Back in the 60s when Bollywood movies revolved around patriotism, true love, or family values, Dev Anand produced a movie on a subject that was a taboo to even talk about, adultery.
Directed by Vijay Anand and based on RK Narayan’s The Guide, the movie ‘Guide’ is regarded as a masterpiece. The movie doesnt demonise its characters and is a cinematic masterpiece about human emotions.
Guide’s soundtrack would find a place in the Top 10 list of every Bollywood soundtrack connoisseur. Shailendra’s ‘poems’ are brought to life by one of the best composers in Indian film industry, SD Burman. The songs are sung by Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and SD himself. This was one of the last works of Shailendra, who passed away a year after the movie released.
On a rainy, sleepy afternoon, I called my fellow cowboy from Bandra, Narendra Kusnur (who else!) to discuss this evergreen soundtrack for this week’s Album Talk.
Note: Language may be altered to suit the platform’s requirements.
Me: This must be one of the classic Indian movies and also one of Dev Anand’s best work.
Kusnur: Well I am a big fan of the older Dev Anand movies so I feel all them are classics but Guide has its own charm.
Me: All the songs, including 3 Rafi solos, 3 Lata solos and 1 Lata-Kishore duet will find a place in the Top 50 all-time list.
Kusnur: Absolutely. Rafi’s “Din Dhal Jaaye” is an iconic song and one of his best songs.
Me: Even “Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya”.
Kusnur: “Tere Mere Sapne” too. I always thought the song was from Dev Anand’s movie titled ‘Tere Mere Sapne’.
Me: When I heard it first, I thought it doesn’t fit with the movie. But when you watch the movie, all the songs gel perfectly with the storyline. It is SD at his best in the soundtrack.
Listen to “Tere Mere Sapne”
Me: Wasn’t this one of SD’s last works?
Kusnur: He started in the 40s and he ruled the 50s. This movie came after he had a rift with Lata and they didn’t work together from 1958 to 1963. Legend has it that she had a disagreement with SD and Rafi about royalty distribution. But it was settled before this movie.
Me: This was the coming together movie in a way.
Kusnur: Yes but still Rafi and Lata don’t have a duet in the soundtrack. She has one with Kishore.
Me: “Gaata Rahe Mera Dil” is the only duet on the soundtrack. It is the only Kishore song though “Tere Mere Sapne” is a quintessential Kishore song. Maybe because Rafi was SD’s preferred singer always.
Listen to “Gaata Rahe Mera Dil“
Kusnur: They both were at the peak of their careers at the same time. Kishore’s rise began mostly with Rajesh Khanna’s songs specially with the movie ‘Aradhana’.
Me: No doubt SD’s work is outstanding but Shailendra’s lyrics are also superlative.
Kusnur: In that era, most of the lyricists were from an Urdu background or belonging to the progressive writer’s movement. So their lyrics were also complicated. Shailendra was the first one to write lyrics in a simple language.
Me: Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has played the tabla in “Saiyaan Beimaan”.
Kusnur: Panditji started off as a tabla player and has accompanied Pandit Jasraj too.
Me: “Saiyaan Beimaan” is a semi-classical song…
Kusnur: And it also features Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia playing the bansuri.
Listen to “Saiyaan Beimaan”
Me: Yes. One more brilliant song is “Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya”. I have watched Guide multiple times and always feel the movie should have ended with this song. The part after this song seems a stretch.
Kusnur: A song called “Moh Se Chal” was interwoven into “Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya” so it is an amalgamation of two songs.
Me: “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai” and “Piya Tose Naina Laage Re” are the kind of songs one can listen to on loop with eyes closed. And of course “Gaata Rahe Mera Dil”. SD also sang one, “Allah Megh De Paani De”.
Kusnur: And also “Wahan Kaun Hai Tera” which was in ‘Bhateyali’ style. This is only movie in which SD has sung two songs.
Me: SD called this soundtrack as his experiment. If only some of my experiments were .1% as successful as SDs.
How many experiments have worked out for you?
Until next time!