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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Big B - A Great Singer

Dear Amitji,

“It is a pretty intimidating atmosphere inside one of these ‘rooms’ padded from the outside world, crowded with gadgetry that make no absolute sense at all, and surrounded by several people that do ; all looking at the subject of their interest - the probable singer, and increasingly developing condescending looks within them like :
“ ab ye gaana gaane aaye hain .. !!!??” (DAY - 3070)

Sir, the quote from your above post takes me to another quote with the remarks that you are blessed with all the three:

“Some are blessed with musical ability, others with good looks. Myself, I was blessed with modesty.” -  Roger Moore

Saying ‘salam’ to your modesty, from the many hit songs you have sung  in your movies so far and still continuing to sing, I would like to look at five of the greatest songs that have become cult classics:

Mere Paas Aao, Mr Natwarlal – 1979
Neela Aasman, Silsila – 1981
Rang Barse, Silsila – 1981
Mere Angne Mein, Laawaris – 1981
Hori Khele Raghuveera, Baghban - 2003

As for the intimidating atmosphere at the studio, even the melody queen Lata Mangeshkar could not escape it when leading composer Ghulam Haider took her to his producer as his new discovery and was rejected as her ‘thin voice strained’. However,  Ghulam Haider reposed faith in Lata and gave her break in Majboor that brought her some attention. In fact, almost all the greatest singers had to wait for their breakthrough song before they really became famous:

K. L. Saigal: "Balam Aan Baso Mere Man Main" (Devdas - 1935)
Surendra: "Birha Ki Aag Lagi More Man Mein"(Deccan Queen - 1935)
Noorjehan: "Tu Kaun Si Badli Mein Mere Chand Hai Aaja" (Khandaan – 1942)
Suraiya: "O Door Janewale" (Pyar Ki Jeet - 1942)
Khursheed: "Mohabbat Mein Sara Jahan Jal Raha Hai"(Shahenshah Babar - 1944))
Shamshad Begum: “Naina Bhar Aaye Neer” (Humayun - 1944)
Amirbai Karnataki: “Ab Tere Siva Kaun Mera” (Kismet)
Geeta Dutt: “Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya” (Do Bhai - 1945)
Zohrabai: “Ankhiya Mila Ke Jiya Bharma Ke” (Rattan)
Raj Kumari: "Ghabra Ke Jou Hum Sar Ko Takraye” (Mahal)
Mubarak Begum: “Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein Yun Hamari Yaad Aayegi” (Hamari Yaad Aayegi)
Lata Mangeshkar: “Aayega Aayega Aayega Aanewala” (Mahal - 1949)
Asha Bhosle: “Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri (Naya Daur - 1957)
Manna Dey: “Kaun Aaya Mere Manke Dware” (Dekh Kabira Roya - 1957)
Talat Mahmood: “Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah Le Chal” (Arzoo - 1950)
Hemant Kumar: “Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni Phir Kahan” (Jaal)
Mukesh: “Dil Jalta Hai To Jalne De” (Pehli Nazar - 1945)
Mohammed Rafi: “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” (Dulari - 1949)
Kishore Kumar: “Roop Tera Mastana” (Aradhana - 1970)
Bhupinder:  “Beeti Na Bitai Raina (Parichay)
C. H. Atma “Roun Mein Sagar Ke Kinare” (Nagina)
Bappi Lahiri:  "Yaar Bina Chain Kahan Re" (Saaheb)
Jagjit Singh: "Hothon Se Chhoo Lo Tum" (Prem Geet)

The new millennium playback singers are no less praiseworthy for their continuing contribution to the treasure of the most beautiful Bollywood melodies. It is because of them that the era of musicals is here again: Kumar Shanu, Udit Narayan, Shaan, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder, Sunidhi Chowhan, Alka Yagnik, Shreya Ghoshal, Alisha Chenoy and many more amazing discoveries by the day, who continue to give Midas touch to movies with their haunting melodies.

Sir, on a personal note, your post brought back memories of my school days in Lahore. On Saturdays, instead of the regular classes, we used to have ‘Assembly’ of students and teachers in which variety program of entertainment was presented on the stage for the first half of school hours and thereafter the school was declared closed. The entire program for the Assembly each week was the responsibility of one class by rotation. When for the first time turn of our class came, I was asked by my class teacher to sing a song as one of the variety items. There was no way I could show inability to perform as  a classmate had told him earlier that I had sung at his birthday party. The stage that Saturday looked so intimidating that I kept wishing it would rain so heavily that the Assembly was cancelled so that I did not have to sing before the entire school. But I should have known better that all wishes are screened before  God sees them and such a wish had no chance of being granted because it would never have been seen by Him. So, I was called on the stage and I sang the only song I could sing - “Na jaane kidhar aaj meri nav chali re, chali re chali re chali re, koyee kahe idhar chali koyee kahe udhar chali, maine kaha piya ke gaon chali re…”, - Ashok Kumar popular number then. The big applaud in appreciation was like being blessed by God as never before.    

“Modesty: the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it.” -  Oliver Herford

With regards and best wishes

Tilak Rishi


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