Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Rabindranath Tagore in Bollywood: 8 Hindi film songs based on Rabindrasangeet

While the Bengali film industry has benefited a lot from the works of Rabindranath Tagore, he has enriched Bollywood too.
It has been 76 years since he died, but you can still find his name on the credits of Bangla movies – sometimes for the story, sometimes for his lyrics and sometimes for his music. Rabindranath Tagore hardly left any aspect of human emotions untouched, which makes it a smooth task for anyone to find a befitting number for any situation.
While the Bengali film industry has, understandably, benefited a lot from the works of one of its greatest sons of the soil, Tagore has enriched Bollywood too. It was evidently difficult for the medium to resist the universal appeal of Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry.
Music director Sachin Deb Barman extensively used Rabindrasangeet in his songs, though he had been criticised by a section of people for not acknowledging it every time. Another music director in Mumbai who was influenced by Tagore was Rajesh Roshan. Besides, there were Hemant Kumar and Pankaj Mullick.
While some Hindi songs are complete Rabindrasangeet from start to finish, there are several others that are heavily influenced. Here is a list of eight popular Hindi film songs that are based on Tagore songs.

1. Nain deewane, ek nahi maane…

Film: Afsar (1950); Singer: Suraiya; Music: SD Burman

Sung by singer-actor Suraiya for 1950 film Afsar, the tune of the song is completely lifted from Tagore’s ‘Shedin dujone dulechhinu bone‘, a very popular Bangla romantic number. The song was picturised on Suraiya who would usually sing the songs in her films. She has sung this Raag Pilu-based composition in her own unique style.

2. Pawan chale zor…

Film: Zalzala (1952); Singer: KL Saigal; Music: Pankaj Mullick

The chorus song with Kundan Lal Saigal as the lead singer was inspired from Tagore’s ‘Khoro bayu boy bege‘ from the Tasher Desh collection. The Raag Yaman composition was beautifully used by Pankaj Mullick in the 1952 film Zalzala starring Dev Anand and Geeta Bali. Mullick, who was credited with popularising Rabindrasangeet among the masses, was said to be the first music director to use Tagore songs in films. The first film, however, was a Bengali one.

3. Man mera udta jaye badal ke sang…

Film: Maa Beta (1962); Singer: Lata Mangeshkar; Music: Hemant Kumar
Monomor megher sangi‘ is one of the most popular Tagore songs, with a very catchy tune apt to depict a happy mood. The tune was used by Hemant Kumar in 1962 film Maa Beta. The song is picturised on a young Nirupa Roy.

4. Tere mere milan ki ye raina…

Film: Abhimaan (1973); Singers: Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar; Music: SD Burman

This is unarguably the most famous example of Rabindrasangeet-inspired Hindi film songs. Picturised on Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri in their evergreen 1973 hit, Abhimaan, the song is based on Tagore’s ‘Jodi taare nai chini go se ki‘ The very melodious number set in seven-beat Rupak taal has been cleverly used by Burman, who only used the tune of the mukhda and not the stanzas. The rest of the song is original SD Burman tune, which only adds to the beauty of the number.

5. Chhukar mere man ko…

Film: Yaarana (1981); Singer: Kishore Kumar; Music: Rajesh Roshan

Another of the most famous Tagore-inspired songs from Hindi films, the first two lines of the song are a direct lift from ‘Tomaar holo shuru aamar holo shaaraa‘. Music director Rajesh Roshan had kept the rest original. Sung by evergreen Kishore Kumar and filmed on Amitabh Bachchan in 1981 flick Yaarana, the song went on to become of the most hit numbers of all times.

6. Koi jaise mere dil ka dar khatkaye…

Film: Yugpurush (1998); Singer: Asha Bhosale; Music: Rajesh Roshan

Probably the last time Rabindrasangeet was used in a Hindi film in the last millennium, this is almost a copy-paste job by Rajesh Roshan for 1998 film Yugpurush starring Nana Patekar and Manisha Koirala. Sung by Asha Bhosale and picturised on Ashwini Bhave, the original Tagore song was ‘Tumi kemon kore gaan koro a guni‘.

7. Bandhan khula, panchhi ura…

Film: Yugpurush (1998); Singer: Preeti Uttam; Music: Rajesh Roshan

Rajesh Roshan used not one but two Tagore songs in Yugpurush. ‘Bandhan khula‘ is a Hindi version of ‘Paagla hawa badol dine‘ from start to finish, though the meanings differ.

8. Piyu bole, piya bole…

Film: Parineeta (2005); Singer: Shreya Ghoshal and Sonu Nigam; Music: Shantanu Moitra

For this song from Vidya Balan and Saif Ali Khan-starrer Parineeta (2005), music director Shantanu Moitra draws inspiration from Tagore’s very popular ‘Phoole phoole dhole dhole‘. The original song is from the poet’s Kaalmrigoya collection.
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