Romantics are gushing through the ears and the trigger is Dharmendra crooning – अभी न जाओ छोड़कर – to Shabana Azmi which culminates in an impromptu kiss in ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’. The original song from Dev Anand’s HUM DONO still is a swan song for the lovers especially when the lady in question is planning to leave, while the boy has the innate desire that she stays, and this yearn is not relegated to teenagers. It continues to reverberate through the ages ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’ has amplified it.
I am reminded of a party that we were attending in Ranchi. It was around midnight and as the guests started walking away, I snatched the mike and started singing this evergreen song and those who had taken their cars out of the parking lots dumped it, came back and we kept on singing this song in a loop for next one hour.
Such was the aura and the mystique of Jaidev as a musician. Though he had to fight with the masters of the likes of S D Burman, Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad, etc. professionally, whenever he got a chance to hold the baton and create music, he created masterpieces one after the other. On the eve of his 104th birthday, the song from RARKPK has given a new lease of life to this iconic song – अभी न जाओ छोड़कर and would continue to be the sunset songs for the parties henceforth.
अभी न जाओ छोड़कर, obviously a Kohinoor among all his creations as it has the lyrics by the maestro Sahir Ludhianvi indeed was the binding element of HUM DONO which provided narrative to the film. As Javed Akhtar in an interview to Indian Express had said this was the finest romantic duet composed in the world of Hindi cinema and no other song could beat its outreach. Each node of the lyrics matched the composition set by Jaidev. Mystique and romanticism was added to this song for eternity in the manner in which Dev Anand and Sadhana enacted it on the screen.
Both Sahir Ludhianvi and Jaidev hailed from Ludhiana and though they had an eventual fallout, both the times when they came together, HUM DONO (1961) and in MUJHE JEENE DO (1963) they have immortalized the music.
Before, he got the opportunity to hold the baton for Hum Dono (1961), he had been associated with super hit musicals like Taxi Driver (1954), Munimji, House No. 44 (1955), Kala Pani, Laajwanti (1958), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). As a full-time music director Hum Dono was his first and last film for the Navketan Banner.
Jaidev’s success with HUM DONO was not a flash in a pan as he repeated it with panache in Sunil Dutt’s dacoit saga MUJHE JEENE DO (1963), and two of the songs, Nadi naare na jao shyam paiyan padu by Asha Bhonsle and Raat bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi by Lata Mangeshkar became evergreen classics.
Sunil Dutt repeated him again in Reshma Aur Shera (1971) and again Jaidev created magic with his song Tu Chanda main chandni and ek meethi see chubhan … which got him the National Award. It was India’s entry into 44th Academy Awards. It was in all probability for the first time that Rajasthani folk instruments were used in profuse abundance in composing music.
Jaidev’s prowess lay in the fact that the music that he created used to trigger a composite effect of oneness and underlined the sync between the visuals played out on the screen and the emotions that lyrics wished to convey being delivered in a competent manner. His music used to transcend the aim of lyrics to convey the meaning of the situation and he used to take the audience to a transcendental level.
For Jaidev his golden period was between 1977-79 where he created significant milestones of Hindi songs. Particularly creditable is his effort to convert Madhushala of Harivansh Rai Bachchan into an audio file. In Alaap (1977), Gharonda (1977) was another milestone which captures the existentialist dilemma of surviving in a metropolitan city and the song – Seene mein jalan encapsulated the predicament. Through Gharonda, Jaidev also introduced Suresh Wadekar to the world of Hindi singing. He also launched the voice of Chaaya Ganguly through Gaman (1978) with the song – aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar, again an angst portrayal of survival in a metropolitan city from the viewpoint of a taxi driver, directed by Muzaffar Ali.
One always wonders what could have been his musical fate, had he worked with mainstream filmmakers and given musical hits like HUM DONO. The films for which he gave music were mostly unsuccessful commercially. He was the man who believed in the prowess of the local Indian musical instruments to set score to and this could be one of the reasons why he was amongst the favoured music directors of Lata Mangeshkar.
One only hopes that ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’ would kindle the interest of present generation in the rich oeuvre of music Jaidev has left behind, and would provide much needed shot in the arm to accord a place of eminence to Jaidev amongst the stalwarts of Hindi music.