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When melodies ‘migrated’

Rajiv Vijayakar recalls songs made for one film and used in another.
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 00:34 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 00:34 IST

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This may not be a common occurrence, but that’s precisely what makes the whole phenomenon piquantly interesting. We have lyrics written and songs even readied and recorded for one film, only to finally land up in another one, often of a different genre. And we are not talking of the ubiquitous re-created old hits but of original songs.

The most famous such example remains ‘Jumma chumma de de’ from ‘Hum’ (1991). According to Karan Johar, who was then an assistant on his producer-father Yash Johar’s film ‘Agneepath’ (1990), this song, whose mukhda (main lines) was inspired from the famous black, Mory Kante’s ‘Tama’, was to originally feature in this film. However, a situation could not be worked in. The composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal, who had adapted the lines at the intense request of leading man Amitabh Bachchan, reworked it with fresh lyrics for director Mukul S Anand’s ‘Hum’, which came a year later.

And speaking of Bachchan, the song ‘Padosan teri murgi’ from Prakash Mehra’s ‘Jaadugar’ (1989) remains Kalyanji-Anandji’s only song with lyricist Javed Akhtar. Rendered by Bachchan himself, it was, however, actually created and recorded for ‘Laadla’, a film that Ramesh Sippy was to direct for Habib Nadiadwala, as its muhurat (auspicious launch) song. The film was shelved and the actor requested that the song be used for the new film.

A recent WhatsApp forward, whose veracity is confirmed by Javed Badayuni, son of legendary lyricist Shakeel Badayuni, narrates how Hemant Kumar had composed and sung Badayuni’s terrific song, ‘Sahil ki taraf kashti le chal’ for ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ (1960). The song was composed for the scene where the daughter-in-law (Meena Kumari) of the house is resting her head on the lap of the servant, Bhootnath (Guru Dutt). After the film’s release, Guru Dutt removed the song due to public criticism. With due permission, Hemant Kumar used the tune for ‘Anupama’ (1966) as the now-cult situational masterpiece, ‘Ya dil ki suno’, written by Kaifi Azmi.

A unique case was of a Mukesh-Lata Mangeshkar duet recorded by Kalyanji-Anandji for a film that never took off. Decades later, Kalyanji’s son, Viju Shah, re-recorded the now-iconic song, ‘Na kajre ki dhaar’ with similar-toned voices, Pankaj Udhas and Sadhana Sargam, for ‘Mohra’ (1994). The lyrics by Indeevar were maintained, but the tune was updated and hit the charts even in the face of the chartbusting ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast’ from the same album.

Lyricist Indeevar once mentioned to me that he had written the song ‘Hum tumhein chahate hain aise / Marnewala koi zindagi chahata ho jaise’ (I love you with the same intensity as a dying man craves to live) for Shakti Samanta’s 1975 film, ‘Anand Ashram’. “I wrote how a doctor was expressing his love on screen as the hero was in the medical profession. But the filmmaker did not appreciate the words. It took Feroz Khan to understand the value of my song that he used (with super-hit results) in ‘Qurbani’, as tuned by Kalyanji-Anandji,” he said.

And then we have the case of Rafi lending his voice (with perfect match) for Govinda, who started out six years after the singer’s death. The song was ‘Phool kya shabab kya’ from a film named ‘Farz Ki Jung’ (1989). This Bappi Lahiri-Anjaan creation was originally intended for another film produced by Dalwinder Sohal, which was never made.

Another interesting case of a film being shelved was ‘Heer Ranjha’, the popular Punjabi folk legend, which was launched in the 1980s with Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon. Ram Maheshwari, director of hits like ‘Kajal’, ‘Neel Kamal’ and ‘Karma Yogi’, had recorded the theme song, ‘Rab ne banaya tujhe’ with lyricist Bakshi and composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal. For some reasons, this film was shelved and the song lay unused until Harmesh Malhotra also decided to make a film on the legendary lovers. Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Bakshi, the composers’ favourites, therefore brought the recorded song out of cold storage (so to speak) and used it in the 1992 film.

And then we have the hit Udit Narayan-Alka Yagnik melody, ‘O saathiya’ from Mukesh Bhatt’s ‘Saaya’ (2003), composed by M M Kreem (aka M M Keeravani) and written by Anand Bakshi. The Anurag Basu-directed John Abraham film had a great music score by Anu Malik and many (including me) were perplexed at this one song “intrusion”, for those were the days of single composers for films.

But the explanation was simple: this was a track which was earlier composed for another film made by the Bhatts — ‘Zakhm’ (1998). When it fitted the situation in the new film, in it went!

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Published 27 April 2024, 00:34 IST

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