V Kumar is a free lance author, who writes because of his passion for writing, on a variety of issues, including Indian movies & music.
Best Bollywood Songs in Raag Bhupali
Raag Bhupali in Bollywood
Raag Bhupali is a classical Raag of Hindustani Classical music, which lies next only to Raga Bhairavi, Raag Yaman Kalyan and Raag Darbari Kanada in terms of its popularity among music composers of Bollywood. It is as good as any other Raag for creating melodious musical compositions, and has been used in a wide variety of innovative compositions to express different situations, emotions and expressions in Hindi songs.
Raga Bhupali, also known as Raag Bhopali, is characterized by its sweetness and a stable flowing character that brings a sort of melodious stability to every number composed using it. However, it retains the sophisticated classical touch that makes all songs based on classical music stand out from the more casual compositions. Though stable and flowing, this sophistication brings about a depth, and is thereby able to convey complex and at times opposing, struggling, emotions, just like a body of water that has a lot of turbulence inside even though there is stillness at the surface. As exemplified by these great compositions, it is a quality of Raag Bhupali that enables the great experts to mix differing elements, like sadness with sweetness, to produce an effect that can be so mesmerizing that even tragedies begin to look glamorous!
Here are the eight best songs of Bollywood, based on Raag Bhupali. These are musical compositions that blend the classical Raag into melodious, easy flowing variety of popular Bollywood music. It is not the way a classical singer will approach Raag Bhupali, and yet, these can be counted among the best songs ever made in Bollywood in this Raag, because of their ability to convey human feelings and emotions in a way that can touch the heart of the audience. These great numbers do full justice to it, and the centuries old rich tradition of Indian classical music!
Song # 1
"Chanda hai tu, mera suraj hai tu ...."
The movie 'Aradhana' (1969) can be considered a milestone in Bollywood because of many reasons, that include the arrival of Kishore Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and R.D. Burman, a trio that dictated Bollywood music for several years. This song, which is one of the several musical gems of this movie, stands out for the excellent, melodious expression of a mother's emotions, who has lost everything else in life, but is still happy having her child around her, even if she cannot disclose that she is his mother. This sweet and touching composition in Raag Bhupali was created by S. D. Burman, a master of using Hindustani classical tunes without losing the mass appeal of popular music. The voice of Lata Mangeshkar makes it great and the lyrics of Anand Bakhshi are very well suited to the situation. This everlasting number is also a great example of how melodious Raga Bhupali can be in the hands of great masters.
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Song # 2
"Neel gagan ki chhaon mein..."
This great number is also one of the best ever song dance sequences ever made in the history of Bollywood. It features Vyjayanthimala, who was arguably the most accomplished and renowned among all Bollywood actresses for her dancing talents. In this number too, she excellently depicts the various emotions of the royal court dancer, who is summoned to dance before the King while eagerly and desperately waiting for her lover. As she goes about fulfilling her royal duties with all sincerity, her joy still spills out on seeing her mate arrive. The opposing emotions and expressions of eagerness and desperation, the call of duty, her love for dancing and finally the joy, are excellently depicted in this number, composed in Raga Bhupali, by Shankar Jaikishan, one of the best composers of Bollywood. This number has that depth of music that is required to convey the strong but suppressed emotions of the dancer. This number also shows why Bhupali was one of the favorites of those composing music for classical dances of Bollywood. The voice of Lata Mangeshkar and the lyrics of Hasrat Jaipuri do full justice to their legendary status and together make the great team that could deliver this masterpiece.
Song # 3
"Dekha ek khwab to ye silsile huye...."
'SILSILA' (1981) is one of those few Bollywood movies where eminent musicians, renowned for classical compositions, took up the challenge of composing its music, and their great success is there for all to see.This song is one of the most melodious songs ever composed in this Raag, reverberating with positive energies and hope of two protagonists madly in love with each other, unaware of the complications that fate has stored in for them. What makes it unique is the flowing set of strong, positive emotions, uninhibited, they seem a little too good for this world. The melodious joy still contains an unstated threat, as only Raag Bhupali could have done! This masterpiece with beautiful visuals was composed by Shiv Hari (Shiv Kumar Sharma & Hari Prasad Chaurasia). Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar have made it memorable with their top class singing, while the lyrics of Javed Akhtar make it very meaningful.
Song # 4
"Pankh hote to ud jaati re....."
This song has almost everything that one needs to enjoy music. It can be considered as the most melodious number ever composed in Raga Bhupali, and rather strangely the credit of this excellent composition goes to Ramlal, one of the lesser known music composers of Bollywood. This song can easily get included in any list featuring the most melodious numbers of Bollywood till date. The sweetness of Lata Mangeshkar's voice and her extraordinary singing prowess makes an exceptional use of the Raag. Several other songs in this list depict complexities of emotions, but this number is sheer bliss, an ecstasy that comes only with real and true freedom that the girls seem to be enjoying here. Listen to it with closed eyes to feel the heights of the sky and get absorbed in it to fly with the birds, amidst the clouds of musical imagination! If you actually succeed in doing so, you must not forget to thank Hasrat Jaipuri for the great lyrics that enabled your dream.
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Song # 5
"Sansar ki har shay ka itna hi fasana hai...."
This is certainly one of the best ever songs of Bollywood based in Raag Bhupali. If for nothing else, it must be considered great for accomplishing the two divergent objectives of creating mass appeal and maintaining the purity of the Raag, a feature that is rarely achieved and is always considered a hallmark of the best musical compositions. The greatest characteristic of this number is the string of emotions that it expresses with a kind of philosophical stagnation, like the flowing memories of an old man who recounts the lessons of a life gone by, while enjoying the experiences and missing the moments, all at the same time. This exceptional piece in Raga Bhupali was composed by Ravi and sung by Mahendra Kapoor, probably his best classical based rendition, while the lyrics were written by another maestro, Sahir Ludhianwi.
Song # 6
"Zindagi dene wale sun , teri duniya se dil bhar gaya....."
For most lovers of Bollywood music today, Ghulam Mohammad is only a name on the sidelines. However, this music composer could create gems that are unique and hold their appeal even after half a century. This number, based on Raag Bhupali and with very little orchestral support, is a great example of his genius, bringing out the excellent fusion of sorrow and desperation with melody without raising the tempo even an inch. Talat Mahmood's voice in this number makes one realise why he is still considered one of the greatest singers of Bollywood, and the lyrics of Shakeel Badayuni give it the force and depth that it deserves. The song has a kind of compassionate melody that could have only resulted from the coming together of Raag Bhupali and Talat's voice !
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Song # 7
"Aa bhi jaa, aa bhi jaa, aa bhi ja ...."
This is another masterpiece created by the team of Ravi (music composer) and Mahendra Kapoor (singer) in Raag Bhupali. It is a typical Bollywood number, yet derives its melody and charm from the sweetness of the underlying Raag on which it is based. As often seen in the best songs based on this Raag, it also depicts several emotions, at times conflicting with each other. There is a joy of love, but it is mixed up with the sorrow of longing. There is hope that the call for love will be heard, but there is also a desperation that is almost throttling the soul. This song also made excellent use of echoing the sounds to suit the sentiments being expressed, thereby highlighting the creativity of the composer. The lyrics of Sahir Ludhianwi are as great as ever, and do full justice to the situation and the message being conveyed. His words tell us about what happens when great poetry is combined with great music.
Song # 8
"Hum tum se na kuchh kah paye ...."
Hariharan is probably the best among contemporary singers, when it comes to singing numbers based on classical music, and this song is another example of his great mastery. This number, composed in late nineteen nineties can be considered one of the last great songs composed in Raag Bhupali, and having its characteristic complex of expressions. This number was composed for the movie 'Ziddi' (1997) by Sameer Sen and Dilip Sen, indicating an awesome talent that could not find its full expression, except in some numbers like this one. One can find evidence of that untapped creativity and potential in this number, which has a softness that is as difficult to compose and as it is easy to enjoy. The voices of Hariharan and Chitra have the melody and finesse that was required to create this great duet, and the lyrics of Sameer are simple but very meaningful.
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These songs are not listed in any particular order or rank. We look forward to your opinion on which one of them you consider best, so do not forget to mark your choice in the 'Poll' at the end of this Hub. Also feel free to add your comments about any other great song based on this Raag that you would like to see in this list.
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© 2012 V Kumar