Song written by Shankar Jaikishan with Shailendra (Shankardas Kesarilal) or Anand Bakshi; Performed by Mohammed Rafi
The downfall of optimism is reality. Correspondence is difficult. Connections do not come easy. Parents with hope are forever telling their children that smiles and good handshakes and proper manners and all the rest will ease the way to building relationships. Neighborliness does work, but I can’t claim that it takes the place of common interests. Uniting against the guy down the street who doesn’t cut his grass seems to trump borrowing a cup of sugar for making friends.
Art also provides another path to recognizing ourselves in those around us- sometimes the artists themselves and sometimes the entire world that surrounds the artists. We need that way in. Like carrying a dish to the neighborhood block party, it provides a little information and greases the wheels of public interaction.
Rafi performed many, many songs in a multi-decade run as a singer in Bollywood films. Most were in a less rock and roll style than Jaan Pehechaan Ho, which makes this song something of an anomaly.
When I worked
as a disc jockey back when radio allowed DJ’s some autonomy to select what to play, I tended to find myself running up against the end of an hour with a small chunk of time to fill. I became the connoisseur of short songs. I would grab the nearest record and cue up the shortest track. Often, these songs were two minutes or less and they always shone a light on the idiosyncrasies of the artists. Of course, Van Halen loved country music…
The thing about these anomalies was that they provided an alternative path to the art being made. You don’t have to know the artist to take that first bite anymore. It’s like the would be comic book professional drawing something familiar just to get your attention. Or those itinerant poets hauling their typewriters out in public and offering poems in a preferred style on a requested subject.
Really, Mohammed Rafi recorded at least five thousand songs and maybe another twenty thousand or more. Of course, a lot of anomalies can be found, but we each need just one and suddenly we’re swimming. A whole world of Sufiana beckons and your iTunes will never be the same. I’ve spent a lot of time getting strange looks in the summer when the car windows are down and the music is blasting. Perhaps I kid myself that it is the music.
What’s it all about?
You’ve Got to Check This Out is a blog series about music, words, and all sorts of artistic matters. It started with an explanation. 176 more to go.
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