R.I.P. – Dev Anand

RIP Dev Anand

2011 has been one of the most cruel of years. It took from us some of the most legendary figures of Indian cinema. I woke up today to the most shocking news of legendary actor, Dev Anand saab’s passing away. He was 88.

What more can I say about a man who is beyond adjectives and description? He was the first lover boy of Indian cinema, serenading beauties in bright Black n White. And when Eastmancolor entered the cinema frames, so did his ultra colourful hats, jackets and scarves. From the Shwet Shyam era of Madhubala, Waheeda Rehman, Nutan to the bright hues of Vyjanthimala, Tanuja, Hema Malini and Zeenat Aman, Dev saab’s onscreen chemistry with all his leading ladies has been what cinematic legends are made of.

It gives me immense heartache to think of a world with no Dev Anand. He personified high spiritedness and positivity. Thank you Dev Saab for your gifts of Bambai Ka Babu, Jab Pyar Kissise Hota Hai,  CID, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Johnny Mera Naam, Guide, Jewel Thief, Hare Rama Hare Krishna.. the list is indeed endless. Thank you Sir for Navketan Films. You will always be loved, and missed much more.

Rest in Peace, Mr.Evergreen!

Janamdin Mubaarak Panchamda!

This is a repost of a post I did a long time back. I completely forgot to post it on the right day, i.e. June the 27th, the birthday of one of the greatest composers of India – Rahul Dev Burman.

Happy Birthday BOSS. Janamdin Mubaarak ho Panchamda!

Panchamda - R D Burman

Each and every word or phrase written in his praise falls short..because he is THE PAPA of all Music Directors on the face of the Indian Music Industry…because he is the reason why today’s “music directors” wanted to be it,.. because the entire Remix industry exists because of his yesteryear’s hits..because it is for his albums that DJs and retro nights exist..because he can make Asha Bhonsle sound the best – whether it is a ghazal, hindustani classical song, cabaret, or simply bollywood. Because he is Pancham, RDX, Rahul Dev Burman..because he is THE BOSS.

To the Baap of Bollywood Music..this is my heartfelt “paay-laagu” or “pairi-pona” of sorts. Because I am so small to talk of his genius. But that is not going to make me stop writing this blog about him. Because I have grown up on his music, totally breathed it, have literally lived on it till today, and I am sure will, till I die. This is not a chronicling of the body of work of Panchamda, but is more of a celebration of his melodies which have left an indelible impression on our minds, bodies and soul.

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Rewind: Ab Ke Sajan Sawan Mein (Chupke Chupke – 1975)

Ab Ke Sajan Saawan Mein - Chupke Chupke
With the invasion of Audio CDs and Mp3s and Winamp et al, gone are the days of painfully rewinding a song for exactly a mentally calibrated 1.5 minutes to get to the start of your favourite song to listen to it again. “MONO” was as standard as Dolby-Digital is now and even with these technological hindrances which possibly did not unleash the composer’s brilliance to the fullest extent, there were melodies which overcame these hindrances. One such melody is SD Burman’s “Ab Ke Sajan Saawan Mein“.

From Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s cutesy, romantic simplistic 1975 comedy Chupke Chupke, this movie has lots to flaunt about. A stellar cast – Amitabh Bachhan, Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bhaduri, Om Prakash, Asrani and above all – Keshto Mukherjee :) And whenever one mentions Chupke Chupke, Ab Ke Sajan.. is definitely one of the first things that cross my mind [ apart from Dharam jee’s mind-bending Hindi vocabulary and his tussle with clever Jeejaajee – Om Prakash ].

I vividly remember hearing it for the first time on Chitrahaar and quite instantly, fell in love with it.And after almost 20 odd years, I can say for sure, that it wasn’t just a mere infatuation. After all, what’s not to love about it. The teasing, naughty chedh-chaadh lyrics by Anand Bakshi written in simplistic Hindi is a perfect example of how less is more. Check out the lyrics on the second verse..

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Freeze Frame: The Diva – Parveen Babi – Shaan (1980)

This section pays homage to those immortal single frames which have succeeded to create an indelible impression in our minds by their sheer excellence. Yes, no words, no moving pictures, no dialogues – just a single frame, and it speaks volumes. Jai Ho Bollywood!

And what better way to start Freeze Frame with the Diva herself. Just embrace her beauty and bow down Mr. to her gracefulness, Parveen Babi.

Her gracefulness, Parveen Babi

This frame is taken from one of the genre-defining movies of the 80’s – Shaan. Now, to discuss Shaan, I guess, I’ll require far more than a single post just because of all the awesomeness that is packed into it. But I am here to speak of this one frame. What story does it tell us? What tale does it depict?

Well kids, this is what Wednesday Chitrahaar climaxed with. This is what made Rangolis rangeela (colourful). And this is what made the One Knight STAND in absolute attention and salute to Indian cinema’s DIANA ROSS. Now, c’mon don’t be so sensitive that I compared her to someone else. You know it within you, that Parveen Babi’s Diva look was very much influenced by the Disco revolution of the 80’s. Yes, all the Boney M  and Bee Gees, and the shiny Disco Balls and the glittering outfit. Of course the dance moves and the microphone is all Diana.

Another interesting fact is that, Shaan was supposedly influenced by the style of Bond movies, The Spy Who Loved Me(1977) to be precise. And of course, who doesn’t remember the extremely popular Bond 77 theme from that movie eh! And club in Saturday Night fever looks, and we have indeed got the look of  Pyar Karne Waale.

But I am deviating from the point now. Parveen Babi’s Diva status is all personified in this one single frame. She embodies the sexy and sultry Bond-woman (not girl) image as well as the sophistication and seduction of a graceful popstar of epic proportions. Not only is this one of the highest points in her illustrious film career ( the other one being of course – Namak Halal ), but also one, which millions of her fans remember her for. And although Panchamda and Asha ji were the soul behind Pyar Karne Waale, Parveen Babi is not just be the face of the song. Even today when we hear that song played at a late night show on an FM channel, or watch it whilst randomly surfing through the telly, we stop and we see and we listen.

Want to relive that moment again, hit the jump and watch the video I say.

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