Yogesh, who passed away in Mumbai at the age of 77 on Friday, was one of the last of the great lyricists of Hindi cinema. He may not have been as prolific as Anand Bakshi, Majrooh Sultanpuri or Shailendra, but he nevertheless could boast some of the finest, most meaningful lines you would come across in film music.
In this tribute to Yogesh, The Hindu replays some of his best songs:
1) Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye… (Anand)
Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye
Saanjh ki dulhan badan Churaaye
Chupke se aaye
Mere khayaalon ke aangan mein
Koyee sapnon ke deep jalaaye
Some of Yogesh’s songs are sheer poetry. Like this one. The opening stanza’s translation would go something like this:
Somewhere faraway, when the day ends
Dusk’s bride comes out shyly, silently
In the courtyard of my thoughts
Someone has lit up lamps of dreams
This song also has to be among the very best for both composer Salil Chowdhury and singer Mukesh. Yogesh’s lines become even more meaningful when it is placed in the context of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s poignant film about terminally ill man and his doctor – roles which Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan both excelled in.
2) Rim jhim gire saavan… (Manzil)
Rimjhim gire saavan
Sulag sulag jaaye man
Bheege aaj is mausam me
Lagi kaisi ye agan
There are two versions to this song composed by R.D. Burman. It is about how the cool drops of rain fail to quench the fire in one’s heart. Lata Mangeshkar’s version is picturised in rain, on Amitabh Bachchan and Moushumi Chatterjee, the Bollywood leading lady with the most charmingly toothy smile.
The male version is shot indoors, with Bachchan singing at a mehfil. Through Kishore Kumar’s voice alone, however, you could feel the fresh drops of the first rain of the monsoon (which, by the way, is just a few days away).
3) Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi yeh zindagi… (Mili)
Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi yeh zindagi
Main khud se hoon yahan ajnabi ajnabi
This timeless melody speaks about loneliness and how you become a stranger to yourself. It may not be among the most anthologised songs of Kishore Kumar, but it is undoubtedly one of his finest. And it was the last composition of the prolific, hugely gifted S.D. Burman.
4) Kahaan tak yeh man ko andhere chalenge… (Baaton Baaton Mein)
Kahaan tak yeh man ko andhere chalenge
Udaasi bhare din kabhi to dhalenge
It is one of the most underrated songs for both singer Kishore Kumar and composer Rajesh Roshan. They both did justice to Yogesh’s lovely lines, that speak about the inevitability of the dawn after the long, dark night.
Yeh patjhad ka mausam ghadi do ghadi hai
Naye phool kal phir dagar mein khilengey…
(This season of autumn won’t last long
Flowers will bloom on your path again)
Maybe those lines are particularly meaningful in these dreadful times of Coronavirus.
5) Rajnigandha phool tumhare… (Rajnigandha)
Rajnigandha phool tumhare…
mehke yoohi jeevan mein
Jaise mehke preet piya ki
Mere anuragi main mein
Yogesh delved deep into the mind of a woman in love to come out with this beautiful song. Salil Chowdhury gave it a gorgeous tune and it also had Lata Mangeshkar at her best. Then Vidya Sinha, Bollywood’s girl next door of the 1970s, ensured the song would look good too.
Among other fine songs of Yogesh are Zindagi kaisi hai paheli… (Anand), Na jaane kyon hota hai…and Jaaneman jaaneman… (Chhoti Si Baat), Sau baar banaakar maalik… (Ek Raat) Raaton ke saaye… (Annadata), Maine kaha phoolon se… (Mili) and Tum jo aao to pyaar… (Sakhi Robin).