Song: (saathi uthaa
baadbaa.n, manzil pe ho jaa ravaa.n)
teraa allaah beli, teraa allaah beli
ae haseen kaarvaan, ae javaan zindagi...
The Sailor (1952)
Singer: Mohammed Rafi, chorus
Lyrics: Shyam Hindi
*ing: Naseem, Ranjan, Nirupa Roy
I daresay anyone, howsoever faintly, recollects that I had started
Rafi series on ATMJH back sometime in April to write about a set of lovely but
almost forgotten Rafi songs that I had been fortunate to lay my hands on during
my not-so-recent-any-more India trip. To jog those failing memories, a fragment
from that earlier post of mine:
-------- Dated April 12, 2000 ---------
This is a song I have been rather besotted with over the last few days... a
frightfully old tune by Rafi, in his (as Ashok calls it) 'still-evolving' voice,
which I personally like the most among all of its various manifestations down
the years. There's a whole bunch of these archaic Rafi songs I was fortunate to
lay my hands on on my recent India trip, so I think I'll spend next few posts on
Anyway, here is another quaint Rafi melody plucked out of obscurity.
Chitragupta's earliest offerings, I think? A song that is, true to the movie's
Arabian Nights backdrop, laced with the unmistakable Persian/middle-eastern
flavor. Two of the most striking facets of this tune are the deft handling of
the solo/chorus coordination, and Rafi's striking alaapi/taans, with the
signature Persian tremor in his "aaa"s. The split-scale choral backdrop to
Rafi's reverberating rendition immediately triggers visions of long-robed
Bedouins and sinuous caravans of camels threading across the desert sands.
In all honesty, I'm personally not crazy enough about Chitragupta
to go past the
'competent' adjective, but this is one of the, to coin a phrase, desert-island
numbers by him. Lovely song. The parentheses, incidentally, enclose the short,
I'll continue on this 'rare Rafi' thread intermittently.