The Soul of Hindi cinema
A tribute to the century of our cinema is incomplete without a look at some of our famous Hindi film music directors L Ravichander Music is the...
A tribute to the century of our cinema is incomplete without a look at some of our famous Hindi film music directors L Ravichander Music is the soul of our cinema. Though our tryst with Celluloid started in 1913 May, it was in March 1931 that sound and song entered our cinema. With Wazir Mohammad Khan singing 'De de khuda ke naam per' song became not just an intrinsic but an imperative part of our cinema till perhaps BR Chopra broke the monotony with his 'Kanoon', though the film has a long dance by Gopi Krishna. A tribute to the century of our cinema is incomplete without a look at some of our famous music directors. To choose the ten best is again a challenge and is subject to a mix of assumptions and human as it is , probably prejudices and bias. This is my ten and based on a conviction that it is the ten. Anil Biswas (1935-1965) the career span of three decades sees him as one who probably brought innovation and acceptance of western music into our fold. So don't believe those who blame the contemporary for going western for inspiration. What characterised his 90 odd films was his complete understanding of the symphony alongside our classical and folk music. The master is once supposed to have said that Rafi was no singer. SD Burman: (1937-1977) . This master from Bengal gave some classics that is hummed even today. 'Guide', 'Jewel Thief', 'Abhimaan', 'Nau Do Gyrah'. 'Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi'. The Navketans whose success story was so intractably woven with good music always looked to Burman da for there success formula and the great man never let them down. A man who understood the difference between Kishore and Rafi and never chose one over the other, but used both in tandem and so was the case with Mangeshkar sisters!!. Madan Mohan : (1950-1981) Arguably the ghazal king of our cinema. His 'Lag Ja Gale' from 'Who Kaun thi' is making its rebirth and adding soul to films and tv serials like 'Bombay Talkies' and 'Bade Ache'. Lata gave her very special to this man , for her Madan Bhaiya and the two created some unparalleled magic for generations to savour. Be the 'RajKhosla' whodunits or the Chetan Anand love sagas, there was Lata at her best and Rafi giving his films his special softness. 'Tu mere samne hai', 'Mein yeh soch kar', 'Mere awwaz suno' just the tip of the ice berg. Our cinema gave him a posthumous salute with 'Veer Zara' and only in our topsy turvy world would we believe that the songs of 'Dosti' deserved an award over 'Who Kaun Thi'. Naushad : (1940-1985) What a range!! A Moghul among the kings of music. Just 'Mughal-e Azam', 'Mere Mehboob' and 'Mother India' are sufficient to make any one person proud . His filmography had a range that is difficult to detail leave alone emulate. The Rafi-Naushad-Dilip Kumar combo is arguably the greatest part of our melodious cinema. His last few films were sadly a poor reflection of the great talent. Films like 'Sunehra Sansar' and 'Dharam Kanta' was a poor sign off for a great flourish that was Naushad. Salil Chowdary (1953-1990) This man some how did not get his due and will be remembered from some real lilting music and the very special ones that he gave the likes of Lata and Talat. For one from the East, accepted in Mumbai grudgingly he was a big success even in the quality Malayalam films Shanker Jaikishen ( 1949-1986) No one in our cinema understood the value of orchestra as this duo did. Unfortunately the untimely death of Jaikishan and the parting of ways with RK saw this star too lose its way in the dusk. Films like 'Sanyasi' and 'Dus Numbari' may have won them awards but did not further their repute. Talat, Mannadey, Rafi, Lata, Mukesh Asha almost all of them gave their best under SJ. Roshan (1948-1966) An extremely under rated music director. It is not out of context to note that the Rajshiri production house began their musical tryst with Aarti and not surprisingly chose Roshan .The talented music director deserved more than just a trophy from Filmfare ( Taj Mahal) . Two of Rafi saab all time greats: 'Zindagin bar nahi bhulenge' and 'Man re tu kahe' were Rosha creations. Such talent : 'kabhi to milege kahin to'�. Khayyam (1953-2006) Never there, never out. His pahadi was very special and who could have done 'Kabhi Kabhie' in the seventies when Bachchan cinema was making music irrelevant in our cinema. Another of our melody creators who did not get the required space under the sun. 'Umrao Jaan' may be his most successful film but the fifties had some of the great ones from his imagination . RD Burman. ( 1961-1994) Arguably a genius whose swan song came too early. Kuch na kaho. A talent lost in the wilderness in the eighties, his music was not just experimental but a repertoire that took in its sweep a 'Amar Prem' and 'Aandhi' on the one hand and 'Jawani Diwani' and 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' on the other. Years after he took a bow, the place still remains unfilled. AR Rehman: (1992- ) The man who got us our Oscar. Many of our music directors have surely deserved it but truly he is part of the galaxy and still going strong. Largely responsible for bringing back creative melody to our cinema, alongside Illayaraja from the south, he is a genius whose every film is waited by the laymen and the connoisseurs alike.