Saturday, November 1, 2008

The song and the lyricist.

The recent super duper hit-song of Sonu nigam was filling through the air from a distance with its melody and my sound receptors were stimulated with an unknown acoustical joy. I enjoyed listening to the song. The song was so popular that you could hardly miss it as it was constantly being hum by everyone around you . No doubt it was sounding very melodious but on hearing the song for lyrics I really realised that it was beautifully sung with a horrible pronunciation. But melody of the song was so effective that very few people could care for such inaudible aspect of the song. Anyway the song became so synonymous with the title of the film Mungaaru Male.... With this Sonu nigam, Mano moorthy and Jayanth kaykini became a phenomenal brand of success of Kannada film music. Is it the Rafi-toned Sonu's voice? or Mano moorthy's inhibitedly limited haunting music talent? or is it unquestionably a simply beautiful lyrical quality of critically acclaimed poetic quality of Jayanth kaaykini?????
It is difficult to answer. Well many people simply don't bother about such questions at all. But for me as a lover of music and poetry the lyrical ethics of the the song has overtaken the rendering of the song by handicapped singer who do not understand the nativity or nitti-grittis of the the language. Why am I doing the post-mortem of such universally acclaimed song. The reason is simple..... Don't worry, I am not reviewing Sonu Nigam's musical talent. Nor I am bothered about it. Only thing that interests me in these trio is neither the singer nor the music director but the lyricist whom I know since four decade.
Yes...You are right. It is Jayantha Kaaykini.....
Jaynth and me were once upon a time used to play with the words to express our special liking ability through changing any popular hit song of hindi films into kannada. It was a way of our intimate expression for our love for music and poetry. I had never even in my wildest dream could imagine this hobby would take jayanth to such a height of popularity today. It is just unbelievable. Very few selected kannada readers knew and like the creative literary contributions of Jayantha.
Of course any ferocious reader of kannada literature was and will be knowing Jayanth kaaykinis poetic talent. He is quite a known personality in the literary circle for the past 3 decades..... But to be so popular as a celebrity among common folk it is just unimaginable. He is more famous than any other contemporary or recent writers.
Many iconic literary personalities of kannada literature have not reached the common people through their wonderful renowned writings except when our mother tongue kannada as language is taught and as students are to be forced to learn and appreciate marvellous work of our unforgettable writers for the examinations sake during their school and college days. I fail to understand why our children forget everything as soon as they start earning. Really it is pathetic for a language which has bagged record number of JNANAPEETA awards and yet has a very few readers.
Thanks to the information technology and television invasion..... and without doubt through glamours cinema media, writers would not have been in the present state which is indeed a healthy development. Many People may not know the critically acclaimed works of jayanth...But today every one knows the creator of that romantic lines of the memorable song......
'ಅನಿಸುತಿದೆ ಯಾಕೂ ಇಂದು...'
and still haunting lines like
'ಕೊಲ್ಲು ಹುಡಿಗಿ ಒಮ್ಮೆ ನನ್ನ ಹಾಗೆ ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ''
Really it kills you... Is it???
Very very unconventional composition by a person whom I know in a different way.
I like these lines not as much as I like Jayanth's spontaneous lyrical creations of bygone hindi film hits which he used write and sing or hum in Dharwaad as a student....
Here is an example....
ನಿನ್ನ ನೋಟಕ್ಕೆ ಭಾಷೆ ಇಲ್ಲ...
ಆದರು ಅಚ್ಚಾಗಿದೆ ಈ ಹೃದಯದಲ್ಲಿ....
These romantic lines were spoken by teenage Jayanth 35 years ago.......... May be for his dream girl!! Or else may be his natural poetic language.....
There was a super hit hindi song sung by kishore kumaar in Amithaab/Jayabadhuri starer film Abhimaan of early seventies. The song...........
ಮೀತ ನಾ ಮಿಲಾರೆ ಮನಕ, ರೆ ಮೀತ ನಾ ಮಿಲಾರೆ ಮನಕ,
ಕೊಯಿತೋ ಕಾ ಕರೊರೆ ಉಪಾಯ್......
And these hindi lines were distilled into kannada instantly....
"ನಿನ್ನದೇ ನೆನಪಲ್ಲಿ ನಲಿದೆ, ನಲಿವದು ಎಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನೀನಿಲ್ಲದೆ?"
And this was my old janyanth 0f seventies in Dharwad whom I am talking about and that unforgettable nostalgic togetherness.
People who are not familiar with hindi film songs would have easily believed that these kannada lines were original! I have given the lines of the first stanza of this song in the paras that follow and I am sure you would appreciate. Musically suitable rhythmic words, exact length of lines and rhymes sound as if you are listening to the same original composition.
If my memory is right, it must be during 72-73 when I met Jayanth, for the first time in Dharwaad. He was a student of karnaatak University doing his first year M.Sc in Biochemistry. He was quite a known personality in literary circle then only, as his one of the poem was included in an anthology of many outstanding kannada poets of that time of 'ನವ್ಯ ಕಾವ್ಯ' published by central saahithya academy. His short story 'ಕಣ್ಣು ' which had appeared in the kannada weekly
"ಸುಧಾ" had drawn my attention.
I knew him very well though not personally but through his writings and for that age (May be he was just 19 or 20), at that time he was really impressive. I was really overwhelmed by him when he was introduced to me. The lean body, round face, innocent smile, curly hairs and a deceptive mischievous look. His conversation was brilliant. Soon we became quite close.
About me !!!
Well.... I was then a graduate with a professional B.Ed degree and of course without a job an unemployed youth intoxicated with all possible existing isms in the world and had already published a poem collection called 'ಎರಡು ಧ್ವನಿ' along with my another poet called
ಶ್ರೀಕೃಷ್ಣ ಚೆನ್ನಂಗೋಡ್,( he is no more now ) who was my collegue in Janatha High School Adyanadka in south canara district. And a few poems which were published in monthly 'ಸಂಕ್ರಮಣ' brought out by Chandrashekar patil and Siddhalinga Pattanashetty had opened the gate to this marvellous intellectuals of Dharwaad like Buddanna Hingamire, Shankar mokashi, Rajashekara koti and many others and of course Jayantha kaykini. I was madly in love with Mohmmad Rafi's song of that golden era and I just loved all hindi songs speciallay composed by Lakshmikanth-Pyaarelaal. Even I used to convert my pet hindi songs into my mother tongue kannada. Ofcourse with great difficlulty and they were alomost verbal translation and more like a prose, unlike Jaynath's total transformation of a song in to his own poetic quality without compromising the musical aspects of the original song. And that was a wonderful talent. To give you an idea of my limitation for word, I would like to see one of my work from famous song of SAFAR sung by kishore kumar...
ಜಿಂದಗಿ ಕಾ ಸಫರ್ ಹೈ ಏ ಕೈಸಿ ಸಫರ್,
ಕೋಯಿ ಸಮಜಾ ನಹೀ ಕೋಯಿ ಜಾನಾ ನಹೀ...
This serious philosophical song was translated into........
ಎಲ್ಲಿಗೆ? ಏತಕೆ? ಜೀವನ ಪಯಣವು,
ಮರನವೋ ಮುಕ್ತಿಯೋ
ಅರಿಯೆ ನೀ ಜಗದಲಿ...
Though it was a good effort but it was almost sounded prosaic.
As I was a nomad then and used to frequent three places Bangalore, Mangalore and Dharwaad regularly. I used to stay with my uncle who was a professor in the Extension department in Agricultural University college Etthinagudda. In agricultural college campus also I had some friends like Sridhar Kaliveer, Edneer Mahabala and Vijaya patil and others. We were all dreamers and shared all most the same sweeping enthusiasm of seventies.
All of us used to gather occasionally in the city for Kavi Goshti or any other literary activities.
I used to meet Jayanth not only in our frequent gatherings in the city but also in Karnatak University quite often. More than literature it is the common interest in hindi film hits that had brought us close. Vividly I still remember the Canteen where we used to order KT special tea along with ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯ್ ಬೋಂಡ We used to spend a lot of time in the campus.
During one such meeting, I think Jayanth had given lyrical expression to the above said song of Kishore Kumar of Abhimaan film. Here is the first stanza (ಚರಣ) of Jayanth's song...
"ತಾರೆಯ ಬೆಳಕನ್ನು ಹೋಲುವ ಕಣ್ಣು,
ಕಾಮನ ಬಿಲ್ಲನ್ನು ಮಿಂಚುವ ತುಟಿ ಚೆನ್ನು,
ಮರೆಯಲಾರೆ, ಬೇರೆಯಲಾರೆ,ತೊರೆಯಲಾರೆ,
ಪ್ರೇಮದ ನೋವೆ ಹೂವಾಗಿದೆ.......ರೆ ಮೀತ ನಾ ಮಿಲಾರೆ ಮನಕ .....
Why I am sighting this as one such example is purely to show that Janyanth is not new to this field but he has been composing wonderful lyrics of his own and for his own melodies since long time ago....
Nowadays I see him quite often in T.V.shows and ponder over the time we spent together in Dharvaad. We had wonderful time during my stay in Dharwaad. One thing I remember about his university life is that his friends especially girls used to tease him Kaaykini means
"quick for functions and sick for exams" Yes it was true.... For a person who just loved other angle of life more than his academic subject Biochemistry in an university. He should have been in any fauculty of literature. Yet...He did become a postgarduate and joined promptly to a job worthy of his academic qualification in Bombay.
Even after leaving Dharwaad and my struggle for mere exisistance started in Bangalore though miserabally but adventurously. We were in contact for sometime through our friend circle. But reality is so cruel slowly we became so engrossed in our settelement that we started drifting apart slowly. The gap of silence and the distance of nearness became dumb and distant. But there is no such art of forgetting exists in our circle or in my neme (memmory). Quite unexpectedly from some where, sometime he just used to make his appearance briefly..... Slowly and that too became a devine rarity. Fond memmories lingers on still....
In the year 2000 I think, through my closest friend Su. Ramakanth, I came to know that Jaynth had joined the Kannada monthly Bhavana as an Editor. One day Ramakanth told me that Jayanth enquired about me and wanted to meet me. I was really exicited and waited and tried to meet him. But somehow so far our meeting has not taken place even after eight long years!!!! What a busy mechanical life that fails to unite two departed souls? What a city? At least let me remember fondly my experience and share with you.
I dont even understand why I am sharing my memories with you. But this write-up of my personal fond munching memories is taking such a long time... Almost 15 days. So many disturbances. Impossible to form any contineous thought. I think I am forcing myself too much to write rather complete it. I stopped writing in kannada for the time being as my computer is not co-operating with kannada fonts and typing. It is quite erratic. But now even in english (Not that my english is better than kannada but a little adjustment with my computer. Otherwise my feeling may be evoporated and expression may dry up. So the alternative temporary arrangement to keep my mood ready) it does'nt look a natural expression of a great intensity. Type- Type.... type will forget all.....atlast...delete and type again.
O.K. stop it. Is it worth expressing? What am I writing? Whom am I writing for? Because younger generation may not enjoy it as it is an intimate personal jounery of yester years and one should be familiar with old hindi film tunes. Otherwise it is boring to complete the reading. And many may think, first of all why I am writing in a foriegn language where you have to struggle to do the justice to some of the words which should be in kannada script. Or else reading kannada in english becomes too cumbersome. But as I have earlier said that it is medium which I am using, is forcing me to opt this.
My intention is not just to show that I know a person who is now quite famous and popular and thereby console my own ego and confront my Selfishness? and as such I dont have my own social personality or unique identity?
Yes.... I may not be as talented or as great as somebody. But I have the satisfaction of having known persons with whom once I had shared intimate experience and those same people have become celebreties today. Is it wrong on my part even to feel proud of my friends ? People may like it or not. I feel it as a privilage to talk about such people. I am entitiled to my freedom of expression as long as nobody is hurt. I think Jayanth may not feel bad if he happens to go through my blog instead if it gives any kind of pleasent feeling I would definitely feel happy and satisfied.
Anyway....please bear with my unchecked spellings and in kannada some of the letters could not be typed. I think it is enough though an abrupt ending. See you soon in my next blog with another friend.... Hopefully in my language....

Jayanth with me, a studio photo about 35 years ago....


sahana said...

It is really nice to read ur experiences and to know about the people whom you have worked with dad. You have asked is it worth expressing? let me tell you it is worth more than what you think. I am sure all your students will agree with me if i say that we all are blessed to have been taught by you. And now even after finishing our schooling we get to learn so much from all your experiences, you are a perfect defination of a TEACHER.

Our generation will definately enjoy your journey of yester years. It is so good to know what your younger days were like. one little secret, even I sit and translate good hindi songs (old or new) either in kannada or in english. So i was really happy to know that even you were doing the same thing.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog, I'm looking forward for more real life experiences dad.

meena said...

Sheshi Uncle

After reading your passage "once again" I cannot but ponder upon two beautiful aspects of life,

*Meeting of people
*Union of great minds

Not only have I come to know the intense person in you, I am also introduced to an ardent sentimentalist. Unable to contain my ferocious curiosity I have gone ahead and googled our Jayanth Kaykinni, whose works I am looking forward to touch upon.

Now that you have restarted writing, you must not stop, as I see life as a photograph. "If not for your experiences I cannot be framed"



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