For some strange unexplained reasons, there are certain memories that linger and haunt a person for ages. This is more the case with childhood memories, a old home, a forlorn beach, a rabid fight, there is just no limit to what part of childhood you will carry with you through out your life and why?
In my case, it is a song, that too a Marathi one. I must have been no older than 7 or 8 years at max, and somehow a song that I viewed on television way back then stuck with me for all these years. In those times, early-mid eighties, there was only a single channel in India, Doordarshan and color television was not yet available (apparently it was after the Asiad games but the cost was so prohibitively high that only a select Indians could afford it).
The programs that were run on Doordarshan were fairly staid, in fact there was a regional offshoot of Doordarshan, namely Mumbai Doordarshan that broadcasted regional shows; namely plays, news, serials in Marathi. And on prime time, that is 9 pm, the national broadcaster used to take over, so you would have serials, news bulletins et al in Hindi. Since, back then there was no choice except for Doordarshan, we all sat in rapt attention watching the programs even in Marathi and even if it did not make any sense to us. For instance, I recall, just before the the Batmya (news in Marathi) at 7.30 pm, there used to be this show called at Amchi Mati, Amchi Manase, it was basically a show that was targetted for the farmers, telling them how to take care of the cattle, when to sow the seeds, etc. Also, just before the news bulletin, there used to be this small caption of lost and misplaced people, Apan yana pahilat ka, where there would be photos of missing people and sketchy details about them.
On Saturdays, there used to be Marathi movies shown and on Sundays it was Hindi. Thus our schedule was pretty packed in that sense. To be honest, the little Marathi that I know and understand is not because I had it as a subject till the 8th standard, but because I was trying to laugh at all those gags in Arr..tch tch.. or trying to figure out the news in Batmya.
Anyways, coming back to the song. I am sure it must have been a Saturday, and there was a movie playing. I have no memories of the movie, the time or anything, just that there was a song in which there are all these males wearing turbans dancing around in a synchronized format with fire-lit torches. Also, the song had a wonderful tune, it went something like ‘dar dar vande nitejachi pyaari duniya‘ or something. I remember seeing those guys making patterns out of their torches and singing in a chorus. That’s where my memory fades.
I sincerely don’t know why this song stuck with me through the ages, I could faintly mumble the tune and the first line or so, and those moving imagery of the song was very much there in my head. Probably, it must have been a combination of a great tune and action on screen. Or it just might be that as a kid, I must have been wonder stuck by all those people making short play with sticks on fire. To my extreme disappointment, I never got a chance to see the song on television ever again. Probably due to the fact that post nineties once there were so many channels to chose from, I never chose to see Marathi programs or films again. The loss, so as say, was entirely mine.
Later on through the years, whenever the song popped up in my mind, I used to search for it or rather inquire about it from my Marathi friends. Somehow, I was never sure whether I had actually seen a song like that, or it was just an imaginary fantasy of a child. Sadly, no one seemed to know about that song, it must have been that I did not pronounce it well, or probably, I came from an ancient time. No one seemed to know about that amazing song, and they used to be quite amused by my excitement as I used to describe all those rhythmical motions made by turbaned Marathi dancers armed with fire sticks . Was it all just my imagination, I often wondered.
But that was till today. For some very unknown reason (or probably because I didn’t have a decent Internet connection before), I never bothered to Google the song. It was just that the time, when the song would pop into my consciousness, I would not be in front of any connected computer. Nonetheless, today, I decided that enough was enough, and I had to get to the bottom of this.
So, gingerly I typed in a part of the first phrase that always haunted me, “ni tejachi pyaari duniya “. In matter of seconds, Google suggested that I should be looking for “ni teja chi nyari duniya“. I have much trust on Google on these matters, so I decided to go by its suggestion. Presto, I came across a forum, where someone as desperate as me was begging for a MP3 of the song, “lakh lakh chanderi tejachi nyari duniya“. I was ecstatic, a mystery that remained with me for ages was now on the brink of being solved, thanks to Uncle Google.
Next thing I did, was to open up Youtube, with nervous excitement I punched in the name of the song, rather just two words “lakh lakh” and hit the return key. And right there in front of my eyes popped up the song. A discerning user had put up the complete song in original video up on Youtube. Not only that, I came to know that the song was from the film Shejari released in 1941.
After a few nervous moments, the song played on my laptop, and honestly I had gone numb. My childhood memories were right; I had got the tune right and also the way the song played on screen. In fact, it was more fantastical then I had imagined (or remembered) it to be. Also those people in turbans dancing with lit torches was just too good. I can barely express, how relieved and happy I am. Finally, a chapter of my childhood came to a happy end. I am posting the video here, for all you to know what an amazing song it is, and more so for me, if and even I want to revisit that time, when I was sitting all googleyed in front of the television, watching the moving images…And I can’t tell you how good it is to revisit childhood again after so many years..