Movie Details of Anarkali
Music: C Ramchandra
Label: Saregama HMV
Director: Nandalal Jaswantlal
It is amazing how many instances there are in film history, of musicians delivering their best work for movies that were not even meant to be theirs to begin with. This 1953 take on the Jahangir-Anarkali love story was originally assigned to Basant Prakash, brother of industry veteran Khemchand Prakash. But when Prakash had to withdraw from the project due to illness after recording just one song, in came C Ramchandra with some evergreen tunes like Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai, Aaja Ab To Aaja and Jaag Dard-e-Ishq. The composer’s insistence on using Lata Mangeshkar as the female voice meant that the vocalists who featured in majority of the soundtrack were Lata and Hemant Kumar.
The only exception was Basant Prakash’s Aa Jaan-e-Wafa which had been sung by Geeta Dutt and retained in the set. A good idea really, it was a lovely composition from Prakash, and the most upbeat song in the movie.
Best Song of Anarkali: Going with the ever-popular choice of Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai (the relatively happier sounding version) that rides on a haunting, intricate melody from C Ramchandra and Rajendra Kishan’s evocative lines, delivered with consummate ease by Lata Mangeshkar (the way she sings zindagi hai bewafaa.. and aa rahi hai yeh sadaa.. uff!).
Here’s also wishing the songstress a happy 88th birthday!
On a related note: The success of Anarkali prompted an adaptation of the story in Telugu (also dubbed in Tamil) in 1955, with music by P Adinarayana Rao who was also producer of the film. Though the soundtrack was largely original, for the song Jeevithame Saphalamu the composer borrowed the melody of Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai.
The Anarkali Playlist:
- Ye Zindagi Usi Ki Hai (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
- Aaja Ab To Aaja (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Shailendra)
- Mujhse Mat Poochh (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
- Dua Kar Gham-E-Dil (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Shailendra)
- Jaag Dard-E-Ishq Jaag (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
- Mohabbat Aisi Dhadkan Hai (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri)
- Zindagi Pyar Ki Do Char Ghadi (Singer: Hemant Kumar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
- O Aasman Wale (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri)
- Aa Jaane Wafa (Singer: Geeta Dutt | Lyrics: Jan Nissar Akhtar | Music: Basant Prakash)
- Ae Baad-E-Saba (Singer: Hemant Kumar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
- Zamana Yeh Samjha (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
- Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai (Singer: Lata Mangeshkar | Lyrics: Rajendra Krishan)
Listen to the entire album of Anarkali here:
(With contributions by Praveen VR, co-founder of musicaloud.com)