100-plus re-creations in the last few years are evidence that retro songs have magic that will never fade. GenY loves such versions for their melody and today’s sound, but we cannot forget the original golden oldies with their crystal-clear acoustic recordings and solid lyrics, compositions and vocals.
‘Yahoo! Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe’
(Film: Junglee / 1961. Music: Shankar-Jaikishan Lyrics: Shailendra Singer: Mohammed Rafi and Prayag Raj)
Shammi Kapoor catapulted himself into the big league with this film, despite earlier big hits. With this song, Kapoor with Mohammed Rafi and Shankar-Jaikishan became a combo that continued to hit the high notes for another decade. Rafi sang this song with total abandon to allow Kapoor to jump, leap and dance in the Kashmir snows, claiming, as per Shailendra’s pithy lyrics, that he is behaving like someone untamed because he has been surrounded by the storms of love!
S-J’s racy tune encompassed the mood, Kapoor and spirit of the blockbuster perfectly along with Rafi’s special modulation for this actor, known to always participate in the creation of his music. Coming up to interpolate the high-pitched “Yahoo!” at intervals was writer and later director and actor Prayag Raj, known best later for co-writing Amar Akbar Anthony and co-writing and co-directing Coolie.
Eerily, three decades later, Yahoo became an Internet buzzword and Kapoor one of the Net’s earliest Indian users and the President of the Internet Users’ Association of India! Some coincidences are indeed so quirky that Kapoor could just give a wry but very pleased smile when this was mentioned to him.