Thank you Khayyam, for Umrao Jaan

Rekha, flawlessly Umrao

There are some albums that you can consume in entirety and admire for their quality, depth and meaning. Umrao Jaan (1981) is one such album for me.

The still is from ‘In Aankhon ki masti ke’, one of my favourite Asha Bhonsle renditions, with the romantic, gorgeous Rekha expressing, emoting and dancing to this gem of a song.

While I am eternally grateful to Khayyam for the music, I cannot give lyricist Shahryar a miss. For every song is a masterpiece where the lyrics and music come together, and rendered by the singers, make for blissful listening. I feel transported into a bliss or trance like state when I listen to some of these songs, so soulful they are.

My favourite lines from In Aankhon ki masti are:

Ek sirf humiEk sirf humi mai ko aankhon se pilaate hainAankhon se pilaate hainKehne ko to duniya meinKehne ko to duniya mein maikhaane hazaaron hainMaikhaane hazaaron hain

Of course, I am in general a fan of poetry about eyes…

From Dil Cheez Kya hai:

Kahiye to aasman ko zameen par utaar laye
Mushkil nahi hai kuch bhi
Mushkil nahi hai kuch bhi agar thaan lijiye

From Zindagi jab bhi :

Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein laati hai hamen
Ye zamin chand se behatar nazar aati hai hamen

Har mulaqat ka anjaam judai kyun hai
Ab to har vaqt yahi baat satati hai hamen

From Ye kya jagah hai doston, the entire piece below is so woefully beautiful

Yeh kis makaam par hayat, mujhko leke aa gayi

Na bas khushi pe hai jahan, na gham pe ikhtiyaar hai

Bula raha hai koi

Bula raha hai kaun mujhko chilmanon ke us taraf

mere liye bhi kya koi, udaas bekarar hai

From Justuju jiski thi usko:

Kab mili thi kaha bichhadi thi
Hame yaad nahi
Zindagi tujh ko to bas
Khwaab mein dekhaa hum ne

There seem to be a few more songs, but these are the ones I know through and through. The ones which I know every piece of music that follows the other, the lyrics and intonations, the expressions and the situations they were written for. A tribute and gratitude, overflowing from the music-lover in me!

Do drop a note if you connect with any of these songs at a deep level. Some of them have been my companions in low times, but can nevertheless be appreciated anytime.