The trigger. I got this message forwarded to me in WhatsApp by a friend “Sonu Nigam singing Mohd. Rafi’s famous song “Dil ke jharoke mein” in a concert in London… All instruments are played by foreigners except the singing by Mr Sonu Nigam ! The song is from movie “Brahmachari” released in 1968 composed by the great Shankar Jaikishan! A marvellous song enjoyed even today (after 50 years!) in its full spirit and melody by the mass!”
Sonu Nigam is a contemporary singer in our Hindi films and other programmes. This was obviously aimed at the Indian diaspora in London.
The Original clip from the film showing the song as originally sung by Mohd. Rafi with Shammi Kapoor lipsynching the song.
The memory. The film Brahmachari was released in 1968 just before our wedding. After our marriage, Urmeela and I had set up home in Delhi in December of 1968, during the midst of the wedding season. In North India, weddings are preceded by the groom arriving on horseback escorted by his family and a brass band. This is called a barat. Since this song was very popular and all about a man declaring his love for a girl, this was the choice song for the brassbands throughout the season. Not a day passed without our being exposed to this noisy band music coming up from the streets till quite late in the nights.
Unfortunately, I am unable to locate a brass band playing the tune but to give you an idea of such music here is a clip showing a barat but, with a different tune.
I just could not resist the temptation to suggest this topic for the weekly LBC post, as, it is a Friday which just coincidentally happens to be April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day as some would have it.
Lest the cartoon mislead you, in India, apart from the April Fools day, which is a hangover from our colonial past, we have other festivals where pranks are played, the most popular one being Holi. In fact it was played just last week over here.
I am sure that all my readers would have participated in playing pranks on this day or having been victims of pranks. The one prank that we used to play in school on this day is indelible in my mind for it having caused a lot of problems for my mother who had to repair the damage done. We used to carve the letters AF on sliced raw potatoes, as a kind of imitation rubber stamp and smear fountain pen ink; yes, those days before ballpoint pens, on it to tap friends with that so that the shirts would carry AF stamp on them. Naturally, I would also carry a few such stamps and to get rid of the stamps was quite a chore for my mother.
Of late, on this day, I have been quite wary of prank calls and visits and so, I have become a totally useless fellow for pranks. Since I do not have grand children and others to urge me to participate, it is by default that the first of April simply passes by like any other day. In my time, even as an adult, I have been both perpetrator and victim but it has been many years since I participated as age has finally caught up with me.
To sign off, let me share a piece of nostalgia from the sixties of the last century, two very popular Bollywood stars, Shammi Kapoor and Saira Banu in a typical Hindi film song and dance routine from a film aptly titled April Fool. Shackman should know that I am quite capable of producing something like this too!