Sunday, June 29, 2014




VASANT   DESAI  ( 1914 -1975 )

He was perhaps the only musician in  Mumbai’s  Film world  who  had thorough knowledge of Film Technique and classical Music.  A tragic  Lift accident outside his flat , cut short  the life of this gifted  Musician who  gave some memorable , haunting and melodious composition to us . Yes I mean  VASANT DESAI  ( 1914- 1975 )   )who  joined Prabhat Film Company in 1940 as a music assistant.
To describe his music , I shall only discuss four  movies . My mind goes to the 1959 super hit  GOONJ UTHI SHEHNAI. Thanks to Vasant Desai , the viewers were also made to enjoy the Shehnai of Great Bismillah Khan  apart from a Jugal Bandhi  between him and the sitar mastero Ustad Halim Jaffer Khan . The movie had also some classical  Vocal patches sung by Ustad Amir khan .The  comforting   tunes are still fresh in my mind . How can one forget the melody of almost all the songs that he composed  for this movie ? I quote some
(1 )  Jeevan Mein Piya tera saath Rahe
(2) Mein Piya Teri Tu Maane Yan a Maane
(3) Tere Sur Aur Mere Geet
(4) Akhiyaan Bhool Gayee hain sona
(5)  Haule Haule Ghoongat Pat Khole
(6) Dil Ka Khilona haaye toot Gaya
Prior to this he had also scored music for V Shantaram’s DO ANKHEIN   BAARAH   HAATH ( 1953 ). Can we forget his songs like “ Aey Maalik Tere Bandhe Hum “ , “Ho Ummad Ghumad ke aayi Re Ghata “and Saiyaan  jhoothon ka Bada Sartaj nikla ”. For   the song “Sainyaan Jhoothon ka Badaa Sartaj Nikla”  ,  Picturized on  talented SANDHYA ,he used wonderful  Ektaara  notes .

                       ( Right to left  Vasant Desai , O P Nayyar and mangeshkar sisters )

Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955 ) was purely based on dance theme, so he composed classical dance tunes. He used the voice of great vocalist Ustad Amir Khan for the title song  ( Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje ) of the film. The movie had  talented actress  Sandhya and classical dancer  Gopi Krishna  in lead roles . Some memorable  classical tracks that he composed for this film are
(1)    Jo Tum Todo Piya
(2)    Nain So Nain Nahin Milaao
(3)    Saiyan Jaao
(4)    Murli Manohar
(5)    Suno Suno Suno Ji

And then the 1968 “ Aashirwaad ” under  Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Banner . What a memorable music he scored for this movie?  “ Ek Thha Bachapan  ” remains my faourite to this day. Other songs that he  composed for this movie are " Hum Ko Mun Ki Shakti dena ", “ Rail Gaadi Chhuk Chhukk Chhukk  “, Jeevan se Lambe Hain Bandhu Yeh Jeevan Ke raste ” and “ Jhir Jhir Barse Saawan Akhiyaan Saanwariya Ghar Aa “
He also scored music for many more films that include  Parvat Pe Apna Dera (1944), Subhadra (1946), Jivan Yatra (1946), Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), Matwala Shaayar Raam Joshi (1947), Uddhar (1949) ,Toofan Aur Diya (1956 ) , Yaadein (1964 ) , Guddi ( 1971 ) and Achanak (1973 ). He introduced Vani Jairam  ( Bole Re Papihara )in Guddi.

Though a Maharashtrian , he  was proficient  in   Gujrati , Marathi , Hindi and Konkani  . I end this post with a couplet of Makhdoom ..

Bazm Se door woh gaata raha tanhaa tanhaa
So gaya saaz pe  sar Rakh ke sehar se pehley

( He kept singing his songs alone , away from the gathering ,
And slept  off on his instruments , Much before the dawn.)

( Autar Mota  29.06.2014 )

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