Kerala

Only old is gold for this Kozhikode club for Hindi songs

A group of amateur singers have been rendering Hindi film songs released till 1969 for 18 years

Tum hi mere mandir... may not be among the most performed of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs these days on music shows. But Calicut Music Club’s programme at the Azhakodi temple auditorium here on Sunday evening got off with that song composed by Ravi for the 1965 film Khandan.

It was rendered by P.I. Meera, who is no professional singer. She is a college lecturer with a PhD in Hindi.

T. Rajindranath, who sang Shaam e gham ki kasam... (Footpath), is a gastroenterologist. And he was just one of the several doctors who sang on the show.

There were bankers and businessmen too. But, what really makes the club unique is the fact that its shows feature songs only from Hindi films released till 1969. It was their 75th show on Sunday night. They have been staging one programme every three months since 2001.

“We have sung more than 2,000 songs in our shows so far,” says Ranjindranath.

A senior member in the club is vice president Unnikrishnan Palakkal, a retired engineer. He plays an important role in choosing the songs for the shows, some of which feature only the work of a specific composer.

Fine talents

“We have had special shows for composers such as S.D. Burman, Naushad, Anil Biswas, Shankar-Jaikishan, Ravi, Chitragupt, C. Ramachandra, O.P. Nayyar and Anil Biswas,” says Unnikrishnan. “Right from the time the late Arangil Vasudevan, a government officer, founded the club, our aim has been to popularise old Hindi songs among the youth. We are happy when some singers join our club every year.”

And there have been some fine young singers too, like Mohammed Fahad, who used to be a regular in the first few years of the club.

His rendition of Mohammed Rafi’s songs was of top quality, and he is now a busy singer in the U.K.

Most of the singers who used to share the stage with Fahad at the Calicut Music Club may continue to be amateurs, but many of them sing well.

That is one of the reasons why their shows continue to attract lovers of old Hindi film songs.

But does the club believe Bollywood ceased producing quality music after 1969?

After all, Pakeezah and Amar Prem were released in 1972, Abhimaan in 1973, Aandhi and Mausam in 1975 and Umrao Jaan in 1981.

“Some members of the club have often raised that point,” says Rajindranath. “We are planning to include songs from the 1970s too.”

That should sound music to the ears of fans of old Hindi songs in and around Kozhikode.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:28:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/only-old-is-gold-for-this-kozhikode-club-for-hindi-songs/article30421957.ece

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