Songs of Yore completes seven years

June 7, 2017

Celebrating with some newly discovered gems and a tribute to Master Madan

Songs of Yore Seventh anniversaryWhen I wrote on the sixth anniversary, I had been concerned by Gaddeswarupji’s ominous statistics that many promising blogs start losing steam in the sixth year. Seven years is ripe age for a blog. This is the stage when, I guess, a blogger starts thinking whether he/she is able to keep the readers still interested, or is doing more of the same. I believe SoY has been able to do more of different things. We are getting new readers, we also get to know of many who follow the blog regularly, though they may not be participating. A highlight has been the arrival of two new guest authors: Ravindra Kelkar and Ashwin Bhandarkar. Mr Kelkar had already made a mark as an OP Nayyar-expert. He filled up an important gap in SoY as I could not have given him the profile commensurate with his fan following. Ashwin is a Master with a light touch. Readers can expect many more offerings from them.

Subodh Agrawal had been away for a while, but he made up by three quick articles in his series on film songs based on classical ragas, covering Bihag, Maand/Shivranjini and Asavari/Jaunpuri. Our old veterans N Venkataraman and Ashok Vaishnav made timely contributions on MS Subbulakshmi and Dilip Dholakia respectively. Shalan Lal’s two pieces were remarkable for their wide sweep. Outstripping them all by miles was DP Rangan, who is continually on canter. With such a galaxy of contributors, SoY is not in the danger of becoming stale. I had to wait for seven consecutive guest articles in the current calendar year until I could get my piece in. My huge thanks to the guest authors.

We all know by now that what is there in the comment section is almost invariably no less interesting and informative than the main article. There could be no better example of the scholarship that the readers bring than the recent discussion on Asavari/Jaunpuri where the comments ranged from Mahabharata to Ragamala paintings to the anthropology of snake-charming tribes. I don’t tire of saying that it is the readers who have made SoY what it is. I have to express my gratitude to them.

It is time to enjoy some unusual songs I came across recently. On the last two anniversaries, I posted songs with identical tunes by SN Tripathi, one of which became very famous, the other getting lost in oblivion. Here is another set by his protégé Chitragupt.

Pehli nazar tere pyar ki ho mere dil mein utar gayi by Rafi and Kamal Barot from Tel Malish Boot Polish (1960), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupt

This was absolutely new to me. Chandrashekhar had some fantastic songs picturised on him, some of them by Chitragupt. Here is its clone a few years later which was very well known to me and, I am sure, it would be equally familiar to readers from non-Bhojpuri areas, as Chitragupta’s music in Bhojpuri films had a pan-India appeal. Kumkum is always wonderful as a dancer; she carved out a special niche for herself in Bhojpuri films.

Mori kalaiya sukumar ho by Lata Mangeshkar from Laagi Nahi Chhute Ram (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupt

I have to thank Rakesh Srivastava for this set of songs. In earlier years, too, he had sent me similar unusual songs.

When a music director recycles his own tunes, I have a dignified word for it – auto-inspiration. But there are some brazen imitations of other music directors which are so good that I hate to use the P-word. Here is a song I heard just two days back which left me zapped. The surprise was that it came in Sangeet Sarita programme of Vividh Bharati in which Ashwini Bhide Deshpande was demonstrating Bageshree-Kauns. Did she mean Nain so nain naahi milaao, and the anchor put up the wrong song? I don’t mind the error, I take it as an anniversary gift to SoY.

Naina jo nain se mile, hua hai mujhe haye kya by P Susheela and PB Srinivas from Daaku Bhupat (1960), lyrics Prem Dhavan, music SL Merchant

Ye mahki mahki raatein ye chaand sitaare by Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur from Gangu (1962), lyrics Prem Dhavan, music director Kalyanji-Anandji

This is a unique mujra song. The dancer is entertaining her clients with song and dance. Nothing unusual in that. But the interlude cuts to Sulochana singing a lori to a child, naturally in slow tune. It is back to mujra with a slow recital followed by the fast refrain. A wild guess: the mujra dancer is the mother of the child, entertaining the guests for the paapi pet. Who is Sulochana then? My interest is not in all this, but in the unique composition in which a lori is nestled in the interludes of a mujra song.

Champakali dekho jhuk hi gayi by Rafi and Asha Bhosle from Ziddi (1964), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music SD Burman

I heard this beautiful duet for the first time. I am not surprised when I encounter unheard gems from the Vintage Era (1930-40s), but I was amazed how this song from the 60s remained hidden from me.

Master Madan (28 December 1927 – 5 June 1942)

Master MadanI have been paying tribute to some very unique music personalities in my anniversary posts. न भूतो न भविष्यति was never more apt than in the case of Master Madan. There have been child prodigies before in music, the most famous being obviously Kumar Gandharv (the name itself signifying a child celestial singer, his real name being Shivputra Siddaramaiya Komkalimath), but he lived up to the age of 67, singing till his last days to great acclaim. DV Paluskar died at the age of 34. Master Madan is among the most famous child prodigies in music whose death at the age of 14 has created an abiding ‘what if he had lived longer’ aura around him. Born to Sardar Amar Singh, who was a government employee in the education department, and Puran Devi in the village Khankhana (named after Abdur Rahim Khankhana, one of the nine jewels of Akbar) in Jalandhar district, he was trained in music by his elder brother Master Mohan and sister Shanti Devi, who were 13/14 years older to him. He also received training from Pt Amarnath, the elder brother of the famous duo Husnlal-Bhagatram, and who had also given music for the film Mirza Sahiban (1947).

His talent was noticed very early. His first public performance was at the age of three at Dharampur sanatorium in Himachal Pradesh where his rendering of Hey Sharda naman karun created a sensation. He received a wide media coverage. The news of the arrival of a child music genius spread like wild fire. He soon became a singer in high demand for public performances and mehfils in the courts of princely states all over the country.

The family lived in Simla and Delhi. Master Madan studied at Sanatan Dharm School, Simla and later Ramjas School and Hindu College in Delhi (?). But he was lost in music. He became a popular singer on the radio. His family extracted utmost commercial juice from his concerts which put great strain on him. Finally, his health deteriorated severely and no medicine had any effect on him.

There are several conspiracy theories around his death. One story has it that while he was singing at Ambala, a dancing girl invited him to her kotha and gave him spiked paan out of jealousy. With a slight variation, other versions say that in Delhi or Calcutta radio station some singers jealous of him gave slow poison or mercury in his drink.

HMV brought out only his two ghazals – Sagar Nizami’s Hairat se tak raha hai jahan-e-wafa mujhe and Yun na rah rah kar humein tarsaaiye on commercial records. But their phenomenal popularity was enough to put him in the Hall of Fame of immortals. Some more of his songs of different genres were got recorded as private records by music lovers. There are now in all his eight songs in public domain. Let us celebrate SoY’s seventh anniversary with the gems of the child prodigy Master Madan. Pt Amarnath is said to have composed all the eight songs.

1. Hairat se tak raha hai jahan-e-wafa mujhe, lyrics Sagar Nizami, music Pt. Amarnath

2. Yun na rah rah kar humein tarsaaiye, lyrics Sagar Nizami, music Pt. Amarnath

3. Man ki man hi madhya rahi (Gurubani)

4. Chetna hai to chet lai (Gurubani)

5. Mori binati maano Kaanh re (thumri)

6. Raavi de par le kande

7. Gori gori bainya (thumri)

8. Bagan vich pingan painya

Acknowledgement and Notes
1.    The information on Master Madan is based on two excellent articles available on the internet: one by Satish Chopra (apnaorg.com) and the other by Pran Neville in The Tribune.
2.    Most writings on Master Madan (such as Pran Neville’s article) mention that he also studied at Hindu College in Delhi. I am somewhat sceptical about this. Was he also a child prodigy in studies? The eminent TV/AIR personality Sharad Dutt, who has made short films on many music personalities including Master Madan, confirms my doubt that he was too young to study in college, though he might have given performance there.
3.    The thumbnail picture of Master Madan is taken from Pran Neville’s article.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dustedoff June 7, 2017 at 4:17 am

Many congratulations, AK! Happy birthday to SoY, and here’s wishing you many, many more years of blog posts to come.

You’ve given me a bunch of songs to get acquainted with, whenever my net connection speed gets a bit better (it’s horrible right now). Offhand, only some of the Master Madan songs, and the song from Ziddi, are the ones I recall.

I have serious doubts about Master Madan having been in Hindu College. Or any college, for that matter. Interestingly, a couple of years back, a friend of mine had been planning on writing a detective story around the mystery surrounding the death of Master Madan. She never got around to it, but I think that might have been a good idea…

2 AK June 7, 2017 at 4:47 am

Madhu,
Thanks a lot for your greetings and good wishes. I think you you should write on the ‘murder’ mystery of Master Madan.

3 D P Rangan June 7, 2017 at 5:05 am

AK
Your blog with unique characteristics is bound to go on for ever. Our Sun is now in the main sequence of its life and expected to last another billion years before turning rogue and swallowing Earth. Similarly your blog would be carried forward by other torch bearers when you decide to hand over the baton ad infinitum. The blog followers affaires de coeur will ensure its perpetuation. With your je ne sais quoi, you will carry forward triumphantly. Thanks for overpraising my humble efforts, particularly in honouring me with the first post of 2017. I will try to be in cantering mood just to stay in place. My joie de vivre with the blog will continue for ever till I possess my intellect in tact, a factor to be reckoned considering my approach to 80. All the articles (mine excepted) are tour de force. Let me conclude by wishing the blog to continue without interregnum in the coming days, months and years.

4 Avinash Scrapwala June 7, 2017 at 5:16 am

Heartiest Congratulations Sir ji …!!!

5 AK June 7, 2017 at 5:39 am

DP Rangan,
Thanks a lot for your kind words. You have added a lot to SoY by your participation and guest articles. I need to take coaching from you in French, Greek and Latin. Are you also into Spanish, Italian and German? Highly Impressive.

Avinash Scrapwala,
Thanks a lot for your good wishes.

6 Gopal Pillai June 7, 2017 at 6:22 am

Congratulations, AK-ji on continuing for 7 years, that is 365 weeks – 15th Silver Jubilee. We at Kalyan Music Club will ever remain indebted to you for making available your knowledge to enhance the standard of programs and of course our pleasure. Life is worth living, with you.
Thanks & Regards.
Gopal Pillai – Secy, Kalyan Music Club.

7 AK June 7, 2017 at 6:28 am

Gopal Pillai
Thanks a lot for your generous words. I am happy to know that SoY is of some use to the members of Kalyan Music Club.

8 Ravindra Kelkar June 7, 2017 at 6:29 am

AK,
Congratulation for completing one more year. By every year, SOY gets better and better. Quite amazing. As you have mentioned, the enthusiasm of the followers make SOY very unique. However, your are the moving spirit behind the success.

9 Uma Maheswar Nakka June 7, 2017 at 6:44 am

Subhodayam
Good Morning.
I wish and pray Songs of Yore
A Very Happy Birthday and many more happy returns of the day.
I wish these Sapta swaralu to bloom in to koti (karod) swaralu, with more prosperity and success.
Have a lovely day with beautiful music, everyday
All the best and good luck.
Allah bless us all.
Uma

10 N Venkataraman June 7, 2017 at 7:05 am

AKji,
A Hearty Congratulations on the completion of 7 years of Soy.
You started this journey 7 years ago and I joined roughly two years later, since then having a great time. Thank you for bringing together a wonderful set of people who love and care for good music and good writing. Thank you also for reinventing and reliving the past with the magical music of the golden era of Indian cinema. No amount of praise is enough for this unique blog. SoY would always have something new and given us a much needed variety. Time and again you have delighted us with interesting posts. As I have already said in the past, You have not only maintained a regular flow of posts, which itself I feel is not an easy job, you have time and again come up with creative posts/ ideas, and something out of the box.
I am sure SoY will keep holding to high standards.
With deep appreciation.
PS: Will be back after going through the post.

11 Rakesh Srivastava June 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

AK JI
Seven days, seven colours, seven surs and now seven years. Really Great. My heartiest congratulations !!

And thanks for acknowledging my song in your esteemed blog.

12 AK June 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

Mr Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your generous words. You have made a valuable contribution to SoY by highlighting the music of OP Nayyar.

Uma Maheshwar,
Thanks a lot for your kind words. It is always nice to know that there are many well wishers of SoY though they may not be participating regularly.

Vankataramanji,
Grateful for your good wishes and compliments. You are among the elite group who have raised the standard of SoY.

Rakeshji,
Thanks a lot for your generous words. You have given us several unique songs from time to time.

13 Mahesh June 7, 2017 at 7:25 am

AK ji.
Many Congratulations and Thanks for all the posts.
May the tribe grow.

14 Gaddeswarup June 7, 2017 at 7:34 am

AKJi, Congratulations. You should not take my comments seriously. I have blog going on from December 2005. There is no original stuff except links to articles that I want to revisit. Recently, I found that I have a few hundred visits everyday. Usually that sort of thing worries me and I stop for a few days to let the traffic decrease. So, I think that you will easily go on for 5 more years.

15 AK June 7, 2017 at 7:38 am

Mahesh,
Thanks a lot for your good wishes.

Gaddeswarupji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Your observations are based on research, therefore, I had to give importance to it. That also spurs me to make greater efforts.

16 Arunkumar Deshmukh June 7, 2017 at 8:11 am

AK ji,

My Congratulations to you and SOY for this Milestone achievement .
The Blog has not only survived the difficult 6th year, but shows no sign of wilting or weakening at all. Good going and I wish you all the very best in coming years too.
Addition to your In house bank of contributors and several new readers is a proof that the Blog is one of the more successful hot spots on the Cyber world.
-AD

17 Anil Kane June 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

AK ji,

Sir, best wishes on the completion of 7 years of SOY. Although I don’t participate, I am a regular reader of your posts and readers’ comments.

Regards, Anil Kane.

18 AK June 7, 2017 at 9:27 am

Arunji,
Thanks a lot for your generous words. Your support to SoY and to me means a lot.

Anil Kane,
Thanks a lot for your wishes. It is great to know that so many people beyond the regular participants follow SoY regularly.

19 ksbhatia June 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Ak ji ;
What a gift to celebrate the anniversary. Each year that passes, I crave for more . And I wish you and all others many more anniversaries to follow. So no …seven years itch .

In fact , I am finding myself living as ” Teenager Recycled”.

Master Madan was most respected singer of his times . His songs were regular on AIR during 50s ., and we all used to glue to the radio whenever his songs were aired . My father used to sing and hum his songs while getting ready for his office. My father too worked in Ministry of Education [ from mid 20 to mid 60s….retiring as Joint secretary ] and as such had a little background history of Master Madan as well . I used to follow my father by humming Master Madan songs.

It is difficult to choose the best of the lot as all songs takes you to different level of soul searching rendition . All the time one think …..why such soul left so soon.

I have a little observation on his education . There were [ and still are] a number of schools on Mandir Marg , earlier known as Reading Road , which had beautiful and majestic school buildings with vast open grounds . During 30s , 40s and even 50s there was crunch of shortage of college buildings and as such a few of the schools like ….Raisaina School , M B school and Jain Public School which were used as colleges in the evening for certain streams of subject. I think day time M B school was either Hindu College or S N Das Gupta College . In 50s the recognised colleges gave way to some private evening colleges that catered to the students appearing as private candidates for the famous Punjab Matric Exams conducted by Punjab University . May be Master Madan appeared for his Matric exam studying from one of such evening college which still carried the Hindu evening college tag .

Harcourt Butler School at Mandir Marg is the one where i did my schooling and this school had no evening college . Last year the school celebrated its Hundred years of its existence .

20 AK June 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm

KS Bhatiaji,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. Your explanation of college seems convincing. Pran Neville’s article created an impression that Master Madan in college.

21 mumbaikar8 June 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm

AK,
Wishing you with this apt Sher by Majrooh
मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिब-ए-मंज़िल मगर
लोग साथ आते गये और कारवां बनता गया
– मजरूह सुलतानपुरी

22 AK June 7, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Mumbaikar8,
Thanks a lot for your greetings and for being a very active member of the caravan.

23 Raghavan Vasudevan June 8, 2017 at 7:10 am

Congrats for completing 7 years. SOY is growing from sterngth to strength. What keepus us all engaged to SOY is the articles keep on coming up – all well written – with links and video clippings inducing to
read the article plus entertainment by way of the clippings. Members generally respond well to the articles thro their comments/posting.

Keep up the good and we the members are with you to cheer you up

24 Peddadu June 8, 2017 at 8:21 am

AK ji,
My hearty congrats on completing Seven Years of SoY. In the course of time, I’ve come across many gems (unknown to me!) of songs, though I’d ignore so-called hits of all-time.
I would like to mention that the song ‘Naina jo nain se mile’ by P.Suseela & PB Sreeinivas from ‘Daku Bhupat’ is in fact another sheer melody. The film itself was a (poor) remake a hit Telugu film ‘Raja Nandini’ (1958), with music by TV Raju.
I had already heard Master Madan’s songs earlier; it is nice to revisit them now.

25 Shalan Lal June 8, 2017 at 9:49 am

All should pay tribute to AK for carrying on with this blog that has grown.

AK himself is a very hardworking person with less “amour proper” and more “Laissez-faire ” the good qualities that a journalist needed to be successful in his craft.

Completing seven years when seven in Indian culture is a very famous number is an accomplished task and he should feel proud about it. I feel proud about it to be a small part of it.

The tribute to “Master Madan” is very good and also nice to re-invoke his art for our taste.

If I am not wrong Wadia Brothers made some films during their stunt films and attached them as part of the main film either towards the end or after the interval of the main film. Master Madan lived for a while in the Wadia studio.

His voice is sharp on the notes and some of his “alaps were long held. We had some of his 78 rpm records.

If I am not wrong because of the success of Master Madan many little child singers came along during that period both male and females. Parsuram who sang in the film “Duniya Na Mane ” and Vasanti in the same film were child singers of the Prabhat films of Pune.

All in all my deepest congratulations to AK and his “True Grit” spirit.

Shalan

26 AK June 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Mr Vasudevan, Peddadu,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation and encouragement.

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation. I didn’t know that Master Madan lived in Wadia’s studio. He spawning child singers is an interesting observation. It reminds me Firoz Dastoor was a child singer in early films, such as Laal-e-Yaman.

27 Anu Warrier June 8, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Congratulations, AK. Wishing you many, many more years of blogging.

28 AK June 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Anu,
Thanks a lot for your greetings and good wishes.

29 Gaddeswarup June 9, 2017 at 3:08 am

AK Ji, is there any theme behind ‘nain se nain’ songs. I heard a version of it by Uatad Fateh Ali Khan in a1957 Pakistani film Wadah and just recently by his nephews. Is there a perennial thems or is it some thing that started after 1955 Lata -Hemant Kumar song?
Latest version that I heard https://youtu.be/aXwpG5IvCYk

30 Ashok M Vaishnav June 9, 2017 at 3:45 am

I am at loss… do I congratulate AKji and SoY for the 7th anniversary or thank them for providing so rich fare all these years …..

I will do both and do it as much profusely as I can do…..

31 SSW June 9, 2017 at 3:57 am

Congratulations AK. Long may it last.

32 Subodh Agrawal June 9, 2017 at 4:52 am

Congratulations AK on completing the significant milestone of seven years, and best wishes for the next seven and beyond. Happy and proud to be a member of the family.

Thanks for six more songs from Master Madan and information on his life. I plan to listen to them at leisure, and come back in case I notice anything worth commenting beyond wah!

As far as I know ‘Nain so nain nahin milao’ is Malgunji – a combination of Bageshri and Rageshri. I wonder if the slight difference between it and ‘Naina jo nain se mile’ is enough to change the raga. Bageshri, however, is dominant in both. I believed it to be a song in Bageshri until I heard a radio program on Malgunji.

33 Peddadu June 9, 2017 at 8:25 am

AK ji @26,
I am reminded of child singer Balakram in the interlude of GM Durrani’s song’Neend hamare khwab tumhare’ from ‘Nai Kahani’ (1943), with music by Shyamsundar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNMY3kP0tE8). Later I heard Balakram again in ‘Kehti kehti mose sharmaun’, along with Nalinijayawant in ‘Hindustan hamara’ (1950), with music by Vasant Desai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyam2_aH8Wc). I am not sure whether it was the same person!

34 AK June 9, 2017 at 8:57 am

Gaddeswarupji,
‘Naina se nain milao’ is a misical phrase which can lend itself to several bandishes. But some classical versions in different Ragas

35 AK June 9, 2017 at 9:04 am

Ashokji, SSW,
Thanks a lot for your greetings and good wishes.

Subodh,
Thanks a lot for your good wishes.

The programme was on Bageshree-Kauns, but Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande acknowledged that there are no films on this raga, and she asked the anchor to play a song in Bageshree. She also said that film songs do not follow a raga purely, and they do innovate and experiment

36 Shalan Lal June 9, 2017 at 10:14 am

AK @26

Yes Firoze Dastoor was a very good singer. Parasi community enriched Indian culture during the 19th and 20 centuries. Such a good community now facing vanishing time. I heard there are only about five hundred Parasi people left in Bombay.

I enjoy Parsi cooking very much both “Dhansak and fish and chicken dishes. I had many good Parasi friends as we lived near Parasi Agiyari (temple) near Metro cinema. In my collection for a long time I had Parasi Vedas printed in Devnagari.

Subodh @ 32

The song “‘Nain so Nain Nahin Milao’ ” from the film “Jhanak 2 Payal Baje” has three beats and I had used it about thirty years ago as Waltz song in a workshop and the English people who were fond of Ballroom dancing loved it without understanding the meaning of the song.

My surprize was felt as a pointed pin when I realised that in the film Western music and dances were denounced in a scene.

Shalan

37 Subodh Agrawal June 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

Shalan Lal, after seeing your last comment I hummed to myself the tune of ‘Nain so nain nahin milao’ with a waltz beat and it went off very well. Quite a revelation!

38 SSW June 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Why is that a revelation Subodh? I would think that Nain so nain is in dadra taal so it would tall into triple time or its variants. Again the “waltz beat” is a misnomer, there are waltzes in 5/4 , 11/4 time and this composition in triple time is not a waltz.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-Xm7s9eGxU
I always feel Madan Mohan was inspired by this Satie composition for the slower “Dil Dhoondta hai”.

39 AK June 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm

Peddadu,
This is interesting. It seems Balak Ram didn’t achieve much fame as he grew up. Firoz Dastoor was counted not only as a well-known film singer, he was also counted among the doyens of Kirana Gharana.

40 Ashwin Bhandarkar June 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Congratulations on the milestone, AK! Am in an airport now and do not have my earphones with me, so it will be a while before I will be able to savour the musical fare that you have presented in this post.

41 AK June 10, 2017 at 2:29 am

Ashwin,
Thanks a lot.

42 N Venkataraman June 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

AKji,

Sheer exuberance drove me in doing this commentary on SoY’s seven successful years of musical journey. I would seek pardon from everybody for the lengthy commentary, could not resist the temptation. Please allow me to do recap/recollection of the nostalgic 7 bygone years. The first two years I was not part of the SoY’s journey. But after I came in in 2012, I had visited many of the pre 2012 posts. Almost all the posts fascinated me and since then got hooked to SoY.

The highlight of 2010-11 was the post “Twin Songs: A front runner and a laggard”, which I would consider as the precursor to the Multi-version songs series. The articles “Suman Kalyanpur outshines Lata Mangeshkar” and “Md.Rafi vs Kishore Kumar” attracted maximum attention.

The year 2011-12 saw the introduction of three important serial-posts, “Forgotten Composers Unforgettable Melodies” (FUCM), “Film Songs based on Classical Ragas” (FSCR) and the SoY Awards Series (SAS). The three serial-posts have endured the test of time. Till date, 11 articles have appeared under the FCUM series, 9 of them penned by AKji and two by Ashok Vaishnavji. The FSCR series exclusively penned by Subodh Agarwalji, after seeing a lull period, was revived with aplomb in current SoY year. In all 12 post have appeared till date. BTW, Akji too revealed his prowess in classical music by way of an article on Raag Durga, which was not part of this series.

SAS curtain raiser was one of the most popular posts eagerly looked forward to every year. The only somewhat discordant note in this melodious musical journey of seven note-able years was the relatively lukewarm response to this year’s SoY Award’s curtain-raiser. If we look at the previous years, in 2012 we had 72, 2013 had 171, 2014 had 158, 2015 had 177 and 2016 had 111 comments and in 2017 we have only 58 comments. This is against the general trend of response (see table below). If Akji delays his wrap-up articles for this year, I think this can be set right. I think the members of SoY will respond positively. Akji had scheduled this series upto the year 1945. In my humble opinion this annual serial-post(s) should be continued with. We can do a similar exercise for remaining years of the 50s and the 60s. I am sure it will throw up several interesting facts and figures, unknown songs and vibrant discussions. There is every possibility that the results may differ from the choices of the reputed Award committees. I would request AkJi and other members of SoY to give a serious thought.

The year 2012-13 saw the introduction of the popular series on Multi-version songs (MVS) by Ashok Vaishnavji and Akji. Till date24 articles have appeared under this series written by various guest writers, majority of them were by Ahok Vaishnavji. Last year (2016-17) did not see any post under this series. I have materials to do two more posts on this series and would like to keep this series active. I am sure Ashok Vaishnavji too would be having a few more aces to show. Akji also penned some wonderful thematic post on River, Naiya, Kinare, Dil, Jigar, like he did a post in the previous year on Zulf.

The year 2013-14, Akji started the practice of dedicating each calendar year to a Music Director. Thus the years 2013 and 2014 were dedicated to two of the stalwarts of HFM, S D Burman and Anil Biswas respectively. The articles, one on Atatriya and the other a review on Sangam- with reference to the concept of love triangle, were highly enjoyable.

Moving on to the year 2014-15, the articles dedicated to Anil Biswas continued. The year 2015 was dedicated to two of the pioneers of HFM, Naushad and C Ramchandra. Akji came out with two innovative articles, “Tennis, Pathakji and Tere sadke balam” and “Some Thoughts On Taxonomic-Mathematical Analysis Of Hindi Films And Songs”. Both the articles gave us a good perspective of Akji,’s innovative thought, fertile imagination and subtle wit. The second article with a request to all to spare their valuable time and energy for the larger good of the society, must have given sleepless nights to many.

The year 2015-16 was a milestone year in the annals of SoY. It will be apparent in the table that will follow. Continuing with previous years’practice, the calendar year 2016, to the delight of everybody, was devotedly dedicated to Shankar-Jaikishan. The popularity of SJ duo, the introduction of Shalanji and Ranganji as guest writers, and Akji continuing to deliver quality posts one after another, boosted the blog to new heights. And the comments section was kept active as-never-before. Erudite thematic articles on Aviary songs, Horses, Tongas, Moons etc. gave further fillip. SoY was also turning out to be like a great Indian family. In keeping with mood AKji, came out with another wonderful post, “An ode to the great Indian Family”.

Looking back, 2016-17 has been another great year. The spread for the year was good and almost 40% of the articles were set aside for guest writers. Besides the 6 customary articles on SoY awards and the initial anniversary post, we had 6 more enjoyable articles on Shankar-Jaikishan, excellent articles on Jaidev, O P Nayyar-Asha Bhosle, Shamshad Begum with 3Gs and Mukesh’s vintage duets. Akji always reserves his best for Holi and 1st April. In his inimitable flair he presented two good articles,” Whose father’s what goes?” and “Some unique good good songs, the later drawing 291 comments. The articles,”Kuch to Log Kahenge”, “Romance of letters” and “Songs of Angana” also deserves special mention. Ranganji continued with his wide-ranging thematic ideas on Stars, Bacchus, Deepavali, Steam Engines, and Flowers. Akji and Ranganji were on a writing-riot, like Dhoni and Kholi going on a run-riot. And not to be left out of the fun, Shalanji came out with two block blusters on Ched-chad and Pyar, a la Hardik Pandya. And the icing on the cake was the introduction of two debutants Ravinder and Ashwin. On the whole a compact diverse package and the year turned out to be “Sone pe Suhaga’ for all.

A quick look at statistics of the last seven years threw-up some interesting facts and figures. We had 222 articles and a little less than 15000 comments. Here is the year wise break up table.

Songs of Yore stats

Clearly, the figures speak for themselves. A glance at the first three columns conveys that SoY reached its peak in 2015-16 with an increased participation over the previous years. And the popularity continued unabated in 2016-17.The participation of the guest writers was also at its peak in 2016-17.

Subodh Agarwal ji, our first guest writer, made his debut in 2011-12 with two articles and then Ashok Vaishnavji, the originator of the Multi-version songs series, made his debut in 2012-13, with a bang, contributing 7 articles in that year. In all, Subodhji and Ashokji have contributed 11 articles and 13 articles respectively. D P Ranganji within the last two SoY–years has contributed 8 articles. Altogether 12 guest writers have contributed articles and 10 out of them(Mr.Subodh Agarwal, Mr.Ashok Vaishnav, Ms.Anuradha Warrier,Mr. Arun Kumar Deshmukh, Mr.Sadanand Warrier, Ms.Shalan Lal, Mr.D P Rangan, Mr. Ravindra Kelkar and Mr.Ashwin Bhandarkar) are continuing to add value to this blog by way of articles or comments. Akji has maintained a steady flow of new guest writers every year. Leading from the front he has strong team of 11 members.

Most of earlier regular participants on the comments section are not to be seen later. Vaishampayanji and AMji were among the regulars in the initial years and they prevailed on Akji to start the SoY Awards series. But they went missing later. Here too, Subodhji (August 2010) and Ashokji (June 2011) were the earliest surviving commenters of Soy. Till this day, Subodhji’s article, “The best film songs on classical ragas, written in 2011-12, which attracted 303 comments, followed by “Some unique good good songs’ drawing 291 comments and “Kuch to log Kahenge” with 227 comments. The last two articles have attracted the comment s within this year. In all probability, the article, “Md.Rafi vs Kishore Kumar” (2010-11) would have drawn the highest number of comments, but Akji had to close the discussion due to understandable reasons. Gaby is one among the earlier commenters, whose comments can be seen occasionally. Most of the current participants came in 2012 or later. With the participation of Bhatiaji, Hansji, Arvinderji , Mumbaikarji, to name a few, the future of this blog looks promising. Hope to see them as guest writers in near future.

Glad to have been able to be a part of this wonderful journey.
Thanks to one and all.

43 AK June 10, 2017 at 6:28 am

Venkataramanji,
This is awesome analysis. How do you do this? I wouldn’t have been able to give this kind of overview.

I am extremely grateful to you and other readers for bringing SoY to this level. Yearwise review until 1945 was a part of my commitment. Other years was not in my thought. Let us see how the blog progresses. Everything has “Best before” date.

It appears there are many active silent followers too. I should thank them also.

44 Ashok Kumar Tyagi June 10, 2017 at 6:52 am

AK ji
est congrats to yourself and followers of SoY.
SoY has put up remarkable performance over the years. N. Venkataraman ji has summed up the seven-year journey so beautifully.
Best wishes with regard to future endeavors.

45 Shalan Lal June 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

N Venkataraman @ 42
“Stupendous” is the word comes to my mouth of your amazing analysis of the seven years of SoY.

Your contribution in the comments’ column is also huge and remarkable!

Your own article on “Shobhalaxmi or Subbalaxmi” is an awesome contribution to the Indian music.

I hope you will carry on all these intelligent words you bring in which elevate the Indian Films contribution to the art of film making and as well in the debate about the films.

Shalan

46 AK June 10, 2017 at 11:13 am

Tyagiji,
Thanks a lot for your greetings.

47 Shalan Lal June 10, 2017 at 11:16 am

SSW @38

It looks my workshops of dance and movements using “Naian ” song was mistake and making English girls and boys doing Waltz was fool’s work!

Anyway they enjoyed it very much at the time and also watched the film and understood the story of the film well and all the dances and the Bhajan in the style of Mira- Songs that gave me space for telling them the story of Mira.

I had good time.

Shalan

48 Subodh Agrawal June 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Hats off to Mr Venkataraman for his analysis.

Heard the six songs of Master Madan for the first time, and can’t help feeling HMV did us all a great disservice by not publishing them like the two famous ones. ‘Gori gori baiyan’ has a depth that I would not normally associate with Master Madan or with Thumri. In fact its initial movement has a dhrupad like gravity.

49 N Venkataraman June 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

AKji@43
As a SoY insider and regular member for the past five years, it was not a very difficult task. If you browse through the previous years’ posts and probe a little, the facts and figures would unfold themselves.

Thank you very much for helping me out in uploading the table. In spite of several attempts I failed to get it right. And in course of my repeated attempts, I find a few figures in the table have got altered. The number of guest writer (column 6) for all the three years, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 should be 5. And the number of guest articles for the year 2015-16 should be 7, thus the total number of guest articles is 52. One more typo error, the number of articles contributed by Ashok Vaishnavji should be 15 and not 13 as stated. All the other figures seem to be ok.

Another unique feature, I failed to mention, was the introduction of the “Open House” page. Responding to a suggestion from Hansji, this page was started on 4th November 2014. Readers often ambled away from the topic of a post, or the theme under discussion. In AKji’s words, readers could post in this page, anything that did not fit anywhere on the blog, everything from films to songs of yore and whatever else the readers wanted to share, with like-minded people. A nice suggestion and a nice response too. Thanks to Hansji and AKji. Till today this page has received almost 1000 comments. I am sure Bhatiaji, Hansji and Mumbaikarji are the most prolific participants of this page.

The introductory page, “About” Songs of Yore, also started in November 2014, too has attracted 47 comments. Thus more than 15000 comments have been posted in SoY.

50 N Venkataraman June 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Thank you Ashok Kr. Tyagiji, Shalanji and Subodh ji for your appreciation.

51 SSW June 10, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Ms.Lal @47
I don’t know why you say it was fool’s work. I would think you came up with a very good way to introduce people to a different culture. You picked a song less rooted in European culture than the standard waltz clones in Hindi films.
Next time perhaps you could teach them to waltz to this , same rhythm but a little mournful. 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn52dhPotW4

52 Gaddeswarup June 10, 2017 at 9:08 pm

Shalanlal Lal at 47. This reminded my efforts to sing lullabies to my daughters and granddaughters. I could not sing and did not know lyrics but remembered a few tunes. First I tried ‘Jana gana mana’ and it did not work. Then I tried ‘aah mere man mein sakhi’, mainly ‘lalli lala..’ part and the title tune of ‘lather panchali’. They still remember the tunes.

53 mumbaikar8 June 11, 2017 at 2:40 am

Venkataramanji,
I cannot find adjective to describe your analysis. What a summary!
Second your proposal for the continuation of the annual serial posts with a loud yay.
If you start providing detailed stats again for “ SAS curtain raiser “ comment numbers might gain momentum.
Lost without your excellent stats 🙂

54 Gaddeswarup June 11, 2017 at 4:28 am

Venkataramanji at #42. There are also lot of interesting stuff in comments like yours here. I wonder whether the posts can be edited or with addendum added taking the comments into account and a book can be brought out. Another problem is sometimes previously posted songs are omitted in some comprehensive reviews. All this may be a difficult task but there seems to be a lot of material here which cannot be easily found in one place.

55 D P Rangan June 11, 2017 at 6:19 am

Venkataramanji @42

Your incisive analysis and presentation of the data on SOY history ab initio is truly exemplary. I consider you as a compeador in such fields. You are a cognoscenti in matters SOY. I can draw a parallel with great articles by Anant Narayanan on cricket in the site espncricinfo.com. AK is truly a multi faceted genius and will carry on this blog. I think you probably have a doctorate in statistics.

56 Shalan Lal June 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

SWW @ 51

Thanks for your suggestion which I had used for different purposes to do the workshop about mistaken understanding from level 11 years to 50 years of men and women.

After all I am glad you see I am not as stupid as some see me. My comments come from life’s experience supported by good readings and plenty of thinking.

I was trained in American and British dance styles and social effects of the culture on people.

Gaddeswarup @52

Thanks for your comment and your experience. With babies and children one should not be self conscious about the singings voice or not. Babies and children like human appreciation that the attention is paid to them.

If you keep doing this you may become favorites of children and also will find your own voice and level.

Shalan

57 Raghavan Vasudevan June 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Thank You Mr GV Raman for your fine analysis and I understand how much time you would have spent on it. The report card or the progress card of SOY says that there is a remarkable increase in the comments of the SOY members/visitors while the article numbers is steady and has not come down. Thus a heartening progress report of SOY I would put it that way.

Opening/visiting SOY to me has become a daily event as I open my inbox. I joined a couple of years agao only but has ready 60 percent
of total articles.

Well done – all regular article writers and for others keep posting

58 ksbhatia June 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm

AK ji ;

Nice posting of unusual songs …… Some new and some revisited as well.

Yes there are still so many songs that we have forgotten but strike only when browsing for oldies .

Here are a few of them…..

Bura hai na gaana bura…..A rare duet of Rafi, Mannadey…..Road no.303

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PfQrKg6jPY&list=PLDf8bNo24gsGWinBHWZVHqINS-OuAeX2y&index=3

Baat chalat chunri rang dali….Rafi, Krishna rao…..Rani Roopmati…SNT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3ji_fIosso

59 Shashi Dharan June 13, 2017 at 8:49 am

AK ji,
Congratulations. SOY has maintained very high standards in its field. My regards to you and other Guest contributors.

60 CHELLAMANI RAMAN ATHAZHAWALLUR June 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

AK ji,

My hearty congrats to SOY.

Also, I am quite thankful to SOY for the gains I have made on HFM !!

All the best for glorious future

61 AK June 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Shashi Dharan, CHELLAMANI,
Thanks a lot for your greeatings and good wishes.

62 C.P.Rajagopalan June 17, 2017 at 8:47 am

Great going, AKji. You have been wedded to SoY for seven years and I hope it continues, untouched by the “7 year itch” syndrome!

63 AK June 17, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Mr Rajagopalan,
Thanks a lot for your good wishes.

64 Giri June 20, 2017 at 10:33 am

AK,
Congratulations on SOY completing successful seven years. It is not the kind of blog where the blogger chooses a topic and records his view and leave it at that. A blog like SOY needs deep interest in HFM and wide knowledge of music. Then for each post you have to do extensive search and upload the songs. And you have been responding to each and every comment.Excellent work!
The blog can boast of some erudite guest writers like Rangan,Venkatraman,Shalan Lal etc. and ‘specialists’ like Ravindra Kelkar(OPN), Subodh and Ashvin Bhandarkar(classical music). A large following led by that treasure house of HFM-K.S.Bhatia, embellish and enhance the beauty of the articles.
I have been following SOY only for the last two years but every visit to the site is an educating experience.
Kudos to all the members of the family of SOY.

65 AK June 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Giriji,
Thanks a lot for your very generous words. The entire SoY family deserves congratulations for whatever we have achieved.

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