Monday, October 13, 2008

Naushad: Gunga Jumna (1961/1978)

The soundtrack to Gunga Jumna runs in the same veins as O. P. Nayyar's music for the 1957 film Naya Daur. The music also resembles some of Naushad's earlier work in Amar (1954), especially in what I like to call the "village girl songs". In short, the sound is not original, but that does not take away from the quality of Naushad's work. Gunga Jumna was nominated for a Filmfare award that year.

As far as the plot goes the now famous pair (after the success of Devdas in 1955, Naya Daur in 1957 and Madhumati in 1958) goes on to make another hit by playing lovers in early post-independent India. With Dilip Kumar playing the role of the hard working Gunga and Kumar's fictional well educated brother Jumna played by his real brother Nasir Khan, with Vyjayanthimala as the lovely and colourful heroine. Themes such as right vs wrong, village vs city and battling social status of the new educated vs uneducated India live together and create friction in the film.

But if we come back to the music, it is mostly based on folk, with it's regional instruments and simple melodies.

To start, we have the beautiful Helen doing some Kathak on "Tora Man Bada Papi", well it's more like dancing around (it's good dancing, but not Kathak) in a Kathak outfit, not actually dancing a classical Indian form. The song is kind of plain, it does not interest me much, but I like the video.

After, looking at the big difference between the lives of the two brothers (Ganga and Jumna) as children, the video reflex's the contrast present in society of the "new India". This patriotic song, "Insaf Ki Dagar Pe" is a little to idealistic, but at least it is looking to a bring future. Everyone needs hope.

My favorite song has to be "Do Hanson Ka Joda", I love the sarangi (or sarod, I'm not sure), its beautiful. It's sad, simple and sweet.

Two other songs that I like are "Jhanan Ghoongar Baje" and "Dagabaz Tori Batian", because they are joyful and playful.

"O Chhalia Re Chhalia" and "Naina Lad Jaihen" (in this one you get Dilip Kumar dancing, yay!) just didn't get me moving. foot was taping, but I expected more.

Overall, there are more ordinary songs than good songs. The album flows very well and I am sure Naushad put effort into this soundtrack.


Side 1

1. Lata Mangeshkar: Dagabaz Tori Batian
2. Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi and Chorus: O Chhalia re Chhalia
3. Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus: Jhanan Ghoongar Baje
4. Mohd. Rafi: Naina Lad Jaihen

Side 2

5. Lata Mangeshkar: Do Hanson Ka Joda
6. Hemant Kumar & Chorus: Insaf Ki Dagar Pe
7. Asha Bhosle: Tora Man Bada Papi
8. Lata Mangeshkar: Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Sajna

Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

Stella_1's score: 3.5/5

Get the music now: Naushad Gunga Jumna


Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

I LOVE "Nain lad jaiyen"!!! It reminds me of my small town, mainly because it is one of those few authentic "Braj" (hindi dialect) songs from my part of the country. Its amazing what some soongs can mean to us- when I hear this, I envision a cold spring night in my hometown, a bonfire on the street and villagers singing :)

Bollyviewer said...

I love Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Sajna but the others dont get me too excited either - especially Nain lad jaihen which played on radio too often for my taste!

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Anonymous said...

I think I am hearing Asha Bhosle in Song 2 (with Mohd. Rafi) and not Lata Mangeshkar. Thanks Stella, much appreciated.

Sreejayanth said...

My favorite song has to be "Do Hanson Ka Joda", I love the sarangi (or sarod, I'm not sure), its beautiful. It's sad, simple and sweet.

It is sarangi. Sarangi is played using a bow, sarod is a plucked instrument, hence discrete, sarangi is continuous. If you like the sound of sarangi, check out umrao jaan or any khayyam music(you may already have).