Thursday, June 03, 2004

I m making an effort to write now. I shall write about Shamshad Begum.

Very few people born after 1980 even know who she is, which is very sad considering she earnt a cool Rs. 1000 per song as early as 1946, and was one of the first singers to be given the epithet of 'legend' in their lifetime,. Even Saigal, whose voice seems to hold some peculiar fascination for all the buddhhas, was honoured with this title (for wholly unexplained reasons!) after he died.

Shamshad Begum has sung all kinds of songs- from the weepy, as epitomised by her 'Hum Dard Ka Afsaana, duniya ko suna denge' (Dard, 1947), to her 'Chhod Baabul Ka Ghar', a lovely song from Babul, 1950, to the romantic (Meri Neendon mein tum, mere khwaabon mein tum, Naya Andaz, 1956). But what nobody has talked about is her silly songs, which truly are a treat, if only for their immense stupidity. She was the female forerunner, and later equivalent to Kishore Kumar. Consider some of her songs. I m quoting her
SHAMSHAD: Humse nain milaana, BA pass Kar ke
Humse preet lagaana BA pass kar ke
Jee BA pass karke, ho BA paas kar ke
BA pass Karke, mohe digri dikhaavo, ji mohe digri dikhaave
Male: Yeh hai BA ki digri, gori gusse me na aavo
Shamshad: Apni yeh char sau bees, kisi aur pe chalaavo
Jaao Yeh hai jhooti digei, isko Koode mein phenk aavo

Has anyone heard stupider songs, which manage to be quite so humourously silly without being cheap? And thats not all, she also has a "Yeh duniya roop ki chor" in which she sings lines in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati and Marathi, in different styles. It may be funny, but singing that one song, in the pitch she managed, is not at all an easy thing to do. I know, because I've tried copying the pitch many times. Even for a female, it'd be very tough. 'Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon', which is now such a majorly cliched song that its sung everywhere old singers are being parodied, is also one of hers.

And before the advent of Lata Mangeshkar, she had no competition. Geeta Dutt couldn't manage the nasal singing well, and nasal singing was all that was desired then. Even after Lata, she, along with Geeta Dutt, was one of the only singers to survive the Mangeshkar onslaught well into the 1960s.

Sung two years after she officially retired, Kajra Muhobbatwala (Kismat, 1968) still remains evergreen, as do most of her songs. How many other singers of the 40s have had their songs remixed (and utterly ruined, too, but thats quite another matter) by slutty ultra-modern teenyboppers? For those of you who don't know, Saiyan dil mein aana re was a nice, peppy Shamshad number before those whores ruined it.

This article has been written after I discovered that Shamshad is not, as I originally supposed, dead, but alive and comfortably ensconsed at a suburban flat in Mumbai. Anyone who knoews more about her, please tell me.





























































5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didnt want to read further than when the writer of this article does not have the aesthetic or musical sense to understand saigal and whyn he was a legend wont visit this webste again

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