Partial recall!

Today, at 12 pm, as always, I was all set to watch Total Recall (TR) on Times Now. I am not a TV person; I don’t have couch potato syndrome, except on Saturdays. It is on this day, I sit for a good one hour in front of the idiot-box, engrossed in TR

On some days, I love it, while one other days, I think they ought to have researched it better. Ok, before you wonder what TR is, let me tell you. It is a retrospective programme of yesteryears’ actors, filmmakers, singers, musicians and lyricists. All of them from the hindi film industry.

Today it was about unsung maestros like Ravi, Jaidev, Hemant Kumar and a few more. It was a well-made episode, till a certain point. And, after which, it looked like the creative team was in some hurry to wrap it up.

Ravi’s part was taut and packed with all his best hits included. I just wished they had spent a little more time on Humraaz numbers, and mentioned Nikaah, too. According to me, these two were his bests, after of course his magnum opus, Chaudvin Ka Chaand, which was the turning point in his career. It was after this film that he became an integral part of BR Chopra banner. He was to BR Chopra what Shankar-Jaikishan were to Raj Kapoor.

I agree that Jaidev was unsung and didn’t get his due recognition, though he held the unique record of winning three national awards. Hum Dono stands as a testimony to his greatness as a composer. Disappointingly, there was not even a passing reference to Prem Parbat. ‘Yeh Dil aur Unki’ from the film is undoubtedly the best solo he recorded with Lata Mangeshkar. One could discount that gaffe, but it was unpardonable to exclude Alaap songs from the list. Alaap was Amitabh Bacchan’s biggest flop, yet the movie’s music is certainly one of his best compositions. Denying any mention was as blasphemous as denying him the status of an ace music composer. Sadly, that was the case; Jaidev was never counted among the best, or in the likes of SD Burman, Naushad, Madan Mohan or Shankar Jaikishan.

Why I am being so finicky about such minute errors, one may ask. The point is retrospectives are supposed to do justice to an artists’ contribution. Ganesh Anantharaman, author of Bollywood Melodies, recounted on the show that Jaidev died an unhappy soul, and that he never got his due. A harsh treatment meted out to many like him. That puts more onus on retrospectives; it should help artists redeem their status. Most of these musicians are no longer amidst us, yet they are immortalised in their compositions. Give those immortals their due, for they deserve it; if not in life, at least in death.


One Response to “Partial recall!”

  1. Nitin Says:

    I actually saw Hemant Kumar’s part…i felt it was nice..then they continued with a lot of old melodies..i generally don’t watch it but i ended up following it and humming every song they showed, with my novel.
    Reading wbout it now a realize that it was about other singers as well… 😛
    but a very very nice observation as always.. 🙂

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