Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anand Bakshi - Bollywood’s First Superstar Lyricist - Part II

In our last issue you read how after a intense struggle Anand Bakshi won his first film assignment to pen songs in Bhagwan dada’s move BHALA AADMI bit the movie failed and Bakshi was left in lurch to struggle again. His wife and family began pressurizing him to leave Mumbai and settle for a job in home town Rawalpindi but Bakshi had made up his mind to make it in Bollywood.

He continued his struggle. Actor Sunil Dutt, who had helped Anand Bakshi in getting BHALA AADMI, advised him to meet Raj Kapoor. On his suggestion he went to RK Studio but each time he went he had to wait long hours and leave in disappointment. Once Hiren Khera, who was a close friend of Raj Kapoor asked him, “Bakshi sahaab, aap roz office mein aate hain. Lekin yahana aap ka kaam nahin hoga. (Bakshi sahaab, I see you daily coming to office. However you would not succeed in getting a job here.) 

Listen to Anand Bakshi Songs on Raaga.com

Hiren Khera was right because Raj Kapoor had a dedicated music team of Shanker Jaikishen and his regular lyricists Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. Hence he asked Bakshi to try his luck with other film makers and promised that when he would make film he would give him a chance. Fortunately after few months Hiren Khera launched his own movie MEHNDI LAGI MERE HAATH and as promised he invited Bakshi to pen the songs. The movie had music by Kalyanji Anandji. Fortunately the movie’s music was a hit and this encouraged Hiren Khera to sign Bakshi again in his next movie JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE, once again with the music team of Kalyanji Anandji

JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE was a romantic love story set in Kashmir and music was the backbone of the movie. Anand Bakshi knew its importance hence he gave his best shot. The result all the songs were super hit. Remember Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana...; Ek Tha Gul Aur Ek Thi Bulbul..; Ye Samaa Samaa Hai Pyar Ka... and na na karte pyar tumhi se kar baithe...

Beside excellent music JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE was a runaway hit celebrating Golden Jubilee all over India. The success of the movie made Anand Bakshi a most sought after lyric writer. After the new found success Anand Bakshi once in an interview said, “Bollywood mein Bhed Chaal chalti hai (In Bollywood there is a rat race).”

Lambasting the hypocrisy of Bollywood he said, “After JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE became hit I was flooded with offers. The producers who kicked me out of their offices began requesting me to pen their lyrics. Even Raj Kapoor, in whose office I was made to sit for hours during my struggle days, acknowledged my talent and offered me to pen lyrics for his movie BOBBY!” 

Further in the 70’s during the Rajesh Khanna era the Anand Bakshi and Rajesh Khanna Jodi became hit and along with Rajesh Khanna, Anand Bakshi became the superstar lyricist and was paid highest in the industry.

Mukesh - The Unparalleled Monarch Of Sad Songs


(Oh,departed soul, if possible come back…) 

Mukesh, the unparalleled Monarch of sad songs rendered this tragic number some half a decade back. Today, paradoxically, it serves well as the cry from millions of his fans spread all over the globe. Mukesh’s greatness can be judged from the fact that while his contemporaries recorded a whopping 15,000 to 20,000 songs, Mukesh in contrast recorded an infinitesimal number of just 1000 (one thousand ) songs in a career spanning over three decades and more! Yet it’s the quality of his song that his Pygmy size tally, towers large over the gigantic quantities of others!!! 


Listen to Mukesh Songs on Raaga.com

July 22 is the birth anniversary of the legendary singer Mukesh, Raaga.Com, pays him homage and remembers the great. 

Born on 22nd July, 1923, as Mukeshchand Mathur, he made his entry into Mumbai from his native New Delhi in the early 40’s, on the soul strength of his uncle, Motilal, who was a big star in Bollywood. 

The handsome looks of the youngster and the heavy weight influence of Motilal did help Mukesh in procuring movies as an actor cum singer in Nirdosh (1941) and Dukh Sukh(1942). But the disastrous failure of both the movies compelled Mukesh to concentrate on his singing, which truly was his forte. 

He underwent intense training under Pandit Jagannath Prasad and imbibed the art of an exquisite blend of torment and anguish in his voice that later became his hallmark leading him to his crowning as the King of Tragedy Songs in tinsel town. Mukesh 

Who can forget his super hit songs ‘Dil jalta hai…’ (PEHLI NAZAR) ‘Saranga teri yaad mein…’ (SARANGA), ‘Aansoon bhari hain yeh jeevan…’ (PARVARISH), ‘Chandi ki deewar na todi…’ (VISHWAAS) ‘Jaane kahaan gaye woh din…’ (Mera Naam Joker) The list is endless… 

Though the song Dil jalta hai… set the ball rolling for Mukesh few are aware, that the singer was initially reluctant to sing the same song!!! 







NOTE: In the next issue read how Anil Biswas forced Mukesh to sing Dil jalta hai

Monday, July 21, 2014

NARRATIVE ‘NAATAI’ Raagam

This is one raagam that veterans prefer singing even at the start of their concert/ rather to begin a concert with. Its catchy placement of swarams, the usually fast-paced ‘Naatai’ as we all know is every music lover’s favourite! Here are a set of delightful Naatai’s that appear in various films!


Listen to Naatai Raagam Songs on Raaga.com

If you are a Rajini fan, you would have definitely watched this movie, but it is a possibility that you might have not imagined that this song would fit in the raaga structure of Naatai. Well yes ‘Thangamagan ingu’ from the movie ‘Badshah’ is a classic example for a Naatai, beautifully composed. Once you get the trace of the raagam, it is not really difficult, even a layman can identify the ragam’s essence. One simple example would be ‘Iyengar veetu azhage’ from the movie Anniyan, a beautiful duet sung by Hariharan and Harini.

A classic in Naatai would be ‘Narumugaye Narumugaye’ from the movie Iruvar – one of Rahman’s classics of course. With Unnikrishnan and Bombay Jaishri in the lead vocals, the Raagam just flows out in every swaram rendered. A popular number amongst the youngsters is ‘Chennai senthamil marandhen unnale’ from M.Kumaran son of Mahalakshmi. If you are a chennaiite, you would definitely would have heard the song and ofcourse as a music lover , we would all know that this is a perfect fit in the ‘Naatai’ raagam structure.

The ragam’s natural scope for extending in various levels is an advantage. Moreover the flowy nature and the swaram’s arranged in a beautiful manner gives a large scope for the romance genre. Infact Illayaraja’s ‘Pani vizhum Malar vanam’ from ‘ninaivellam Nithya’ is also a brilliant one in Naatai.






BIRTHDAY TIME - S.P. SAILAJA

Some people are so gifted with a brilliant voice. Some people are not only themselves gifted but also come from a family where there is another person who is also equally good at what he/she is doing but is also a wonderful guide in terms of expertise in that field. Not able to relate to what we are saying? Well we are talking about S.P.Sailaja, a lady with a wonderful voice who takes no less a credit, thanks to her brother S.P.Balasubramiam , a prodigy who ofcourse also is one of her mentors.

Listen to SP. Shailaja Songs on Raaga.com

Sailaja entered the industry pretty early and has been the magical voice behind many a duets.Her efforts for the movie Sivaranjani way back in 1978 was very well recognized. It is also not a surprise that Sailaja is also one of the most sought after dubbing artists in the industry.Infact, she has lent her voice for leading ladies like Sridevi, Tabu and the likes.

Sailaja, an extremely talented woman did not compensate on her looks and infact even gave her then competitors a run for their status in the acting part of it. Yes, she has also in few movies, thanks to her graceful carrying herself and the naturally honed acting skills.Saagara Sangamam, her movie is worth mentioning for her acting skills.

Well the repository of her oozing out talent does not stop there. She is also a well known dancer and has even done many stage shows. With approximately 5000 songs to her credit, it is time to celebrate this wonderful lady. But why especially today? It is S.P.Sailaja’s birthday today!! 

Raaga.com sincerely wishes this talent house a very happy birthday and also hopes for more number of songs to be released this year!

Anand Bakshi - Bollywood’s First Superstar Lyricist - Part I

Aadmi musaafir hai, aataa hai, jaataa hai

Aate jaate raste me, yaade chhod jaataa haiman….


Apt words because truly Man is a traveller and he keeps on travelling, in his travails he leaves behind lots of memories. Today Anand Bakshi, who penned the above lyric, may be no more but his memory is still fresh like a blossoming flower.

Listen to Anand Bakshi Songs on Raaga.com

Anand Bakshi gave over 650 films and around 3500 songs. Remember some of the most unforgettable lyrics like Pardesiyon se na aakhiyaan milna, Chinagaari Koi Bhadke...; Mere Sapanon Ki Rani Kab Aayegi Tu ..; Yeh Sham Mastani ..., Dum Maro Dum... Tujhe dekha toh ye jaana sanam…etc.

In fact Anand Bakshi was such a popular lyricist that he was highest paid poet and was regarded as Bollywood first superstar lyricist.

Anand Bakshi was born, in Rawalpindi on July-21, 1930. Since childhood he had intense passion for cinema. His favorite actor was John Cawas and Fearless Nadia. He loved their stunt action moves and used to dream of becoming an actor in Bollywood. His passion for movies resulted in his poor studies as he would abandon school and did acting in local Ram Leelas and Nautankis in his village dramas. This affected his studies hence he failed twice in class VIII and thus was removed from school. His father gave him a job in army. He worked for few years but young Bakshi run away to Mumbai to try his luck in movies.

Listen to Anand Bakshi Songs on Raaga.com

In interview Anand Bakshi said, “When I landed in Mumbai I had no godfather nor I had a place to live. I slept many times on the railway platform. Early in the morning I used to start wandering in Mumbai studios. Initially I tried to be an actor but after several rejections I realized acting was not my cup of tea. However I had another passion to pen poems, which film folks used to encourage and asked me to try luck as a film lyricist.”

He continued, “I used to keep a dairy in which I had written many songs. One day a friend of mine happened to read my dairy. He was impressed by my lyrics and recommended my name to eminent actor Bhagawan, who was making a movie BHALA AADMI. It was a small budget movie, Bhagawan dada loved my songs and offered me break and gave me Rs 150.” He added, “When got my first remuneration I had tears in my eyes and smile on my lips thinking I had made a dint in Bollywood.”

But what seemed to be an opening in Bollywood soon dwindled as the movie was a flop and Bakshiji had to start his struggle afresh

1. Aadmi Musafir Hai Happy

2. Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana Happy


3. Chinagaari Koi Bhadke

4. Mere Sapnon Ki Rani

5. Yeh Shaam Mastani

6. Dum Maro Dum


NOTE: In the next issue read how Anand Bakshi landed his first major hit film JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE

Sivaji Ganesan The Thespian Of South Cinema

Dilip Kumar, Indian cinema’s greatest actor of all time is revered as Thespian. Do you know the other Indian actor who has the prestigious of being referred as Thespian? 

Well he is none other but Sivaji Ganesan, the iconic actor of Tamil cinema also referred to as ‘The Marlon Brando of Indian Cinema. Winner of President's Award for more than 12 times and Indian government’s highest civilian award Padma Bhushan and film industry’s most revered Dada Saheb Palke Award, Sivaji Ganesan’s contribution to Indian cinema is colossal. 

Listen to Sivaji Ganesan Songs on Raaga.com

July 21 marks the death anniversary of the legendary actor. Raaga.Com pays him a humble homage and reveals how Shivaji Ganeshan, who became a star with his debut Tamil movie PARASAKTHI, was mid way through the film was about to be thrown out of the movie! 

Villupuram Chinnaiya Ganeshamurthy better recognized as Sivaji Ganesan is perhaps Indian cinema’s only actor who with his debut movie PARASAKTHI became such a huge star that he never looked back. However readers would be stunned to know that after few days of shooting A.V. Meiyappan and the film's directors Krishnan and Panju were dissatisfied with Ganesan's performance and dialogue delivery. For some days they stopped shooting and began hunting for a replacement. In fact A.V. Meiyappan even suggested actor K. R. Ramasami in place of the Shivaji Ganeshan. However P. A. Perumal, the was confident about the ability of Ganeshan and he put his foot down declining any replacement. The result P. A. Perumal’s decision hit the bull’s eye as the movie was a grand success and Shivaji Ganeshan became a star overnight. 

However call it the benevolence of Shivaji Ganesh, he never forgot P. A. Perumal and regarded him as his God on earth.

In an illustrious career he did an amazing verity that every few actors are fortune. From king, cult figures, historical characters, rebel, playboy, labour leader, mythological figures, religious personalities, selfish man, unselfish head of the family to anti hero... you name it and he has played that role to perfection! 

Emperor of a charismatic screen presence and matchless baritone Sivaji Ganesan starred in some of the milestone movies like MUTHAL MARIYATHAI, GNANA OLI;GAURAVAM; THEVAR MAGAN; VEERAPANDIYA KATTABOMMAN; NAVARATHIRI etc.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

WELCOME AADI

Time to jointly welcome the month of Aadi! Raaga.com gives you a heads up on the ‘festivity’ attached to the month. 

Understanding the link of the spiritual and religious connection in the month of Aadi, many business communities , especially in the South, found business facing loss for that month! This was how it led to the concept of ‘Aadi’ Sale, thus facilitating more business transactions. This has now grown to unimaginable proportions where everything is offered at a big discount or some free add-ons to make it more appealing to the consumer.

Listen to Aadi Amman Thiruvizha Songs on Raaga.com

The month of Aadi also reminds us of the “Aadi Perukku”, one of the most important days for the agriculturists and farmers. In the Southern region, this marks the beginning of the cultivation season, specifically in the Cauvery delta region. Another reason that marks the importance of this day is that it is the beginning of the rainy season in the Tamil calendar and farmers pray that all rivers flow full and their business flourishes. Farmers too make a lump some during this period as most of the rice and other grains are sold in bulk, which had been stocked up in the warehouses of the previous year are given away at lower prices.

Technology advancement too has adopted the concept of Aadi discounts! Well every ‘Online shopping’ portal charms its set of audience with an array of Aadi. Certain big Store owners with a presence in most of the Southern cities have captured the minds of young tech-savvy customers who do not prefer travelling long distances, but prefers to shop from the comforts of his home or air-conditioned office. Moreover with portals offering services like ‘free home delivery’ and additional discounts, the young group is also on a shopping spree – with just a click!

So what are you waiting for? The markets are calling out to you, just so you avail the best for this year! Make the most of this Auspicious Aadi!