In 1952, the musical classic Baiju Bawra hit Indian screens and its soundtrack was destined to become phenomenal in Hindi cinema. Musical legend Naushad Ali was called to compose the music for this film and this can be easily called one of his greatest soundtracks ever.
Naushad Sahab crafted the songs with great finesse and they completely complement the mood of the film. Shakeel Badayuni wrote the lyrics and there is perfect marriage between the music and the lyrics, creating a rare and beautiful soundtrack. Since Baiju Bawra is about a singer and his love for music, every song resonates a certain ethereal feel. Love for music is evident in every track and the melodies stay with you even after the film ends.
The films starts with the cherubic Jhoole Mein Pawan Ki Aayi Bahar sung in raga Pilu. Rafi and Lata lend their wonderful voices to this song that perfectly describes innocent love. The most memorable song however would obviously be Tu Ganga Ki Mouj for which Naushad received the honorary Filmfare award. The song is sung in raga Bhairavi. Other notable songs include Mohe Bhool Gaye Sanwariya, a heartbreaking song sung by Lata in raga Bhairav (with elements of Kalingda).
Songs cannot get more soulful than Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj (sung in raga Malkauns) and O Duniya Ke Rakhwale (sung in raga Durbari). It is said that the second time Rafi tried to sing O Duniya Ke Rakhwale, he choked because of its rather impossible-to-reach high note. The song Aaj Gaawat Man Mero, sung in raga Desi features musical greats such as Amir Khan and D. V. Pulaskar, and Shamshad Begum also lends her voice for the song Door Koi Gaye.
Baiju Bawra is definitely in a class of its own and will forever be renowned for its contribution to Indian film music. Naushad Sahab, who is credited with introducing background music in Indian films, uses some memorable musical themes in this movie. Therefore Baiju Bawra is easily one of Naushad’s most memorable soundtracks – this includes songs as well as the musical score.
Other soundtrack greats like Mother India, Kohinoor and Mughal-E-Azam followed much later but this was the soundtrack that proved that he was one of the most versatile composers that India had ever seen and would ever see.
Undoubtedly Baiju Bawra is a musical journey one must take to understand that music is not only a passion but is, in many ways, the essence of life.