The ‘Fusion Songs’

A few years back, when I had just begun blogging, I had posted a list of songs having ‘Two Different Moods in a Single Song’. It was a list where a single song incorporated happy and sad moods in an alternating fashion. One character sings happily, while another character sings the same song in a melancholy mood. I found it very interesting.

After all these years, I again thought of a similar scenario, but not exactly the same. But the song that started the chain of thoughts was the same on both the occasions. In the above mentioned post, I didn’t include the song. But the song perfectly suited today’s post. The song was Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat from the movie Sharmilee. It not only incorporates two moods, but also has another interesting aspect.
It also fuses Indian classical music with the Western music. The song is based on raag Patdeep, but the prelude of the song as well as the first interlude has a completely western touch, fully in contrast to the pure Indian classical nature in the remaining parts. That contrast is not only enjoyable, but makes it extremely popular too. One waits for the mukhda to end to listen to the first interlude. At least I do!

fusion songs

When I let these thoughts simmer at the back of my mind, I could recollect a few more songs. And obviously I then actively followed the thought and searched for befitting songs.
I wasn’t sure about a suitable name for the post. Then I remembered the word, ‘Amalgamate’. Though I thought it to be somewhat suitable, I looked for other words.
The songs on the list are like a mixture of two styles. Yet the styles are presented separately, unlike an amalgam, which represents a homogeneous mixture. So I looked for a word that represents a heterogeneous mixture, where the things are mixed, but they can be separated and maintain their individual characteristics. I thought of Melange and Mash-up. But both were not exactly appropriate for the occasion. I went through a brainstorm and discussed a lot. Finally I settled for ‘Fusion Songs’.

So here I am with my list of Fusion songs.

1. Sajan Sang Kahe Neha Lagaye – Main Nashe Mein Hoon (1959) Lata Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
The main song is based on Raag Tilang. An extremely melodious song that completely enchants the listeners. Mala Sinha recites it in a mehfil or so it seems. She seems completely heartbroken and desperate, which fully reflects in the song. We see Raj Kapoor enjoying a party with Nishi, where a western music is playing. So this song mixes two moods as well as two styles of music. And the western part, though restricted to the interludes, is equally enjoyable. It was the first song that sprang to my mind. And it’s a perfect representative of the theme, so it’s in the first place.

2. Main Natkhat Ek Kali – Do Behnen (1959) Lata Mangeshkar / Vasant Desai – Kavi Pradeep
The film opens with this beautiful song. It’s a story of two sisters, Vasanti and Malati, with completely different temperaments, played by Shyama in a double role. The song is used to highlight the profound difference between the two. The elder sister, Vasanti is demure, soft spoken, clad in a saree and is shown to recite a bhajan, while the bubbly Malati wearing western clothes sings and dances all around the drawing room. To make it more appealing we get to hear a song where the sisters sing in an alternating fashion, Vasanti sings the devotional part with typical Indian instrumental support, while a jazzy western music supports Malati’s song and dance. Enjoy the wonderful mash-up.

3. Jab Ishq Kahin Ho Jaata Hai – Aarzoo (1966) Asha Bhosle, Mubarak Begum & Chorus / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Aarzoo had a collection of beautiful melodies, and it’s said that this was the only song composed by Shankar. Nazima, Daisy Irani and company tease poor Sadhana for falling in love, while the latter has no clue as to what they are talking about! Asha Bhosle sings for Nazima, while Mubarak Begum for Daisy Irani. The friends who wear Punjabi suits or other Indian wear dance to the Indian tune, while the ones wearing western outfits dance to the rock music. The song fuses Qawwali and western music and it’s a very impressive fusion song.

4. Aaja Tu Raja Aaja – Raj Tilak (1958) Asha Bhosle & Sudha Malhotra / C Ramchandra – P L Santoshi
Maybe the song is not a perfect fit, but at least in the initial half or so the song appears to have a touch of western music when Vyjayantimala dances. A face off between the two legendary dancers of Hindi cinema. A complete delight to listen to and watch.

5. Bach Gaye Hum Dono – Chacha Zindabad (1958) Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar / Madan Mohan – Rajendra Krishan
This one’s a very interesting song. Lata Mangeshkar sings for Anita Guha, who announces herself a follower of Indian classical music, ‘मेरा राग यमन कल्याण’ and Kishore Kumar announces himself a follower of western music, ‘और मेरी विदेशी तान’. The song is backed by a continuous tonga rhythm, while the style changes between Indian and western. The film also has a couple of solos by Kishore Kumar which may suit the occasion as well. The screenshot is from one of the songs.

6. Jaaun Main Kahan – Miss India (1957) Lata Mangeshkar & Manna Dey / S D Burman – Rajendra Krishan
I am yet to watch the film, but after reading the review on dustedoff, I went through all the songs of the movie. And remembered this one for today’s list. Nargis is abandoned by her husband, played by Pradeep Kumar. While the unfortunate lady wanders around helplessly in the town at night, the husband prefers to enjoy the night with a dancer, Nishi at a club. The club part is obviously filmed on a western track, while the part lip synced by Nargis has an Indian touch throughout.

7. Jodi Hamari Jamega Kaise – Aulad (1968) Asha Bhosle & Manna Dey / Chitragupt – Majrooh
A fun song picturised on Mehmood and young Aruna Irani. Quite an enjoyable fusion. Mehmood considers himself an Englishman and insists on a complete makeover for Aruna Irani. He is influenced by and attracted to the foreign girls, whom he considers more forward than the traditional Indian girls. Aruna Irani, a typical village girl, obviously protests against it. The song very impressively merges the tunes. Genius of Chitragupt! He very effortlessly fuses the two styles. And Manna Dey, a singer typecast for Indian classical based songs, very fluently sings it.

8. Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat – Sharmilee (1971) Lata Mangeshkar / S D Burman – Neeraj 
Now let me talk about the song that started the thought. The song is picturised on Rakhi, who plays a double role. A modern girl, Kamini, wearing a western outfit, enjoys Shashi Kapoor’s company, while the simple girl, Kanchan, is heartbroken. To underline the difference, Burman da uses Raag Patdeep for Kanchan, while the first interlude with a western music is picturised on Kamini, the girl in bob cut and western attire. As I said already, the song not only incorporates two moods but also presents a fusion of east and west music.

9. Muqabla Humse Na Karo – Prince (1969) Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
The face off between Vyjayantimala and Helen was one of the main attractions of the movie. Vyjayantimala dances Indian classical dance forms while Helen dances to the western tunes. Vyjayantimala performs three Indian dance forms, Bharat Natyam, Kaththak and Kathakali, while Helen dances three western dance forms, one of those could be the belly dance. Obviously the dance performances are backed up by contrasting orchestrations. And hence the song is a perfect fit for the list. Rafi sings for Shammi Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar sings for Vyjayantimala while Helen lip syncs to Asha Bhosle’s voice. An audiovisual treat I must say!

10. Baje Mori Payal Chhanan Chhanan – Dus Lakh (1966) Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar / Ravi – Prem Dhawan
It seems like a dance competition between Helen and Babita. I don’t know if Babita was a trained dancer or not, but I think she wasn’t. Helen not only performs excellently in western dance forms, but does a wonderful job in Indian classical dance forms as well. And of course, the fusion of Indian and western music is very effective. Asha Bhosle sings for Babita and Usha Mangeshkar for Helen. For me, Helen stole the show with her elegant moves.

I end my list here. I’m sure you must have thought of song(s) to add. Please add.

Disclaimer –
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 and Dailymotion, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

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23 Replies to “The ‘Fusion Songs’”

  1. Great list, Anupji! And several songs here which I had in my list of ‘two songs in one’, or were suggested by people there. Plus, of course, several songs that were either new to me or which I’d forgotten about.

    Here’s one song I like, My dear o dear from Nagina, where Shamshad Begum sings a peppy Westernised style for Mohana, while Rafi sings in a very ‘Indian’ way for Gope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anup ji
    Good subject with excellent write up and selection of songs .
    Megha chaye is one of my eternal favourites. It should be among the top post 70 songs of Lataji
    Here I add two fusion songs
    The first one is from that great fiasco from Chopras’ house which was called as Turning brain by one of the leading film critics at that time.
    Meri Nazar hai tuzhpe – The Burning Train – Sahir – RDB – Asha
    One has to check twice to confirm that it is actually penned by Sahir
    The second is a Salil da melody where the fusion is ever so subtle.
    Itna na mujhse tu – Chaya – Rajendra Krishan – Lata and Talat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the appreciation.
      I agree Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat is a wonderful song!
      Among the two added songs,
      The one from burning train fits. Is it Sahir’s?
      Oh! Not easy to believe.
      I don’t know if the Chhaya song fits. The change is not very apparent I guess.


    1. Anita ji,
      I had thought of Mere Desh Ki dharti, but as the portion of western music was very small, I later skipped it. I found more suitable songs.
      Purab Aur Pachhim, I had shortlisted, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. But again the other songs won, and I skipped that song too.


  3. The film that I am busy writing up, “Biradari” (1966), has an example similar to the one from “Main Nashe Mein Hoon”:

    Pran has just moved into the building and is throwing a housewarming party for himself on the roof, without having invited any of the other tenants. Mehmood and Kanhaiyalal divide the roof using a piece of chalk and start having their OWN party with the tenants on one of the resultant halves. The song is mostly in Hindustani style, but two of the instrumental interludes are played by the saxophonists from Pran’s party instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes,
      I had it on my list. The song has a long prelude of rock n roll music, and Rafi starts when it ends. And then it’s fully Indian classical tune. So the contrast was limited just to that single moment. When I heard other songs on my list, I thought them more suitable. So I skipped it.
      But the song fits.



    1. Thank you Anu ji for the appreciation.
      I do agree, the Raj Tilak song is not a perfect fit. They both dance Indian dance forms.
      But the main theme of the post was the fusion of two different styles of orchestration. If the dance forms also follow it, then सोने पे सुहागा. The initial part of Vyjayantimala’s dance, when she enters the stage, has a touch of western influence. So I included it.


  4. An interesting post, Dr. Anup.
    Though It does seem similar to the one on different moods in one song and the recent post by Madhuji.

    The first song that came to my mind was from The Burning Train, posted by Dr. Shetty.

    Taking a chance at posting some songs, not sure if they fit here:

    Jaake kahin jog lo – Swami Dada 1982

    Zindagi mauj udane ka naam hai – Avtaar 1983

    Mitwa bin meet mera dil suna – Imaandaar 1987

    A Marathi song
    Happy happy married life – Asla Navra Nako Ga Bai 1977

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes,
      The post is similar to both the posts mentioned by you. Incidentally, when I just shortlisted the songs for the list, Madhuji’s post published. But as I already had planned my post, I did it according to my schedule.
      Coming to the songs shared by you, all the songs except the one from Avtaar fit.
      The avtaar song fits more to the ‘two different moods in a single song’ post. It has two moods, but the orchestration is not much contrasting in my opinion.


  5. Thanks.

    If I can make a comment-
    I don’t think it should be surprising that Sahir wrote meri nazar hai tujhpe for The Burning Train.
    Wondering if you have heard these songs from Joshila (1973) penned by him – Kaanp rahi main abhi zara and sharma na yun ghabra na yun (a nice seductive number).
    And also, there is gapuchi gapuchi gam gam from Trishul (1978).
    A film lyricist should be able to write all types of songs and Sahir successfully managed that.
    Even though we remember him for his hard-hitting songs depicting the social realities and inequalities, he has plenty of romantic, comic and dance numbers to his credit.


    1. Yes,
      A lyricist should not be typecast for a particular genre. And Sahir was a versatile and prolific poet. It’s just that in general we are not used to his songs other than his realistic songs or romantic songs.


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