Music Review: Abhimaan (1973)


Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Produced by Susheela Kamat
Pawan Kumar Jain
Written by Rajinder Singh Bedi
Biresh Chatterjee
Nabendu Ghosh
Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Mohan N. Sippy
Biren Tripathy
Starring Amitabh Bachchan
Jaya Bachchan
A.K. Hangal
Music by Sachin Dev Burman
Lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri
Release date
27 July 1973

Amitabh Bachchan! You have surely created a special place in all our hearts. This is my tribute to the great actor. While I looked at all the soundtracks I could have chosen, Abhimaan always came to the top of my mind, not only because of S. D. Burman and its melodious soundtrack, but also the wonderful movie by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and its two leading stars; real life husband and wife, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. Such deep and heartfelt performances by both artistes.

The film about a singing couple was inspired by a real-life couple from showbiz. The husband couldn’t bear the fact that the wife was more talented. No prize for guessing their names. This wondrous creation of musical harmony as originally entitled ‘Raag Raagini’. Burman dada almost did a ‘Guide’ with Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s best film ever. With his favourite ‘Lata’ at the helm, the sharp-eared exacting composer made sure that every song would be heard and marvelled by generations to come. How does one choose the best Lata tune among ‘Piya Bina Piya Bina Basiya Baje Na’, ‘Nadiya Kinare’, ‘Ab To Hai Tumse’, ‘Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina’ (with Kishore Kumar) and ‘Loote Koi Man Ka Nagar’ (with Manhar Udhas). Director Mukherjee has gone on to record to admit that he chose Kishore Kumar as Amitabh Bachchan’s voice and Lata Mangeshkar for Jaya Bhaduri as he wanted to establish the woman’s superior talent from the outset. According Hrishida, though Kishore Kumar was a talented singer, he was no patch on Lata Mangeshkar. Jaya Bhaduri studied Lata Mangeshkar’s movements and gestures during song recordings before playing the role of the singer. Lata’s singing reached a level of perfection that had hitherto achieved in Madan Mohan’s compositions. Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics (some of the best ever written for a Hindi movie) had a potent effect on both Burman dada and Lata’s art.

No. Title Playback Length
1. “Ab To Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni” Lata Mangeshkar 4:25
2. “Loote Koi Man Ka Nagar” Manhar Udhas, Lata Mangeshkar 3:04
3. “Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka” Kishore Kumar 4:56
4. “Nadiya Kinare” Lata Mangeshkar 4:05
5. “Piya Bina Piya Bina” Lata Mangeshkar 4:12
6. “Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina” Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar 5:49
7. “Teri Bindiya Re” Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi 4:32

Lets start with one of the more popular songs from this beautiful soundtrack. ‘Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina begin with the sitar and sublime tabla, Then we hear Kishore Kumar singing one of the best songs of his career, but wait till Lataji appears, her alaap is enough to render the general janta crazy. Burman Dada creates a soft ghazal here, that allows the listener to take full advantage of the tracks fluidity. It moves like a stream into a river, which does exactly the same emotionally. Who can forget Amitabh and Jaya on stage, full in tears, how can one hold back ones own tears?? Dekho Na.. Dekho Na… Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina…

Based on Raag Mand, Ab To Hai Tumse Har Khushi Apni begins with a breezy Alaap by Lataji interspersed with the Violin. The mandolin makes and entry and Lata begins the Mukhda, hitting the soaring high note with unreserved pleasure. Santoor and Flute add to the medlodious tune. The percussion is over a range of instruments, but here again Burman Dada makes Lataji central to the track. As the antaras strike, the notes are sung by Lata precisely, giving this Raag Mand track a breath of fresh air, pun intended.

Now comes my favourite track , by perhaps the only male singer to match up to Lataji; the inimitable Mohammed Rafi. Teri Bindiya Re is semi-classical track that is not based on any particular Raag, but its composition and style of singing, especially with the rhythmic cycles of the tabla, it definitely fits the classical mould. Tanpura, table, sitar, flute complete this satisfying track, Rafi sings like dream, and so too does Lata. Here, my friends, we have what you can call a CLASSIC! Burman Dada was excellent in these tracks, he had such vast knowledge on Shastri Sangeet that creating Teri Bindiya Re has his undeniable touch.

The most heart-wrenching track Piya Bina Piya Bina by Lataji makes me tear every time. From the beginning Alaap to the mukhda to the Melodius Anataras Lataji shines, and how too. I can no doubt say that this is one of Latajis best ever tracks. Burman Dada again shines as well, the way the antaras flow back into the mukhda is superb. The fluidity of the singing to sync with the music is terrific. ‘Piya aise ruthe kee hontho se mere sangeet rutha, Kabhi jab mai gau lage mere mann kaa har geet jhutha, Aise bichhade o aise bichhade mose rasiya… how can that not move you?

The most underrated track comes in the form of Loote Koi Man Ka Nagar sung with gusto by Lataji and Manhar Udhas. The melody here, leaves one feeling loved and content. Manhar Udhas deserves a special mention, he sings with such grace, hear the Alaap in the beginning between him and Lataji and you will see why. The flute takes precedence here with the santoor and violin adding that special touch.

Nadiya Kinare Hairayee Kangana is based on Raag Pilu; and Burman Dada uses the versatile Lataji’s voice to the maximum best. She croons Nadiya Kinare with special care, taking the track through its high notes with ease. Once again we get these syrupy vocals in the anataras, that will keep you rewinding.

Meet Na Mila Re Man is the most commercial track in this movie and probably was done to add commercial viability to the movie. The guitar begins this track with Kishore Kumar crooning. Melodious and beautifully crafted by Burman Dada.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Om Prakash says:

    So nice write up !!


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