chali re chali re meri naav chali re
na jaane kidhar aaj meri naav chali re
koi kahe yahaan chali koi kahe wahaan chali
manne kahaa piya ke gaanv chali re...
Singer: Ashok Kumar
Music: Saraswati Devi
Lyrics: Kavi Pradeep
*ing: Ashok Kumar, Leela Chitnis
My first memory of this delightful, prehistoric song is from
the 'Mortal Men, Immortal Melodies' function held in Bombay in 1986.
Ashok Kumar, all of 75 years old then, gave a spirited and very
enjoyable rendition of this classic on stage, with compere Shabana Azmi
providing a widely grinning receiving end. A very memorable experience;
this is one of the three things I remember from that function (the
other two being Talat singing "ae dil mujhe aesi jagah le chal" and
Noor Jehan, specially invited from Lahore, reminiscing over
"jawaan hai mohabbat haseen hai zamaana").
Singer Arun Kumar's voice suited Ashok Kumar rather well; a fact
was the source of a long-set misconception for me, that the Kismet
song "dheere dheere aa re baadal" was actually sung by Ashok Kumar
himself. I had heard today's song from Jhoola quite a few times, and
the similarity in the two voices happily feeded the delusion. Both
voices carry an unmistakably warm, almost cosy temper, very ideally
suited for soft songs like this.
Today's selection has been a huge personal favorite for as long
can remember (which would be since I was about seven, when my
grandmother used to hum it). A gentle necklace of simple, innocent
words lovingly strung together with equally simple, sweet notes:
man ke meet mere mil jaa jaldii
duniya ke saagar mein naav meri chal dii
bilkul akeli akeli chali re
chali re chali re meri naav chali re...
summing up with the endearingly reflective
unchi neechi lehron pe naav meri dole
man mein preet meri piyu piyu bole
mere man mujhko bataa, meri manzil ka pataa
bol mere saajan ki kaun gali re
chali re chali re ...