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Song that sings in Silence – Chalte Chalte from Pakeezah

This song is one of the best that Lata Mangeshkar has sung.  It is Chalte Chalte from the super hit movie “Pakeezah”.

The music is by Ghulam Mohammad and lyrics by Kaifi Azmi. I think this is one of best songs in the classical/semi-classical genre. It is amazing in how it uses silence as an instrument! The music stops, but the melody goes on.  Then silence sings – all somewhere in the middle of this song! Lata has long regarded Ghulam Mohd. as perhaps the best music composer she ever worked with. I couldn’t agree with her more!

The fact is the songs of the movie were recorded well in advance of when the movie was finally completed.  And although 12 songs were recorded, only 6 were used.

Baba’s sensibilities have inspired filmmakers, particularly Sanjay Leela Bhansali who once wondered how the camera could pass through the water fountain in the song Chalte chalte. The mujras Chalte chalte and Thare rahiyo were shot on the set called Gulabi Mahal. Though Baba had recorded 12 songs with music director Ghulam Mohammed, he retained only six. When asked to change the music as the tunes seemed outdated, Baba said, “I would have, had Ghulam saab been alive. But now that he’s no more, I won’t do it.”

Some confidence Kamal Amrohi had in his music director!