Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Yeh Haseen Bambai

Posted on: February 16, 2015


This article is written by Sudhir, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in sites like lyricstrans.com and ibollywoodsongs.com etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan – 4
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

         Bombay Gangout – Part 4
         After The Meet.

After the gangout session, as everyone dispersed and proceeded to their respective destinations, Srinivas (SignalTimer) and I headed to the local train station, that is just like across the road from the gangout meeting place.  We took the train going south; we had a visit scheduled, to meet another common friend who is beset with the same passion of the Hindi film music from the Golden Era.  The name is Kushal Gopalka.  Some of the group members in Bombay may be familiar with this name, as he is active in this space, in a very different and interesting manner.

Kushal’s interest lies in layer of people and artifacts that stay hidden behind the names we are familiar with and the music that we hear.  When I say artifacts, I point towards the various special instruments that have been used by the music directors, to create special sounds and sound effects.  And the people of course, are the numerous musicians, instrumentalists, and arrangers, whose contribution towards creating the melodies we love is momentous, but these are the people who have always remained anonymous, hidden in the shadows, just a step away from the limelight of fame and success.

In 2013, he was instrumental in organizing a two day seminar in Bombay along these themes – ‘Cinema Sangeet – Beyond Entertainment’.  The discussion was on the large variety of instruments that have be used in film music, and the foot soldiers who march behind the music director, and are responsible for actually creating the complete score for the song.  On this occasion, he also published a book on these instruments and the people, titled ‘Unsung Heroes’.  As the online intro to the book notes –

“The flute prelude by Manohari Singh in the iconic song “Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera” (‘Teesri Manzil’, 1966), Hazara Singh’s steel guitar notes in the Geeta Dutt song “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu” from the film ‘Howrah Bridge’ (1958), and the percussion pieces before Asha Bhosle’s voice picks up the lines of “Dum Maro Dum” by Burjor Lord in ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ (1971), have never received the acknowledgement they deserved. In fact, not even the best of music connoisseurs are aware of these musicians and their body of work.”

“Everyone remembers the names of the vocalists behind these songs and they associate the success of the music with them. But what brought these songs to life were some excellent saxophone pieces, guitar solos, percussion pieces, without which the songs would have been a lot less charming,”

Names such as Cawas Lord, Manohari Singh, Anthony Gonsalves, Suhrid Kar, Rober Correa, Kishore Desai, Leslie Gudinho, Jaisingh, Ustad Rasi Khan, Sebastian etc. are the people who manned the orchestration rooms and recording studios, as experts who brought in the many wonderful colors of sound that we so enjoy as we hear this music. The seminar also invited and honored some of the living legends in this field, who have worked the sweat from their brows into the iconic melodies that are so appealing and dear to our hearts.  In some ways, this was a unique program that brought together some of the creators of this music, and the lovers of this art form.  Kushal’s journey is a labor of love in trying to get to the basic sounds, their origins and bringing to light, the real originators of these sounds.

As I browsed through this book, I find so many strange looking items that one would not recognize as a musical instrument at first glance.  E.g. instruments that consist of pieces of wood, or stone or metal rods.  These are simply struck together in a certain rhythm to create some of the sounds that we hear in the songs.

This thread also brings up another very important aspect related to music, and that is the recording and the reproduction.  I have had some discussions on this with Bakhshish Singh ji, in Delhi, who is also very deeply interested in the specifics of musical sounds in Hindi film music, and their origins.  Most of the time we listen to the songs, we simply take it in the flow, enjoying the melody, and the different sounds and sound effects, as the song progresses.

As we may start paying more attention to the sounds of the music as the songs play, we will start noticing the small clicks, the short interludes of jangling sounds of ghunghroos, the synchronized sounds of many hands clapping together, the very quiet strumming of a string instrument behind the main flow of music – all these sounds and sound effects can be recognized and identified only if the quality of recording is excellent and the reproduction system is high fidelity.  As we all know, the grooves of the 78 rpm records are acoustically the best sound that analog technology has so far been able to create.  The 78 rpm has the thickest grooves that result in the highest quality of sound recording possible.

The second step, which is the playback, is also crucial, because we should have the most accurate reproduction of the sound across the entire range of frequencies.  Many playback systems suffer from loss in reproduction at different range of frequencies, and every recording method introduced its own aberrations.  A completely new 78 rpm record produces the most excellent sound that can be obtained from a recording.  As a the record is played frequently, the grooves start getting damaged at a micro level that is not visible to the eyes, but the sound starts to get scratchy.  In case of tapes, the very construct of the mechanism, which is the magnetic coating on a plastic strip, and the back and forth induction exchange between the recording/playback head and the tape surface, introduces a hissing background sound.  This hissing sound can be reduced by various methods, but never eliminated.  Plus this reduction actually also introduces a loss of the music component in the frequency ranges that are similar to the frequency range of this hiss.

Digital sound has one advantage, that once recorded in this format, no further deterioration can take place, since the sound is now stored in terms of magnetic bits that cannot be further disturbed.  However, the sampling process that is executed to convert the analog sound of a record or a magnetic tape, itself introduced losses as it converts the analog sound stream into magnetic bits.  Eventually, the playback is a best compromise between the level of sampling done on the original recording and the quality of the playback system.

Sorry to digress into this semi technical explanation.  What I am trying to arrive at is the to listen to some of these less dominant sounds of music, one has to have a very accurate recording and a very faithful reproduction thereof.  Sound buffs like Kushal Gopalka and Bakhshish Singh ji always try to get the best recordings possible.  And Kushal goes a step further, in that he himself makes the recordings, from the best records available on the best recording machines.

And so, I come to the key of this detailed digression about Kushal and his work.  It is a wonderful pleasure to listen to the music as he has recorded it, and then as he explains some of the finer notes and tiny sounds that form part of the melody of the songs.  I have had this opportunity twice before in Delhi over the past few months, when he was visiting Delhi.  And the primary enticement for this visit by Sirnivas and myself to Kushal’s home was also this.  After a home cooked dinner, the three of us sat down in his main living room, and listened to some of the well and known and some not so well known melodies on his home theatre system, enjoying the sounds of some unique instruments as he explained it.

The session lasted as long as it was safe to stay in terms of the last local service starting from Churchgate.  When it was close to that time, then we took leave of Kushal, and his father, who had also joined us in the listen session after dinner.

(I was planning to cover the subsequent day’s proceedings also in this post, but given that this post has become quite lengthy with this discussion, I defer the details of the next day, to the next post).

Today’s fun song of Bombay is from the 1963 film ‘Holiday In Bombay’.  Shashi Kapoor had stepped into adult roles in films just a couple of years earlier in the film ‘Chaar Deewaari’ (1961).  By the time this film was released in 1963, this youngest and handsomest son of Prithviraj Kapoor was into his fifth film.  This film, as the name suggests, turns out to be a romantic comedy, with all the social and of course, anti-social trappings of the formula plot of Hindi films thrown in.  The film is produced under the banner of Yugchhaaya, Bombay and is directed by PL Santoshi, who has also shared the writing of the lyrics for the eight songs of this film.  The other songwriters who have contributed are Anand Bakshi, Anwar Farrukhabaadi and Anjaan.  This song written by Anjaan.  The music composition is by N Dutta.  The singing voices are those of Mukesh and Mahendra Kapoor.

The story is about two cousin brothers, Gautam and Nath, who decide to take a holiday trip to Bombay, with fun as the sole motive.  They have a solemn promise before starting the trip, that they will completely avoid getting entangled in matters of the heart with any damsels.  Of course, destiny (and the story writer) has different plans for them, as they both lose their hearts to their respective lady loves.  For a part of the movie the fun is all around how they try to keep this fact hidden from each other.  Then the secrets are out.  Then starts the next round of difficult situations and more fun as they decide to take the next steps.  Of course, the ‘zaalim zamaana’ is dead against these decisions, and the plot goes through the routine familial situations before the ending is the happy departure of the two couples back to their hometown.

This song appears as the two cousins start their holiday trip.  On screen, the song is performed by Shashi Kapoor and Rajendranath.  The treat for the eyes is a visual tour of the some landmarks of the city, and the general shots of a quieter and a less cluttered Bombay.  We also see a Vespa Lambretta two wheeler, a popular brand in those years.

ye haseen bambai
apne ko to jam gayi

Listen and enjoy.

Song – Yeh Haseen Bambai (Holiday In Bombay) (1963) Singers – Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor, Lyrics – Anjaan, MD – N Datta
Mukesh+Mahendra Kapoor

Lyrics

ye haseen bambai
apne ko to jam gayi
jis taraf nazar mudi
hoye us taraf hi tham gayi
dekh ye manzar naye
naye
naye
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday in Bombay. . .

wo hawaa ke taal par
naachti lehar
ye lehar si chaal par
dil gaye thehar
sirf ek chaad par
hai fida jahaan
par hazaar rang ke
chaand hain yahaan
dil jawaan machal gaye
gaye
gaye
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday in Bombay. . .

dekhiye jidhar naya
kuchh kamala hai
har kamala mein koi
gol maal hai
he he
dil fareb laakh hain
humsafar yahaan
har nazar hai jeb par
ye khabar kahaan
kya hai jo yahaan nahin
miley
miley
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday in Bombay. . .

holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday holiday holiday in Bombay
holiday in Bombay. . .

———————————————————-
Hindi script lyrics (Provided by Sudhir)
———————————————————-

ये हसीन बम्बई
अपने को तो जम गई
जिस तरफ नज़र मुड़ी
होए उस तरफ ही थम गई
देख ये मंज़र नए
नए
नए
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे॰ ॰ ॰

वो हवा के ताल पर
नाचती लहर
ये लहर सी चाल पर
दिल गए ठहर
सिर्फ एक चाँद पर
है फिदा जहान्
पर हज़ार रंग के
चाँद हैं यहाँ
दिल जवां मचल गए
गए
गए
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे॰ ॰ ॰

देखिये जिधर नया
कुछ कमाल है
हर कमाल में कोई
गोलमाल है
हे हे
दिल फरेब लाख हैं
हमसफर यहाँ
हर नज़र है जेब पर
ये खबर कहाँ
क्या है जो यहाँ नहीं
मिले
मिले
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे॰ ॰ ॰

हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे हौलीडे हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे
हौलीडे इन बॉम्बे॰ ॰ ॰

4 Responses to "Yeh Haseen Bambai"

A small correction to an otherwise excellent write-up: The scooter in question is only Lambretta and not Lambretta Vespa. Vespa is another brand which was produced in India by Bajaj as Bajaj scooter.

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Oops and thanks Seshadri ji,

You are right. Lambretta and Vespa were two different brands.

Thanks again for the correction.

Rgds
Sudhir

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There was another Holiday in Bombay in 1941 songs by Kantilal and Sobhna Samarth, MD Khemchand Prakash.
The 1963 film has a special niche in my memory as I had attended its premiere in Imperial Theatre on the Lamington Road, near Grant Road. It brought flurry of memories to the fore.
I saw the beautiful Vijaya Chaudhary, baldy Rajan Haksar(husband of fatso Manorama). Shashi nor Rajendranath were present. Maybe others were present but I was too young to recognize or remember them. The manager of the theatre Shri Hiralal Pandya was a close friend of Papa which made it possible. We were permanent invitees. Even if the show was houseful chairs would be provided.
Anwar Farrukhabadi>>Bank Manager-59, Alam Ki Beti-60, Pedro-60, Miss Chalbaaz-61, Gunah Aur Kanoon-71, Dil Hi Dil Me-82,

Story>Cousins and avowed bachelors, Nath and Gautam, plan a trip to Bombay with the sole motto of entertainment, fun and frolic. After drinking the cup of pleasure to its full they should have returned to their native place as neat and clean as they had come i.e. without losing their precious “DIL” to any city sweetie. But the bachelors cannot escape the trap of nature and Nath and Gautan lose hearts to bewitching Vijay and Seema respectively and carry on romantic interludes hiding from one another. When Cupid reaches its climax the boys persuade their common friends Shambhu and Sharda a happily married couple, to negotiate their marriage with the guardians of their love larks. But Vijay’s Mama, refuses Sharda’s offer demanding Rupees Fifty Thousand from the props- active groom Nath, while Seema’s hand is refused to Gautam by her boxer father who intends her marriage with an athlete only. Disappointed at the outset the couple later seek civil marriage and one fine day Nath and Gautam face each. Aage parde pe dekhiye…

Madhusudan Kalelkar
Writer/ Director
1999 Hote Hote Pyar Hogaya (story)
1980 Ek Baar Kaho (screenplay/story)
1978 Anjaam (screenplay/story)
1978 Bhola Bhala (story)
1978 Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (story & screenplay)
1977 Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaaye
1975 Faraar (screenplay)
1972 Joroo Ka Ghulam (screenplay/story)
1971 Jaane-Anjaane (story)
1968 Aamhi Jato Amuchya Gava (writer)
1963 Bluff Master (story)
1963 Holiday in Bombay (screenplay)
1961 Jhumroo (screenplay)
As Director
2006 Hee Shrinchi Ichha

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Another interesting write-up, Sudhirji.

I’ve always felt that though music composers are known and get credit for a song, those who are part of the music composers’ team remain unsung and unknown. This is a sad state of affairs and I think every effort that can be made to educate the public about these individuals and their contribution has to be applauded.

Btw, only from Nitinji’s comment above, I got to know that Rajan Haksar was the husband of Manorama. Didn’t know that! One learns something new everyday! 🙂

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This blog discusses Bollywood songs of yesteryears. Every song has a brief description, followed by a video link, and complete lyrics of the song.

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