The best memories I have of my father were watching movies with him, and the long drives we would take in cars. Growing up each summer, the family would make a road trip to see relatives in Calgary. My absolute favourite part of the trip was always the drive there and the drive back. It would always be hits from the Bollywood classic films from their golden era (the 60's and 70's).
Now most of these songs I didn't know the full lyrics too, let alone know what they were singing about, but the music and chorus from some was always instilled in my head. Perhaps it was the great background music that accompanied the drive through the Rockies.
It's been over 14 years now since his passing, and those drives are now a vivid memory, yet his old cassette tapes (and the equipment to play them, even) are long gone.
There was always one song that my dad always kept on rotation, it was on a tape that easily had to be one of his favourites. It was always playing on the road trips we would go on, and now it had been well over a decade since I had heard it. So I thought I would go on some sleuthing of my own to try to figure it out. Not just figure out the song, but also try to learn why my dad liked it so much.
Now I could have simply asked my mom or sisters about it, but I felt that this was something that I would have to discover for myself, and it would keep me from feeling all awkward if they ever asked why I was doing such a thing.
There were some clues that would help me in finding it:
1: It must come from a Bollywood film. Considering that the Bollywood film industry makes more films each year than any other film industry would make this difficult.
2: It would be from 1984 or earlier, as I believe that was the earliest that I ever heard the song.
3: It was probably from one of my dad's favourite singers, Mohammed Rafi.
4: It involved a chorus of men and was somewhat of a sad song
My best help on this was going to be the internet (youtube specifically). I figured all that I would have to do is type in "Mohammed Rafi" and go through the many songs in that man's discography. This was going to be difficult as Mohammed Rafi was one of the most recorded playback singers of all time. This first step I would do in my spare time. It took me a good 2 years in my spare time here and there to go through all of Mohammed Rafi's songs. After finding what was listed as his entire discography on piratebay, downloading it and listening to that as well, the one song I was trying to find was not there.
Some of Mohd. Rafi's songs are here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_axl1r4j94
Not a problem, really. As I was in the first year of trying to find this song and listening to Mohd Rafi sing, I also considered that this elusive song may have been sung by another. So after another year went by and I was confident now that this song was not sung by Mr. Rafi, I went back to piratebay and downloaded the entire discography of Kishore Kumar. I thought I was due to find it now, as it was 2011, and I had already been searching on and off for 2 years. And personally, I was a bigger fan of Kishore Kumar and listening to his songs would be fun anyways.
Kishore Kumar songs here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQXtPh4ml9A
Neither one of these singers (Mohammed Rafi or Kishore Kumar) had sung the song that I was looking for. So I stopped looking.
I was married now, there was a baby on the way, and life was going to get busier, I was not going to have so much time to find that song. Whatever was left in my memory that I had of it would have to be cherished.
So my son, Khyden, was born and life can't be any better. Parenthood is crazy and great. One weekend just a couple of months ago, one of my sister's, the Communist, had flown in from Edmonton and wanted to see the baby. So the wife, the kid and I went to my eldest sister's house (where the Communist was staying) to pay a visit. Now the Communist is the youngest of my three older sisters, and as a child, she had always had the vision of becoming a lawyer, which she had successfully done. And as my two eldest sisters and myself can attest, the Communist was definitely "daddy's girl."
She began by getting a degree in social work, went to law school and now helps in the plight of others that need it. Very determined and driven to make sure justice is served right. Kinda like a superhero, which I now realize may be a reason why her husband married her (as he is devoted to comics), but I digress.
Anyways, as we were over visiting, mom had the television turned on to watch one of her Bollywood soap operas (which are a hoot) and during one of the commercial breaks, it showed footage from the funeral of a Bollywood playback singer. His name was Manna Dey. They then began to play a handful of samples of the over 4000 songs he had recorded in his career. And that's when it hit me like a truck. His voice.
No, it wasn't the song I had been looking for these past few years, but I was certain now that the song must have been sung by Manna Dey. Not Mohammed Rafi, not Kishore Kumar. Future research revealed and Manna Dey used to be Mohammed Rafi's neighbor when they both were playback singers for the same production company. Go figure.
My drive had returned. I was now determined to find this song that had eluded me all along.
So back to youtube I went... and it only took me five minutes.
It came from a movie named "Vishwanath"
The Internet Movie Database description of the movie states: An honest lawyer, Vishwanath is implicated and imprisoned at the behest of powerful underworld don, GNK and his associates. After his release from prison, Vishwanath decides to seek vengeance, but finds out that it is virtually impossible to do this through due process of law. So he decides to change his identity, hire a gang of crooks and assassins, to carry out his vendetta.
Here's the kicker. The release date of the film was January 20, 1978.
That also happens to be the birthdate of The Communist.
Without further ado, here is the song that had eluded me all these years.