legends: madan mohan The Instinctive Genius
SaReGaMa; 5-CD pack;
Known as the Ghazal King of Hindi film music, Madan Mohan had a middle name also spelt with an ‘M’. Melody. And to think he had no formal training! If you’ve got to go through this 5-CD pack to be convinced about music at its melodic zenith, and that by an “instinctive genius”, that should be an excuse, not reason, enough to give a listen again to the man whose Veer-Zaara music was salvaged from a 30-year old treasury last year and still went on to burn the charts.
As in the other packs in this very fine Legends series by SaReGaMa, very conveniently encased in a giftbox, you have 86 gems sprinkled through five CDs. The cute little booklet is there, too, but this time one is unhappy with the microscopic print (especially on the back of all the boxcases) and the deep colour scheme which renders a lot of the booklet black print unreadable. There are those little chats, anecdotes and insights provided by his contemporaries and other celebs like Lata Mangeshkar, Begum Para, Zakir Hussain, Mala Sinha, Manna Dey, Jaidev, Jagjit Singh, Jatin-Lalit, Mahendra Kapoor, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Aadesh Shrivastava, Uttam Singh, Asha Bhosle, R.D. Burman, Gulzar and others. Wow, do we hear you exclaim'
Then what would you exclaim if told that there is a handsome clutch of songs unreleased before (like Mere dil se aake lipat gayee from Neela Akash), or from unreleased films (Kaise kategi zindagi and Mere aansoon ka gham na kar)!
And what word would escape your lips if you are told that there are snatches of Lata Mangeshkar, the one with whom “Madan Bhaiyya” vibed best to produce some of the best in their repertoire, resinging some of the songs!
And then the sone pe sohaaga! Madan Mohan himself going through the musical paces which have a unique charm of its own. Long back, there was a rare cassette of Madan Mohan singing some of his own compositions and one just listened speechlessly to Mai re main ka se kahoon from Dastak. That numbing number is here, too, along with Husn haazir hai (Laila Majnu).
And the song from Adalat, sounding so much more poignant, speaking as if about our own feelings at thge end of the day: Jaana tha hum se door,/Bahaane bana liye'.