I was always taught that Bollywood had five legendary singers. Three of them male - Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Mukesh; the other two female, and from the same family. There were other great singers, but these five have been bracketed as legendary by someone ages back, and that status has remained ever since.
Three male and two female singers would mean 3x2=6 possible combinations for male-female duets. Strangely enough, I've heard only one duet between Mukesh and Asha Bhosle, despite countless masterpieces for the other combinations. It's just a coincidence that the song also turns out to be one of the best songs I've ever heard.
Songs, however good, don't usually keep me mesmerised and vaguely silent throughout. This one is strangely an exception. I've never able to fathom exactly why the song has an effect to this extent on me.
Mukesh has been splendid in the song, even by his lofty standards. The song reflects hope, and his voice has been incredible in reflecting this. However deep in the dumps I may be, his voice here never fails to send that desperately needed light of hope in me. Listen especially to the part jis subah ki khatir jug jug se hum sab mar markar jeete hain, and you'd probably know what I mean.
You cannot ignore Asha either. She has been amazing in her support role as well. Her role in the song has been minimal in duration, but certainly not negligible in impact. Her contribution towards making this song immortal cannot be ignored.
Khayyam, too, has been quite phenomenal here. Not only has he conjured a tune to go perfectly with the mood of the song, he has allowed the singer complete control over the songs, making minimal use of musical instruments.
But, honestly, the person who stole the show was indeed Sahir Ludhianvi. Definitely my most favourite pre-Gulzar lyricist, Sahir is at his magical best here. It's a mood entirely different from his masterpieces in Pyaasa: in a world ready to accept everything as fate and refusing to dream of being a better place to live, Sahir has somehow able to infuse hope in every single line of the song. You may be dead, you may be buried, but you shall have to wake up to his brilliance here. You just have to - not responding to his lyrics is simply not an option here.
We all crave for that elusive dawn, don't we? I know that dawn shall never arrive, it shall never happen - but we can always dream, correct? Dawns never materialise in reality, after all.
PS: If you really want to know why dawns always remain elusive to us, scroll down a bit, below the video.
Well, as you must have guessed... dawn ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin bhi hai.
BANNER CREDITS: RITUPARNA CHATTERJEE
A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
PHOTO CREDITS: ANIESHA BRAHMA
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.