Film: Masoom (1982)
Producer: Devi Dutt
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Singer: Aarti Mukherjee
Masoom is one of the most brilliant scores of Pancham. A variety of songs, popular as well as classy, in their own merit.
And a distinct flavor of the film’s music is the singers Pancham has used, each one in his/her element. “Lakdi ki kathi” has children singing it (not Lata or Asha mimicking a child’s voice), the mehfil song “Huzoor is qadar,” which in itself is a novel duet, has Bhupinder and Suresh Wadkar in a teasing mood, Lata’s mellifluous “Tujhse naaraaz nahin zindagi” or the soulful version of the same in the unusual voice of Anup Ghosal.
And to add to that, we have Aarti Mukerjee singing “Do naina aur ek kahani…”
It is a loree, a kahani that a mother sings to her children, while the reference is of the child the father has, by a different woman. And the child, with tears rolling down, silently relates to the story. A very touching highlight of the film. “Innocence” is the gist of the film and this song conveys it so beautifully.
A lilting tune, enhanced with RD’s “apt as always” orchestration and the mood that it all creates, lifts the visuals to a high point, maybe, maybe, Shekhar Kapur could replace the entire film with this song… which so strongly is capable of explaining the entre script. The song starts with the 12-string guitar and Aarti’s voice woven into each other, with side rhythm and bass guitar for support.
“Do naina aur ek kahani,
thoda sa baadal thoda sa paani,
aur, ek kahani…”
Draws attention to the child as he moves to the door to see the love being showered on his “stepsisters,” he being a child out of a wedlock and being here now, unwanted by this woman – his “stepmother.”
The first antara starts with the flute followed by the guitar… “Chhotisee do jheelon mein woh behti rehti hai” − it is like explaining the aansoo, so it is accentuated with the smooth flow of the notes on the flute…”Koee sune ya na sune kehti rehti hai” − the flow is about the character, the continuity of the tears, irrespective of whether or not they go unnoticed.
In the visuals, the child is watching his stepmother sing and put her daughters to sleep and he feels the pain of being left out. And the father watches it all so helplessly.
Pancham punctuates and enhances the visuals with a dash of 12-string and bass guitars that follow the song in the entire stretch. The rhythm is minimal, just a thaap of tabla in the antara and that too is missing in the mukhda − for a loree, it is so befitting.
The interlude for the second antara has a mix of the guitar, flute and then violins.
“Thodisee hai jaani huee…” − yes, we know something about the past story, so maybe Pancham underlines this with the taar shehnai (the visuals show the flashback of the child, his town, his mother and her sad demise). The line is repeated and followed by “Jahan ruke aansoo waheen pooree ho gayee.” Such a mighty “pen” Gulzar has, the story is not complete till the tears stop…what a way to express!
Bass…taar shehnai…twelve string…
“Ek khatm ho toh doosri…” − it is like a never-ending thing, that goes on and on…so the violins make their presence felt, to denote the fear that this feeling will never go away. So Pancham stresses that with violins…”Hothon pe phir bhooli huee baat aa jaati hai…”
The child walks down to the garden and the father follows him while the “mother” draws the curtains of the window. Kudos to Shekhar Kapur as well! And then the master lyricist sums it up with ‘Do nainon ki hai yeh kahani… thoda sa baadal, thoda sa paani, aur ek kahani.”
And the song fades away with the violins…