Friday, 27 July 2012

Rabindrasangeet in Hindi Movies and Sachin Dev Burman

The appeal of Rabindranath Tagore is universal. Much above than a normal human being, Rabindranath was a culture. A poet, dramatist, composer, musician, actor and humanitarian- Tagore put a foundation of art and culture in Modern India, on which still many skyscrapers are built upon.
Any Bengali friend reading this article would be a bit unpleased at me perhaps, because to describe Tagore is to show light to the sun; and he would be very correct in that. But the only reason I gave a small introduction is to put forth an idea that as a culture, Tagore could never be ignored. So, when it comes to his songs, more than the notes and the words, it is the high degree of emotion which has fascinated people for such a long period. Such a long period, yes; even as early as 2005, when Shantanu Moitra took Tagore’s “Phule phule dhole dhole” to make “Phool phool bhanwara dole”, and the people loved it!
Yes, this is the topic of discussion today. Hindi film music is very rich. Likes and dislikes of people vary, so do the talents of various composers. But, it is a fact that Khemchand Prakash was also a genius and A R Rehman is also a genius-albeit with different strongholds.
I don’t know whether using the word “plagiarism” would do justice to the fact of adapting Tagore’s tunes in  Hindi movie songs by various music directors. It might not be necessary that the composer did it for intentional copying or he was short of creativity, but can also be due to the fact that in certain situations, Tagore became too great to be avoided. As I said, for many musicians, he was an institution, a culture. You can change your outer dimensions, but the culture lies somewhere deep within yourself.
And it is also interesting to note that, it was not only the predictable Bengali music directors who took influence from Tagore in Hindi movies, even non-East composers like Rajesh Roshan and Laxmikant Pyarelal also used Tagore tunes in their movies. Kanu Roy went to the extreme end of using a Tagore song-Sedin dujone dulechhinu bone, intact in Bengali, in a full length Hindi movie called “Anubhav”(1971). Laxmikant Pyarelal  used the tune of “Purano sei diner katha” multiple times as a background mouthorgan score in their hit movie “Dost”(1974). Rajesh Roshan made one of the most famous adaptations of Tagore songs in the form of “Chhukar mere man ko” in Yaarana (1981).

But the person who took the culture of Tagore songs to a very different level was Sachin Dev Burman. As I had earlier said, “Plagiarism” is an avoidable term when it comes to adapting Tagore by certain composers. S D Burman was definitely one of them. He took Tagore just the way Naushad had taken the Hindutani classical ragas. When nobody criticized Naushad for using bandishes of different Ragas just as they were, Sachin Dev Burman had been more than often criticized for taking, adapting and sometimes even bettering a Rabindranath Tagore composition. But, for him, Tagore music was a culture which was quietly staying in his heart, just like Classical music fostering inside the Ustaads. He was an “Ustaad” of the Gharana called “Rabindrasangeet”. There were others also, Pankaj Kumar Mullick and Hemanta Mukherjee are the two to be named amongst the greatest exponents of Tagore from Hindi film music fraternity, but they preferred to keep Tagore aside from their Hindi professional music work; whereas SD took the popularization of Tagore with the flow of his professional work.
Sometimes he was quite blunt; “Nain deewane ek nahi mane”(Suraiya, Afsar-1950) was a complete “Sedin dujone”. Sometimes he was like a delicate craftsman taking some initial notes and then changing the song entirely; “Jayein to jayein kaha” (Talat, Taxi driver-1954) and “Jalte hai jiske liye”(Talat, Sujata-1959) are delicate cuisines prepared by the Master chef combining the spices of both the worlds. And then, there were times, when you simply could not point your finger and say “Yes, this is copied from that”, but always left to feel that Tagore was there, the “cultural feel” could not be overlooked; “Aese to na dekho”(Rafi, Teen Deviyan-1965) and “Yeh tanhayee haye re haye”(Lata, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne-1963).
From a neutral perspective, he actually bettered “Jodi tare naai chini go” with “Tere mere Milan ki yeh raina”(Kishore-Lata, Abhimaan-1973), changing the stanzas altogether in Antara.
There were many more of Tagore, when it comes to SD; ultimately, just like the Folk music, the music of Tagore was also SD’s own. He wanted to spread the universality of Tagore amongst all the common people in India.
And it was just another facet of the Great musician of India.  


28 comments:

  1. Arghyaji, Your comments, “He wanted to spread the universality of Tagore amongst all the common people in India”, to which I beg to differ. As far as I am concerned, it is, “He wanted to spread the universality of MUSIC amongst all the common people in India”

    But, again, there is a big “B U T”.

    In MUSIC, there is nothing as 100% original. Not even Tagore! And mind you, during the common lifetime of all three, Tagore, Nazrul and Burman Dada (1932-1942), Tagore was not popular. Nazrul was. So was Burman Dada.

    Please minutely read the chapter, “His Music” from the recent book on SDB published from Bangladesh, and you will get all the answers.

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    Replies
    1. Mad. full mad.

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    2. "..during the common lifetime of all three, Tagore, Nazrul and Burman Dada (1932-1942), Tagore was not popular"

      Really?

      May I please know the basis of this claim?

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    3. A small correction Motiji. Common period was 1931-1941 and not 42, Tagore passed away in August, 1941.

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    4. True, Tagore passed away in 1941 but Nazrul became silent in 1942. So the SD Burman -Tagore and Nazrul- common period can be extended to 1942

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    5. Indeed. Moti Sahab. Tagore's songs were not popular during his lifetime. His songs were known as 'Robi babur gaan' meaning Robi babu's songs. It was strictly confined to the 'elites of Bengal. It had no mass appeal. Sachin Karta and Nazrul's songs were far more popular and none of them had any influence of Tagore in their songs.

      Tagore's songs became 'Rabindra Sangeet' after his death. Thanks to Pankaj Kumar Mullick who gave new dimensions to its prsentation and then Debabrata Biswas. The beauty of Tagore's songs lies in the poetry not the tunes.

      A.Ali


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    6. "Beauty of Tagore songs lies in the poetry not the tunes"- Politely disagree.

      "It had no mass appeal"- Again, requires authentication.

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    7. Please read the memoirs of Dilip Kumar Roy (son of DL Roy), the writings of Kumar Prasad Mukherjee, 'Bangla Sangiter Roop' by Sukumar Roy

      A Ali

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    8. I hope you are aware of the relationship between D L Roy and Tagore? Less said the better..:)...

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  2. I think R D Burman was the most original and most complete composer of Hindi Films. Firstly, unlike his father, he never copied from Tagore/ Nazrul so liberally and so without compunction. And whatever little copy he did from foreign music, he always bettered the original. There never was and never could be a better composer than Pancham. His father must be a very proud man that his son far bettered him .

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  3. Nice one Arghya and like it when you draw parallel with different songs in your post. There are many 'hidden' nuances of Karta's HFM songs that have Tagore in the antaras as well but so well morphed that one has to listen over and over to point them out.

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  4. Take it the other way round. Tagore and Karta tapped from the same sources when folk mattered.

    Aidit Rahman

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  5. The mukhda of both the songs is khambaj but the antaras are different.

    Listen to the original Tagore piece which is quite a pain. Thanks to SDB for his music format which the new generation of Tagore exponents followed unknowingly!

    Zaheer Ahmad

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  6. Just because DL Roy had problems with Tagore does not mean his son had that too. For your information, DK Roy loved Tagore's songs but we are talking about popularity which for a song of the genre in question results out of the art of singing, tuning and writing (lyrics).

    Tagore's lyrics in the last 20 years of his life were unique, probably the finest on earth. But sorry not the tune or the style of singing. Listen to a Tagore song recorded in thirties and the same one after Vishma Bharati was formed and again now, you will know the difference.

    Just to let you know that Sir Ashotosh Mukherjee also had problems with Tagore but on a different ground.

    Tagore was the greatest Bangalee on the cultural front but whatever he did is/was not 'Bible'

    Cheers!

    A Ali

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  7. Anonymous,
    I agree with you on Tagore and SDB. But when you say RDB copied little from foreign music, but father SDB copied liberally and without compunction, I beg to differ.
    If you are familiar with Hindi film music, please take examples of both and compare.
    Cheers.
    Moti Lalwani

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  8. Hemanta Mukherjee had at least one Tagore song as inspiration for his Hindi film work - 'Hey Madhobi Dwidha Kyano' transcreated as 'Aye Badalon' in the movie 'Chaand', sung by Lata on Meena Kumari.

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  9. (http://arghyatext.blogspot.in/2012/07/rabindrasangeet-in-hindi-movies-and.html )
    घर पे भंवरा आये गुनगुनाये
    मुझे वह किसका बात जाए सुनाये||घर पे||
    प्रकाश में किस गगन में,माधवी जगी है वन में
    आये वह फूलों के जगने की सन्देश लाये||घर पे||
    कैसे रहूँ घर पे, मन जो कैसा करे
    कैसे बीतते हैं दिन दिन गिनाये|
    क्या माया दे बुलाये,दिया सब काम भुलाये
    दिन जाए गानो के सुरों के जाल बुनाये||घर पे||

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  10. Great Rabindra Sangeet songs on the occassion of Rabindrajayanti. Please like our Rabindra sangeet and subscribe my channel
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33JWcyJ3i1E
    Thanks,
    Sonali

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  11. http://arghyatext.blogspot.in/2012/07/rabindrasangeet-in-hindi-movies-and.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. THE LINE AFTER THE FIRST ANTARA IS-सारादिन वही बात वह जाये सुनाये
    THE LINE AFTER THE SECOND ANTARA IS-मुझे वह किसका बात जाए सुनाये

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  13. SO THE FULL SONG IS-घर पे भंवरा आये गुनगुनाये
    मुझे वह किसका बात जाए सुनाये||घर पे||
    प्रकाश में किस गगन में,माधवी जगी है वन में
    आये वह फूलों के जगने की सन्देश लाये
    सारादिन वही बात वह जाये सुनाये||घर पे||
    कैसे रहूँ घर पे, मन जो कैसा करे
    कैसे बीतते हैं दिन दिन गिनाये|
    क्या माया दे बुलाये,दिया सब काम भुलाये
    दिन जाए गानो के सुरों के जाल बुनाये
    मुझे वह किसका बात जाए सुनाये||घर पे||
    http://arghyatext.blogspot.in/2012/07/rabindrasangeet-in-hindi-movies-and.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice informative post! I think all these examples are basically examples of inspiration and adaptation - these cannot be called products of plagiarism.

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  15. Nice informative post! I think all these examples are basically examples of inspiration and adaptation - these cannot be called products of plagiarism.

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  16. @AnnweshMukherjee-Yes it is correct,because it is the exact hindi translation of the popular song "ghorete bhromor elo gunguniye"

    ReplyDelete