Kanu Roy: Addicted to Pain

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If there was one composer in Hindi cinema who could wrap his baton around your emotions and squeeze it to cause a pain so exquisite that you’d go back for more, it was the sadly underrated Kanu Roy. With a trademark vibraphone traversing across hitherto unexplored and untouched strings in your soul, Roy composed and orchestrated some lovely gems in his very limited repertoire as a composer – just about seven movies.

From director Basu Bhattacharya’s classic marital movie, Aavishkar (Invention) – that incidentally, to me, also has one of the best performances of Rajesh Khanna sans his superstar charm and beguiling twinkle –  Naina Hai Pyase Mere is the kind of number that stirs unknown and inexplicable emotions, the end result being an incontrollable wave of joyous hurt and glorious pain. Roy gets in just the right tune-inflection for the word pyase, the extended stay touching you in a way that sinks your heart and yet makes you fly. There’s some soulful, heart-tugging flute in both interludes, the almost silent triangle, the guitar lending quiet support, and the entire enterprise steeped in folksy whimsicalness. The composer affects you with a sepia-tint of nostalgic wistfulness, walking a beautiful musical line between what was and what is now.

While lyricist Kapil Kumar keeps the words in tandem with the uneasy, introspectional, and almost self-deprecating composition, singer Asha Bhosle adds such a 20,000 leagues-under-the-sea depth to this number with her richly layered voice, her sigh and laugh at the beginning breaking your heart into a million pieces. And which other singer could have injected that thehraav (calmness) to jaltaa in the jaltaa sa din line so beautifully, so effortlessly? She is sheer magic here, the mistress of hypnotism and undiluted emotions.

And when the song ends, there’s just one thing to do – acknowledge that you’re addicted to the Kanu Roy brand of pain and go back for seconds.

Naina Hain Pyaase Mere/ Pyaasaa Hai Praan Mera
Main Hoon ek Barakhaa Ke Bin Jalta Saa Din
Aashiyaan Hai Sunsaan Mera
Man Ki Hai Lagan Tan Se Tan Kaa Hai Tirath Duja
Pyasi Rahi Milke Unse, Pyaas Ko Hi Maine Puja/ Ye Hi To Hai Abhiman Mera
Pyaar Puujaa Praarthanaa To Ek Saath Rahanaa Chaahe
Saath Agar Saath Naa De, Sang Aa Jaati Aahen/ Ab Yahi Hai Toofaan Mera
Naina Hain Pyaase Mere/ Pyaasaa Hai Praan Mera
Main Hoon ek Barakhaa Ke Bin Jalta Saa Din
Aashiyaan Hai Sunsaan Mera

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