The song has been shot around Ravi (Jitendra) while he is travelling from the city to his village when he fails to find a job in the city. Gulzar-Pancham-Kishore, the trio itself is very spectacular. But the song also has an intriguing story of its birth!
This was Gulzar’s first song with Pancham. There was a process of background music of some film was going on in Raj Kamal Studio. He picked up Gulzar while going to the studio. The situation had been already explained to him. He said, “I’ve not thought about anything yet. Give me the Mukhda, I’ll prepare a tune.”
Gulzar thought something and wrote,
‘Musafir hoon yaaron, na ghar hai na thikana
Mujhe bas chalte jaana hai, bas chalte jana hai’
He noted them and announced ‘pack-up’, “You go from here. I've got a lot of work. Take my car and go home.”
When he entered the studio, Bhanu Gupta, guitarist and music composer from his team was just doing a warm-up with chords on a guitar. Pancham Da went to take shower. After few minutes he slightly opened the door of the bathroom and poked his head out and said: “Bajate thako, themo na (Keep playing, don’t stop).” So Bhanu ji kept playing the chord progression.
He came out with a towel around right away and started playing his harmonium. Well, that was not the Mukhda! He was humming, “Mujhe chalte jana hai”. He first composed the end of the song and said that he will think about the beginning. Who does that other than him?
Just a few minutes passed and he rushed out of the bathroom, wet and started playing the harmonium.
That was the Eureka moment, the birth of the song!
Such a melodious tune it was! He kept driving and singing the mukhda on the empty streets of Bombay. Gradually the tune progressed. Gulzar Saab kept writing the lyrics and Pancham Da kept singing till 04.00 AM… Those empty streets of Bombay witnessed two travellers, who, by that time, were remarkably successful, accompanying each other in search of own identity!
A person, who could record the sound of crickets or could sit in the balcony for a whole night to record the sound of raindrops, could create music from anything and anywhere.
Pancham Da is a true ‘Musafir’ who never stopped exploring the world of music. He is immortal, so is his journey. Eternal…
*(References from, 100 Lyrics by Gulzar, Translated by Sujoy Shekhar and Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte Jaana Hain)
Written by Medini Kajarekar
Walking through the pages to find home in words.