Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The magic of S D Burman

Brilliance need not always jump to the rooftops and shout in order to draw attention to itself. Sometimes, and as in this instance, long after the creative minds have left the world of mortals, it peeks out from the surrounding clutter to remind us of the sheer magic of simplicity.

Take for instance this ad for cooking oil which has been playing on TV lately.

For some reason, the voice of S D Burman kept playing over and over in my head. I inquired about the origins of it on Twitter and Mish was kind enough to tell me the song was from Talaash, a 1969 Rajendar Kumar film.

The song is 'Meri Duniya Hai Maa' (lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri) which plays over the opening credits of the film.

But wait! Hadn't Dada Burman sung another song which also played out during the opening credits?

The film is Dev Anand's 'Guide'. In the opening credits, as we see Raju "guide" leaving his known world behind and walk towards his transition to a 'spiritual guru', you hear S D Burman's lilting voice singing 'Wahaan kaun hai tera musafir jaayega kahaan' (lyrics: Shailender). The song has been sung which such pathos that you can't but have a moist eye when Dada Burman sings the words "koi bhi teri, raah na dekhe, nain bichaaye na koi... dard se tere, koi na tadpa, aankh kisi ki na royi".

But it isn't always that his voice will reduce you to tears... it is there to soothe you too just when you begin to lose hope. Remember the title track of "Aradhana"? As the mother's soul gets tormented over having lost her husband and then being separated from her son, S D Burman's soulful voice assures her... "Banegi aasha ek din teri yeh niraasha, kaahe ko roye? Safal hogi teri araadhana" (lyrics: Anand Bakshi).

Brilliance does that, you know. It can reduce you to tears as well as show the way ahead.