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When Songs Travel From One Film to Another

The song “Na Kajre Ki Dhaar” in “Mohra” had an unusual beginning.
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    MUMBAI — In these days when Bappi Lahiri consents to have his hit tune “Ooeee Amma Ooeee Amma” from the 1983 “Mawaali” refurbished as “Ooh La La” in Vishal-Shekhar’s “The Dirty Picture,” and even sings it himself, it is interesting to know how songs composed for one film were finally used in another one by the same, rather than a different, composer. 

    Like “Har Saans Mein” was composed many years earlier for Raghu Dixit’s band, it was meant to feature as the lead number in his next album but ended up in the climax of “Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge,” his first film as composer. 

    Amitabh Bachchan has a record in this department: three of his chartbusters, “Jumma Chumma De De,” the cult chart-smasher from “Hum” (1991) that made Sudesh Bhosle a household name; “Padosan Teri Murgi” from “Jaadugar” (1989) that is probably Javed Akhtar’s only double-entendre song; and “Sona Sona,” which kick-started his long association with composer Aadesh Shrivastava (“Major Saab” / 1998) were all meant to feature in other films. 

    The first song, for which Bachchan had requested composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal to adapt a Mory Kante hit, was earlier to be used for an aborted Ramesh Sippy film called “Ram Ki Seeta Shyam Ki Geeta” starring both Bachchan and Sridevi in dual roles, according to a television interview of the late Laxmikant at the time. 

    Another Ramesh Sippy film, “Laadla,” was shelved after its muhurat song was recorded by Bachchan himself, and so it was inserted into Prakash Mehra’s “Jaadugar.” Bachchan similarly requested K.C. Bokadia to part with “Sona Sona” because that film was delayed and there was a perfect situation for that song in his home production “Major Saab.”

    So when films are shelved, some songs can be transferred to follow-up projects, by the same filmmaker or otherwise. Another such example was of the 1992 Anil Kapoor-Sridevi duet “Rab Ne Banaya Tujhe Mere Liye” from Laxmikant-Pyarelal-Anand Bakshi’s “Heer Ranjha,” directed by Harmesh Malhotra. 

    Those surprised at singer Anwar’s presence (the actor had not recorded for over five years) and Lata’s much younger vocal tenor did not know that this song was recorded by the same team for a different “Heer Ranjha,” directed by Ram Maheshwary (“Kaajal,” “Neel Kamal”) that had been announced in the ‘80s and starring the post-“Sohni Mahiwal” lucky epic love pair of Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon.

    A film was shelved in the late ‘70s with a Bappi Lahiri-composed Rafi song, “Phool kya Shabab Kya.” In the late-’80s, the same producer launched “Farz Ki Jung” with the same composer and actor Govinda in the lead, and the song was dug out and used in the new film, with Rafi’s voice incredibly sitting pat on a star who had appeared six years after his death and had already “sung” in the voices of Rafi’s clones, Shabbir Kumar and Mohammed Aziz!

    The English-German “Ich Liebe Dich I Love You” from “Sangam” (1964) was said to be one of the many tunes in his films ghost-composed by Kapoor himself, and he decided to reuse it in Hindi for a broader appeal. The result was the biggest song of 1985, “Sun Sahiba Sun,” sung by Lata Mangeshkar in Kapoor’s own swan song “Ram Teri Ganga Maili.”

    “Yaara yaara” from “Hum Tum” (2004) was finally never used in the film itself. But Kunal Kohli decided not to waste this typical Jatin-Lalit composition and got lyricist Prasoon Joshi to write a different song to the same metre for his next film, “Fanaa” (2006). The song was “Chanda Chamke.” 

    When Mahesh Bhatt brought together the genius of M.M. Kreem with the mastery of Anand Bakshi for “Zakham” (1998), one beautiful romantic song, “O Saathiya,” remained unused, probably because its bright tone did not match the serious mood of the film. The song was kept in cold storage till the perfect place was found for it in “Saaya” (2003), written by Bhatt for his brother Mukesh. This was Kreem’s and Bakshi’s only contribution to the film whose other songs were done by Anu Malik with Sayeed Quadri.

    Lyricist Gulshan Bawra had been personally affected by the trauma of the Freedom struggle and Partition too. In the ‘50s, he had written “Mere Desh Ki Dharti” with the zeal of patriotism. Music directors Kalyanji-Anandji, his mentors, were aware of this song and suggested it to Manoj Kumar when he was making “Upkar” (1967), which is how this benchmark “deshbhakti” song made it to cult status.

    Kalyanji-Anandji had also recorded the Mukesh-Lata Mangeshkar duet “Na Kajre Ki Dhaar” for a film with lyrics by Indeewar. The film was never made and Kalyanji’s son Viju spruced up the tune to a trendy pace, and got Pankaj Udhas and Sadhana Sargam to record it for “Mohra” (1994). And by the way, the original can still be heard on Facebook!

    Indeewar also told India-West that he had penned the lyrics “Hum tumhein chahate hai aise / Marnewala koi zindagi chahta ho jaise” (I desire you like a dying man craves to live) for the doctor hero of “Anand Ashram.” “The words were designed for a doctor in love. But filmmaker Shakti Samanta did not appreciate this. Three years later, Feroz Khan took the song and Kalyanji-Anandji composed it for “Qurbani,” and it became a major hit.

    Most lyricists and composers also have a stock of lyrics and poems — and one such was Anand Bakshi’s “Maine Pooncha Chand Se.” It was composed by S.D. Burman but never used for a film. Five years after his death, his son R.D. Burman recorded and incorporated it in “Abdullah” with the original singer Mohammed Rafi, who ironically died just before the film’s release. Another stock product was the KK-rendered melody, “Dil Kyun Yeh Mera,” that after several false starts, finally made it into “Kites” (2010). Smiles composer Rajesh Roshan, “I had composed this tune even before I became a music director,” which places the creation of the tune to pre-1973, when Roshan began recording for his debut film, “Kunwara Baap.”


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