There is a usual tendency to talk at length about the literary contributions of renowned lyricists to Hindi cinema, be it Urdu or chaste Hindi, or music directors who, through their immense talent, produced great classical pieces. However, not much is spoken of the production units who created these situations in their movies, hence providing a rich ground for the birth of gems which live on after half a decade of their creation.
This post is dedicated to one of the earliest production units of India, AVM, who produced superb movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu.
This post will attempt to highlight some of the best classical music based compositions under the AVM banner. Inclusion of Indian classical music is in a movie is a significant contribution towards the preservation of rich heritage of Indian music. The author would like the reader to appreciate that each of the songs has a different music director, contrary to popular belief that music directors like Chitragupta were their usual picks for music.
Baat Chalat – Ladki(1953)
Music : R Sudarshanam & Dhaniram
We start proceedings with a lovely traditional Thumri in Bhairavi, picturized on a very merry Anjali Devi This verion of the thumri, rendered by Geeta Dutt, portrays her strength in classical music. Lyrics are credited to Rajinder Krishen. This Thumri also found its way in Rani Rupmati, rendered by Krishnarao Chonkar and Mohammed Rafi.
Rasik Balma – Chori Chori (1956)
Music : Shankar Jaikishen
Another big hit in Shudh Kalyan. This song is not particularly a favourite, but a mega hit nevertheless. There must have been something good in the song that must have made it so popular. Nargis in pain, Lata’s voice in pain, Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics full of pain. Resaonably good interpretation of the raga.
Brindaban Ka Krishna – Miss Mary (1957)
Music : Hemant Kumar
A very light hearted song in Durga, featuring Jamuna, Gemini Ganesan and Meena Kumari. The song has such apt lyrics “Man Hi Man Kyun Jale Radhika“, though this is the Hindi version of the original song in Tamil, which has exactly the same meaning. Savitri is at ease, but Meena is unfortunately seen struggling. A lot of credit needs to go to Rajinder Krishen for preserving the spirit of the original song.
The movie had another lovely piece in Khamaj.
Kare Kare Badra – Bhabhi (1957)
Music : Chitragupta
Main Apne Aap Se – Bindiya (1960)
Music : Iqbal Qureshi
This is a personal favourite, a melodious composition in Tilang by the ever-so-talented Iqbal Qureshi. Lyrics by Rajinder Krishen are superb and very meaningful. Balraj Sahni’s acting is great, and so is the picturization.
Cham Cham Nachat Bahar– Chaya (1960)
Music : Salil Chaudhary
Based on Basant Bahar, this song is picturized on a very pretty Asha Parekh. One can readily appreciate that she has learnt classical dancing. Salil da’s music is excellent. Lyrics by Rajinder Krishen.
Chanda Ja Chanda Ja Re – Man Mauji (1962)
Music : Madan Mohan
This song has all the ingredients of a great song. Rajinder Krishen and Madan Mohan’s partnership, picturized on a beautiful Sadhana. Sadhana looks amazing here! Notice the copious close ups and her fine emoting.
I have reached the end of this journey of the celebration of classical music under the AVM banner. The readers may have noticed that almost had lyrics by Rajinder Krishen. That is because Rajinder Krishen knew Tamil very well, and was a natural choice for the production unit for any re-makes from Hindi. Rajinder Krishen wrote dialogues and screenplay for several of the movies mentioned above.