Posts Tagged ‘Bollywood’

From melancholy to happiness: Three solo songs by Lata Mangeshkar

March 5, 2012

Life has gotten like a musical; I find a song for every situation.  I wonder sometimes whether these song make my mood or my mood brings up these perfectly fitting songs.

I was feeling so low for the whole last week, feeling like I am good-for-nothing, and was singing “na kisi ki aankho.n ka noor hoon…” all the time.  Indeed, it is one of the most depressing songs we have.  Penned by Muztar Khairabadi (Javed Akhtar’s grandfather) and filmed over the last Mughal emperor Bahadurshah Zafar for the 1960 movie “Lal Quila”, Mohd. Rafi’s rendition is heart-wrenching.  For those who don’t know it, it goes like:

Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon
Na kisi ke dil ka qaraar hoon
Jo kisi ke kaam na aa sake
Main wo ek musht gubar hoon

Neither am I a sparkle to someone’s eye
Nor I am a solace to someone’s heart
I am a fistful of dust—good for nothing!

If you need a strong dose of melancholy, go and get it!  “Why shall someone come and pray on my grave?  Why shall someone bestow flowers?” etc. etc.

Okay, today I am not here to dip you in that melancholy.  I am here with springs of joy!


Spiritual songs of A. R. Rahman

December 14, 2011

This is a long due post.  I had been contemplating writing this for many days, but the list of songs grew too much to accommodate in a single post.  I had also thought about writing a separate post about qawwalis of A. R. Rahman, mainly the trio:  Piya Haji Ali from Fiza, Khwaja Mere Khwaja from Jodha Akbar, and Kun Faya Kun from Rockstar.  I could not complete that project too.  Then, I wanted to dedicate a post to Mann Mohana from Jodha Akbar; again I couldn’t do it.  Finally, here I am with this post, and I have decided to base this post only on three songs, three different genres, three different religions, dedicated to that one Almighty.


Of the dark days of Bollywood Music…

November 22, 2011

Oh it was a crazy day! I had been singing Nadeem-Shravan songs all the day today. Let me be clear; I dislike this duo’s songs to the extent of hating. I don’t know what made me to go on humming those stupidly monotonous songs all over the day. But I enjoyed singing them and irritating people making them listen all those songs. Some poor guys didn’t even know I’m singing just to irritate them.

The music director duo Nadeem-Shravan reigned on the Bollywood music industry in the 1990s. It was no doubt the darkest period of Bollywood music. It is the period that made people to hate new film songs. If you don’t believe me, try listening Lata Mangeshkar singing chudi mazaa na degi kangan mazaa na dega. Can you believe it is the same magical voice that once reigned the Bollywood industry? (By the way, I don’t know chudi maza na degi was by Nadeem-Shravan or not; but they were the prototype of the 1990s).

Nadeem-Shravan started composing songs way before 1990s, but what brought them to immediate fame was 1992, Aashiqui. The songs of Aashiqui were no doubt good ones, but it was a warning bell – listen the same kind of music for the whole decade ahead. If you ask me, I can sing for at least a few hours straight a lot many songs, from happy to sad, without ever changing the rhythm. And Sameer as a lyricist, oh my God, just pathetic! I am so biased against him that I firmly believe he cannot write even a single good line anymore. Whatever he has written in his earlier days was okay, but Sameer…. Yack!! And I have once heard that guy talking on All India Radio “Javed Akhtar? He writes some shaayari-waayari; Karan needed simple songs for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai..”

Okay, we will again come back to Nadeem-Shravan! These guys gave immensely popular songs to the film industry, but from a musical viewpoint, all those songs were just dumbo: Think of Dil cheer ke dekh tera hii naam hoga../ or paayaliyaa ho ho ho ho / or dekha hai pehli baar saajan ki aankhon mein pyaar..I can give a infinite list!! In fact, I want to give such list, but I want it with my singing performance, is anyone dying to get irritated…

And you cannot sing those songs without singing the dhikka chika rhythm – try singing dekha hai pehli baar saajan ki aankhon mein pyaar.. without singing the dhikka chikik portion after it. It was the era when song lyrics were must to be written with the musical part in it: e.g. naach meri jaan zara dum dama dum.. dil mein hai tufaan bhara dum dama dum… And what a pathetic lyrics “chikni chikni patli kamar aise na hila” etc. etc. in a super duper hit movie song!! I can’t even imagine Amir Khan dancing on this song!

And this duo got three filmfare awards straight in a row, first time after the maestro Shankar-Jaykishan in the 1970s (they too got it much after their top years for so so music)!

After Pardes, I thought Nadeem-Shravan have changed a little bit, but then came Dhadkan, yack yack yack!! Thanks God the 1990s ended soon! Poor guys who had to suffer those era of Indian film music!

Okay, I am not going to lengthen this post (I don’t want to irritate you much)!! I am going to sleep now with just another irritating songs by Nadeem-Shravan “ooff kya raat aayi hai, muhabbat rang laayi hai, dum dum diga diga diga diga dum dum diga diga” Good Night! 🙂

A musical ride: A journey from Amir Khurso to A. R. Rahman

October 16, 2011

I usually don’t prefer plugging my earphones in while I am riding a bike.  But as I was coming back from a Sunday-evening ride, and as I was in a not-so-sad mood, I plugged them in, adjusted the volume, and set the player on random shuffle.  It took me about 25 minutes to come back home; what my player played in those 25 minutes was a beautiful musical ride!  It was a wide range of music and poetry from the 13th century Amir Khurso, to the beautiful poetry by Gulzar in the 1960s and early 1970s, to the ultra-modern melody of A. R. Rahman.  I had no choice to select what my player is playing, just out of what I had in it, it was a beautifully random mixture of a broad musical spectrum.

I had five songs in those 25 minutes.  The first one was Naa Jiya laage naa.. from movie Anand.  It’s a beautiful song penned by Gulzar, sung by Lata Mangeshkar.  I had got this song in my cell as one of the bunch of Gulzar songs I had downloaded.  It is based on some classical Raaga (and I understand nothing of Indian classical music).  Wonderful song, silent, melodious, treat to listen.  As always, great lyrics by Gulzar: Jeena bhule the kahaan yaad nahii, thuj ko payaa hai jahaa saans phir aayi wahi (Don’t know where had I forgotten my life; I got my breath back where I found you); and blame me for poor translation.

Second song brought me directly back to 2011.  Te Amo from Dum Maro Dum, reprise solo male version sung by Mohit Chauhan.  Again, wonderful job by Pritam, beautiful use of Mohit Chauhan’s voice.  And Jaideep Sahni is as good as usual in his lyrics.  This slow, melodious song, takes me back to my heart with deep feelings of love.  Te Amo…

Amir Khusrow surrounded by young men. Miniatur...

Amir Khusro (Image via Wikipedia)

The next one, this song always make me move with from very first beat.  Zihal e miskin makun taghaful was an experimental poem by a 13th century Indian scholar Amir Khurso.  Amir Khusro is one of the most important figure in the cultural history of medieval India.  He is widely known as a pioneer of Urdu language and Urdu poetry as such.  Zihal e miskin is a bilingual poem, first line inPersian the second one in Hindavi/Urdu and such goes on.  With an air of Sufi mysticism, this poem revolves around love — may be love with the Almighty or with a beloved one.  Zihal e miskin is particularly famous in the subcontinent and is composed and sung multiple by a wide variety of singers from Mukesh to Abida Parveen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and so on.  I have the Abida Parveen version.  Her powerful voice and the mighty percussion of dholak won’t let you without moving.

The fourth song, title song of Tamil film Alaiypauthey (2001), composed by A. R. Rahman (ARR) in Carnatic Classical music.  I don’t know the language.  I don’t know what lyrics Varaimuthu has written for this song (otherwise, he is excellent.  See Enge enathu kavithai).  This is kind of a devotional song (I don’t know, Sirish had told me; he’s native Tamil).  But this song is really treat to listen.  Just you need good earphones, and this can be one of the best songs to make you feel serene.  And the steady buzz of tambora in the background is awesome.  A must listen if you love light melody!

The fifth and the last one was again an A. R. Rahman composition.  Boondon se baate (talking to raindrops) from Takshak.  Frankly, I had never listened this song in my cell, though I had it for long. Still, without doubt, wonderful composition as usual by ARR, and beautiful lyrics by Mehboob.  Sung my some unknown-to-me female singer, this song is no less beautiful from the above four.

Such was a marvelous musical ride, stretching over the period of around 800 years, from Sufi Qawwali to Indian classical to Carnatic classical to modern guitar beats; Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil; exploring a wide spectrum of the subcontinental music.  Two out of five Gulzar songs, two out of five ARR compositions, two out of five devotional songs (if we count zihal e miskin as devotional; and still I am a proud atheist; really no one loves the God as an atheist does).

So thus was my playlist for this Sunday evening.  I can’t imagine of a more bizarrely varied playlist than this one.  I know I am a bit odd in my musical taste (not less than my literary taste), but still if you love anyone of these songs, please let me know.  I bet we can have a good friendship with each other.  If you haven’t listened anyone of them (and probability of this to happen is too much on a higher side), please get then, and I again bet you won’t be disappointed.

Looking ahead for your thoughts 🙂