Feel a void with Rishi Kapoor’s loss? Lend an ear to a romantic, hummable and instantly appealing Laxmikant-Pyarelal composition. Adorned by simple words by Anand Bakshi and sung by my namesake, Shailendra Singh, you will keep coming back to this protagonist-centered solo.

Main shaayar to nahin
Magar ae haseen
Jabse dekha maine tujhko mujhko shayari aa gayi
Main shaayar to nahin, main aashiq to nahin
Magar ae haseen
Jabse dekha maine tujhko mujhko aashiqi aa gayi

Pyaar ka naam maine suna tha magar
Pyaar kya hai yeh mujhko nahin thi khabar
Main to uljha raha, uljhano ki tarah
Doston mein raha, dushmano ki tarah
Main dushman to nahin, main dushman to nahin
Magar ae haseen
Jabse dekha maine tujhko mujhko dosti aa gayi
Main shaayar to nahin…

The evergreen number beautifully strings together low and high notes extremely well and moves to a different octave within the first 3-4 notes. Interestingly, it also meanders around the conventional poetry metre in the mukhda. To start with, LP use the guitar chords, piano riffs and violin ensembles and the congo-style percussion throughout the number. This lays emphasis and complements the singer’s vocals intricately well (though Shailendra Singh sounds off in a few places). Lyrically, this number may have inspired writers like Sameer to write some numbers in the same vein i.e. using various similes …examples being Saanson ki zaroorat hai jaise (1990; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCuhzjK11iA) Tu shaayar hai, main teri shaayari (1991; Saajan; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HvgZ8XViHA). Nonetheless, we do get an endearing and unforgettable number that people remember even today! Interestingly, this song was re-used (and interestingly re-sung by Shailendra Singh with Shaan) on Rishi Kapoor in the film Hum Tum (2004; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zceq5DQaD3s; https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1s4ot8). With Laxmikant-Pyarelal at the helm instead of the Raj Kapoor favourites, Shankar-Jaikishan and a new pair on-screen, Shailendra Singh became Rishi Kapoor’s voice in his adult debut though Rishi appeared in cameos in Shree 420 and Mera Naam Joker as a kid and a teenager, respectively. Their association continued for a few subsequent Rishi Kapoor songs and films like Khel Khel Mein (1975; Humne tumko dekha tumne humko dekha; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odozcUbvHsc), Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai (1981; Hoga tumse pyaara kaun humko to tumse hai; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMvrdPzucuY), Saagar (1985; Jaane do na; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVutugMWTIY) and Gurudev (1993; Jaipur se nikli gaadi; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obh2HvyzJac). However, Shailendra Singh didn’t stay Rishi’s voice for too long and lost out to the legendary Kishore Kumar as composers favoured the latter much more over SS. Some successful combination examples of actor-singer duos brings to notice Shammi Kapoor-Mohammed Rafi, Rajesh Khanna-Kishore Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan-Kishore Kumar and in 1980/90s, Madhuri Dixit-Alka Yagnik, Aamir Khan-Udit Narayan and Salman Khan-SP Balasubramanyam and more recently Ranbir Kapoor-Mohit Chauhan. More on that later…I also really like the other unforgettable number from this film viz. the extremely popular Hum tum ik kamre mein band hon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBJj-3sgcd0&gl=SG), the naughty, Jhoot bole kauwa kaate (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfTC5cJpmwA), the Goan folkish Naa maangoon sona chaandi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmwWGrDoZhM), the romantic Mujhe kuchh kehna hai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwRFne44aT0) and the pensive Akhiyon ke rehne de (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ihr134PEGk) Meanwhile, reminisce the ‘chocolate-boy’ Rishi Kapoor and his first official playback voice, Shailendra Singh. Enjoy this superbly evergreen and hummable number!!

About Shailendra Singh

A music lover, critic and self-proclaimed aficionado!
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1 Response to Main shaayar to nahi – Bobby (1973)

  1. Amit says:

    Great summary. Even L-P jodi would not have described it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

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