Sangam-the memories

Sangam – The Memories
N Sridhar recalls the memories of watching Sangam !

Sangam brings back to me the memories of a Saturday around 30 years back. One of my elder brother (who instilled the love for Shammi Kapoor and SJ in our family as they became his favorites) took me out in the morning in his bicycle riding doubles and we reached the theater named Prasanna in our locality. Till the time, we reached the theater, I was not aware of where we were going. It was only on reaching the theatre that I realised that this was one of the ocassions to watch a movie – a morning show rerun of the old hit movie Sangam. We were quite early for the show and the ticket counters had not yet opened. We waited for the ticket counters to open and the crowds as was usual with the morning shows were sparse.

The movie rolled out on the screen and gosh, what a movie it was. It made a deep impression on me and even to date I can vividly recall certain scenes from the movie. It was an excellent movie shot in colour and I think one of the first hindi movies which was shot in foreign locales. As mentioned by Devraj ji, I think RK fell in love with his shooting and this increased the duration of the movie to something less than 3 hrs.

I got the opportunity to view this movie again a few years back and while the film was unfolding on the screen, I could still recall the scenes as I had seen it decades back. It was a coincidence that last Thursday night, I had the opportunity to watch the climax scene of this movie which has superb dialogues for all the 3 actors in one of the TV channels here. As was usual with RK movies, this movie also had SJ giving their best, but it still was not able to get the Filmfare award and this privilege had to go to Mera Naam Joker, the last movie that RK directed and acted with SJ’s music.
This film had great songs and the picturisation of certain songs – Yeh Mera Prem Patr, Dost Dost Na Raha, O Mehbooba O Mehbooba as well as Ich Liebe Dich (meaning I Love You in German language) were really out of the world.
I remember reading somewhere that Raj Kapoor wanted Dilip Kumar to one of the roles, but Dilip Kumar did not agree to it. Of course Raj Kapoor had to settle for the so called poor man’s Dilip Kumar instead – Rajendra Kumar. It is ironical to note the tag of poor man’s Dilip Kumar since Rajendra Kumar used to earn more money than Dilip Kumar in the decade of 60’s. Much has been written about Rajendra Kumar’s acting (or non-acting, the way you look at it) abilities, but still IMHO, he gave a good performance as a close friend sacrificing his love, also mouthing superb dialogues in the climax of the movie and finally giving up his life for the sake of his friend. This has been one of his performances which moved me quite a lot. Raj Kapoor of course himself was a great actor. However, in most of his movies he acts as a simpleton/comic/ buffoon (numerous movies like Awara, Shri 420, Jis Desh Main Ganga Behti Hai, Mera Naam Joker, Diwana, Sapnon Ka Saudagar, Chalia, Dulha Dulhan etc are the ones I can recall immediately) an image which he consciously and deliberately developed. There are very few movies wherein he has acted naturally. Some of those movies which come to my mind are Aah (an excellent performance by him in a real serious role) ; Dil Hi To Hai. In this movie also, as usual, Raj Kapoor comes across a simpleton in the first half wherein he is obsessed with his love for Radha and keeps expressing it all opportunities, while not caring for the feelings of Radha or Gopal. Somehow this is the only aspect of the movie which can be described as a weak point in the script. Thought Gopal and Sundar are very close friends, it beats me as how Sundar as a friend could not detect that Gopal also had love for Radha, maybe as they say, love makes a man blind.

This film also is of historical interest to fans of SJ as this was the movie which publicly brought out the differences between Shankar & Jaikishan with the composer’s themselves identifying certain songs as composed by them. I think this was the only instance where in public, either S or J identified their creations. I have a feeling that in the team, they had an unwritten rule not to do this. This is th reason that you will find that in any of the interviews of SJHS, none of them publicly identify the songs as created by Shankar or Jaikishan. Evan in the late 70s and 80s while Shankar was down and had few assignments, in none of the interviews has he tried to differentiate the songs as composed by S and J. For him, it was always an SJ creation. It was only some journalists like Raju Bharatan, who played the game of trying to identify certain songs as composed by S and others by J. As an ardent SJ fan, for me both Shankar as well as Jaikishan were one. Any music of their’s will remain as SJ’s music and not as individual S music or individual J music.

We had an interesting discussion on this movie on the Sangeet Ke Sitare forum a few years back, initiated by none other one of our moderators Kamaal Mustafa. During those discussions, we also discussed and voted on the most popular song of the movie – many people arguing for Yeh Mera Prem Patr (Kamaal bhai) or Dost Dost Na Raha (myself), but the final voting results in the group sprung a surprise at least on me. The top songs in the voting results also had O Mere Sanam and O Mehbooba apart from the above two songs. Of course this type of split vote among the songs of the movies will always be the case in any of the SJ movies you consider. The poll results are still available at

http://in.groups. yahoo.com/ group/sangeet_ ke_sitare/ surveys?id= 12238929

This shows that SJ as music director’s catered to the needs of all types of songs – sad, romantic, pathos, comic, dance whatever be the type. They tried to give their best and it showed in the results of their creations. This again shows that it does not make any difference to the listener on who the individual composer of the songs were. As long as the songs were good, which was the case with SJ, it always remains popular.

For me of course, the song Dost Dost Na Raha remains the top song of this movie. This song always moves me each time I hear it. The anguish of a betrayed friend comes out naturally in this song through the excellent lyrics and the tune. A small correction in what Devrajji has written regardign the song situation- This song does not come after Sundar knows that Radha was loved by somebody. Sundar hears this song sung by one of his colleagues in the mess at the air force – One of the close friends of this colleague gets married to his love during the absence of this colleague in the service of the country. The colleague bemoans his fate by singing the verses of this song. However, in the movie, this song comes when Sundar invites Gopal to come to Switzerland for Radha’s birthday as a surprise. However, Radha is shocked on seeing Gopal in Switzerland and requests him to keep out their lives. After this, Sundar praises the friendship of Gopal and says that he is fortunate to have a true friend like Gopal, who was not like the friend of his colleague who betrayed him. However, he says that the song of his colleague made a deep impression on him – he says on listening to the song – “Raungte khade ho jate hai” and sings the song. Little does he know that this song of course is going to reflect on his own situation. The song has some great filming with Raj Kapoor on the piano and shows the faces of Rajendra Kumar/Vyjayantimala while replaying the past scenes of their lives.

I think that I have rambling quite a lot and it is time for me to stop writing before people start realising what an Idiot I am. But what to do, sometimes the nasha of SJ’s music is like that.

All in all, I would rate this score among one of the top 10 scores of SJ.

Regards

N. Sridhar

Labels: Jaikishan, N Sridhar, Raj kapoor, Sangam, Shankar

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