At home with melody
Saloni Aswani... many faces of "Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa".
HERE IS Usha Khanna coming back to Bollywood mainstream with "Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa" in which Sawan Kumar pens lyrics. You may not find the magic of her "Dil De Ke Dekho", "Hum Hindustani" or "Soutan" but a few songs are hummable - title song and "Shaheedon Ko".
Where is the magic gone? "That style does not work now. Earlier music directors were given a free hand. Now we do what producers and directors ask us to and all of them claim that they really know music," says this only woman music director in this otherwise male-dominated world. But perhaps she realises her folly here, "But with Sawanji, it is not difficult to work."
Isn't it difficult for a woman to stay in this world? "Earlier it was when I began scoring music but now it is not. Women have made their presence felt. Now no one tries to stop them."
Still, there are no women music directors as yet? "Those who come to Bollywood now want to become heroines only. Who thinks about music?" comes her reply.
Talented Usha was relegated to composing music for many B-grade films like "Pyasi Ankhein", "Khoj", "Laila", "Preeti" and others.
"What could I do? Uparwala jo bhejega, wahi karna padega. Moreover, being a lady, I would always keep to myself; never go to parties or to producers, directors to ask for favours. In India a woman has to do so much to reach a position. It does not happen in foreign countries. There, she is given her due if she is talented," she does not mind sharing her woes on this count.
Usha also composed music for lesser-known albums and hit serials as "Kora Kagaz" of Asha Parekh and now she has again joined hands with her for on-air serial "Kucch Pal Saath Tumhara".
She herself was a singer but never tried to take it up as a profession. "I only wanted to be a music director and not a singer."
"Depends on God! I know nothing except music," she confesses.
RANA A. SIDDIQUI
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