Kishore Vs Kishore
His The Train, Mela and Caravan were just his last pending triumphs with Rafi as the only or main voice. With Kishore Kumar himself on the crest of a wave, RD had no qualms or fears about his favourite voice. He could afford to give the sort of music which he really relished, music which […]
His The Train, Mela and Caravan were just his last pending triumphs with Rafi as the only or main voice. With Kishore Kumar himself on the crest of a wave, RD had no qualms or fears about his favourite voice. He could afford to give the sort of music which he really relished, music which was to earn him the tag of being the most innovative Indian film composer of all time.
That Rajesh Khanna was himself like a locomotive in full steam helped, of course. But RD thrust Kishore even on Rafi-centric stars like Dharmendra (Do Chor), Sanjeev Kumar (Seeta Aur Geeta, Anamika), Shashi Kapoor (Aa Gale Lag Jaa), Jeetendra (Caravan, Parichay, Jaise Ko Taisa) as well as on newcomers like Randhir Kapoor, Navin Nischol, Vijay Arora, Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Mehra and Rakesh Roshan.
In short, Kishore did not hold merely the centerstage in Pancham’s sur – he held the entire stage! And RD’s songs weren’t quite like anything heard before in our films. Neither were they wholesale Western adaptations, nor were they in the traditional film music mould. They were an exotic amalgam of Indian and Western, of traditional core and modern packaging. In 1971-2, such was the Kishore wave that even the mediocre Hum to hai rahi dil ke (Caravan) which is now almost forgotten was more popular than the three excellent Rafi duets which endure to this day, but RD and Kishore were something khaas. Yeh shaam mastani, Pyar diwana hota hai and Yeh jo muhabbat hai (Kati Patang), Raat kali ek khwab mein ayee (Buddha Mil Gaya), Chanda o chanda (Lakhon Mein Ek), Koi maane ya na maane (Adhikar) and Hone wali hai Gangaram ki sagaai (Pyar Ki Kahani) were just the exciting beginning of the superb melodies and riveting rhythms that they created together.
Caught in the Kishore wave, LP, whose previous but notable association with the singer was limited to Kishore Kumar’s acting vehicles like Mr X In Bombay, Shriman Funtoosh, Pyar Kiye Jaa and Hum Sab Ustad Hain, had begun to employ Kishore Kumar sporadically. Laxmikant was a composer who thoroughly needed to absorb an artiste’s style and USP before employing him; whenever he could not he just ignored the singer, whether it was Talat Mehmood, Abhijeet, Poornima or Kumar Sanu.
So, after due study, the versatile and prolific tunesmith had yielded two songs for Jagdeep (Khilona and Darpan), three for Mehmood as a comic (in Jawab and Humjoli) and others in Bachpan and Satyakam.
But there were only two memorable songs – Sui jaa taara for Mehmood as a hero in Mastana and Sa re ga ma pa in Abhinetri . It was in 1971 that LP realised that their good friend and contemporary RD and Kishore Kumar, individually and especially together, could not be wished away. Rafi, so to speak, was firmly entrenched in their system, but it was at this point of time that LP for the first time unsheathed that daunting weapon – their remarkable chameleon-like power to change with the times – which enabled them to surmount every challenge for two more decades.
With Kalyanji Anandji never obsessed with one-upmanship, SJ on the decline, every other giant passe and Dada Burman choosy, the stage was thus set for the ruling champions – LP – and the surprise challenger Pancham to have a battle royal for the for the baton.