And One From My Soul…(A Rare Tribute To Dilip Kumar And Dev Anand)
Ali Peter John
I was on a warpath with all those who are making so much of sound and insulting poetry and music in Hindi films. I had taken off all the music channels dealing with modern music and had even stopped seeing most of the films of today mainly because there was nothing like good lyrics or good music in these films made only to make money and failing even to do that, failing miserably in giving the people what they want and getting what they want from the people, money and more money, what else???
It was while I was in this black and bleak mood that I got invited by my old friend, Rajesh Subramaniam to a musical show in Vile Parle called ‘Soulful Saturdays’. I was overwhelmed by the reception the people in the audience gave me and within minutes I was in another era, another world, a world where music and poetry ruled. I was taken back to that golden era when I saw photographs of composer like Shanker-Jaikishen, S.D Burman, R.D Burman, Madan Mohan, Salil Chowdhury, Vasant Desai and above all Naushad and the photographs of lyricist like Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaifi Azmi, Anand Bakshi, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shakeel Badayuni, Gulzar and even a less successful but popular lyricist like Gulshan Bawara.
Rajesh Subramaniam group which had a young mentor like Mani Subramaniam had more than 150 men and women from different professions who were all bond by the magic of vintage music. I had expected to be at the function for about thirty minutes and then leave for my favourite place, ‘Chayoos’ where I wanted to complete one more article on my all time favourite man, Dev Anand with the help of my friend Rajan, ofcourse, a man who has the power to put my words to life on a mere mobile which was something I couldn’t believe in till I met this man, Rajan who showed me how the mobile could be useful in so many ways, especially in giving life to my words and expressions…
But I didn’t have to go to ‘Chayoos’ because Rajesh Subramaniam team of amateur singers gave me the absolute pleasure of listening to the songs sung by the two legends, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand on screen. The singers were doctors, chartered accountants, professors, bankers, investors and even a choreographer in films. There were fifty year old men and even men in their eighties who could sing and bring back the glory of the two legends who seemed to be there. They made me hum first and sang so well that they even inspired me to sing even though I knew only I could hear what I was singing and I was the only one who was applauding myself, but the singers kept me intoxicated and I was swinging and swaying to their voices and the apt commentary of the anchor Rajesh Subramaniam and then his professor friend Mishra.
The singing went on for more than three hours and I could see a 73 year old retired man dancing and singing whenever a Dev Anand song was heard by the audience and he showed me what singing and dancing could do to an otherwise boring existence. There was a relative of music director Laxmikant, Mrs Kudtarkar who must have been in her late seventies but was enjoying every moment. Incidentally, Laxmikant was born in Vile Parle East.
It was my time to speak and I said I was spending a lot of time debating whether there was a soul in man or not and I had found proof that there had to be a soul for these senior citizens to enjoy life the way they were. I also talked about the slow but sure signs of great music vanishing from our film which had songs whose words and tunes did not make any sense. I thanked both the Subramaniams and their team for keeping the glorious times of music created by geniuses who lived, dedicated and even died for music.
If I was given a chance I would like to be a part of ‘Soulful Saturdays’ as many times as I could in the time that is left for me.
As I left the auditorium because of some physical problem I could see the photographs of the composers and singers on the wall looking very happy and smiling the smiles of the contented because they had seen hollow home being done to them on countless and more memorable occasions, but they had never felt the kind of ecstasy they had seen during this where function called‘Soulful Saturdays’. They wish to thank the Subramaniams and all those who had worked very hard to bring glory and praise to their talent which they knew was immortal but they were humans and they too needed de-confirmation of their places in the souls and hearts of people who worshipped them when they were alive and were still worshipping them.
How many of today’s proposals and lyricists will reach this stage when they will be remembered with all the respect and reverence fifty years later???
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