Monday, August 6, 2012

Your devotion will bear fruit

Kartikey Sehgal

(From a music discussion last week)
A popular Hindi song from the film ‘Aradhana’.

You say that there is a sense of ‘longing’ in the song - you find some ‘emotion’ in the voice.

The voice is sagacious. Like that of a man who knows pain and is telling you to not cry. He doesn’t tell you so jovially. He doesn’t tell you what modern self-help books tell you - to take it light and easy.

The singer and composer S. D. Burman is certain that life has her ills. She has sorrows, and they get to your heart. Despite that, your devotion will bear fruit.

Suffering is part of life. It’s not that you will not suffer again. You may. But your efforts despite the sorrows will bear fruit. If such is life, why do you weep? What’s the use of weeping.

While telling you to take heart and to bear fortitude, song-writer Anand Bakshi says that your heart is vast, and that when you restrain your tears, and not give them away easily, they turn into pearls.

Here is the translation of the song in English; read it like prose:

"Why to you shed tears, your long sacrifice and worship will be successful, if an earthen lamp breaks it is just soil, but when it lights it brings brightness. When tears flow they are just water, but when held back they are pearls, do not waste these pearls, Your heart is wide as an ocean which can absorb great storms, why does your ignorant eye flow like a river, why do you cry. Somewhere there is sadness, somewhere there is joy, this how the garden of life is, make a garland

The song:


Safal Hogi Teri - Rajesh Khanna Sharmila Tagore - Aradhana

Observe the stress on the word ‘teri’. The first time you listen to ‘safal hogi teri aradhana’, it plays plain. (0:22 to 0:26 ssfor non-Hindi speakers.)
The next time, it sounds different, with the extra stress on the word ‘teri’. Play it yourself (in a simple deconstruction, lower scale) on this virtual keyboard by pressing the keys:

SDF DF DS 8 /. ,,  (Press the Yellow mouse button on the keyboard to enable 'keyboard musical typing')

I am using this internet keyboard for the first time here, and in time we may use it proficiently.

In the song, this version appears at 0:39 to 0:43. The word Aradhana (devotion) is stretched, so it breaks like Araa-(pause)-dhana. The stress (on the word ‘teri’) followed by the stretching on the word ‘Aradhana’ makes for what you may describe as wish, pain, and in fact, any emotion that resonates with you. Like your elder chides you, ‘Your devotion WILL be successful’ or, damn-it, he says irritatedly, ‘It WILL be successful’, then pauses, putting his hand on your head, ‘your devotion’. In these myriad ways you can imagine the ‘feel’ of the song (that’s a popular expression these days).

The other ‘regular’ style of ‘Safal Hogi teri’ (appearing first at 0:23 to 0:27) is:

SDS 8 / .,.,

The effect of ‘pause and stretch’ is an effective tool in song and speech to bring effect. Good orators use it to drive home a point and to get the attention of their listeners.

Now listen to this song, and sing along, with the pauses. Imagine what the trio of singer-composer-writer are trying to convey through the song construction.

Baiyan Na Dharo (Dastak) by Baiyan Na Dharo (Dastak on Grooveshark


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