Thursday, July 23, 2009


Four disjointed events happened recently which drew my attention. First, 40 years passed by since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, becoming the first man to do so. Traveling in space shuttle Apollo-11, he got a handful of sand from moon. Second, India’s lone moon mission, Chandrayaan, developed some technical difficulty which may shorten its lifespan. Third, King of Pop, Michael Jackson, famous for his moonwalk, died. Fourth, still not complete, is the rare occurrence of three eclipses – a total solar eclipse between two lunar eclipses – in a month. What is common in all these events – well, well, well, nobody gets a moon for guessing it. Yes, it’s the Moon – the white globe, some 384,403 km away from the Earth, the only satellite of our planet.

From the time immemorial the Moon has been the object of affection of mankind. The two most visible celestial bodies in the space from the Earth are the Sun and the Moon; because of its blinding light, though a source of great life sustaining energy, people could never gaze at the sun for long, but the soothing Moon made sure they never took their eyes off - scientists, philosophers, poets, and lovers all alike. They all have set their eyes on the Moon for their own inspirations. Even Gods were not immune to this attraction. Ramayana notes that Lord Rama, in his childhood, stubbornly asked that the Moon be brought to the Earth so that he could play with it. What interested scientists in the beginning was that it was the nearest heavenly body and it was easy to observe it. The regularity of its phases helped create preliminary calendars and time-keeping devices. The Moon was the most sought-after figure in astronomy. The current drive in scientific community is to find the evidence of life on the Moon, but surprisingly poets and lovers have always found more love on the Moon. Now isn’t that given that love blooms only if there is life? Does it make any sense to have love without life? Or perhaps nothing makes sense when it comes down to love. Blaise Pascal would be still talking truth from his grave – the heart has the reasons which reason doesn’t understand. The love…is…

What really goes in my mind at this moment, though, is the poetry. So let me put down a list of my favorite Moon songs here. Excuse me if songs sung by Mukesh occupy the most of the list. The man has sung Hindi cinema’s some of the most melodious songs. Pity it is that he died at relatively young age and we were not blessed with more of him. They say that the spirit is immortal – but what about the voice we lost forever, my friends? Leave it, enjoy the songs:

This is a duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh for the movie Banjaran. The lyricist Pandit Mathur and music director Pardesi are not well known, but it’s a classic song. The lover, separated from the loved, wants the moon to take her love letter to him and convey her address so that he can reply. The lovers also request the moon to arrange for their meeting. Take these words:

o aakaash ke sundar darpan

tu hi sajni tu hi saajan

bichde dilon ko phir se milaade

rota chaman hansaa de re

A google search yields an interesting result – this is one of the two songs based on the raga Durga in Hindi movies. They stopped caring about ragas a long time ago.

You can’t exaggerate praise for your beloved one more than this. The moon sighs that it is not as beautiful as her. She is so beautiful that even the angels will readily take blames for her crimes. Kalyanji Anandji composed music for Phool Bane Angaare. Listen to it for Anand Bakshi’s romantic and flattering words in sweet voice of Mukesh:

ayesaa cheharaa hain teraa, jaise roshan saweraa

jis jagah too nahee hain, us jagah hain andheraa

The movie Laal Bangla would be extinct without this song. Written by Indeewar and sung by Mukesh, it is about poor lover who loves but cannot gather enough courage to speak his heart out, so he settles for silent love from distance. Chakor symbolizes unspoken, unfulfilled love. The distance, though, doesn’t stop him from loving her more and more:

door se dekhe aur lalchaaye

pyaas nazar ki badhati jaaye,

badli kyaa jaane hai paagal

kiske man kaa mor

This one is again a Mukesh song from a 1965 movie Himalay Ki God Mein. The last three Mukesh songs are part of famous Chand trilogy of 1960s by Mukesh. Anand Bakshi’s fortunate lover, having found his dream companion, compares her to moon. And yes, simplicity is beauty here:

ek surat bholi bhaali hai, do naina seedhe saade hain

do naina seedhe saade hain

aaisa hi roop khayalon mein tha, aaisa maine socha tha

haan tum bilkool waisi ho, jaisa maine socha tha

The couple Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh sang this song, which reminds one of his home and his homeland and gives one fits of nostalgia. It is sad Chitra has stopped singing after her son’s untimely death. Cool night with clear moonlit sky overhead and stars gleaming…Take me back to my land. Oh! How it describes the moon strangled in the house’s neem tree:

raat ne aisaa pech lagaayaa, tuutii haath se dor

aangan vaale neem mein jaakar atkaa hogaa chaand

Dreams. Ambitions. And what can be more ambitious than plucking the moon and the stars from the sky? Javed Akhtar weaves dreams around moon in this song, composed by Jatin Lalit for Aziz Mirza’s Yes Boss.

mere peechhe mere aage

haath jode duniya waale

bas itna sa khwaab hai

That was my list. I find the Moon more beautiful because of those words and music. So what is your moon music?


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  2. Wow! A strikingly co-incidental moon events :) What really caught my attention is your reasoning on finding life on moon!! You almost proved life on moon :)

    And my moon music has to be "Chand mera dil..." sung by Mohammed Rafi.