Classical Music had always been a pillar of strength to Film Music of those days. There have been many music directors who have explored the depths of the classical music through their film music. Like my earlier mention about G. Ramanathan, there is one other music director who has a special place in my heart. My favorite music director of those ages, may be O.P. Nyyar, but I cannot deny the fact that, Roshan's music had been far more influencing and close to my heart, when it came to classical-film music!

We have a cassette back home. A kind of a rare treasure rather. It has the first concert ever by Lata Mangeshkar outside India(London) where she performed for three days. It was organized by Nehru Memorial Trust. Here, she faces a problem which even we face! There are just so many songs. But so less time! So, she sings a few lines of songs that she could not manage to sing in the three-day time given to her. She sings a few lines of song- Duniya Kare sawal from Bahu Begum and there is such an applause for it, and that was my first encounter with Roshan's music.

There are so many songs that had already immortalized Roshan. Especially, Roshan's using voices like Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey! The output is just amazing. Manna Dey might have sung hundreds of songs. But till this day, we remember him with two songs. The one in Padosan which he sang with Kishore (Ek chatur Naar) and another is Roshan's Master-piece from Dil Hi toh Hai, Laaga Chunri Mein Daag.

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In fact, Dil Hi toh hai, according to me, is Roshan's best! Asha Bhonsle has been my favorite for ages. And this is a magic- a magic that brings together Asha's flexibility, voice control, classical music, a beautiful Qawwali and Roshan together, and gives us a spell binding- Nigahen Milane ko ji chahta hai!

I especially like Asha Bhonsle singing classical rather than Lata. That's a matter of personal taste. Asha is far more versatile than Lata Mangeshkar. This song, has again an amazing blend of classical Music(I don't know the name of this raag is Hindustani- but I feel it resembles Valaji of carnatic. Correct me if that's wrong and let me know the raag name if you know) by Roshan and voices of Asha and Usha Mangeshkar. The film Chitralekha is a treasure-chest of amazing music, but Kahe tarsaaye, here, is my favourite!

Is he all classic? No light? No. There is this perfect light-classical number from Mamta- Rahen Naa rahen hum. A beautiful lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri! This is my dad's all time favourite!

Roke Zamaana Chaahe Roke Khudaai
Tumko Aana Padega... Jo Vaada Kiya Woh Nibhaana Padega...

The song from Taj Mahal, stands alive, even now, as beautiful and as captivating as the Taj Mahal itself! For me, "Roshan Era" in Hindi film music was Golden! There were so many others too along with him, composing eternal songs. But there are a few songs that were meant to be immortalized by Roshan. And those songs, stand out still, keeping alive, the Roshan music, the Roshan magic....

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Why I think Raja is God

When it comes to music, I am a believer; I am a polytheist.

This song is by no means Raja's 'best' - if there's a superlative for his oeuvre. But it is trademark Raja in two very significant aspects.The first is Raja's violins - the whole symphony. One of my friends once remarked that if he were but a string in one of Raja's violins he would think that it was heaven enough and I am inclined to agree.

The second is Raja's piano. Two more recent songs I can recall offhand with amazing piano stretches are Nee Paartha Paarvai from Hey Ram and Appadi Paakrathuna from Ivan. This song has such a gentle stretch that accompanies Jayachandran's voice that it is like a little elf is dancing on the keys :)

Jayachandran is one of the most underrated singers of TFM. He is to singing what Alangudi Somu was to lyrics in the 1960s...both of them got overshadowed, PJ by Yesudas and Alangudi Somu by Kannadasan. It raises a very interesting question - is timing all that important for success? For it was not that these men did not have talent; they lived in the times of men with more talent than they.

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