My “now” song: Apni toh har aah ik toofan hai

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music—it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my ‘now’ song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

My now song is “Apni toh har aah ik toofan hai” sung by Mohammad Rafi to music set by S.D. Burman for the 1960 film Kala Bazaar featuring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman.

About two nights back, Amma and I were watching a “retro Hindi film music” show on a music channel on TV. The songs being played were from the B&W films of the 1950s and 1960s, with many of the songs featuring Dev Anand. The song selection was so good that we kept postponing going to bed, and it was midnight when we finally switched off the TV.

But then, as it usually happens after a good music session, we stayed up for quite some time talking about old Hindi film music, in general, and songs featuring Dev Anand, in particular. We hummed and sang our favourite Dev Anand songs for a bit (Amma’s is “Tere mere sapne” from Guide and mine is “Apni toh har aah ik toofan hai” from Kala Bazaar). By the time we went to bed, it was nearly 1.30 am, and when we woke up at 7.00 am, it was to the news of Dev Anand’s demise. I can’t tell how strange we felt about our musical night; it was almost as if we knew what was going to happen.

And now, I have all Dev Anand’s songs playing like a non-stop record in my mind, with this particular song playing more than the others. It’s mellow, romantic melody is simply unmatchable and to me it is like Dev Anand himself—timeless and eternal.

R.I.P. Dev Anand.