Being a hardcore fan of old hindi songs, I sometimes wonder where has the golden-era vanished. Songs like ‘Ajeeb daastan hain’ or ‘tujhse naaraz nahi zindagi’ are the songs even the coming generations will never forget. But really, what is this that makes those songs so immortal? While contemplating over the same issue and cribbing about the fact that I never actually got to be a part of that era, I suddenly came across a latest bollywood song which was about a woman’s ghagra. I listened to that simply because the word ‘ghagra’ rhymes with a gujrati dish ‘khakhra’ and I was really hungry at that time. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, why don’t these songs have the impact that old songs used to have? With the advent of technology, everything about songs from musical instruments to choreographgy has advanced. Except for one thing; the way they are written. And that’s when I realized that writing is something that can never be automated. It is something that has to come straight from the heart. And that exactly is the reason old songs are immortal. The power their lyrics is what makes us listen to them again and again. And really, the art of writing songs with meaningful lyrics has really become a rare trait.
We have regressed from making songs like ‘Boojh mera ka kya naam re’ to ‘Saadi ke fall sa kabhi match kiya re’. And I seriously don’t recollect when this demotion attacked us, but we are really getting trapped more and more into this with every passing day. Legends like Majrooh Sultanpuri ji, Shakil Badayuni, Shailendra and Gulzar have written poems about every feeling a human being can experience. But the urge to write something good, something poignant really got lost somewhere along the line. And again, blaming the lyricists isn’t going to help. Because eventually, the audience loves these kind of songs and it really troubles me. Just the fact that you are listening to something repetitive and monotonous without even bothering to know it’s meaning is a testament to the fact that we are losing our ability to comprehend the power of good lyrics. And that is something to worry about.
Well, I don’t even know if we are ever going to get back the golden era of hindi songs, but I know one thing for sure. We have equally talented people among us even now and it’s not completely impossible to get it back. All the poets need to do is just try to look around and see what people around them are experience. I bet it’s not difficult to come up with more ‘ tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa toh nahi’ or ‘ naam gum jaaega,chehra ye badal jaaega’. And what is more important is that the audience needs to understand that the songs they listen to are nothing but the deeply-hidden feelings that all of us experience at some point time in our lives. Let’s get back the era where songs carried meanings, and words carried feelings. Let’s revive the long-lost art of enjoying the beauty of language.