to many songs. What I found is written below. I thought I could make a point. May be it is there somewhere but I have not reached it. But, you can enjoy some songs that you might not have heard and may follow my track for pure entertainment, if you wish. Lots of youtube to watch- be prepared.

We remember a song by the singer or the actors or the film and often lyrics. But the rhythm of the song is invariably ignored except by those who "know".

Watch these clips:
Dattaram 1
and then this:

His name is mentioned as Dattaramji... He is Dattaram Wadkar from Goa. He died a few years ago.
He was also a music director. Here are some of his compositions you may have heard. Now that you know his connection with rhythm you will listen to these more carefully. (choon choon karti aai chidiya)
and this one: (masti bhara hai sama)
and (aansu bhari hain yeh jeevan ki rahen)
and (dil dhoondhata hai sahare sahare)
and (meethi meethi batonse bachana jara)
and    (this one you may recognize if you listen- pyar bhari yeh ghataien)
and this   (tere teer ko hum ne pyar se dil mein rakh liya - not much heard these days)

Remember, these were times when Shankar Jaikishen, Naushad, SD Burman and the likes ruled the waves and it would have been tough for Dattaram to get any good films. None of the above films are remembered as hits except for perhaps Parvarish. But these songs were played often on Vividh Bharati and Radio Ceylon in the early sixties when you could even hear the neighbors' transistors.

So, what?
Dattaram was never considered a top notch music director- he was always an assistant to Shankar Jaikishen. So he got B films. What is a B film?

Here another Datta- Datta Naik composes music for "Tarzan comes to Delhi"- Dara- Mumtaz. Supposedly a B film. What sort of music should you expect from a "B" film with this kind of a name??? (husna ikrar kare ishq inkaar kare.. )
I had never heard this song and not sure why not. It never features in common antakshari- that is the measure of popularity. But, it sounds equal to any 'good' song of those days.

Listen to this next one (it is what they call item number these days.. ignore the first half of the video) (chham chham baje payal matwali)
This song and the dance is equal to any good one of the kind in those days. Funnily, I do not recall this at all.

Now that we are on "B" films... see a song composed by another music director GS Kohli for Dara- Mumtaz (yaad tori aayee main to..)

I don't consider this a B song.. even the dance (for those times) is not quite B.

This one too by GS Kohli is for Dara and Mumtaz.  (O mataware saajana ..)
Makes you think it is OP Nayyar- GS Kohli was OP Nayyar's assistant. I recall this song being played on Vividh Bharati and I also recall I used to love the way she extended the "chhalaak" and "sajanaaa".  I had not heard it for perhaps 40 years!!

Dara Singh, Sheikh Mukhtar and Kishor Kumar in a film named "Hum sab ustad hain" must be a B film. Right?
Listen to this song that you definitely know: Does it sound like a B film? (you know this well.. ajanabi tum jaanee pehchane se lagate ho)

The following one is a Dara starrer. Laxmikant Pyarelal music, Helen dancing. Another song I recall but had not heard for decades. (mujhe dekhiye main koi dastaan hoon) and this one from the same film that became quite popular (but never in Antakshari !) (kisi ko pata na chale baat ka)  You will notice that Dara is nowhere on the scene. Good thing too since he could neither dance nor act.

Lutera, the film with the above songs,  seems like a "Parasmani" type film that had many good, even extraordinary songs ( for example: hasta hua noorani cheherra ) , but the rest was what they call "B". Parasmani was probably worse as a film but better "hit" songs. Both films' music by Laxmikant Pyarelal. Parasmani was LP's first.

Looks like B films did good business. Dara Singh said somewhere that producers came to him because they could make wrestling films which the rural folks liked. I am sure his bare-chested muscular appearance had a sex appeal for rural (and urban) women. That made them B films. Coming to think of it, many of today's films would classify as B films. Great songs, dances, bad story although sleek production techniques.

I will leave you with another song I remember very well from Vividh Bharati in my childhood. Never knew it was from Dara- Mumtaz. No way this a a B song.  (paon mein jhanjhar, hathon mein kangana..) 

Here's to Dara, Mumtaz, rhythm and all that is ridiculed as B !!