Tere ghungroo ki awaaz..

Song: Tere ghungroo ki awaaz

Film: Ghungroo Ki Awaaz(1981)

Producer: Vijay Anand

Director:Tulsi Ramsay , Shyam Ramsay

Singer: Kishore Kumar

It’s pitch dark. The hero is haunted by the woman he loved, but lost because he thought she was unfaithful. And then, he hears her ghungroos in the dark. Slow, faint, at first, then persistent, insistent. And then, Rahul Dev Burman launches what has to be one of the most haunting title songs ever. The synthesizer, and the violins then join the ghungroo, and then before you know it, the xylophone, the guitar and the ghungroo create an eerie rhythm, only to be broken by the suave and masterful voice of Kishore Kumar. The mukhda starts with the “Oo ho mere humraaz”..a high scale wail of complaint, maintaining the scale, “Kaisa hai ye raaz” till the end of the mukhda..and then the percussion picks up, a strange beat for a Pancham song, almost a trot kind of beat that adds to the haunted atmosphere.

The first music interlude has beautiful dreamy violins that glide up, on the wings of just a dash of synthesizers that only Rahul Dev could use in his inimitable style. And then this combination leads to the antara, that’s on a low scale – “Sitaaron ne sajayi thi dagar.., hawaaon ne jhulaya bhi magar..” and then violins take over the tune, climbing a little in scale, and then, a solo violin plays a haunting piece, then the   violins come back taking the tune further, and then you expect the solo violin to come back to finish the piece – but this is Pancham, remember? – so Kishore hums the next few scales to complete this beautiful piece of the violins and the solo violin*, and then proceeds to finish the antara. The cross over to the mukhda is another masterstroke. The antara rises and rises, and then a pause where there’s one ‘ting’ from the xylophone, and the tune segues into the fag end of the mukhda directly! It might sound abrupt on paper, but the tune actually flows smoothly and beautifully.  One can’t help but marvel at RD’s thought process.

The second interlude begins on a surprise too –  some beautiful play of santoor and ghungroos before the synthesizers gently pick up the orchestra and put them into the hands of the windy violins. Some surprisingly playful orchestration happens here, before the haunting antara starts. “Andheron mein chupi hai Kiran, Milan hai par ye kaisa Milan”, and then the haunting violins again. (Please see the * above, to see how Pancham introduces a minor, brilliant variation this time). However, in place of the solo violin that played in the earlier interlude, this time, Kishore Kumar hums the tune that the solo violin played!! The effect is mind blowing, and be ready to shiver as goose-bumps break out.  He proceeds to hum the next part that he’d hummed earlier as well.

The song ends with Kishore singing “Tere ghungroo..” and then RD introduces the ghungroo as a pause…”ki awaaz..” There are so many such brilliant touches in this song, it might take someone to do a Ph.D. to discover all the beautiful nuances and touches that Pancham’s done.

“Ghungroo Ki Awaaz” had some of the best ever music, period. And the Ramsay brothers messed up big time with their visuals. A  stony faced Vijay Anand here didn’t help either, though his lyrics were more evocative and spoke lots more than his acting. And with a mish-mash of a plot from Hitchcock’s thrillers, this movie was doomed at the box-office. Unfortunately, Rahul Dev’s music  too didn’t create the ripples it ought to have. But today, all you can hear is Pancham ke music ki awaaz when you think about this movie.

Vineet Upendra