Payal, or the anklet, has been a favourite theme in Indian classical music and many lovely compositions abound based on this theme. It has been used extensively in Hindi cinema, especially in compositions based on classical music, and this post focuses on the same.
Nataraja performing cosmic dance
“Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje“, “Cham Cham Baaje Payaliya“,“Pag Ghunghroo Band Meera Nachi“ are repeating themes,and even a casual listener of Hindi film music will be familiar with it.
Before I start presenting the songs from Hindi cinema, I would like to bring to focus one evergreen Bandish in Raga Puriya Dhanasree, which has been a faovurite with Hindustani musicians for ages. A good rendering can be found here. Begum Parveen Sultana is well past her prime, but there are glimpses of greatness.
1. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje – Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje(1955) -Vasant Desai
There are some important points about this song. A most beautiful Adana rendering brilliantly by the great Ustad Amir Khan. The picturization of this song is outstanding. Shantaram’s fertile artistic imagination,using beautiful Rangolis, has infused so much of life into this song. Every rangoli tells a story, and one should notice the sober colours and the artistic appreciation of the director.
The live mehfil recording of Amir Khan Saheb’s relaxed and brilliant analysis of Adana can be found here. Note the complex taans rendered with consummate ease and how effortlessly he traverses the three octaves.
2.Payaliya Bawari – Saaz Aur Awaaz(1966)- Naushad
A very different treatment of Raga Marwa (which is one of the ten thaats of Hindustani music), and beautifully rendered by Lata. A long forgotten gem, and superb music by Naushad. Lyrics by Khumar Barabankwi. Beautiful Tabla, Damroo usages in the beginning of Saira Bano’s dance. There are some characteristic Marwa pakads in this, though Marwa is typically not amenable to such speedy treatment.
3.Payalwali Dekhna– Ek Raaz(1963) – Chitragupta
The musical genius of Chitragupta comes to fore here, with an outstanding treatment of Raga MaruBehag. Sung by Kishore Kumar, this is quintessential MaruBehag, one of the best examples of the Raga. Lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri. A beautiful imposing statue of Saraswati and the peacock in the background.
4.Jhanana Jhan Baje Payaliya – Rani Rupmati(1957)–S.N.Tripathi
A melodious song composed in a very melodious raga Brindabani Sarang. This raga is full of Shringara, and used a lot in Hindi cinema. S.N.Tripathi had fundamentals in Hindustani music, and it is evident in this composition. There is a seamless glide to Raga Basant in the antara for a phrase or two. Lata and Rafi have teamed up very effectively to deliver the electrifying taans to perfection. Lyrics by Bharat Vyas.
5. Baaje Re Payal Baje – Hameer Hath (1964) – Shanmukh Babu
A lovely rendering by Manna Dey in pure classical music. A rare use of Jogkauns (sounds like – more knowledgeable readers can confirm). I discovered this song while researching the topic and wow, what a lovely composition!
6.Saaz Ho Tum – Saaz Aur Awaaz (1966) – Naushad
Clothed in beautiful Patdeep (the first two antaras), this is one of the few compositions in this raga. I am not sure if the picturization is terribly brilliant. It looked more like a comedy scene to me :), especially Joy Mukherjee’s antics. He is shown playing the Sarod, Tabla, Shehnai, mandolin,santoor, pakhwaj towards the end of the song.
7. Chanana Choom Payal Baje – Roopkumari(1956)- S.N.Tripathi
A splendid Asaveri, this song has all the elements of a great song, great classical music for classical dance. It has lovely swaras and a tarana rendered to perfection by Asha Bhonsle. At the beginning of the song, the unmistakable sounds of payal are clearly audible.
8. Jhankar Payal Ki – Nag Devta(1957) – S.N.Tripathi
This is based on Raga Bhimpalasi. Strange picturizations have happened in Hindi cinema, and just as I think that it couldn’t get worse, I am pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong yet again. This song shows the snakes playing the flute, shehnai, veena what not., Anjali Devi’s intense struggle to produce something close to dance. But, one cannot take away the efforts of the music director, or Asha’s rendering.
9.Jhanak Jhanak Tori Baje – Mere Huzoor (1968) – Shankar Jaikishen
The raga is Darbari. A ever so popular song, that I feel bored listening to it, and not much to be written.
10. Kaun Aaya Mere Man Ke – Dekh Kabira Roya(1957) – Madan Mohan
A most beautiful and aesthetic Rageshree, this is one of the evergreen compositions of Madan Mohan. Great lyrics by Rajinder Krishen.
11. Payal Mori Baje – Paisa Hi Paisa (1956) – Anil Biswas
This seems to be based on Sur Malhar, though it meanders into other territories as well. But a lovely song nevertheless in line with the theme of the post.
Few other songs are
Binti Karat – Ram Hanuman Yudh(1957) – Nirupa Roy performing BharatNatyam 😦 – S.N.Tripathi
Jhana Jhana ke – Aashiq(1962) – Shankar Jaikishen
Would love to see what your selections are as well.