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

Yaad Aave, Yaad Aave… Vrundavan Ki Mangal Leela Yaad Aave, Yaad Aave

Posted on: September 16, 2016


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.

… a lilting voice […]
falling softer than petals from blown roses on the grass,
and then lingering on and echoing endlessly…

(excerpted from an article by Anup Kumar Pande, published in the Hindu dated December 17, 2004).

A description more decent, more appropriate, I have not been able to find, or even be able to conjure up. The word ‘grace’, characterizes this persona, in ways more than one. And in all ways, nothing more appropriate would appeal – the ‘grace’ of the Almighty, that was gifted to her; the ‘grace’ with which she carried this gift through a lifetime that can only be described as matchlessly supreme; and the ‘grace’ with which she conducted her life, and herself, in an era wherein being blemish-less is a dream accomplishment.

This voice, had it not fallen asleep a dozen years ago (2004), would have today been celebrating a 100 years of Almighty’s blessings.

Remembering MS Subbulakshmi on the centennial of her birth (16 Sep 2016).

I never had the good fortune to witness her in a live performance. However, I have seen her in recorded performances on TV and on video. That visual, combined with the percolating magic of her voice as it descends into oneself, provides to my mind an image of ultimate grace surrounded by an aura of regalia. There is always a touch of royalty in the imagery, whenever I have seen her in video, or even otherwise, whenever I am listening to her renditions and the mind’s projector conjures up her images.

There is beauty, in the perfection of appearance, as is evident in the video clips from this film (‘Meera’, 1947). And the magnificence of this loveliness persists and continues to sustain itself, as is evident from the images, across the years and across the decades. A beauty that glows with the grace of passing years, and the splendour that mellows with the maturity of ageing.

There is regalia. There is beauty. And then, there is gentleness. A most relaxing, a most reassuringly soothing gentleness, that appears to softly breeze into the being, along with the kindly, heartening sounds of her voice. The grace, the regalia, the gentleness and the solace – a matchless blend of incomparable eminence – MS Subbulakshmi.

I have grown up with sounds of her bhajans playing on the cassette deck. The time when cassettes was the most popular media, there were (are?) not too many of them, which may be classified as Hindi bhajans. The closest I could locate are a collection of bhajans by Meerabai (which I was later to find out, all come from this iconic 1947 film ‘Meera’, in which MSS played the title role of Meerabai), and another set of cassettes which has bhajans and stotras, most of which are in Sanskrit. One of this set of four cassettes, contains the best rendition I have ever heard of ‘Vishnu Sahsranaam’. This set found its way into my collection, as a blessing of Hanuman ji. One of the cassettes in this set carries a extremely delightful rendition of ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, which my mother has a great liking for, and this piece would be heard in our household every day, once in the morning definitely, and sometimes even again, later in the day. These were the formative years of my collection, as I was discovering Mallika Pukhraj, Jagmohan Sursagar, Mehdi Hasan, Kumar Gandharv and more. And yes, MSS. My dad would take a fancy for his memories of Mallika Pukhraj and Mehdi Hasan, and my mom would find solace in the voice of MSS. She could not much follow the Sanskrit stotras, but she would daily listen to the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ and the ‘Naam Ramayan’ renderd by MSS.

MSS was born this day in 1916, in Madurai. It is quite providential that this centennial falls on a Friday. Because Friday and Sunday are the only days in the week, that I get the ‘Hindu’ newspaper. These are the two days when ‘Hindu’ carries pull outs related to arts, cinema and literature. I find these two pull outs very rich in related topics. When I opened the pullout today morning, I saw her larger than life image right on the first page (of the pullout). And I am reminded of the note I had set for myself some days back, regarding this special post.

MSS appeared into a family of music exponents. Her grandmother was violin player, and her mother was a veena expert, who used to perform on stage. She started learning Carnatic music at an early age, under the tutelage of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Later on, she also learnt Hindustani music at the feet of Pt Narayan Rao Vyas. She gave her first public performance at a very young age of 11, in the Hall of 100 Pillars, in the temple at Rockfort in Trichy (Tiruchirapalli), in the company of maestros such as Mysore Chowdiah (violin) and Dakshinamurhty Pillai (mridangam). The same year also saw the release of her first recordings. In 1929, she performed on stage at the prestigious Madras Music Academy. The platform and the people were known to be very astute and discerning in their selection process. And yet, it was the first time that a young lady of such a young age in years, performed on that stage. After this performance, she gained public acknowledgement and admiration as one of the premier vocalists of Carnatic music.

The family moved to Madras (now Chennai) in 1936. And two years later, MSS made her debut on the silver screen. ‘Sevasandanam’ (1938) was her first film (in Tamil). The film dealt with the sensitive social issue of disparity of age between spouses, when an aged widower would marry a young lady. In 1940, she played the role of Shakuntala in the Tamil film ‘Sakuntalai’. In 1941 she appeared in the role of Narad in the film ‘Savithri’. Then in 1945, came her magnum opus – the film ‘Meera’, which won both ciritical acclaim as well as commercial success. The same film was remade in Hindi, in the year 1947. And then. Well, that’s it. MSS had her fill of the cinema world.

After ‘Meera’ (1947), it was music, and only music in her life. And the heights that she would climb on this journey, all that is a matter of historical record. The honours and accolades would start with the Padam Bhushan in 1954, continue with the Magsaysay award (the Asian equivalent of Nobel Prize) in 1974, and climax with the honour of ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1998. But beyond and despite these honours, here was a humble soul who was gifted with one of the greatest gifts that He can endow, but she nurtured it and cherished it exactly as such – something that was not hers, but His. And every accolade, and the riches she gained because of it, was placed right back at His feet. Here was this rare persona, who grew gentler, the more honours she received and grew humbler, the more riches that came her way. Her presence was always the simple lady next door, in the traditional cotton or silk saree, with a graceful gentleness that would give comfort to any person who came close.

In personal life, she married Sadashivam, a freedom fighter, in 1940. He already had two children from a previous marriage. MSS chose not to have any children of her own. Not only that she raised these two children as her own, she also adopted another orphan niece of her husband, as her own child. In public life, she toured the world and presented recitals at all major cultural centres in the world. She was applauded not just by Indians, but people of all nationalities and languages. So many of them did not even understand the language she was singing in, but were struck in admiration of her singing as a divine manifestation.

The devotion with which she rendered her music, is both inimitable and flawless. The diction, the pronunciation, the tone, the pitch and the pace, and above all, the emotional content of her renditions, all blend and flow together in a perfection that is unblemished and matchless.

More than any other, the voice of MSS has a quality of relaxed comfort, that immediately puts the listener at ease. No other voice can match her in this quality. There are singers extraordinaire, scores of them. But none can match her in this quality of comfort that comes only from a conviction in the foundational truths of this existence. Her voice can make you feel them.

She passed away in 2004, on 11 December – a simple but an unassumingly great and realized soul, who traversed the passages of life with a consummate simplicity, and concluded her stay in this mortal world with an equally effortless succour.

For celebration of memories today, I present this classic rendition of the renowned devotional poem by Saint Meerabai. The words have been adapted for cinema by the famous litterateur poet, Pt Narendra Sharma. The film is produced by Chandraprabha Cinetone, Madras and is directed by Ellis R Duncan. The film has 18 wonderful pieces of poetry by Meerabai, that have been composed by three stalwart music directors SV Venkatraman, G Ramnath and Naresh Bhattacharya.  However, the detail of which bhajan is composed by which music director, is sadly not available.

After this cinematic appearance, she chose to keep away from this medium. A great loss, considering what she was capable of, seeing this clip, this movie, and what she could have given to this world. And yet, at the same time, a great gift, considering what she was actually able to accomplish as a singer, and the divine legacy that she actually bequeathed to this world.

I stated earlier that I never had the good fortune to see her in a live performance. But I feel ultimately fortunate, having existed in the same decades and era, when this voice descended from the heavens.

. . . the foundational truths of this existence. Her voice can make you feel them.

[NOTE: Information sources for the above article include the Wikipedia page on MSS, article on MSS on the http://www.culturalindia.net web site, plus other articles in print media, specifically the ‘Hindu’ newspaper.]

Song – Yaad Aave, Yaad Aave… Vrundavan Ki Mangal Leela Yaad Aave, Yaad Aave (Meera) (1947) Singer – MS Subbulaxmi, Lyrics – Meera Bai (Adapted by Pt Narendra Sharma), MD – SV Venkatraman, G Ramanath, and Naresh Bhattacharya

Lyrics

yaad aave
yaad aave
yaad aave
yaad aave
vrundavan ki mangal leela
yaad aave
yaad aave
krishn kanhaiya
chhail chhabeela
yaad aave
yaad aave

sakhiyan ke sang ghaat pe jaana
nirmal jamuna neer nahaana
sab mil kar laalan gun gaana
kabhi kabhi vallabh darshan paana
yaad aave
yaad aave

kaanan mein ban phul ka khilna
nabh mein taaron ka jhilmilna
murli dhun sun dil khil milna
murli dhun sun dil khil milna
murli dhun sun dil khil milna
kunjan kunjan mohan milna
yaad aave
yaad aave

chaandni. . .
madhur chaandni raat mein raas rachaana
roop mantra se prem jagaana
krshn rang mein hridya rangaana
krshn rang mein hridya rangaana
aapaako prabhu se mil jaana
yaad aave
yaad aave

koi kahe yeh meetha sapna
koi kahe yeh meetha sapna
koi kahe yeh meetha sapna
koi kahe yeh meetha sapna
krshn kahaani kavi mann rachna
morey nahin kachhu kehna sun’na
morey nahin kachhu kehna sun’na
mohey to brij laalan lalnaa
yaad aave
yaad aave

yaad aave
yaad aave

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

याद आवे
याद आवे
याद आवे
याद आवे
वृन्दावल की मंगल लीला
याद आवे
याद आवे
कृष्ण कन्हैया
छैल छबीला
याद आवे
याद आवे

सखियन के संग घाट पे जाना
निर्मल जमुना नीर नहाना
सब मिल कर लालन गुण गाना
कभी कभी वल्लभ दर्शन पाना
याद आवे
याद आवे

कानन में बनफुल का खिलना
नभ में तारों का झिलमिलना
मुरली धुन सुन दिल खिल मिलना
मुरली धुन सुन दिल खिल मिलना
मुरली धुन सुन दिल खिल मिलना
कुंजन कुंजन मोहन मिलना
याद आवे
याद आवे

चाँदनी॰॰॰
मधुर चाँदनी रात में रास रचाना
रूप मंत्र से प्रेम जगाना
कृष्ण रंग में हृदय रंगाना
कृष्ण रंग में हृदय रंगाना
आपाको प्रभु से मिल जाना
याद आवे
याद आवे

कोई कहे ये मीठा सपना
कोई कहे ये मीठा सपना
कोई कहे ये मीठा सपना
कोई कहे ये मीठा सपना
कृष्ण कहानी कवि मन रचना
मोरे नहीं कछु कहना सुनना
मोरे नहीं कछु कहना सुनना
मोहे तो बस लालन ललना
याद आवे
याद आवे

याद आवे
याद आवे

2 Responses to "Yaad Aave, Yaad Aave… Vrundavan Ki Mangal Leela Yaad Aave, Yaad Aave"

I was fortunate to attend one of her concerts at Shanmukhanand Hall, Bombay. I forgot the year but during that time I was staying at Siddharth Nagar colony, Goregaun. I lived there with many South Indian neighbours. They would call her not Subbulakshmi but ‘YemYes’ (MS). We had hired an eighteen-seater to go to the theater and back. She sang many Meera Bhajans in between Tamil Songs. The sweet voice with typical S-Indian style lingered in my mind for days. Later on I had all of her Meera Bajans in my collection.
In Houston Texas, where I worked, The owner daily played her ‘Suprabhatam’, to start the day.

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Sudhir ji,
Excellent tribute to a very revered personality on the centennial of her birth. Humble tributes to MS Subbulakshmi
Your choice of words in framing the sentences and the flow of the article is indeed beyond appreciation.

1947, incidentally had one more film called Meerbai under the composition of S K Pal. It had 13 songs by a same singer. I request you to introduce this film too on the blog.

Many Thanks.

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