Friday, June 19, 2009

Ritu aaye, ritu jaaye: piya nahin aaye

The previous blog discussed the theme of "Sajan ghar aa ja, balam ghar aa ja" against the backdrop of changing seasons and their characteristic weather patterns. The two songs were rut basant aiyee from Jhanak Jhanak Payal baje (Indian film) and Man tarse balam ghar aa ja from Pukare mera dil (Pakistani film). These songs were paired with Shelley's poem "Ode to the West Wind" which has the famous last line "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Well, sometimes the optimism does not translate into results. Even with earnest pleading "Sajan ghar aa ja, balam ghar aa ja", and with seasons changing ("ritu aaye, ritu jaaye"), the beloved does not come ("piya nahin aaye"). This theme is explored below. I present two film songs which are so classical in structure that they can be regarded as Hindustani classical pieces instead of film music. One of them is a Raagmalika as in the previous blog and both songs are sung by master singers of the sub-continent.

Let me first present a song from the 1962 Pakistani film "Darwaza" titled "piya nahin aaye" and sung by Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Malika-e-Tarrannum Noor Jehan. It is based on Raag Kalavathi and set to Teental. The music composers are Salim-Iqbal.

An outstanding and classic Raagmalika was composed by the master Indian music composer Anil Biswas in 1953 for the film "Humdard". Many consider it to be his finest composition. Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey added divine touches to this lovely song "ritu aaye ritu jaaye sakhi re, man ke meet na aaye" written by Prem Dhawan. The song has three parts in Raag Gaud-Saarang, Gaud-Malhaar and Jogiya, respectively. A fourth part appears separately in the film and is set in Raag Bahaar. (Ref:

A short poem "Come home" by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, an English poet and novelist (1861 - 1907) completes the earnest plea of the beloved.

When wintry winds are no more heard,
And joy's in every bosom,
When summer sings in every bird,
And shines in every blossom,
When happy twilight hours are long,
Come home, my love, and think no wrong!

When berries gleam above the stream
And half the fields are yellow,
Come back to me, my joyous dream,
The world hath not thy fellow!
And I will make thee Queen among
The Queens of summer and of song.

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