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Music Review: In Memory Of Shammi Kapoor

Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao
08/18/2011

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

Blast From The Past – these are a few of my favourite…. Shammi Kapoor songs….

Shamsher Raj Kapoor, second son of actor Prithviraj Kapoor and brother to Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, made his debut in Hindi films in 1953 with Jeevan Jyothi.  He later went on to star in some very popular and musically rich films like Junglee, Tumse acha kaun hai, Professor, Evening in Paris, Teesri Manzil, Kashmir Ki Kali, Bramachari, Prince , to name a few.  Known as the YAHOO hero, he was the original lover boy cum buffoon cum playboy all rolled in one – he would jive and gyrate and tenderly waltz with his heroines and was one of the most beloved and popular heroes of his time.  Many of his musical hits were in association with O.P.Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishen – though one of his biggest hits was with R.D. Burman – he went on to use RDB for his own directorial venture Manoranjan which also had some great music. 

Shammi Kapoor died on August 14 2011 from renal failure – to the end he was popular with his co-stars, his juniors, his directors and fans – he was an affable and cheerful and very down to earth and optimistic human being and did not let his kidney failure and thrice a week dialysis get him down – brave to the very end! His memory will linger on in our minds and hearts through his films and the songs that they gave us.  In my tribute to Shammi Kapoor, I have picked 10 of my all time favourite songs from his films– they are a mix of the romantic, slow, peppy and zesty numbers that still have the power to invade our senses and take us to another plane of enjoyment and euphoria!!  I have selected each song from a different film –it certainly was a difficult task especially with films like Kashmir ki kali, junglee, evening in Paris and Professor and Brahmchari which had more than one favourite for me!

Ehsan tera - Oh, what a touching and haunting song! –   Shammi croons (in Rafi’s melodious voice) and pleads and soothes in this song – he is both expressive and emotive in this song’s picturisation. This Junglee song will always be at the top of my Shammi list of favourites (Shankar Jaikishen and Hasrat combination). Mere yaar shabba khair – chahe koyi mujhe jungle were amongst the other hit songs of this movie.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBBKIPsA55k

Diwana hua badal – How can a song be so appealing each time however many times it is played or performed…..–lilting Asha with her one anthara is just the perfect foil for playful yet tender Rafi – this gem from Kashmir Ki Kali is a delight as Shammi woos and gently teases the exquisite Sharmila on separate boats on the Dal Lake in Kashmir.  Isharon Isharaon , chand sa roshan, balma khuli are some other unforgettable songs in the film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beqTRIpoos8

Raath ke hamsafar – Shankar-Jaikishan masterpiece from Evening in Paris where violins and guitars compete and come together for a simply scintillating fusion of styles and magical vocals of Rafi and Asha.  Suave lover boy Shammi and elegant Sharmila stroll alongside familiar landmarks in romantic Paris! Akele Akele, aasman se aaya farishta, diwane ka naam were also featured in this musical thriller.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=OPaUm-UxdhY

Jawaniya ye mast – from tumsa nahin dekha was hugely successful for Shammi and is one of my favourite O.P.Nayyar compositions – so deceptively simple and elegant and Rafi’s rendition sweeps the listener away.  Shammi is impish, debonair and dashing in this song.  Other well known songs in the film were tumsa nahin dekha, dekho kasam se, and sar par topi.                     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR6jo2ZdIW4

Baar Baar dekho – China town was said to be the main inspiration for the theme of Amitabh’s super duper hit Don.   A moustached Shammi strums on his guitar and pulls reluctant Shakila on to the dance floor.  The lovely accordion riff in the BGM adds to the song’s charm which can get your ‘hands a clapping and feet a tapping’!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOcjM384SsA

Aye gulbadan – from Professor with music by Shankar-Jaikishen.  The film was a musical hit with other lovelies like Main chali main chali, awaaz deke.  This tenderly romantic song was filmed on Shammi and Kalpana. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xskE-Zju6dk

o mere sonare –Shammi and Asha starred together in quite a few films. Teesri Manzil had newcomer R.D.Burman and Majrooh teaming up to give some some really cool and snazzy numbers like aaja aaja and O hasina, tumne mujhe dekha.  O mere sonare is my favourite song from the film - a sprightly number sung by Asha Bhosle and Rafi where Shammi sulks through the first two verses and then relents to Asha’s cajoling and joins in the third verse! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU9c5PHThTw

Dil ko jharoke – from the film Brahmchari- Raag Shivaranjani with a twist – as Shammi plays the piano and sings a song of heartbreak and betrayal while his lady love Rajshree cries helplessly and silently, seated next to the villain of the film Pran. This splendidly composed waltz replete with elaborate orchestration had Rafi singing his heart out – how effortlessly he glides over the high and emotes with such ease!  Rafi won the Filmfare award for this song and Shammi won best actor for this film. Amongst the other charmers in this film are Me gaon tum so jao and Aaj kal tere mere –the accordion intro and the sax interlude (Manohari Singh) from this song are etched in fan’s memories – a song by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur that has not lost its charm or popularity even after so many years!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvwNRHlpCLA&feature=fvsr

Meri mohabat sada rahi -  Rafi sings for Shammi as he serenades Rajshri in this song drenched with the sweet sounds of the santur.  Jaanwar also boasted of other hits like Lal chhadi maidan khadi, tumse acha kaun hai and dekho abto (which was based on the Beatles hit I wanna hold your hand!)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a6mksbDYs8

Hum tum aur ye sama – this gorgeous waltz is picturised on Shammi and Asha from Dil Dekho Dekho.  Is it Shammi who looks so debonair and dashing or is it Rafi who sounds so smooth and mellifluous who tugs more at your heartstrings.  Dil Dekho Dekho had music by Usha Khanna and had other great songs like pyar ki kasam, dil dekho dekho, bolo kuch to bolo, megha re bole. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw8zlol_1yw

Mujhe kitna pyar hai from dil tera diwana, Dil kya karoon (Talat Mahmood hit) from Thokar), halke halke chalo saanware from Taangewali (Hemant/Lata),tum mujhe bula na from Pagla Kahin ka, the songs from Andaaz, tumne pukar aur from Rajkumar, Gham-e-hasti se from vallah kya baat hai, Bekarar hai koi/saare mehfil so jala from Shama Parwana, Baharon ki duniya from Laila Majnu , O mister Banjo from Hum sab chor hai are some of my other favourite compositions from Shammi Kapoor’s films.  Over the years, almost all the well known and relatively unknown music directors composed music for Shammi’s films.  Many of these films were musically acclaimed and gave us some gems that we treasure and that bring us gladness or sadness and a smile to our face or a lump in our throat, tug at our heartstrings or get our feet tapping!  But in all this, it’s Shammi’s larger than life personality that dominates, be it urbane, elegant, melancholic, mad-cap, yahooing, gyrating or swashbuckling…..Shammi, you were such a blast and you will be missed a lot!! Rest content that you have left behind some amazing memories for us to treasure!!

(Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao is a homemaker and singer specializing in the golden oldies of Hindi and Tamil film music. Performing for over 25 years, sings with Saptaswar (New England based group) and Friends’ Orchestra (based in Chennai) and also does karaoke based private & stage concerts. Actively involved with and an overseas advisory member of TANKER Foundation (Tamil Nadu Kidney Research Foundation) an NGO based in Chennai, that helps the deserving and needy stricken with kidney problems. Sudha's music website: www.youtube.com/user/sudsless. )

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1.Your review August 30, 2011Meena Sundaram 
2.your shammi kapoor homage August 19, 2011 

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