From the days of what is deemed as the golden era in Hindi film music, I listened to the radio/transistor, on which either Vividh Bharti, All India Radio, or Radio Ceylon played songs that were the current rage, or the music ‘hits’ from my parents’ era, or what was viewed by them as ‘noise’ in latter days, in a pre-television era.

Although the volume of those ‘loud’ songs pales when compared to rambunctious sounds emerging from recording studios since the 1980s, the songs composed by “Chhote Nawab” a.k.a. “Pancham” i.e. Rahul Dev Burman for Rajesh Khanna’s early successes, or Shankar-Jaikshan’s songs for a “Junglee” Shammi Kapoor, or Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s teaming up with “Mr. X in Bombay”… are among my favorites. Salil Chowdhury’s music is ever-melodious, appealing and close to my heart, as is Sachin Dev Burman’s, or even Hemant Kumar’s. I have numerous favorites, including those I have not named here… but these will emerge as I go along on this journey… of transcribing lyrics that appeal to me.

Many of us music fans are conscious, or at least are vaguely aware, that names of certain lyricists appeared very closely with certain music composers… but this is inevitable. It did not mean that either the song-writer was of a lesser caliber than the next, or that one composer was way superior over another. They had distinct styles, the equations of people working together over a long period of time naturally created a signature unique to that team.

Often, good songs were forgotten, perhaps they did not receive the due exposure; and the public did not get an opportunity to listen to them over the radio. Many songs may have been beautifully written and composed, and yet did not meet the success they should merit… perhaps the film had failed, or the public had rejected the face/s that sang the song on the silver screen, the film direction or its production values may have left much to be desired… the reasons were many. In that era when only a few singers were affiliated to Hindi cinema (relative to present day), would you fault the failure of any song that say Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Suman Kalyanpur, Sudha Malhotra or Asha Bhosle had rendered? 🙂

Okay, I won’t get into those controversial details… much water has passed under the bridge. I’d like to enjoy and share the wealth of music we have — with joy and desire; and not under duress — there’s no compulsion.

Hindi film songs, in which lyrics, composition, voices… are all key. 🙂