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Heard These Ram Bhajans?

January 22, 2024 16:24 IST
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Subhash K Jha celebrates the Ram Mandir pran pratishtha ceremony by picking some memorable Ram bhajans from movies you may not have heard of.

Ab To Aao Dhanush Ke Dhari
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

This 1976 film featured Biswajeet as Ram and Moushumi Chatterjee as Sita.

Composers Kalyanji-Anandji told me that the challenge was to compose songs in praise of Ram that sounded fresh and unheard.

My pick is Lata Mangeshkar's solo where her plaintive pleas for her beloved Ram to return home resonates with the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.


Hey Ram Tere Raaj Me Kaise Jiye Seetaye

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

In this gem from the same film, Lata Mangeshkar asks Ram about the status of women during his rein.

It is an unorthodox approach to the bhajan where the sacrosanct God is actually questioned about gender dynamics.

Written by poet Pradeep (who wrote Lataji's imperishable Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon), this devotional has relevance even today.


Katha Yeh Ram Ki
Lav Kush
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle

This long-lost screen adaptation of the Ramayan featured Jeetendra as Ram and Jaya Prada as Sita.

The film sank without a trace, but Ram Laxman's lush soundtrack of 13 passionately composed songs survived.

Among these, four are duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, a rare occurrence.

My pick is this upbeat gem sung by the sisters, where they pay their respects to Ram.


Mann Ki Aankhon Se Main Dekhoon
Mahabali Hanuman
Singer: Mohammed Rafi

Not much is known about Kamalkant, who composed this emotional bhajan in Mohammad Rafi's voice.

The bhajan got eclipsed by the film's complete failure to find an audience.

A pity, because it shows Rafisaab's versatility in the devotional mould.


Rom Rom Mein Basne Wale Ram
Neel Kamal
Singer: Asha Bhosle

While most of the great composers of the golden era preferred Lata Mangeshkar for devotionals -- and her Allah Tero Naam from Hum Dono is among the most cherished bhajan of Hindi cinema -- Composer Ravi picked Asha Bhosle for that immortal bhajan, Tora Mann Darpan in the film Kajal.

It was filmed on Waheeda Rehman, celebrating Ram's supremacy.


Chalo Bhai Ram Bharose
Ram Bharose
Singer: Kishore Kumar

Curiously Kishore Kumar didn't sing too many bhajans in his vast repertoire of songs.

Here is an unusual bhajan, written and composed by Ravindra Jain, for a Randhir Kapoor comedy.

Kishore keeps it light and bouncy.


Sab Se Pehle Sab Se Aakhir
Loon Main Tera Naam
Singer: Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar

IMAGE: Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi. Photograph: Kind courtesy Lata Mangeshkar/Instagram

Composed by Rajesh Roshan, this bhajan is a rare rendezvous with Ram, written passionately by Anand Bakshi.

The singing by the two stalwarts is flawless.

Sadly, this beautiful ode isn't counted among the great devotionals of Bollywood because the film was never released.

"This bhajan is one of my own favourites. Sadly, it never got its due," says Rajesh Roshan. "It was composed for a film called Hey Ram, a 1977 project produced by Hiren Khera and directed by B R Ishaara, featuring Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Sulakshana Pandit and Mithun Chakraborty."

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