Movie Details of Guide
Music: S.D. Burman
Label: Saregama HMV
Director: Vijay Anand
In a recent Nat Geo Traveller article about the search for the real life locales that might have inspired RK Narayan’s Malgudi, I read that one of the reasons RK Narayan was not a fan of the movie Guide was that the places it was shot in – Jaipur, Udaipur etc. – did not match his mental image of Malgudi where his original story The Guide was based in. The said mismatch however did not stop the movie from becoming a massive hit, and like most hits from the time, Guide too owed a lot of its success to the lush musical backdrop it was set to. It is said that SD Burman was ill around the time of the movie, and that Dev Anand waited for the man to recover rather than go for a different composer. His patience was of course rewarded big time when the composer, along with lyricist Shailendra, delivered their career-best soundtrack for the movie. The 11 song album covered a diverse range of genres – classical-rich dance pieces, folksy philosophical compositions, devotional songs etc aside of the usual mix of romance and melancholy – and produced a gem in everything it did. One nugget for the trivia-seekers was the rarity of santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma playing tabla in the song Mose Chhal, reportedly on the insistence of R D Burman who was assisting his father in this movie.
Best Song of Guide: It is next to impossible picking a favourite from an album like Guide where every song is a special one. But since I have been tasked with picking one, I go with the timeless romantic piece Tere Mere Sapne. The comfort and assurance in the protagonist’s declaration of love - fabulously conveyed by Shailendra - are mirrored brilliantly in Burman’s melody and mellow orchestration – that waltz-rhythm, the understated use of instruments (love the use of saxophone, especially the interplay between sax and santoor in the interludes), it’s all just perfect. Then there is of course Mohammad Rafi, with a stellar rendition that is bound to calm your senses any time you listen to it. Vijay Anand’s visual treatment of the song too was exquisite, and rather than speak about it I will just direct you to this detailed analysis of the song sequence.
On a related note: In the opening entry of this series (Julie) I had shared a Malayalam movie–related trivia – it is only fair that I end the series with one too. In 1988, director Bhadran made the movie Siddhartha. The film never released, but its soundtrack did, and one of its songs titled Doore Doore was based entirely on Tere Mere Sapne, with modifications in arrangement from composer Shyam. While the song mostly had Malayalam lyrics, there are segments at the start and end of the song where singers Yesudas and Chithra sing bits from the original verse.
The Guide Playlist:
Listen to Tere Mere Sapne from Guide here: