Friday, May 6, 2011

Kate Nahi Raat Mori

A majestic smile, and some fond tears in my eyes.

We do it often, don't we? We all have our favorites, we swear life long fealty to them, we promise to keep them forever close to our hearts; and then, as we encounter newer things on the path of life, we leave them behind, without so much as a glance back. Actually, we never realize we've left these things behind. Things we can call our ultimate favorites are perennially present in our hearts and minds, but are locked away in some obscure corner of our being. Books, pictures, songs, scenes, quotes, dresses, dialogues, silly childhood memories, and even people- all capable of becoming our favorites, all capable of being lost.

Anyway. This post is not to become philosophical. This post is to express my mirth at discovering one such long lost favorite. Its a song, one that I would hum all day long, no matter how much it irritated the hapless listeners. The first time I heard it, I did not just like it, I knew I wanted to listen to it over and over again. A contestant of Indian Idol sang this mellifluous track originally sung by Ustad Sultan Khan (as I later learned), the Sarangi maestro whose charisma in singing is as good as his uncontested dexterity in playing the Sarangi. While she (Indian Idol contestant, season one, Aditi Paul I guess) managed to serenade the audience with her rendition of this song, she left me restless. I wanted this song. Technology which makes things accessible at a mere click was elusive to me at that time. This automatically led me to harry my friends continuously till one of them, equally fond the same song gave it to me on a CD. Some years back, I lost the CD. And with it, the song.

Today, I found this song back while surfing some random videos on YouTube. It felt like meeting some old friend again. Understandably, I was beyond happiness. Kate nahi raat mori....piya tore kaaran. Some memories of school days were rekindled. I remembered loathing my best friend for choosing to sing this song in the Annual Talent Hunt conducted in our school. I wanted to sing this song myself, but had to compromise and sing some ludicrous bollywood number. I won the talent hunt, but winning by singing this song would have been more special. I made a silly resolution that day- when my would be in-laws ask me to sing, as my naive brain thought that was customary, I would sing the same song. And, the song is so awesome, copious accolades would be the only natural thing to follow.

Am listening to this track still, and then as now, my eyes are a little moist. They always become when I hear the second and last stanza of this song
Bheega bheega mausam aaya,
Piya ka sandesa laya,
Manwa ko chain na aawe,
Tarse hai mori raina

These lines are a perfect example of how a fantastic song can lift you above your present surroundings, and transport you to some ethereal world, infinitely more pleasant and pleasurable than the place you are in. Preceded by an interlude which breaks to accommodate sounds premonishing rains and thunderstorms, these lines, set to a heart warming tone, in the rustic voice and accent of the Ustad Sultan Khan, always make my heart grow a little fonder. I can feel the rains. I can feel the pain, the bereavement. Beauty, I can confidently say, lies in the simplest of things. This song is a simple composition, very easy to hum, but it will refuse to leave your mind for quite sometime after it enters.

The song definitely stirs up some sad emotions within me. The perplexing thing is, those sad emotions are always accompanied by a warm and comforting smile on my face. The song makes me want to miss someone, miss him without any acrimony, miss him with love.

Wonder where I had lost this beauty all this while. Now that I have it back, I am searching for another song which holds almost the same significance for me. It is by the same singer, who sang and composed it in his debut vocal album, Sabras. The problem is, I do not remember the lyrics, but I can distinctly remember the music, the notes of Sarangi are playing in my head even now....
(Link to the YouTube video of this song. Not much of a video, but a lovely melody indeed.)


  1. Now I know why none has commented to this post. It is absurd to comment actually on the feelings. (In an affirmative way though)

  2. You just did. The emptiness, finally, disappeared. Thanks!

  3. Cool Stuff! Its video is awesome, too! ( :)

  4. @Avinash- Thank you so much! I have never seen this video, and it looks good. Thank you!

  5. The same thing happened to me ....Heard this song during my college days .. instantly fell in love with it and then grew out of it after listening to it a hundred times ......When I was older, really wanted to listen to it, but it wasnt a popular song and I couldnt for the life of me remember the name of the song .. and then only day rediscovered it again ...Music can sure make you happy in innumerable ways :)

  6. Here is the video of the song.
    What you wrote happened to me when i rediscovered the album Tum Aaye by Alka Yagnik and Hariharan. Tugs at some unknown strings in ones heart.