Today’s post is an attempt to bring together Asha Bhosle’s 87th birthday and Salil Choudhary’s 25th death anniversary (5th September 2020)
A couple of years back, on Asha’s birthday, I published twin posts covering Asha Bhosle’s musical association with Madan Mohan. This year, which has absolutely nothing good to offer, I thought of exploring Asha’s lesser talked about associations. The first composer that came to my mind was Salil Choudhary. I agree, the song list might not have popular or even well known songs. Many of the songs would be lesser known. But there is always a thrill and fun to explore the lesser known things. So here we go………
Their first film together appears to be Amaanat (1955), where Asha Bhosle had four songs to her credit, a couple of solos and duets each. Some of the YouTube videos even mention a 1954 dubbed film, Manohar, where Salil Choudhary composed a couple of songs on his own and one of the songs was sung by Asha Bhosle.
The number of songs is not big, in fact it’s very small. Not something to go for in depth analysis. Still it’s one of the aspects of Asha Bhosle’s career and can be explored. Let’s take a look at the songs. For the first film Amaanat, Asha Bhosle is the main singer. She sings for Chand Usmani. Geeta Dutt sings for Asha Mathur and Kammo. But Asha’s duets are not for the main lead, but one of the songs is picturised on beggars while the other on children. So as I said in the beginning, she could have been chosen for economic reasons.
Meri Wafaye Tumhari Jafayen – Amaanat (1955) / Lyrics – Shailendra
I think it’s a comparatively better known song. Picturised on Chand Usmani, Asha Mathur and Ashim Kumar, it’s a great melody and the first song Asha Bhosle sang for Salil Choudhary. The main attraction for me is the part, हाय रे हाय रे, जान क्यूँ ना जाए रे. It’s totally different than the other parts of the composition. It has a slight western touch to it, the style of singing, I mean.
Jab Tum Ne Mohabbat Chheen Lee – Amaanat (1955) / Lyrics – Shailendra
There are very few sad / emotional songs (maybe just a couple or three) that Asha Bhosle sang for Salil da. This is the best according to me. Excellent use of piano and heart touching rendition by Asha Bhosle.
Similarly in 1956, for Jagte Raho, she sang for the supporting character.
Thandi Thandi Pawan Ki Phuhar – Jagte Raho (1956) / Lyrics – Shailendra
Asha sings for Sumitra Devi, who plays Motilal’s wife. He wants her to sing something jazzy that would raise his spirits. But the poor lady only manages to convey her agony to her husband. The drunkard obviously doesn’t care for her. Asha Bhosle has sung with apt expressions, with a soft and slow rhythm supporting it well.
But in Parivaar, she sang for Sabita Chatterjee, who also received Lata’s playback for the other songs. Asha had a couple of songs, a solo and a duet. Let me present,
Bawali Bana Ke Chhoda – Parivaar (1956) / Lyrics – Shailendra
The film is known for excellent songs. Though Lata’s songs are more popular, Asha’s songs are good too. It’s a soft romantic song with a soothing voice. I hadn’t heard it before, though I was aware of the duet between Asha and Hemant Kumar.
In 1957 as well, she sang for three films, Apradhi Kaun?, Zamana and Ek Gaon Ki Kahani. Asha was mainly offered western style songs, club songs, and other dance numbers. But in Aparadhi Kaun she sang for Mala Sinha as well as the dancer.
Kana Kubda Langda Loola – Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (1957) / Lyrics – Shailendra
It was a pleasant surprise for me. I wasn’t aware of the song. Such a fun it was! I’ve never seen Mala Sinha in such a light mood, and she has done a fantastic job. Look at her energy and expressions. You should watch the video to enjoy the song fully. Please follow the link if the video doesn’t open on the page. Salil da was spot on to offer the song to Asha Bhosle. What great fun and delight! I’m now curious about the film. Let me see if I get time to watch it.
Baat Koi Matlab Ki Hai Zaroor – Apradhi Kaun (1957) / Lyrics – Majrooh
Asha Bhosle sang for the main lead, Mala Sinha as well as the club dancer. A couple of songs are picturised on the dancer. Songs are good, with apt expressions by Asha. But the dancer fails to portray the naughtiness in Asha’s expressions. Her dancing seems good, but acting is average. Both the club songs are otherwise good. Click here for the video of the song.
Koi Dekhe To Kahe Tujhko picturised on Mala Sinha is also good, though not great.
Badal Jaye Duniya – Zamana (1957) / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
While Asha Bhosle sang dance numbers and romantic songs so far, she was chosen by Salil da for a philosophical song as well. She has excellently maintained the dignity of the song.
She has also sung a beautiful Mujra song for the movie.
In the 1960s again, she was offered mainly the dance numbers, her contribution remaining limited to just four films, with just six songs. But one of the songs has made it to all time superhit.
For the film, Chand Aur Suraj (1965), she has a solo for Tanuja which is counted among the greatest songs by Asha Bhosle. Let’s hear it,
Baag Mein Kali Khili – Chand Aur Suraj (1965) / Lyrics – Shailendra
The song is surely one of her career bests. See how deeply involved Asha is! She is totally into the character. Such a brilliant portrayal of a shy, young girl, who experiences the magic of youth for the first time and is excited about her prince-charming. She wonders about her feelings, how different and exciting they are!
Salil da has arranged the song fantastically, great orchestration in Jazz style. I think guitar plays a major role in the song, in the prelude and the interludes. The overall experience is that of a pleasant cheerful yet dreamy song. I can surely call it my most favourite on today’s list.
Jhoom Le Ae Matwale Dil – Pinjare Ke Panchhi (1966) / Lyrics – Shailendra
A similar Jazz styled orchestration. Saili da uses the chorus that adds a volume to the song. A good composition, but the expressionless face of the main dancer puts me off. Otherwise very energetic and jazzy to listen to.
The film Poonam Ki Raat is remembered mainly for songs by Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi. But Asha has a couple of solos picturised on Bela Bose. Let me select one of the songs,
Ta Deem Tana Deem – Poonam Ki Raat (1965) with Chorus / Lyrics – Shailendra
A good picnic song.Very unusual composition. While the tune sounds Indian, the orchestration and the aalaps sound western. Chorus singers, males and females singing separately in different octaves add another dimension to the song. Asha Bhosle sings it with vibrant energy and Bela Bose carries herself well in western outfit and her facial expressions are good. The overall effect is impressive.
The other song, Bhole Piya Jane Kya Tune Kiya, picturised on Bela Bose is a typical one.
Jadu Dale Hai Kiski Ada – Maaya (1961) with Chorus / Lyrics – Majrooh
Famous dancer, Rani is dancing with others for the film, Maaya. Though it seems she is singing about herself the song actually is about the budding romance between Dev Anand and Mala Sinha. The song isn’t very popular, but it’s good. The tune is good and the rhythm is catchy. It sounds like a fusion of Punjabi folk and qawwali. Asha sings it with usual finesse. The catchy rhythm of the words, ‘मेरा दिल यही कहीं, यही कहीं खो गया’ is captivating. At the end, I remembered the song just for the rhythm of the mentioned sentence and the way it is sung.
Salil Choudhary continued his journey well into the 70s – 80s. He was one of the old world composers who survived well in the modern era. And he not only survived, but managed to deliver hits with consistently good quality tunes. Asha Bhosle, who used to call Salil da, a Chamatkar, was always ready to sing for him. Though only a few songs could achieve popularity, some of the lesser heard ones are good too. I’ve presented some of the songs,
Janeman Janeman Tere Do Nayan – Chhoti Si Baat (1976) with Yesudas / Lyrics – Yogesh
The song needs no introduction. It’s very much popular. For such naughty and bubbly songs, Asha Bhosle was the only option. It gives a marching song effect, it’s very fast paced. Still Asha Bhosle has managed it very well. And the tune is Salil da’s typically sweet one.
Dheere Dheere Haule Se – Minoo with Antara Choudhary (1977) / Lyrics – Yogesh
Salil Choudhary’s daughter Antara made her singing debut with the film Minoo, when she was just seven years old. She has sung very well for her age. Asha Bhosle singing a lullaby with her was a pleasure to listen to. I came across the song for the first time. Asha has really sung songs of all the genres for Salil Choudhary. It’s just a fine lullaby.
Pyar Hai Pyar Aur Kuchh Bhi Nahi – Agni Pariksha (1981) / Lyrics – Yogesh
I heard the song for the first time during the research for the post. It’s a beautiful song, good lyrics and attractive orchestration. If you are really wondering what is love all about?, you should listen to it.
Aisa Lage Koi Door Se – Trishagni (1989) / Lyrics – Yogesh
I’m delightful to find the gem to end today’s list. It’s a complex song, with a different rhythm and a touch of Arabian music to it. It’s a completely mesmerizing rendition by Asha Bhosle. The lyrics are good too, with the use of pure Hindi words. I was put in trans when I heard it. It immediately grows on you. If you haven’t heard it before, please do.
And I finish the post at this point. I hope even if it wasn’t a popular association, I succeeded in highlighting some of their bests. You are welcome to add songs, if I’ve missed your favourites.
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.