Dev Anand on the eve of the convocation of the first batch of students from Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods Institute had commented that he entered into the world of Hindi cinema whistling. As a matter of fact whistling was quite in vogue in most of the Dev Anand films and before the advent of the music from electronic instruments, whistling formed an integral part of the world of Hindi music. Interestingly enough, most of these whistling songs have either been an accompaniment of the songs sung by Kishore Kumar, or Hemant Kumar, and from the present times it is Sonu Nigam and Shaan who have been a part of this occasion. Another interesting aspect of the whistling songs has been the fact that Pancham has been a part of these songs as the music composer.
Indeed if a review of the songs of Dev Anand were to be made, it would be found that they all are those whistling songs that have an element of tease imbedded all over them a sense of vagabond being communicated, icing on the cake being the gay-abandon voice of Kishore Kumar. Savor this: NAU DO GYARAH's song Hum Hai Rahee Pyaar ke ''whistling forms an integral part of the interlude between the stanzas, as a matter of fact the song starts with the whistling and the end note also comes from the whistling sound made by the mouth. In the same manner the song ''Nakhrewali... from the film NEW DELHI where Kishore Kumar is himself serenading Madhubala with this song, is also a song whose popularity transcends generation. In the same manner the Kishore Kumar song ''Yeh Hawa Yeh Nadi Ka kinara'', from the film GHAR SANSAR, which is again a song where the prop of whistle is used to generate hope and romance. It goes without saying that these were the songs that belonged to the black and white era, but when they are played one tends to skip a heartbeat.
But if the all time favorite whistling songs have to be compiled the chart busters in these would be ''Tumhara Intezaar Hai'', sung by Hemant Kumar in KHAMOSHI and again Kishore Kumar with ''Yeh Shaam Mastaani'' from KATI PATANG. Kishore Kumar while singing ''Zindagi Mil ke bitaeynge''... in SATTE PE SATTA excelled himself in synchronizing his voice to the whistling in this song, and R.D. Burman again set it to the music, which may be a pointer to the fact that Pancham indeed was one of the greatest whistlers of the Hindi cinema. The argument is buttressed by the fact that he introduced whistling in a big way in his background music as well, and when techno-music started ruling the roost, he brought out the sound of whistles through the technical devices.
In the modern era the whistling after passing away of Pancham revived in a big way with Vishal Bhardwaj's ''Chod aaye hum wo galiyan.. from the film MACHIS sung competently by Suresh Wadekar and it again was a song that conveyed the sprit of vagabond and gay-abandon, what whistling signifies. It was followed by ''Pahli pahli Baar from DIL TO PAAGAL HAI which was composed by Anand Milind. Among other great songs based on whistles that the Hindi cinema has produced in the recent memory is '' Kiska Hai ye Tumko Intezaar main hoo Na''. from MAIN HOON NA, and ''Chand Sifarish Jo Karta Hamari''...from FANAA.
Indeed whistling as an accompaniment in the Hindi cinema may be making intermittent appearances but whenever it has done, it has indeed recreated the image of gay-abandon and brought a smile on the frowning faces.