Talat Mahmood, Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar- the songs legends such as these define the golden era of the Bollywood music industry. It is a treasure trove of melodies that several generations have grown up listening to.
Aarohee(Evergreen Old Gold Melodies Group), a group of music enthusiasts from Delhi NCR on Wednesday, March 20, 2022, organized a live concert titled ‘Bhuley Bisrey Geet’ where the singers and audience relived this era. The live concert took place at Anandam Studios, Paschim Vihar, West Delhi.
Something about the small studio in Paschim Vihar reflected a lost time: a live orchestra sitting on one side, the voice of anchor Dr Imran which sounded like that of old-time radio and Cricket commentary, and the audience enjoying the melodious songs. It was made up of singers, lyricists and musicians from different parts of Delhi who sang their favourite songs from old Hindi cinema. Most of the members have been associated with the Aarohee Group for the past six to 10 years.
Bhupinder S. Puji, who is the founder of Aarohee- (Evergreen Old Gold Melodies Group) is an ardent patron of Talat Mahmood, he has been singing his songs for many decades and also had an opportunity to meet him during a concert. Retired from British Airways, he is following his passion for singing and wants to create his original compositions.
Also read | Musical evening at Dwarka
The chief guest at the event was Karuna Srivasta- promoter, ex-director at All India Radio. She also sang 'Ajeeb dasatan hai ye' by Lata Mangeshkar.
“I carried on with two professions which were not easy, but when I look at people like Bhupinder Singh Ji, I realised you can still continue with music. This inspired me to utilize my voice after the announcements and speeches,” she said while addressing the audience.
Many melodious numbers of old artists such as Talat Mahmood, Kishore Kumar, and Hemant Kumar were performed at the event. These include Main Dil Hoon Ek Armaan Bhara, Mujhe Ishq Hai Tujhi Se, Jeevan ke safr mein raahi, Bekaraar karke Humko Yun na Jaiye. Many songs were also sung in tribute to Lata Mangeshkar including 'Uthayejaa dil pe sitam aur jiyejaa' and 'Wo chup rahein to mere dil ke daag jalte'.
Arvind Malhotra, who sang at the event and lives in East Delhi says, “The soulfulness of the music of that time is uncontested. In the present day, it is only available in a few songs. We have been associated with Aarohee(Evergreen Old Gold Melodies Group) for the past 5 years and it is a wonderful platform to preserve the memories and music of our times.” He sang 'Jeevan ke safar mein rahi' by Kishore Kumar.
People could be seen snapping their fingers and offering each other critical advice on notes and pitch.
Sandhya Barua, who has an experience of 35 years of vocal singing also performed a song 'Uthaye ja un ke sitam' originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Says she “I have been singing and organizing singing events for the last 35 years. With the advancement in technology, the emphasis on vocals was lost. That can be found in the music of old times.”
There were also some well-appreciated duet performances. Rajeev and Nirmal, who run a channel of devotional songs sang 'Yaad Kiya Dil ne Kahan ho Tum' by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Rajeev’s favourite artist is Mohammad Rafi.
Amarjeet Singh, who performed Hemant Kumar's song 'Teri duniya mein jeene se to behtar hai ke mar jayen' says, “Hemant Kumar’s voice had a playfulness about it that can appeal to anyone even the young generation.”
Apart from this Bhupinder S. Puji sang original ghazals by lyricist Suresh Sharma (who was present in the audience) with Pooja Bisht, a classical singer from Delhi Gharana. These included, Talab nahi kisi aur ki, qareeb aao, pass baitho, 2 ghadi, Koi dost na koi raqeeb hai.”
Family of group members who performed also came to the event. Anita Mathur whose husband performed at the event says, “Mr Puji is a very hardworking man. We have known him for ten years now. These songs from the time of Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar and Rafi are the music of our generation and it is the only music that we love listening to.”
If I could talk to everyone at the event, I am sure everyone would have an interesting story. One of them was of Dr Suresh Chander Masson, seemingly in his 70s or 80s had a guitar-playing experience of nearly 15-16 years. He has been a naturopathy specialist, astrologer and palm reader for the last 40 years.