Stories in a song

Redemption song: Anup Ghosal’s ‘Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi’

The popular Bengali playback singer is best-known for his contribution to Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Masoom.’

The song “Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi” from the Shekhar Kapur film Masoom (1983) fetched lyricist Gulzar a Filmfare trophy. The soundtrack by RD Burman won him a Best Music Director. The only person left out from the picture was singer Anup Ghosal.

Ghosal was already a popular singer in Bengali films, having made his debut with Satyajit Ray’s Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne (1969). Burman introduced him with the solo number in Masoom. But Ghosal’s debut was fraught with uncertainty from the very beginning.

When HMV, the record company, got wind that the soundtrack did not feature too many saleable names, they were reluctant to release the album. They asked the producers to record another song. The production did not have the budget, but they did manage to ask Lata Mangeshkar to sing “Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi.

Mangeshkar’s voice was as popular as always, but fortunately for Ghosal, listeners warmed up to his version too. His voice had Kishore Kumar’s levity but also depth reminiscent of Hemant Kumar.

The song flew off the charts and established Ghoshal as a rising star. But it was a brief flash. Ghosal sang a disco ghazal for composer Bappi Lahiri in Shapath (1984) and a few other songs that didn’t give him the popularity of Masoom.

“Tujhse Naraaz Nahi Zindagi” remains Ghoshal’s only successful foray into Hindi film music, an everlasting melody that has immortalised his voice.

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