Jaane Kya Baat Hain

Film: Sunny (1984)

Producer: Amarjeet

Director: Raj Khosla

Lyricist: Aanand Bakshi

Singer:  Lata Mangeshkar
{Note: This piece is a figment of my imagination. Please do not read anything more than the loving tribute it is intended to be.}

I am sitting with renowned insomnia specialist Dr. Na. Kaa. Ghoru. He is a distant relative of my best friend and we had a package to deliver to him, and hence this meeting. While my friend excuses himself for “saary Dall, nature’s call”, I notice the cassette cover of Sunny on the doc’s table. I’m overjoyed – another Pancham fan!

Me: Dr. Ghoru!!! Are you by any chance an RD fan?
Dr. G: I used to be, until he released this album.
Me: What?? Sunny? It’s one the best  1984 scores – or any other. How can you say that???
Dr. G: You know what he’s done? He’s made my job redundant.
Me (angrily): Are you trying to tell me people fall asleep listening to this brilliant score?
Dr. G (sadly): On the contrary…(sighs)..Rahul’s made insomnia fashionable with this album.
Me (perplexed): How so?

Dr. G: Let me play the song….(gets up and presses Play on his music deck). After listening to this song, nobody wants to sleep. They want to keep hearing this number through the night. And my patient count’s down…


And then as if Pancham appears in the room and darkens it, making it nightfall. His violins descend upon us like midnight – gently, and with inherent pain. And in the middle of the piece, the twang of the guitar, as if to show one glimmer of light in the night…Then the sitars come in with the tabla, tugging at our heart strings…then Pancham gets the same opening violin piece again, a guitar strum for the pause….

And before Lata comes in,
Dr. G: See, with a music piece like that, how can you possibly fall asleep?
Me: True…and look at how beautifully Pancham gets in Lata…”Jaane kya baat hai“…

Dr. G: Ah lovely…and as she says “baat hai“…look at the tabla beat that Pancham’s given….when you can’t fall asleep and you’re tossing and turning around, what do you hear? Your heartbeat in your ears…and that’s how beautifully he’s used the beat here for that effect.


Me: And the violins that rise like the midnight mist for the first part of the mukhda…

Dr. G: Wah! And how haunting the second part of the mukhda is…”Neend nahin aati“…a rise and then fall of the sleepless bosom…”Badi lambi raat hai“….and that’s where he kills with those violins that land right into your gut.
Me: And the triangle…how clear they sound, as usual, in Pancham’s capable console-ing.

Dr. G (missing my pun): And that first interlude..that beautiful santoor-guitar combo sound…and the lovely violins that come after them, like a duet they sing….then the violins rise, almost sweetly frustrated at the long night….but soothed by the flutes and sitar…leading to the antara…

Me: And as usual, a beautifully constructed antara….

Dr. G: Beautifully done…the pain of not being able to sleep…”Saari saari raat mujhe kisne jagaya“…and note that Pancham uses the same tabla rhythm – the heartbeat effect – even in the antara…so much thought and love…and the tune, complaining, and once Lata’s done with the line, a beautiful additional musical complaint by the sitar…she repeats the line and then Pancham gets Lata to sing higher, “Jaise koi sapna“.. and at the end, gets her to slowly come down, softly, “Jaise” – and how lovingly she sings that word here…”koi saya“…and the prolonged “sayaaa” segues beautifully into the main loop  – how Pancham does this, I don’t know – “koi nahin lagta hai, koi mere saath hai” – ah, how beautifully he lands he tune back into the warmth of the haunting mukhda.

I look keenly at Dr. Ghoru, as he continues, almost in a trance…

Dr. G: And the next interlude…what brilliance!! RD’s made the night lonelier, with the haunting violin piece, that’s accompanied in tandem by the keyboard..that effect is almost like the sound of crickets on a lonely, sleepless night….superb! And this accentuated by the feather soft drums…and when the piece trails, the guitar comes in, trailed by the tablas..then that beautiful piece on the guitar, that’s replayed on the flutes…then Pancham leaves the flutes mid-air and soars with the violins…getting in Lata at that height with “Dhak dhak kabhi se jiya dol raha hai“…and where, in the earlier antara, the sitar complained, here Pancham gets in Lata for the complaint….a lovely alaap that pierces the night with its pain…and then the same segue to the mukhda…..


And then the next interlude…a beautiful play of symphonic violins….sounding almost out of “Raah pe rehte hain” (Namkeen) but here, making the night so so lonely…and the second part of this Pancham symphony, where two sets of violins flow against each other gently reminding me of The Burning Train’s title track….and then the heartbreaking wail of the solo violin, again trailed by the tablas….oh god, I think I’ll cry now…and then the sitar playing the same wail…..and then Lata comes in for the final antara….where Pancham makes her touch the stars…and then makes us fall in love in the middle of the night…beautiful…..


Dr. Ghoru opens his eyes, sighs: So now, you see, with this masterpiece, Pancham’s given me no choice…I’m changing my job profile to this. (Hands me a visiting card).

The card reads:

Dr. Na. Kaa. Ghoru, Specialist

Makes Nights Sunny for BPO Employees

Vineet Upendra