I was a little chit of a girl when Qurbani was released. All I know of the film from those days was the cassette which I put into my ‘foreign’ Sony player and listened to. And a song, Aap Jaisa Koi, immediately grabbed my attention. It was funky, different and had a je ne sais quoi quality to it which grabbed my poor western music deprived ear. The singer was a cute teen in pigtails and overalls called Nazia Hassan, and the composer was a long haired guy called Biddu. An Indian from Bangalore, now settled in the UK after hitchhiking there. Composed music for greats like Tina Charles and more. And yes, I always got weak kneed at long haired men with deep voices. It’s part of my genetic programming.
I heard more of Biddu as I grew. He came out with an album called Disco Deewane with Nazia Hassan and her brother Zoyeb. He did more music for India. Shweta Shetty’s Johnny Joker, Alisha Chinai’s Made in India. Music for movies like Star. Lots more that I dont have on the tip of my typing fingers right now. But the music was always foot tapping and acutely dance-able.
It is a bit scary when people who have been big when you were young and impressionable write autobiographies, and when you trill to your nieces about them, you realise they have absolutely no clue who you are talking about. Like you have to go google up a creature called Lady Ga Ga and spend a furrowed moment figuring out if this is male, female or hermaphrodite and concluding that the last option is probably the most probable.
It hits you that you are now officially over the hill, and ready to hang up your dancing shoes and anyway, the last time you danced your heart out was over eight years ago, and therefore you are automatically disqualified from expressing any coherent opinion on current standards of music, except to qualify it as it definitely is, as incoherent noise.
So I meet Biddu tomorrow for a feature I am to be writing on him. And I’m terribly excited because I loved his music. I grew up to it. And yes, I need to thank him for all the times I listened to Disco Deewane on a loop.