Some thoughts on taxonomic-mathematical analysis of Hindi films and songs

April 1, 2015

Music Balance(SoY regulars would recall that discussions have often given rise to questions for which I have suggested a multi-disciplinary team of film/music experts and mathematicians for more precise analysis. It seems the experts have not come forward out of modesty. They must be looking for someone to take the initiative. In this post, I am summarising three main areas for study and also suggesting the composition of the teams. I am sure the experts would appreciate the seriousness of my intent, and spare their valuable time and energy for the larger good of the society.AK)

Duet Balance Index (DBI)

Open House has become a forum where many new discoveries and unique themes have been posted by the readers. One such is what can be called ‘Duets that are really solos’. I propose a concept called “Duet Balance Index” (DBI) for music experts and mathematicians for further technical analysis. That would give a measure of how balanced the male and female voices are in a song. The idea arose because it was found that in many duets one singer, who could be either the male or the female, was used only nominally or insignificantly. One line of study could be non-mathematical – why should the composer or the film director create this kind of song if he had to do a duet; what are the cinematic situations suitable for such a song? (Note: “He” in this article shall be deemed to include “she”, unless warranted otherwise by the context.) But taking advantage of the fact that SoY forum has a good number of music experts, management professionals, mathematicians and academics, I suggest a taxonomic-mathematical analysis. Could the experts devise an algorithm to get a number which gives an accurate idea of the balance? I don’t want to drive away non-mathematician friends from SoY. Duckworth-Lewis method (cricket), which every man on the street in India knows, ATP ranking (tennis), and similar commonly known concepts are designed by PhDs in Physics, Mathematics, Economics and Computer Science. The underlying mathematics may be very complex, but the final deliverable can be presented in simple English for the lay readers.

Being a generalist myself, let me lay down the general approach for the experts to take it further. Extending the ‘duets that are really solos’, you can think of one extreme being a purely male voice, and the other purely female. Voila! You come to a great insight. A male solo, or a duet, or a female solo, they all belong to the same family of songs. You think of a spectrum of gradually changing colours, one end of which is male solo, the other end female solo, and all the duets lying in-between, their precise location specified by the DBI.

Music Spectrum

The above is a very simplified presentation. Let me mention one basic difficulty. Our brain is conditioned to be impacted more by the voice that comes first. Earlier, I used to classify all duets by the male singer. This was fine where male singer was the first voice. Think of great duets like Yaad aanewale phir yaad aa rahe hai (Talat Mahmood-Lata Mangeshkar), Teri duniya se door hale hoke majboor humein yad rakhna (Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar) and so on – the male voice impacts you more. Then I realised that in many duets the female voice lingered in my mind. Think of More balapan ke sathi chhaila bhool jaiyo na (Khursheed-KL Saigal), Humse nain milana BA pass kar ke (Shamshad Begum-Mukesh), Chala bhi aa ho aa ja rasiya (Lata Mangeshkar-Rafi), and the obvious reason was that the female voice came out first. To cater for this situation, M/F type has also to be embedded in a song’s DBI.

There are exceptions to the above rule. Gaadiwale gaadi dhire haank re lingers as a Shamdhad Begum song. But do you recall whose voice came first? Khat khut karti chham chhum karti gaadi hamri aayi by Rafi. I am sure this would be a child’s play for our experts to solve.

Now I come to a still higher order of difficulty. Where do you fit in a same gender duet? You can probably do that by adding MM and FF type, and overlay some finer criteria if the song is started by M1 (or F1), but dominated by M2 (or F2).   But what if there are multiple voices in the song with mixed genders? And, choruses, with one or more distinctly identifiable voices, or a chorus with no single prominent voice (Naacho gaao naacho dhoom machaao nachaao, aya mangal tyohar le ke khushiyan hazaar)? I am leaving it for the experts to answer these questions.

Popularity-Quality Index (PQI)

Popularity versus quality debate has come up frequently on SoY. It took serious proportions when I left out Aawara hun from the ten best male solos of 1951. On this forum, we have been freely trashing Baharo phool barsaao, but on another site I regularly visit, the discussion over this song turned nasty. I had earlier devised a simple 2×2 PQ matrix as follows:

Hindi Songs Popularity-Quality Matrix

The above approach puts songs in four boxes – Not Popular, No Quality (Quadrant I); Popular, but No Quality (Quadrant II); Not Popular, but high Quality (Quadrant III); and highly Popular, high Quality (Quadrant IV). My poser to the scientists (which term encompasses experts from any discipline) is “Is it possible to devise a mathematical PQI of a song, which locates it more precisely on PQ axis (say, P and Q both going from 0 to 100)?”. For Popularity, published data like Binaca Geetmala can be taken as a guide (but not the sole criteria; in any case for pre-Binaca songs, the experts would have to come up with their own answers). For Quality, the music experts in the team can go into the pitch, frequency, tonal quality, instruments in the orchestra, fidelity to Ragas, innovation etc.

This research should mitigate emotional disturbances on account of differences in musical tastes. A listener would choose his own PQ preference, something like you choose debt-equity mix in mutual funds, based on your risk-return preference.

Mathematical Analysis of Bollywood Triangles and Other Films

About a year back while reviewing Sangam (1964), I had proposed a classification of Bollywood triangles in two types – B type (Two boys, B1 and B2, and a girl G) and G type (Two girls, G1 and G2, and a boy B), and stated that the aim of a film is to dispense with the superfluous side (B2 or G2 as the case may be). Then I had also briefly mentioned various methods by which this is achieved, ranging from elimination to voluntary withdrawal to quadrilateralisation.

The above is pretty straightforward. But I had also hinted at the possibilities of very in-depth multi-disciplinary research. For example, analyse all the triangles of a director, say Mehboob Khan, and study how he moves from B-type to G-type triangle and chooses different methods of solving it. Analyse the exceptions which do not fit in any rule; for example the other guy B2 getting the girl (Sangam being a prime example); or both B1 and G1 dying in the end – Rattan (1944), Parchhain (1952).

Not all films are triangles, but since it is accepted that every Bollywood film is a love film, can we mathematically say that these too belong to the general class of triangles, with one dimension being ‘zero’? Then classify these films on some scientific criteria (Madhu and Anu to please note: Leela Chitnis (mother) did not cry even once, or Rajendra Kumar was/was not a doctor and died/did not die, or Meena Kumari or Nimmi smiled in the film, would not be considered a valid criteria for classification).

Since everyone is in पहले आप, पहले आप mood, let me propose the composition of the Team of Experts.

TEAM OF EXPERTS

Team 1: Duet Balance Index (DBI)
Arvinder Sharma – Coordinator
KS Bhatia
Mumbaikar8
Ashok M Vaishnav
Gaddeswarup
Canasya

Team 2: Popularity Quality Index (PQI)
Ashok M Vaishnav – Coordinator
Hans
N Venkataraman
Subodh Agrawal
SSW
Gaddeswarup

Team 3: Mathematical Analysis of Bollywood Triangles and Other Films
Arunkumar Deshmukh – Coordinator
Anuradha Warrier
Madhulika Liddle (Dustedoff)
SSW
Canasya
Gaddeswarup

I also need to outline some general rules.

GENERAL RULES
1.  Everyone’s consent to be on the Teams is deemed to be taken.

2.  Any person not included in the above list can volunteer to assist any Team(s), by approaching the Coordinator directly or through SoY (ak@songsofyore.com).  The Teams, in turn, can also approach any person, outside the list, for assistance, if in their view such person possesses specialised knowledge relevant to their topic.  The Teams shall also be free to consult the general forum of SoY as and when they deem it necessary in course of their study.

3.  No person in the team is more equal than others.  Thus, the role and status of the Coordinator is somewhat different from a conventional Primus inter pares.  He is the one who breaks the ice, manages the project and sees to it that the Teams complete their task.  His authority is moral.

4.  The positions are voluntary.  However, all IPRs, including Copyright and Patent etc., would belong to the members of the Teams, and they shall be free to divide the rights among themselves in any manner.  The Teams are also free to assign a part of their rights to any outsider, whose assistance has been taken, and which in the opinion of the Team is of a quality deserving a part of the IPR.  In case a Team is not able to come to an agreement on any matter relating to the distribution of rights, they can seek my intermediation.

5.  There is no hard and fast time limit for completing their study.  It is presumed that the research would be substantially completed in a year.

6.  The Teams shall have full rights to get their research published in any scientific journal.  However, they would be required to present a summary in English for publication on SoY. (SSW to specially note: While the Team deliberations can be in Greek, Latin or any language, the Summary for SoY has to be in English.)  The Teams can present interim reports to the SoY, if they so desire.

7.  The above General Rules are illustrative, and not exhaustive. The Teams shall be free to frame their own Rules for any matter not covered above.  However, they can approach me for clarification on any matter, if they deem it necessary.

 

Note: Readers are advised not to attach any significance to the date of publication of this post, which is purely coincidental.

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PRAVEEN April 1, 2015 at 11:22 am

OMG!!! When I think I should refrain from checking the web every now and then and instead concentrate on my work, here comes another post in SOY. The topics would surely increase the spice quotient, particularly the second one (PQI) – generally people get worked up on the quality aspect!! Anyway,I’ve time to relax till the jury is out. Awaiting in anticipation for the first draft 🙂

2 AK April 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Praveen,
I try to keep a gap of about ten days between posts; I also work full-time, what the Americans would call a day-job. So you can’t blame me for keeping you from work. 🙂

Just to say it again, everyone is welcome to contribute to the study.

PQI: If someone gets worked up about the quality aspect, it is perfectly OK. But, if you get worked because I hate a song which you are crazy about, that is a social problem. Hopefully, PQI should mitigate that.

3 ksbhatia April 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

AK’ji ; A very mind blowing idea ! A ‘ sudoku ‘ for rating of songs of easy, not so easy, difficult and very difficult. Before we , as a team , dig into task I wish to get myself clear about few songs ; weather they fit into the analysis ; such as …..1. Naacho naacho gaao … a chorus song ending with Aasha’ji’s conclusive rendering [ only F1 ] . 2. Dil ka na karna aitbar koi ……song with Lata’s dominating as main singer with Rafi’s multiple balancing supporting lines. 3. Mahalon mein rehne wale hame unche dar se kya ……. qawwali by Rafi and chorus with hidden M2, F2 as Bande hasan and Mubarak begum . 4. Ramiya vasta waiya …. a multi singer song with chorus , M1, M2 as Rafi and Mukesh, F1 as Lataji. 5. Tum to pyar ho sajni mohe tuj se pyara aur na koi …..Rafi , Lata and chorus all contributing equally and maintaining the balance act .

4 mumbaikar8 April 1, 2015 at 5:19 pm

AK,
I habitually attach significance to what I am advised not to!
“For Quality, the music experts in the team can go into the pitch, frequency, tonal quality, instruments in the orchestra, fidelity to Ragas, innovation etc.” You want serious discussions on quality HFM but you do not include lyrics to the credit. Old habits die hard?

5 AK April 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm

KS Bahtiaji,
I have mentioned Naacho nacho gaao for its unique feature as a chorus having no identifiable singer. I don’t think records had Asha Bhosle’s line. Therefore, one option is to ignore her. You have added a finer nuance. In songs no. 2, 3 and 4, again you have added complex permutations and combinations. I leave it to the Experts like you to handle it. I have done my duty. अब तुम्हारे हवाले वतन साथियो.

6 AK April 1, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Mumbaikar8,
I can never win with you on the lyricists! This post is about measurement: The physical properties of the song in the DBI; popularity and quality measurement in PQI. In this, the creators, i.e. the MDs and lyricists do not come in the picture. But you are right, lyricists deserve more credit than I have been giving – I plead guilty. I have also offered you to write a series on your favourite lyricists.

7 mumbaikar8 April 1, 2015 at 7:48 pm

AK,
Exactly I am not talking about MDs or lyricists too,
I am referring to the popularity and quality measurement in PQI
Would you not agree that simple phrase like रमैया वास्ता वैया रमैया वास्ता वैया , मैंने दिल तुझको दिया मैंने दिल तुझको दिया can add a mile to the PQI of the song.
I will to come to DBI later, need some time. I have day job too:)

8 N Venkataraman April 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Akji,
Congratulations on the formulation of the select committees on three important issues on this auspicious day. I presume these are standing committees (the composition may change) and not Ad hoc in nature. I appreciate the seriousness of your intent and also the importance of the areas of study.

Already Bhatia ji has responded with all the earnest on the topic of his inclusion. Mumbaikar8 has usual responded, avidly and justfiably, on the inclusion (exclusion) of lyrics. I fully agree with her. Lyrics (not the lyricist) should play an important part in the Popularity vs Quality debate on HFSs and she has convincingly made her point. Although she is not in the select committee on PQI, I would sincerely recommend her name for inclusion in this panel for two reasons. One, she can contribute a lot in this area. The second one to set right a serious flaw, there is no female representation in this committee. Likewise the representation of a member from the younger generation in this panel is also essential. I would suggest the name of Jignesh for consideration. Even I am ready to sacrifice the privilege bestowed on me in the larger interest of the cause. You can understand that I have taken up this matter with all seriousness. Before we venture into actual business I would suggest we should meet on 31st April to discuss any such omissions or lacuna. Then we can commence our assigned business and should be able to complete our finding by coming 30th February. Looking forward to to hear from our Coordinator and other members.
Thank you Akji for initiating this brilliant idea in the larger interest of the society.

9 AK April 1, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Venkataramanji,
I am so happy that the Experts, first off the block, have taken their assignment so seriously.

Whether you call the Committees ‘Standing’ or ‘Ad-hoc’ is not important, as they should be completing their task in a year.

Your offer for sacrificing your privilege in favour of the younger generation is very noble, and will be a shining example for our leaders. But that would not be necessary, because co-option from outsiders and across the Committees is very flexible. Entirely ditto your point about Mumbaikar8 and Jignesh, and let the Committees co-opt them.

If everyone agrees I can circulate the mail id’s of the Members, so that you could get going, starting with the first meeting as suggested by you (I presume you mean virtually).

10 AK April 2, 2015 at 6:28 am

Venkataramanji,
Now I realise how serious you must be in your job and life. Without wasting time you have suggested a specific date 31 April for the first meeting. But you have to clarify whether you meant 2014 or 2013. Then place – should we make it 36 and a half Chowrangi Lane? And you have to suggest a convenient time too, Gaddeswarupji may prefer square root of minus 11 hours.

11 Arunkumar Deshmukh April 2, 2015 at 10:11 am

Trust AK ji to come up with Novel ideas !
I appreciate this and also feel honoured to get included in one team. however,presently,I am out of Mumbai and without any material or reference aids,hence it is a great handicap to enter the fray. I hope you will understand my position and pardon me now.
I will possibly return on or around 15th,hopefuly.
Thanks,anyway.
-AD

12 AK April 2, 2015 at 10:34 am

Arunji,
You have enough time to take charge, because we expect the deliverable in a year. I know you are utmost serious in whatever you take up.

13 Subodh Agrawal April 3, 2015 at 8:06 am

AK, I am happy you have taken up this mathematical theme at a time when mathematics is very much in the air. We had the international Pi day in March and on 14 march ’15 and at 9 hours 26 minutes and 53 seconds the date and time in the US would have been 3141592653 which approximates the great mathematical constant to 9 decimal places. Later that month we had this filmi incident in Uttar Pradesh where a bride rejected the groom because he couldn’t add 16 and 7, or something like that – giving rise to the interesting speculation whether Jugal Kishore, the rejected groom, would take inspiration from the story of Kalidasa and Vidyottama and return one day as the 21st century Ramanujan.

I accept the honour of this onerous responsibility with due humility and shall endeavour to discharge it to the best of my ability. As a warm up exercise may I request the colleagues in my group – and others too – to suggest a list of 10 songs for the aforementioned Jugal Kishore that would keep him motivated.

14 Subodh Agrawal April 3, 2015 at 8:12 am

We could also consider motivating the lady who rejected our Jugal Kishore to reconsider her decision by sharing with her AK’s post on ‘Mahamoorkhon wale gane’. She might be persuaded that mathematically and intellectually challenged men are not such bad matches after all.

15 gaddeswarup April 3, 2015 at 8:40 am

I just saw this post and have not gone through it carefully yet. But I feel completely unqualified on several accounts. Firstly, I do not know Hindi. Secondly I do not know ant thin about ragas. Thirdly, I have seen very few Hindi films. Finally, I was attracted to mathematics I was sixteen or so when I found that ideas were important not calculation. I have worked mostly in qualitative topics like Topology where there is no difference between a tea cup and a doughnut. I am very bad at calculations. But I love lots of Hindi film sons and have always listened to lot of them and more so now even when I do not know the meanings. Having said that I have one suggestion. Some times there is a question about the singer of the song like ‘Chanda Ka Rang Liye’ whether it is Mubarak Begum or Lata Mangeshkar. I think that there are some IT people who visit this blog. I wonder whether there is some voice recognition technology that can be used to settle such doubts.

16 AK April 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Subodh,
The girl reacted too soon. Obviously she was not aware of your theory of the inverse relationship between IQ and the man’s attractiveness. (Even though the post was mine, the theory was yours, and you gave the example of Gods Must Be Crazy). I do not know where you place yourself, coming from IIT, but you are eminently suited for this exercise. You have got off to a flying start. आगे आगे देखिये होता है क्या.

17 AK April 3, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Gaddeswarupji,
I could not find any reference that Duckworth and Lewis played cricket. Prior to D-L method, when a match had to be curtailed because of rains when a team was chasing a score, the revised target was based on the most productive overs of the team batting first. In 1992 World Cup semi-final between England and South Africa, South Africa batting second had to score 22 runs in 13 balls, when the rains interrupted the match for 12 minutes. Their target was revised to 22 runs in 1 ball. Christopher Martin-Jenkins, the famous cricket journalist, remarked at this absurdity, ‘surely someone, somewhere could come up with something better’. That is when Duckworth realised that it was a mathematical problem requiring a mathematical solution. (Source: Wikipedia)

Now Stern’s name has been added after he refined D-L method. This is what Cricbuzz.com says:
“Steve Stern, a statistics professor and computer programmer at Brisbane’s QUT university has refined the system to better handle higher run-totals. “I have always been a sports nut,” Stern said. “I had some friends explain the rules of cricket to me. They said that seeing I was a mathematician, I should explain the Duckworth-Lewis system to them. It started out with those sort of discussions and then I got in touch with Duckworth and Lewis. One thing led to another and now I am the official custodian of the DLS method.”

Being a statistician and mathematician for over 40 years, you are eminently suited for this assignment. As the example of Duckworth, Lewis and Stern shows, lack of proficiency in Hindi film songs would not be a handicap. You must have noticed you are the only one present in all the three Teams.

18 AK April 3, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Gaddeswarupji,
P.S.
You have introduced me to a beautiful song. Even though YT mentions Mubarak Begum (and also gives her picture in the thumbnail) and Talat Mahmood as the singer, the female voice is clearly Lata Mangeshkar’s. HFGK does not identify the female voice.

Chanda ka rang liye taaron ka sang liye by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood from Harihar Bhakti (1956), lyrics SP Kalla, music K Datta

19 gaddeswarup April 4, 2015 at 4:05 am

AKji, Even though I worked in Indian Statistical Institute Delhi Centre for four years, I never worked in statistics or any applied mathematics. ISI had a freewheeling culture. The rumour was that when Mahalanobis met an Indian abroad and liked him, he started a new department for him; this I heard when I found they had a department of agriculture. One of the early stars was C.R. Rao. He started as a student there and some of his famous work was published in Bulletin of Calcutta Mathematical Society around 1944 before he got a Ph. D. later in UK. This includes Cramer-Rao, Ra0-Blackwell. The later Blackwell published three years after Rao and Rao had to fight to get credit since he did not mention the main results in the introduction. Anyway, Rao followed similar methods with his students and would assign them new interesting areas for research in which he had no expertise. Some were essentially either pure mathematics or borderline areas and that is how pure mathematics started there and continued. A famous product is S.R.S. Varadhan who won the Abel prize. Rao left ISI but I met him during his visits to Delhi during my stay there 1982-86. I was in the guest house for a while, he would visit around dinner time uninvited and stay on for dinner though he was a honoured gust there> We would get free trips in the car assigned to him. I gossiped with him about the development of the institute. Anyway, I am an ignoramus about music except I enjoy popular film music more like an ordinary man on the street. Rajendra Bhatia who is still there is a better candidate. As Clint Eastwood said ‘A man has got to know his limitations’.

20 ASHOK M VAISHNAV April 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm

I am in search of computer engineers who can create a set of hardware and software wherein we feed the songs and then get the results to certain set of criteria.
Once get first iterative result, we, as the committee would superimpose our intuitive value judgement to tweak and test the results, before releasing it to SoY.

21 SSW April 4, 2015 at 8:20 pm

AK I really do feel your angst
But I cannot assuage those pangs
English to me is the same as Latin and Greek
The more I hear of it the less I can speak
So assuming I have something to contribute
You shall have to put up with, without dispute
Responses in a motley muddled medley of languages
I am sure you will make some sense of such messages

22 AK April 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm

Gaddeswarupji,
I forgot to mention in my General Rules, but you know it better than me, that in such situations withdrawal is allowed only if the person seeking to withdraw himself suggests a replacement whose credentials are no less than his. You have suggested another Expert; but without commenting on the merit of the case, let me say at the outset that he is unknown to SoY. Therefore, even if I place the proposal, which I am not convinced about, before the Governing Council of SoY, I doubt if they would approve it. So let us say you are staying on the Team of Experts. You have quoted Clint Eastwood, but didn’t he or John Wayne – it is the same thing – also say that ‘A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do‘?

23 AK April 4, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Ashokji,
I am quite illiterate in computers. But as far as my information goes, in spite of all the advances in Artificial Intelligence, I believe the Computer is still regarded as an Idiot. It might compute a billion times faster than human mind, but that is following the command given by humans. Besides, I don’t think scientists have been able to imbue it with emotions, which is an essential part of musical experience. Therefore, it is you Experts who have to carry out the task. Of course, you can use computers for analysis and support.

24 AK April 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm

SSW,
What choice do I have but to accept what you say
Howsoever the study succeeds is what we all pray
Summary for SoY in English would have been desirable
But if you insist on Greek and Latin, I won’t hold you liable
While I admire your pomes and like your comments in verse
Please think for yourself if it won’t make scientific papers worse

25 ksbhatia April 4, 2015 at 11:35 pm

AK ji; That reminds me of Clint Eastwood famous quote ” Go ahead; make my day”. Things may appear a little rusty in initial attempts ; but ;Play it Sam ;” As Time Goes By” [ Casablanca] followed by ” Whose got trouble , how much trouble’……..Knock on wood [ casablanca]. Very entertaining songs from one of the best Oscar winner B& W old classic movies of the 40s . Listen all , enjoy & relax.

26 SSW April 5, 2015 at 2:29 am

My dear AK I will have you know
That once upon a time long long ago
most scientific papers were written in Latin
(and ancient Greek thought would have been Grecian
After all Keats did write an ode
to an urn before he left this earthly abode)
And of course there were treatises in Sanskrit
that were translated nicely into Arabic
English is quite a newcomer you see
when you look at it very scientifically.

27 gaddeswarup April 5, 2015 at 2:52 am

AKji, If you insist I will be part of the teams, but I explained my limitations. Since I enjoyed so many songs and discussions in this site, I feel obliged to accomodate any duty assigned to me.

28 AK April 5, 2015 at 6:14 am

SSW,
Long long ago. But today, and for SoY. I leave the choice to you.

29 AK April 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Gaddeswarupji,
Apropos my comment #18 above, Mumbaikar8 has drawn my attention that this song was mentioned earlier by you in the Open House, and Arvinder Sharmaji in his comment #178 had suggested that the singer was most likely Lata Mangeshkar. That indeed is the case. We do have people with fantastic memories.

30 gaddeswarup April 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm

AKji, I remember this. But my point is also more general since I have often difficulty in distinguishing voices and I have seen more discussions of similar type.

31 Anu Warrier April 6, 2015 at 1:46 am

AK, I’ must confess that you lost me halfway through your post; by the time you were talking about dual indices and mathematical analysis, my eyes glazed over. Fact is, too many statistics and too much analysis can ruin a film/song. 🙂 The appeal for both is emotional, and emotions, as you know, cannot be subject to analysis.

I will also second (or is it third?) Mumbaikar’s reproach – why are lyrics and lyricists given short shrift?

32 AK April 6, 2015 at 8:07 am

Anu,
We had a professor who would initiate the lecture by mentioning three points, and started with the last point first. I can answer your last point easily. The short answer is that on lyricists I have already accepted defeat to Mumbaikar8. And the long answer is that when I remember a great song, three things get embedded in my memory: the singer(s), the film and the MD(s). Therefore, I have requested the readers to do full justice to the lyricists by writing guest articles. I have written something very limited in scope about Sahir Ludhiyanavi. I wrote on Pradeep, mainly for his singing.

Now coming to your first point, there are two reasons why I wrote this post. One is that it seems among the active participants on SoY there is a preponderance of people with high mathematical and analytical skills. Secondly, others, like you, are domain experts in films and music. Why not harness this potential in combination? One of the biggest problems in any organisation is people from different specialities working in their own silos.

Your case is unique. You are not one, you are a formidable pair. I had a colleague who was a PhD in economics from Cornell. Her husband and two children had similar academic credentials from Oxford and Ivy League Universities. I was seriously thinking of creating a ‘Family Academic Index’; she would have probably figured among the very top in the world.

33 Hans April 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm

This is a nice idea and will keep the readers and particularly team members busy. As always I am an advocate for the lyrics. Lyrics start as the base of a song and are its basic identity. Tell me how would you identify the songs to fulfil the wish of Subodh Aggarwal to remind Jugal Kishore about the songs fitting his situation. First of all you will have to search for lyrics and all other things would follow later.

As for the teams all are well constructed and well thought out. PQI being the toughest group it would be better if Mumbaikar8 is also associated (she can handle the additional burden of two teams). We would otherwise also be giving our inputs to other groups.

About the duets you mentioned in the write up on DBI, you would have to listen to ‘o gaadiwale’ again. ‘Khat khut karti’ is sung by chorus and Rafi’s voice is not identifiable – even if present – in the first rendering. After the chorus sings ‘khat khut karti’ for the first time come Shamshad lines, then the chorus comes a second time and Rafi here makes the call of ‘paaye’ – the last word of the two lines – which is clearly identifiable. This ‘khat khut karti’ does not come again and only ‘gaadiwale gaadi’ is repeated at the end of antaras. So it is natural that it would be remembered as ‘gaadwale’ song.

34 AK April 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Hans,
But where is Rafi? When I saw the film, the impression in my mind was that he sings Khat khut karti. But, obviously, you are master of detail. What you say does seem to be correct, but let’s agree that the song is started by male voice(s); Rafi is also there in the song, but it lingers as a Shamshad Begum song. Finally, we can say that it is an unbalanced duet, and, therefore, DBI would need to address its special features.

35 Hans April 10, 2015 at 1:22 am

AK,
May be you remembered something you have seen when you first watched the film, which may be in very young age. I watched the film with my parents when I was about 7 and I remembered some scenes, particularly those which are liked by children. One of them which was etched in my memory was the scene when little Birjoo eats chana given by Sukhi Lala and which he throws back at him. I remembered this scene as if Birjoo directly spits the chana on Sukhi Lala’s moustache. I was surprised to find the scene quite different when I watched the film later.

I dont know if we can call the duet unbalanced, because Rafi has equal share in both the antaras, though he is almost absent in the mukhda.

36 Hans April 10, 2015 at 1:51 am

Subodh, (comment 13)
I have a different view about this groom whose bride-to-be became a math teacher before saat phere. He was perhaps wise enough to see through the game plan and deliberately gave a wrong reply, because these days even illiterate people can add up sums like 15+6 at marriageable age. Perhaps the bride was upto something as she may be having some affair. In Indian marriages there was a lot of fun and frolic earlier, which is still prevalent in the common people at least. It was normal to ask funny questions and funny replies were given deliberately and they were not taken seriously. If he gave only a funny reply and they took it otherwise that also points to something else. In my view if he really did not know the answer then he would have kept silent instead of endeavouring to give a wrong answer. I would say that if I was asked such a question at such a stage I would also have given the wrong answer.

So far as suggesting songs for him in this situation, I would say the song which you mentioned in your post on Raag Pilu ‘haseeno se to bas sahab’ would be appropriate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO2HftkD2cU

Another song that comes to my mind is the one from Bhabhi – ‘jawan ho ya budhiya’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHoxELW8h3Q

Or we may advise him to console himself with the Shyam Kumar classic from Sanjog ‘jaan bachi so lakhon paye’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lMvVbuCgGY

Fellow readers are requested to suggest some other songs to complete the 10 or more.

37 Jignesh Kotadia April 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Hansji, Subodhji
one more song to motivate Jugal Kishore
Hansji as you said in your comment 36, maybe he was deliberate in his answer and was replying in funny manner.
now, imagining JugalKishore as young Kishoreda is enough to laugh out loudly 🙂 🙂 🙂 … too hilarious. If KK were asked the sum of 16+7, he would have answered in his typical crazy style…..

“aaiyummm……hrummmm….ikke se mila chhakka…..bhrummm……ban gaya satta…..satttte se judaa…kya juda ?…kya juda be ??….ek auuur sattaaa….to ho gaye….O raghoba….O dhondiba…saambhlo re saambhlo….to ho gaye …. ….Satattar pyare Satattarrrrrrr…hmmmm”

“Dulhan” had never faced such mad angle comic bouncers. She misinterprets, gets shocked and walks out….

Probably god saved the groom from an impending doom and spared him for a better option. Now he can sing…..

Bach gaye
haa bach gaye
hum dono fanste fanste
hum bhi chale aur tum bhi chalo
ab apne apne raste

Bride : mai gavaalan prem nagar ki
preet hai meri pooja
Groom : mai nahi hoon tera kanhaiya
dhoondh le koi dooja
are tarbooja kharbooja
jiski karti rehna pooja
teri jaisi to humko “nahi chaalshe”
teri jaisi to “saanu naiyo chaldi” …ho bach gaye

B : mera raag yaman kalyaan
G : aur meri videshi taan
chocolate mai khata hoon
aur tu khaati hai paan
fans jaati jo kahin supari
nikal hi jaati jaan
jo na kat’ta apna patta
kahan se lata chuna kattha
baitha rehta fodke apna mattha
chalo chhute bhi is janjaal se….he bach gaye

I have to say one sentence to Jugal Kishore
” Karishma rejects whom , he gets Aishwarya ! ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M1WTd8sEuc

38 Hans April 10, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Jignesh,
I dont think this song fits for the groom. We should suggest songs only to the groom. The bride must already be having fruits of her efforts. If ‘bach gaya’ is the theme and Kishore Kumar is to be the singer, then we can suggest ‘mujhe meri biwi se bachao’ which would console the groom that he has avoided the sure situation this bride would have put him in. I am not sure if the next one might be better, considering the modern trend. In the meantime enjoy the Aaj Ki Taja Khabar song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlGG12tHCUI

There is another one from Wanted(1961) – ‘hum bhi kash kanware hote’ which would give peace of mind to him
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebHUMOCKTe8

Another option is sanyas contemplated by Johny Walker in Khota Paisa song ‘haseeno sambhalo apni duniya’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSFL3qUXuUg

39 Jignesh Kotadia April 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Hansji
i have not seen Chacha Zindabad , but it seems that KK and the actress are enjoying their deliberate separation knowing their mismatch. similarly if jugal kishore and the bride acted deliberately to depart then the song is a nice IMAGINARY DEPICTION of this situation. we dont know the exact psychology of both parties. Even if jugal kishore has a feel of dejection after this incidence, he should believe that he is saved by Nature from an unworthy girl for him and enjoy like KK.

40 Hans April 10, 2015 at 11:52 pm

Jignesh,
Perhaps you have misunderstood my interpretation of the situation. Whatever it was, there was no common plan to do this in the present case like the film. It was all the bride’s doing. If the groom did something knowingly, it was to save himself from such a rogue. It is not necessary to see the film. You can read the synopsis of the film.

41 Hans April 11, 2015 at 2:07 am

AK,
Gaddeswarupji had mentioned the song ‘chanda ka rang liye’ which you said was sung by Lata. I would request you to listen to it again. To me it appears to be Mubarak Begum singing in the style of Lata. Initially she also sang some songs in the style of Geeta Dutt. For this you can listen to her songs in Phoolon Ke Haar (1951). By 1956 Lata’s voice had settled itself and in ‘chanda ka rang liye’ her voice does not look well rounded and would never try to sing in the voice of Mubarak because she was no threat like Suman in whose voice Lata sang some songs which we discussed earlier. Try to listen to some other link. Mubarak had tried to sing like Lata but the effect is something between Lata and Usha.

42 AK April 11, 2015 at 7:22 am

Hans,
After seeing Mubarak Begum’s name and picture, if I and Arvinder Sharmaji felt it like Lata Mangeshkar, she (the former) has achieved amazing similarity. But you may be right. In the present era, Sudesh Bhosle does amazing imitation of different singers. Let us see what others say.

43 Hans April 11, 2015 at 8:25 am

AK,
Yes the similarity is surprising, particularly because her voice tone was different. Perhaps it was due to the marathi MD K.Datta who had given Lata many songs in her early career.

But, the most surprising thing is the wish of all the prominent singers to sing like Geeta Dutt. I have listened songs of Sudha and Suman in the style of Geeta. Here is another example in addition to Phoolon Ke Haar.
Jal jal ke maroon – Sheesha – GM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DCiH_4SJic

There is also another song from 1950 which is not in her standard voice.
Prem kahani chhede jawani – Basera(1950) – MA Rauf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54qVuK7QmgM

44 AK April 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Hans,
This is interesting. In her debut Aaiye, she made a perfect imitation of Suraiya. She was not sure of herself.

On Chandan ka rang liye Arunji says the singer is ‘probably’ Mubarak Begum. I think this will take less time than Twelve Angry Men to bring everyone around. I have changed my vote to 60% Mubarak Begum. Now you have to work on Arvinder Sharmaji.

45 mumbaikar8 April 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Hans,
I had my doubts, when Arvinder Sharmaji was discussing it with Gaddeswarupji, I did not butt in then because I felt it was too close to call.
If I have to put my money, I would do it on Mubarak Begum.
प्रश्न ये उठता है as usual I raise a question, if Mubarak Begum could sing so much like Lata, particularly the antara, why did she not do it more often.

46 ksbhatia April 12, 2015 at 12:08 am

Hans’ji I want to check weather ‘ Charan das ko peene ki jo aadat na hoti’ from Pehli jhalak by Kishore fits the bill on Miyan biwi theme .

47 ksbhatia April 12, 2015 at 10:57 pm

Hans’ji ; While looking for such more songs ; I have come across one funny song ‘ Meri patni mujhe satati hai ‘ from ‘ pati patni’ by Manna Dey , Kishore , Surendra , Mehmood and Johny walker . It may not fit into the theme but its a good comedy song .

48 Hans April 13, 2015 at 1:46 am

AK,
You, me, Mumbaikar8, Sharmaji or Bhatiaji stick our necks out without being sure but Arunji is a perfectionist and his approval has removed doubts from my mind. By the way of ‘Twelve angry men’ and its Hindi remake ‘Ek ruka hua faisla’, which one you like more. In my view the Hindi version is better.

About ‘Aiye’, I agree with you, she has sung like Suraiya even in her duet with Lata in that film. When you wrote a post about her, I had listened to almost all of her early songs and I had found her singing like Shamshad in one song, though I dont remember that one. There is one more riddle about her. I had read somewhere long time back that she also had small roles in one or two films. Could that be true. Arunji can help us here. There is a song from Dharam Patni (1953) ‘raat kaise kati bata na sake’ in which the female artist on which this has been picturised has facial features like her, though I am not sure. You have met her, try to identify.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSbH553ac-s

49 AK April 13, 2015 at 7:40 am

Hans,
I saw the two films many years apart. But what sticks out in the Hindi film is the exaggerated mannerism of Pankaj Kapoor, who is the most stubborn juror. He is a very fine actor, and he didn’t need so much melodrama to differentiate himself. This is a general problem with Hollywood adaptations in Hindi. Annu Kapoor too has some overdone mannerism, but I take it as within acceptable limit. Others are very credible and normal people. Not sure, if I can call it better, but it is an excellent adaptation, and excellent film by itself.

On Raat kaise kati, I won’t like to stick my neck out. The clip is 60 years earlier than when I met her. There are some facial similarities. She also might have appeared in some bit roles. Over to Arunji.

50 Hans April 14, 2015 at 2:30 am

Mumbaikar8,
I think no purpose would have been by her singing like Lata. But, she was one of the most unfortunate female singers who could not muster even 200 songs in her career. There were some others who themselves stopped singing or did very minimal singing because of their family commitments like Sudha, but Mubarak Begum was willing to sing all along. Some of her songs from the 1950s are real gems. Even MDs of the stature of Naushad, SJ, CR were not ready to experiment.

51 Hans April 14, 2015 at 2:36 am

Bhatiaji,
Your songs are good. The song from Pati Patni is just like the one I posted from Aaj ki Taaza Khabar and should fit, but I dont find Kishore in it. But, the theme was proposed by Subodh Aggarwal and he has neither approved nor disapproved my songs. But, we can continue to find songs because they would fit somewhere. The song by Jignesh is also unique type and it can later come in some category, though for me it is not a great song.

52 Jignesh Kotadia April 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Hansji
A song befitting Vidyottama-Kalidas episode
on the first night when Vidyottama finds Kalidas a totally illiterate person, she shows him door saying that..

Vid : Humse nain milana BA pass karke
Humse preet lagana BA pass karke
ho BA pass karle..

Kalidas argues
: BA nahin hun lekin mai hun ishq me MA pass
aji tum kya jaano mr. majnoo dost hai mere khaas
aji ustaad hai mere khaas

Vid : jungle me tum dono jaakar karo ikatthi ghaas
chale aye ho akal ka satyanaash karke
humko gussa na dilaao bakwaas karke

Kalidas : ishq ki haye tune kadar na jaani
degree ke peechhe tu to hui hai diwaani
good bye good bye o meri raani
ab maine marne ki hai thaani

Vid : mere baalma na jaana dil udaas karke
humse nain milana BA pass karke

Kalidas takes it serously,, and returns after some years with not only B.A. degree but with G.M.A. (grand master in arts) !

on Shamshad Begum’s 96th b’day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac2At2mfsDQ

53 AK April 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Hans,
Apropos #48, 49. Arunji says he is not aware if Mubarak Begum acted in any film.

54 Naresh P. Mankad April 14, 2015 at 8:18 pm

AKji,
I have known that you never let SoY become dull and would come up with fresh interesting ideas but this initiative has brought in a new element of excitement. You are like a very good editor who recently passed away, who not only kept his magazine lively but also made his readers’ letters section very interesting. This is now increasingly becoming a characteristic of SoY’s Comments.

55 AK April 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Naresh P. Mankad,
Coming back after a long time!

I am happy you liked it. SoY’s main value now lies in its readers’ comments. In this I have been singularly lucky to have such wonderful people engage here intensively.

56 Dinesh K Jain April 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

Engineer comes to the fore!

57 AK April 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

Dinesh,
Not exactly. Now I am a pure generalist. Hence, I presented it before the Experts.

58 Hans April 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm

AK,
It is better to be a generalist. Because, then – like every Indian – you can be a doctor, engineer, advocate, agricultural scientist, cricket pundit, jyotishi or any thing you like.

Regarding Mubarak Begum, HFGK says she acted in Sabse Bada Rupaiya which you also stated in your post on her. See this video, which is not clear, of the song ‘daulat buri cheej hai’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no8zOhDlzns
Do you identify someone like her in the video.

You mentioned you remember the duet by the first voice. Your theory has substance. We discussed ‘o gadiwale’ being remembered as a Shamshad song. In that Rafi does not come in the mukhda, but both have equal share in antara. But two very famous songs ‘ankhon hi ankhon men’ and ‘umad ghumad kar aayi’ are known as Rafi, Manna Dey songs, though they contribute nothing in antaras.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9ANgzH9Pwc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pZJj0kTVbU

There is another very famous duet, which uptil now I had not noticed that the other singer (premlata) is there just for name. That is ‘chup chup khade ho’.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-btaTuMDqbE

59 Hans April 19, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Jignesh #52
That fits the situation very well. But, I dont understand one thing, why Vidyotama chose to test the skill of Kalidas by asking him questions in gestures instead of asking him to add 15+6 like our modern Vidyotama.

60 Atul July 1, 2015 at 10:25 am

Anthony (Tony) Lewis of Duckworth-Lewis fame was a test cricketer. He has led England cricket team that came to tour India in 1972-73. He was made captain of the team when he himself had never played test cricket before. So he is one of those rare test cricketers who led their test team on their own test debut.

61 AK July 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Atul,
Quora.com, which is generally quite credible, says that this Tony Lewis is a lecturer in Mathematical subjects in the Faculty of Computer Studies and Mathematics at University of West England, Bristol, and Chairman of the Western Branch of Operational Research Society. But on cricket you must know better.

62 Atul July 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Oh, I see. So there is same name confusion in cricket as well. 🙂

63 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

I think I have read somewhere that Tony Lewis of DW formula was not a cricketer but a Mathematics teacher.
This needs to be checked again.

64 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Here is a link,which clarifies this matter totally confirming that Tony Lewis of DW formula was not a cricketer.
http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/page/409991.html

65 mumbaikar8 November 23, 2015 at 8:42 pm

AK,
Can the duet balance get better than this one from Krishan Sudama duet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89Ne8w8Es_k

66 AK November 23, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Mumbaikar8,
This is a perfect example of a balanced duet, though there is a compromise in that you don’t hear the two voices distinctly. If you want to hear the voices distinctly, a duet will be more balanced if male female voices alternate after short sentences.

67 ksbhatia November 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

A K ji ;
What about this song …. Do ghadi woh jo paas aa bahthe…..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4i2nTDpt0w
I think this should fit the bill as balance duet .

68 AK November 24, 2015 at 10:48 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
Yes, of course. Another type of balanced duet is when male-female voices alternate after short phrases. For example, Naa jaane chaand kaisa hoga.

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