Sandhya Vela

Movie: Sukhi Sansarachi 12 Sutre (1994) (Marathi)

Producer: Satish Wagle Productions

Director: Anil Baidur

Lyrics: Kavi Saumitra (Kishor Kadam)

Singers: Asha Bhosle, Suresh Wadkar and chorus


One thing that I always wondered about Pancham was why he did not compose for Marathi movies till as late as 1994. Looking at his long stay in Mumbai, and his close proximity with Marutirao Keer and of course Asha Bhosle, I always wondered, why not a Marathi movie? Though he has done title songs for Marathi TV serials like “Shodhu Kuthe Kinara” and “Yala Jeevan Aise Naav” and his background score for Hindi movies have been used in many Marathi films, the original score was missing, till Sukhi Sansarachi 12 Sutre happened in 1994.


When I first got to know about this movie, I grabbed the audio cassette (released on Venus) and played it. It started with an introduction by Asha Bhosle, followed by the song “Runzun aik na,” which has the same tune as “Gumsum kyun hain sanam” (Kasme Vaade/Bhala Manus), but with a lot of improvisation. Actually, in this Marathi score, Pancham has reworked a few of his older tunes. “Sandhya vela” has a Bengali version “Sandhya bela” (from a Puja album) and a Hindi one “Tere bina” (from the film Jaane Jaan/Nikamma), both sung by Asha Bhosle. “Kuni naahi aaspaas” has similarities with “Mohuaye jomecche,” another Bengali song by Asha, “He Kana Thoda Gavat” with “Mausam Bhiga Bhiga” (from Gehra Zakhm). The title song of the movie “Saavadhantecha me dete Ishara, Sukhi Sansarachi Sutre 12” is the only song which don’t have a Hindi or Bangla version and it’s a clear Pancham Stamp song. The beauty of this song is, it’s like a singlet, only the above mentioned two lines makes the whole song, with different tempos.  After my first listen, the song that stuck in my mind was “Sandhya vela,” a superb Pancham compostion excellently rendered by Suresh Wadkar and Asha Bhosle.


Whenever I am asked to choose one of my favorite Pancham songs, I feel like the child in the candy shop, asked to get only one candy. Tough.  Very tough. The child in me asks for one candy in each bottle. And “Sandhya vela” is the candy I choose from Sukhi Sansarachi 12 Sutre.


Sandhya vela means evening time. The time that can be said to be the most romantic, yet the saddest, part of the day. The song follows the first part − romantic. Pancham, being a good cook (and foodie), knows what change in the spices can change the same recipe. The same composition when used in Marathi is a romantic duet song, in Bangla it is a solo romantic song but with a feeling of loneliness and in Hindi it is a peppy solo number.


Sandhya vela” starts with the chorus singing “hummmm,” which creates a light romantic mood, followed by sound like the ripples on water surface, which sets an analogy of ripples created in your heart during a romantic moment! The chorus ends with “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” and Asha Bhosle starts with “Sandhya vela,” stretching the vela as “velaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” which matches the end of the chorus. The maadal beautifully accompanies Asha’s singing of the starting words −


“Sandhya vela tujhe maaze ithe ase basuni, tuze bolane,

mala baghuni tuze hasane, mala baghuni baghuni tuze bolane…”

(In the evening time, you and me sitting together, the way you speak,

the way you smile looking at me, and looking at me again the way you speak.)

The repeated word baghuni in second line makes it even more romantic.

Suresh Wadkar also sings the same lines, but when he sings “Sandhya vela,” the background maadal beats (which were there with Asha’s lines) are missing. This subtle difference in the treatment of the mukhda for both the singers creates magic.


The first interlude is a blend of the sax and the synth that makes for a lighter moment, the moment of romance. The first two lines of the first antara are repeated, but at the second time, all the words are slightly extended (the uuuu or eee part of the words) and the last words of the first line (“Aik na”) is more of spoken in tune than sung. Reminds you of “Tujhse naaraaz nahi zindagi” from Masoom, where Anup Ghosal does something similar, speaks the line “Jaise karz rakha hai” rather than sing it. And then comes the third line of the antara, and it takes you to a vintage echo (not exactly) with the words “Tuze bolaaane,” reminding you of “Dil pukare” from Jeeva. At the end of first antara, Suresh Wadkar continues with the mukhda. And this time, when he sings the mukhda, you get to hear the maadal beats as he sings “Sandhyaaa velaaa.”


The second interlude is an all-chorus “Aaaaaa” and “Hunnnnnn,” raising the romance after an initial conversation. Like the first antara, the first two lines are repeated, and this time, while repeating the first two lines, the words and not extended, and the last word is sung (not spoken). And there is no echo-like treatment in the third line. (Pancham’s subtle touches?) This makes a difference with the impression created by the first antara  and creates another impression. At the end of the second antara, Asha Bhosle continues with the mukhda. And we have a change in the mukhda − the word “hasuni” in the mukhda is replaced with “bolane.” And this goes well with the song, as the song continues like a conversation − in the first antara she speaks and he continues and in the second antara he speaks and she continues and says “now you are talking!”


The third interlude is completely on the sax but with no synth, again a subtle change that makes the music stand out. In the third antara, the first line is by Asha and the second line by Suresh Wadkar, and both the lines are repeated in the same way. The third line is sung by Asha, and then as Suresh Wadkar takes charge with the mukhda, we have yet another deviation − the mukhda is sung by both, half a line by Suresh Wadkar and the other half by Asha Bhosle.


The situational changes in the song are constructed in an excellent way by Pancham, by distributing the lines of antaras, forming the phases of romance − Initiation, in the mukhda when both are singing the same lines separately; Progression, when she speaks something and he nods and when he speaks something she nods; and Love, when both of them talk and share the same sentiment. Superb!


If we look at the Bengali “Sandhya bela,” it has similar lyrics but it is a romantic solo with the blend of, lonely tone of the evening. It is closer to the Marathi “Sandhya vela,” as the construction of mukhda and antara is similar, with the repetition of words and lines in the mukhda, still it is a very different song. This song does not start with a chorous and the interludes also do not have chorous, only sax in first interlude and a very short second interlude with flute.


If we look at the Hindi version of the song, “Tere bina” from Jaane Jaan/Nikamma is different song, a solo, but a fast number with a peppy treatment. The song starts with “Tere bina raha na jaaye,” with a fast rhythm, followed by fast guitars. And there is a sort of slow motion created by the synth. And the mukhda is sung again and in a slow pace. The antaras have guitars and that special Asha touch “Tu ru ru.” It is an out and out fast song, with interludes in slow motion and that special by Asha.


The continuous efforts of Pancham to nurture this composition and treat the same compositions in different ways, finally created the same composition different treatment “Sandhya vela.”


And this remains my most favorite, out of the three versions!!

Rahul Pande