Category Archives: Hemlata

Listening to: Chitchor (1976)

Our ephemeral world of Bollywood is a world of short memories. Yet, now and then, it provides us with movies or music which last a lifetime. What is that x-factor which makes some music so very memorable? I don’t think even the music composers know the answer. It just happens. And for this album, it happened, and how!!

Basu Chatterjee introduced Amol Palekar, the ‘everyman’, in the film Rajnigandha (1974) which was an unexpected hit. Chatterjee then went on to direct Chhoti Si Baat (1975), again with Palekar, which was another hit. With Chitchor he got his Hat Trick. A naive village belle, an ‘everyman’ overseer, a case of mistaken identity and there, you have a charming little story. How refreshing it was when it came out! No over-dressed beauty (or should I say under-dressed?) with bouffant hairstyles and clothes we normal Indian girls would never wear. Zarina Wahab is natural and normal in her role as an innocent young village girl. No leading man who is astonishingly handsome and roguish  (Dharmendra), brooding and violent (Amitabh) or  full of mannerisms (Rajesh). Just a gentle and nice fellow who could be the man next door, a man one would like to have as a friend. Just a tiny bit detached from reality but not too much and definitely not depressing like some films were in the name of reality. It was a romance and a musical, just as we Indian audience like our films to be. I wish there had been more films like this. A genre I like very much indeed.

The music and lyrics by Ravindra Jain are simply superb. Just four songs and each a gem. Yesudas, a very talented singer from the South, did a great job with all the four songs and Hemlata did her part very well – perhaps not as well as Lata would have (I admit I am biased) but very well indeed. The politics of the film industry being what they are, Yesudas did not go from this to a great career in Bombay as one would have expected but sang only infrequently in Hindi films.  Of course, he has had a stellar career in the South. Unconfirmed sources on the net say he has won the National Award seven times and regional awards 30 times and has sung 30,000 songs in 17 languages!!

So here are the songs from Chitchor. Click here if you want to listen to the whole album.

  • Gori tera gaon – Yesudas. This song won Yesudas a National Award. Smile
  • Jab deep jale aana – Yesudas & Hemlata. A beautiful melody matched by lovely lyrics, just a touch melancholy, this song is a sure winner. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Aaj se pehle – Yesudas. Quite charming but for me it is overshadowed by the other songs in this album. I don't know smile
  • Tu jo mere sur me – Yesudas & Hemlata. A perfect song in everyway. Memorable lyrics, great melody, excellent singing which won Hemlata a Filmfare award, this song represents all that is beautiful about Hindi film music.  Open-mouthed smileRed heart 

I present this last song for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!


Filed under Bollywood 70's Music, Hemlata, Yesudas