Archive for the ‘music’ Category

So the film releases on 4th August and there is still no clarity on how many songs are there, and when will they release, just like what happened with Aye Dil Hai Mushkil music last year. My review went live on the day the film released if I am right. One of the things (call it old world ridiculousness) that I personally believe is that the music review shouldn’t go online on the day the film releases. That is the reason I pushed the editors of fightclub to make this review go live. I have also been off all social media platforms so I may have missed the tweets or systematic leaking of info about songs. After I posted the review, a kind soul pointed out that there are few more songs in the album for sure. But nobody knows when it will be out. As and when, and if at all they release, I will update the post accordingly.

One of the things you have to do when you review film music is to review almost every film album, and when you summarize the year, you get a real picture of the music scene – which is presently a device for caller tunes, among other things. Singers are called hot and auto-tune equipment is probably going to be credited as a valid artist sooner than all of us expect. It has become a routine to hear the ‘once-popular’ songs remixed and served usually to us in disgusting and shrill avatar. Not every routine is good. This particular routine reminds me of the uncle who used to punch me on my back really hard. It was as if he liked to hear me yelp – every time he used to come home. Every. Time.

Since last 3 years that I have been reviewing music for BBC, I have never witnessed such scarcity of fresh, not-a-remix-of-an-old-song, foot tapping madcap craziness in Hindi film albums. Radha arrives and breaks this unfortunate spell. Shahid Mallaya and Sunidhi Chauhan – a delicious combination on their good days make it impossible for us to not break into a dance (in metro, washrooms, during meetings, at dinner table, on dining table, during a corporate/personal dinner/lunch, to name few of real life situations where all this has already happened with the writer). Irshad Kamil, when not under pressure to invite bulla to come to his house and give him a hug kass ke, kicks ass with his pen (what a site to imagine, right?). Say what you will about the man, Pritam doesn’t try to turn the sound of a film album based on the compulsions of his ‘unused tunes’ folder. You hear radha and you couldn’t care less who has composed the music, because you are busy with the song and when that happens, music director has already won. There are way too many high points in one song here. Be it the moment you hear both singers together go ‘main bani teri/tu bani meri radha’, or that magnificent change of scale towards the end, this is way too much crazy tapped in one song. A monsoon shower of a song. Hello Pritam! Mwaaah! (This is a chumma).

There is a remix of Radha by DJ Shilpi Sharma and it even has variation in lyrics and structure (like almost all the remixes in the  album). Oh and by the way, do hear the Arabic, Telugu and Tamil versions of this as well to know exactly why Sunidhi Chauhan is a Goddess. No One can match her. Period.

Beech beech mein has a uniform disco mood that doesn’t bother me much and that’s my only problem with an otherwise decent song. I might not forward the song when it comes on screen but I won’t go looking for it. May be because it is a bit too decently arranged and composed. On the other hand, the remix of this by Lady Bee is the one that does it for me. Loved it!

Safar is a song that has a ‘Gulzar-Vishal-sque-evening-song-meets-raabta-night-in-motel vibe’. A disheveled character, walking, with no aim, no destination, and one who is not particularly remorseful for that. In my books, this would be one of the best songs by Arijit ever. Pay attention to a ghazal like repeat of ‘Jaana-maaine…’ in between, a first for me in a film song. It seems like Pritam saves his best songs for Arijit. Yet again, Irshad Kamil shines using simple words but what a context! Beautiful!

Butterfly is a regular Punjabi song and for some reason, Nooran sisters sound too hurried and excessive-soulful-per-square-feet. I missed Sonu Nigam in the song, I don’t know why. Aaman Trikha, Dev Negi and Sunidhi Chauhan are good. I LOVE the double flute in the song. Is it a good song? May be. Will I listen to this again? Nope!

There is a charm in Hawayein that we all like in a film song, be it Arijit Singh who suddenly becomes very present in the song or those blessed aching words by Irshad Kamil.  There is a drama loving, bollywood romantic in everyone. Karan Johar and his team brought that part out in the open with channa mereya, and with Hawayein, Team Imtiaz makes that part of us weep inconsolably. I doubt if visuals can match the beautiful sadness of this lovely composition. The tune is almost instructive in what to expect – Bring on the slow motions and quietly reach out for those tissues people, all while humming – hawaayein hawaayein…Yes, we are all mad. Also, Arijit singh, never stop please. There is a film version of hawayeiṅ and it sounds more spaced out and intimate – arrangement wise but it gets in Arijit’s way. He is more devastating in the first version and that’s why  my heart beats for the previous version more rhythmically. 

ParindaPradeep Sran is a star to put it mildly and Pritam-Irshad Kamil have given a perfect platform to Sran where he could soar, and soar he does. I am still confused who is a winner in the song. Jeene na ab degi, mahi di laparawahi. That fantastic drum set and guitar combo is breathtaking. A song for broken hearts with tonnes of Pizzaz. The search version of this song has Tochi Raina crooning in his familiar zone effortlessly and may be that’s why he ticks the ‘heard before’ box but I would pick Pradeep Sran’s earthy voice over Tochi’s voice for this song. That said, Nikhil D’Souza’s portion is plain superb! 

Gharkhali hai jo tere bina, main wo ghar hu tera ghoomey phire tu chaahe sab sheher, tu hai mera. Nikita gandhi gives this song so much pain, its infectious and will make you sad. It will mock the void in your soul and some of you would be amazed thinking how did the metaphor of your life get into a song? I love how Nikita is prominent yet always in background even when she is the only one singing. Imtiaz loves Mohit and we don’t dislike him either but here, the song belongs to Nikita. Hear her ‘intercept’ Mohit right before the song ends (at 3:12 mins), as if opening her hitherto unopened wounds, as if to make a point. It would take a long long time for to recover from this song. Art imitates life, did someone just say that?

Yaadoṅ meiṅJonita Gandhi is powerful and arrests your attention with her range barely seconds into the song. Mohammed  irfan attempts a pitch which is clearly new for him and even though I feel he is the most undervalued singer we have today, he seems more at ease on low notes which isn’t a crime. This is an intense song that gets ‘intensity’ right, perhaps that’s why I wont play it again. Mad props to Pritam for structuring the song the way he has. 

RaulaPagḍi ka rang bhi pink ho gaya. Diljit Dosanjh and Neeti mohan go through some interesting lyrics without much to take home to. The tune lacks sincerity and verve that you expect from an Imtiaz Ali brand punjabi song. It makes AṚ Rahman’s embarrassing Punjabi effort in highway sound like gold and that’s just awful. 

Jee ve SohaneyaNooran sisters scare me off late. You can almost imagine high notes and uncalled for aggression in simple songs. Thankfully, barring some mid antra alaaps, Nooran sisters don’t bother your senses much by clouding lyrics with excessive vocal circus. A song that aimed for Lambi Judai pathos, but doesn’t get close enough. Still, a good effort.

PhurrCringeworthy lyrics sung by a somewhat studio-sque Mohit Chauhan aside, the vibe of phurr is pretty dubstep-ey and breezy. The song is clearly a way to place the song in the minds of Amreekan/bidesi junta so that they can throng theatres. It ends too soon and to me, it sounds more like a strategic afterthought than anything else. There is a lot of forced pizaaaz with Bollywood tukbandi which doesn’t work whenever you hear Mohit’s part.  Being touted as the first song in hindi cinema to be put behind a paywall, I would buy the rest of the album twice than buying this once,  but then, we did buy the entire album all songs as ‘singles’ so that’s that! The film version sounds much better than the music video version because Tushar Joshi gets a larger play at things and honestly does a kickass job at it. 

In spite of having few ‘normal’ songs in Raula, jee ve sohneya, butterfly and beech beech mein, the album is a cracker because of the goodness of all the other songs including remixes! When 99% of film remixes these days are just ‘play-the-original-track-with-triple-jhankar-beats-and-add-few-scratches’, there is a clear effort in remixes of JHMS, and a big wolf whistle to Lady Bee and DJ Shilpi for that. Go ladies! I still cannot believe they took so MUCH time to release the songs and as I type this, album is still not available on iTunes. 

There is never a dull moment and the best part is it isn’t overwhelming either. You can stomp your feet and clap your hands in all the songs, with varied pace and trust me, it won’t feel awkward. Albums like JHMS are a ray of hope that all is not lost when a typical commercial film decides to include music for melody and not just for caller tunes and shitty tribute videos. Irshad Kamil, Pritam and the entire team is on fire, and this man Arijit Singh is raising the bar, one good song at a time. Dear Arijit, you are allowed a million ‘mohabbat barsa dena‘ for songs like Safar and Hawayeiṅ

In the world of mainstream Hindi films of 2017 so far, JHMS has a sound and rhythm that is like a distinctive click of a top class stiletto on a eerily quiet subway. Imtiaz Ali knows what he is doing with music, and there cannot be a more solid testimonial to this fact than this wonderful, wonderful album. If only this blogpost could scream how much I love this album! 

My picks – Hawayeiṅ, hawayeiṅ, safar, radha, ghar, parinda, all remixes and repeat!

– Rohwit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

किनारा में एक चीज़ तो कमाल की थी. जो कहावत है ना कि ’बाप का माल’,
तो बाप का माल बहुत चुराया मैंने” 

Pancham

Without any doubts, one can say that Sachin Dev Burman is one of the greatest music directors of all time. His musical creations are forever, but his most special creation was his son “Pancham”, yet another musical genius whose creations stood the test of time. Pancham was born on this day 78 years ago on June 27th 1939. Pancham’s destiny was given a definite path when Dada Burman took him along from Kolkata to Mumbai, despite reservations from Pancham’s mother & naani. Pancham began his music learning and soon started contributing to Dada’s music at an early age. Dada Burman used one of Pancham’s tune in ‘Funtoosh’ for the song “Ae meri topi palat ke aa“.

Pancham continued to be a big support to Dada Burman as an assistant music director, both officially and unofficially.  A lot of musical pieces from 60s and 70s of Dada Burman carry a significant and visible Pancham. Pyaasa‘s theme for Mala Sinha, the unforgettable Harmonica play in “Hai apna dil to awaara“, the title and dance music in Teen Deviyaan along with his harmonica, to name just a few.  One of the most significant achievement of Pancham’s career was that he could come out of the shadow of the very successful father and created his own independent space with his distinct style, sound, and thirst for innovation. Yet one can always find a lot of traces of Dada Burman’s music in Pancham’s composition in the later years. Pancham had made an honest confession about it in a radio show, admitting that he recycled/reused a lot of his father’s tunes. Much more than a father-son relationship,  it was a creative collaboration of two brilliant minds supplementing & complementing each other in the musical journey where each of them supported the cause of other.    Today we explore his “Baap Ka Maal” in this post. Join in.

1.  Kandibo na Fagun gele – SD Burman / Abke Na Saawan Barse – Kinara 

Dada Burman sang and composed the Bengali non-film song in earlier years of his career. Pancham reused the tune to create Abke na saawan barse in Kinara (1977)

 

 

2. Aami Chinu Eka – SD Burman / Khali Haath Shaam Aayi Hai – RD Burman

Once again Pancham took inspiration from one of the Dada Burman’s earlier works, to come up with beautiful Khaali haath shaam aayi hai in Ijaazat(1987). The influence is primarily in the opening part as Pancham gave the composition a new look, color and mood.

 

3. Sujata Title Music – SD Burman / Aapke Kamre Me Koi Rehta Hai – RD Burman

An interesting and experimental makeover to what originally was a popular Rabindra Sangeet (Ore jhawr nemey aaye) which Dada Burman used in Sujata’s title music, and later Pancham reworked it to create the musical extravaganza as ‘Aapke Kamre me koi rehta hai‘ in Yaadon ki Baraat (1973). He has also used the tune to create a beautiful romantic number a few years earlier in a Bengali film Rajkumari (1970).

 

4. Hai ki jey kori – SD Burman / Tune O Rangeele – RD Burman

Pancham used the basic structure of the Mukhda and reworked the “Piya Piya” hook to come up with another melody in Kudrat (1983) for Tune o rangeele.

 

5. Katha kao dao saara – SD Burman / Ummeed Hogi Koi – RD Burman

Dada Burman’s version (which was not composed by him but Subol Dasgupta, as informed by Aniruddha Bhattacharjee) has minimalism in folk ambiance, while Pancham gives it a modern color for the brilliant non-film collaboration “Dil Padosi Hai” (1987). Both excel in their respective versions.  Two melancholic beauties derived from one composition.

 

6. Kuhu kuhu koyaliya – SD Burman / Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya – RD Burman

Dada Burman sang this popular Nazrulgeeti in early part of his career. Pancham reworked it with Gulzar for the unreleased DevDas (1975). Dada Burman’s version carry the earthy/rustic feel of Jaggery, while Pancham version had the sweet flow of finished honey with the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.

 

7. Nitol paye rinik jhink – SD Burman / Jab bhi koi kangana – RD Burman

Dada Burman’s popular composition which also has traces of Rabindra Sangeet in the interlude was reused by Pancham in Shaukeen (1982).

 

 

8. Aami Soite pari – SD Burman / Kya bura hai kya bhala – RD Burman

A beautiful Karta composition again with minimal use of instrument just with the use of Sarangi & Tabla. Pancham  gave his version a modern qawwali treatment for unreleased Libaas. His second ever & last song with Lata in duets.

 

 

9. Madhu brindabone dole raadha – SD Burman / Meethe Bol bole – RD Burman

A semi classical gem by Dada Burman. Beta Burman reused it in Kinara (1977) with a lot of improvisation in treatment

 

10. Rongila rongila rongila re – SD Burman / Kuchh na kaho opening – RD Burman

The soul song of Dada Burman, a song which marked the beginning of Dada Burman’s musical journey, and Pancham used the core hook beautifully in his legendary comeback score of 1942 – A Love Story, as if he was given his last Tribute to his father & their collaboration.

 

And finally, here it is – Pancham’s confession on “Baap Ka Maal” -Hear from the Horse’s mouth.

 

 

 

NasbandiEmergency was imposed on India on this day 42 years ago, on June 25, 1975, and it lasted for about 21 months. During the emergency, Kishore Kumar was banned by Ministry of I&B on All India Radio & Doordarshan for his non-participation in one of the major public events organised by the people in power then.

When Emergency was finally revoked in 1977, India opted to form a new Government, the country saw a big turn around and supported Janta Party coalition.  With Janta Party in power, Kishore Kumar sang a protest song for the film Nasbandi (1978) and scored an interesting musical revenge.  The film was produced & directed by IS Johar.

The film version of the song was censored and curtailed for a stanza featuring names of some politicians.  The antagonistic lyrics were penned by Indeevar and the song was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji.   An unusual musical documentation of an important event in modern history.

 

 

 

kishore_gandhiteredeshme

Kishore da recording the song with Kalyanji-Anandji. IS Johar can be seen too
– Pic credits: Kaustubh Pingle

 

Full Lyrics :

जनता की आवाज़ है ये
सुन ले ओ बापू गांधी
ये कैसा हाहाकार देश मे
ये कैसी आग की आंधी

कहां गयी वो तेरी अहिंसा, कहां गया वो प्यार
गांधी तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार
बापू तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार

इक भारत में बन गये जलियांवाले बाग़ हज़ार
बापू तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

तूने जब आवाज़ लगाई, सारा हिंदुस्तान उठा
अंग्रेज़ों के दिल भी दहले, ऐसा इक तूफ़ान उठा
खुशी-खुशी तेरे कहने पर भारतवासी जेल गये
सीने पे गोली झेल गये, अपने प्राणों पर खेल गये
नाम पे तेरे लाखों जवां, दुनिया के सब सुख भूल गये
दुल्हन का घूंघट बिन खोले ही फांसी पर झूल गये
तू स्वराज ले आया, हम तो फिर भी रहे लाचार
गांधी तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार

आज़ादी की जंग लड़ा था क्या इसीलिये ये हिन्दुस्तां
अरे न्याय मांगने न्यायालय मे जा ना सके कोई इंसान
कितने ही निर्दोष यहां ’मीसा’ के अन्दर बन्द हुए
अंधे कुएं में कितने ही आज़ाद समंदर बंद हुए
इस्मत लूटा करते हैं जो बन कर लाज के पहरेदार
अपनी सत्ता रखने को जो छीने जनता के अधिकार
सौंप गया है ऐसे के हाथ मे देश की क्यों पतवार
गांधी तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

देखी कहीं कलमबन्दी, देखी कहीं ज़ुबांबन्दी
डर की हुकुमत हर दिल पर थी, सारा हिन्दुस्तां बन्दी
नसबन्दी के नाम पे जुल्म हुए वो दुखियो दीनों पर
लगता था लटका हो जैसे प्रजातन्त्र संगीनों पर
तुर्कमान वो आस्मां टूटा जहां ज़मीनों पर
चढ़ा दिये जब बुलडोज़र जब बेबस लोगों के सीनों पर
अपनो के हाथों ही अपनों पर गोली की बौछार
गांधी तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

सारे देश पर ज़ुल्मो-सितम के घोर अन्धेरे जब छाए
तब प्रकाश की किरणें लेकर जय प्रकाश आगे आए
विजय लक्ष्मी पंडित ने जनता का मनोबल बढ़ा दिया
राज नारायण ने नामुमकिन, मुमकिन करके दिखा दिया
मज़हब से कम नहीं मुल्क, बोले जामा मस्जिद के इमाम
प्रजातन्त्र को नव-जीवन देने आये जगजीवन राम
जॉर्ज फ़र्नांडिस तोड के आये इल्ज़ामों की जन्ज़ीरें
श्रीमोरारजी के आने से चमक उठी फिर तकदीरें
चरन सिंह और चन्द्रशेखर ने लोगों के दिलों को जीता
वापस ले आई जनता अपनी आज़ादी की सीता
अटलबिहारी, आडवानी, नाना ने किया उद्धार
गांधी तेरे नाम की अब होगी जय-जयकार

अरे जो भी हुकुमत ज़ुल्म करेगी उसकी होगी हार
जो भी हुकुमत ज़ुल्म करेगी उसकी होगी हार


फ़िल्म : नसबन्दी -1978
गायक : किशोर कुमार & कोरस
गीतकार : इंदीवर
संगीतकार : कल्याणजी-आनंद्जी

 

Remembering Kishori Amonkar

Posted: April 7, 2017 by moifightclub in music, RIP
Tags:

Kishori Amonkar passed away this week. I have a failing (as against passing) knowledge of Hindustani classical music. I have what they call a good ear for music. I can discern a few ragas based on years of listening to few favorite compositions by classical vocalists. And, my one-time obsession of doing well in movie/music quizzes meant I had to know the answer to ‘which raga is this famous Hindi film song based on’ kind of questions that usually came my way. Within this limited repertoire of my classical Hindustani musical knowledge, however, I can safely say I must have listened to Kishori Amonkar for a couple of thousand hours over the years.

How it started is a story by itself.

I must have been about 11 years old when a boy named Kishore, who was about 3 years older, entered our friend circle. Or, to be more precise, our circles merged. Over months of playing cricket, football and generally wasting time together, some of the older boys in the group started calling him Kishori. I duly followed suit. On enquiring about reasons for this strange name (I had never come across a girl named Kishori), one of the older boys told me about a singer named Kishori Amonkar who occasionally featured on DD. I filed that away in my memory and went on with life. A few years later I was old enough to start buying blank T Series cassettes (Rs 12 for 60 minutes tape) and using the old Philips recorder to tape anything that caught my fancy – songs from Chitrahar, ad jingles and title tracks of TV serials. The idea of recording something was immensely fascinating. And, soon it got out of control. I’d use the same cassette to record things over and over again – news, cricket commentary, Meryl Streep’s Race to Save the Planet and everything in between.

One late Monday evening I sat with the recorder while the weekly staple – Sangeet Ka Akhil Bhartiya Karyakram – came on. Normally, I would switch off at this time and go to bed. But then the announcer mentioned the name of the artist for that evening – Kishori Amonkar. Well, I stayed back and decided to record it. I didn’t care much about what was played that evening but I recorded about 25 minutes of her signing. My summer vacations soon began and on afternoons when there was no one to play I would listen to the tapes. Since I was being indiscriminate in listening to anything that was there on them, I didn’t forward any tracks. And, so I heard Kishori Amonkar many a times over that month. In May that year, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. The state mourning that followed meant there was nothing on DD except classical music. And, there again was Kishori Amonkar. I watched her sing and what impressed me more was her persona. She had a presence; a certain magnetism that reached out to you despite your complete ignorance of her craft.

Over the next decade I kept that cassette and heard those tracks many times over especially during late evenings in solitude. There was almost a pattern in a certain year in the 90s where I would play Maya Memsaab, Libaas and Kishori Amonkar in that order before going to sleep. One fine day (or evening) the cassette gave away; the tape came out of the cassette while the song was playing and was completely mangled. From then on I listened to her sporadically. I never got myself to buy a CD of her songs. I attended a SPIC MACAY event in late 90s where I heard her sing and I came away with a sense of satisfaction of having heard a legend. That was it.

Only a few years back while scouring through Youtube, I came across a whole treasure trove of Kishori Amonkar songs. In them I found the two compositions that I had on my cassette. They weren’t the exact recordings but it was the same composition. I also learnt why one of those songs felt so right listening to them in the evening. It was Raag Bhoop – a raag to be played in the first ‘pahar’ of the night. I heard them on Wednesday evening when I heard she was no more. I have linked them here.

I was happy to note the next day she was given a state funeral by the Maharashtra Government. Maybe she deserved a bigger honour. But I’m happy that a city like Mumbai still maintains its respect for its true legends. In times when we seem ever so keen on reviving our cultural identity and nationalism, I’d think Kishori Amonkar and her legacy are true representation of what’s great about our culture. That’s what needs protection and nurturing. And, keeping that alive wouldn’t need any vigilantism. It would only need a keen ear and an open heart.

Subrat Mohanty

Exclusive preview to biggest and deepest Hindi film number of 2017.
(And it’s only February now!)

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to and rate some of the best songs of 2016 (more about it in a different post). The one thing that struck me about lyrics of many songs was the rampant fake Sufism, faux Punjabiyat and false soulfulness running through them. There seems to be a random Sufi song generator app that lyricists have got their paws on.

This has prompted me to pen my own blockbuster Hindi film song for 2017. I mean, why not? I too have no talent.

This song’s got everything: Amir Khushro, Surdas (why not?), Peer Meher Ali Shah (for the undivided Punjab diaspora), Rahim (Why Kabir everytime?) and Surdas again (making up years of neglect). I have written the song below in Devanagari and provided some context to the lyrics to give you a sense of the ‘depth’ of this song.

This is the song that 2017 has been waiting for. Please spread this far and wide and help me turn into a Hindi film lyricist. 2017 will be poorer without this.

My wishlist for this blockbuster:

Composer: Pritam or anyone who needs a hit
Singers: Arijit Singh, Kavita Seth, Nooran Sisters, Mame Khan, Jasleen Royal, Benny Dayal, Shillong Choir
Picturised on: Ranbeer Kapoor /Salman Khan / Siddharth Malhotra with Alia Bhatt / Deepika / Kangana Ranaut chipping in. Though I won’t mind Chunky Pandey singing this in Sajid Khan’s next
Situation: Heartbreak song that plays randomly through the movie in surprising upbeat fashion. The Surdas elements play out to hiphop beats at nightclubs

अरब यार तोरी बसंत मनायो
सदा रखिए लाल गुलाल
हज़रत ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल
खेलिए धमाल, धमाल, धमाल

The song starts off with Amir Khushro’s lines thereby immediately establishing its depth. Plus, we get Khwaja which is necessary. And, most importantly, a hook – dhamaal, dhamaal. It can’t get better. Wait, it can if you get Mame Khan Manganiyar to start this in a full-throated way.

What do these lines mean?
Just focus on dhamaal.

दिल इज़्तिरार, दिल इज़्तिरार,
है बेक़रार, है बेक़रार,
मुंतज़िर है तेरा, तू है मेरा,
चाँद को डाले जेब में, घूमे दर-ब-दर,
सब को नकार, ख़ुद को नकार
Now we get into my original song writing territory. What I have done, cleverly, is to bring some heavy-lifting Urdu words that rhyme. Look up their meaning on the web since I too didn’t know them till this morning. But they all make sense. Then, I swerve into Gulzar territory by putting the “Chaand” in the “Jeb” and round it up with a self destructive idiom (Khud Ko Nakaar). We will have Arijit Singh sing these lines in his usual short-of-breath, deep in pain but soul-less way. I can almost picture Ranbir Kapoor running the streets of London, colliding with assorted NRIs while these words ring away in the background.

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

This is to be sung in chorus by Shillong Choir. See, the value of picking that dhamaal hook!

हरी ना मिले माइ जनम, ऐसे ही लाग्यो जान
जोवति मघ बासर निसि, जात जुग समान
चात्रिग पिक बचन सषी, सुने न परत कान

Ladies and Gentlemen, behold! Surdas makes an entry into Hindi film songs with these words of ‘birah’. Kavita Seth to sing this while Alia Bhatt is downing tequila shots at a LA bar.

यह वस्ल मेरा कब से मुसलसल,
बेबाक़ आरज़ू मेरी कब हो मुकम्मल,
तुझ से कुरबत चाहे, तेरा सुकून चाहे,
दिल की दराज़ में है रखे ख़ाक तेरे प्यार के,
सीने में है उठाए दर्द-ए-सकल

Back to my original lyrics territory! These lines are actually quite good. Benny Dayal can sing them normally and then do a little rap jig with them.

किथे मेहेर अली, किथे तेरी सना,
ग़ुस्ताख़ अँखियाँ किथे जा अदियाँ,
अज सिक मित्रां दी वधेरिए,
क्यूँ दिलरी उदास घनेरिए?

Pir Meher Ali Shah comes in to play now. The theme is separation as it has been through the song. But this could be interpreted as separation from the motherland at the diaspora level. The punjabiyat of the lines make them perfect for Nooran sisters to croon their hearts out.

लकीरों से कर चला हूँ मैं शिकायत,
सरफिरा मलँग हूँ ना मानु मैं हिदायत,
(ज्यों नाचत कठपुतरी, करम नचावत गात,
अपने हाथ रहीम ज्यों, नहीं अपने हाथ)
उड़ गया है परिंदा बाग़बान छोड़के,
हाथों से अपनी क़िस्मतों की ज़ंजीरें तोड़के,
ख़ुद की कही को कर चला हूँ मैं रवायत

Again, my original lines but in Amitabh Bhattacharya (AB) mould this time. Because my aim in life is to be poor man’s AB. There is enough parinde, baaghban etc to fool you into believing this is AB.

But note my subversion. In between (in brackets) I have incorporated a Rahim doha. Just to maintain the cosmic balance from overuse of Kabir dohas. That doha is perfect for Jasleen Royal to sing in a breathless, hurtful manner. All other AB like lines are perfect for Arijit Singh to cry his heart out.

जा दिन तें नैननी अंतर भय
अनुदिन मुश बाढ़ी अति बारि
मनहु सूर है सुभग सरोवर
उमगि चले मरजाद उदारि

Back to the criminally neglected Surdas with Benny Dayal this time rapping on them. Alia Bhatt tequila shots continue unabated.

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

Close the song out with unlimited repeat of these lines; all building into a crescendo of the kind that will have you imagine Sufi dervishes whirling away like Hrithik Roshan in Jodhaa Akbar. Bring back Mame Khan for this.

There you have it. The perfect 2017 blockbuster number.

I have put the whole song together below for you to consume in how God meant it to be consumed.

अरब यार तोरी बसंत मनायो
सदा रखिए लाल गुलाल
हज़रत ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल
खेलिए धमाल, धमाल, धमाल

दिल इज़्तिरार, दिल इज़्तिरार,
है बेक़रार, है बेक़रार,
मुंतज़िर है तेरा, तू है मेरा,
चाँद को डाले जेब में, घूमे दर-ब-दर,
सब को नकार, ख़ुद को नकार

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

हरी ना मिले माइ जनम, ऐसे ही लाग्यो जान
जोवति मघ बासर निसि, जात जुग समान
चात्रिग पिक बचन सषी, सुने न परत कान

यह वस्ल मेरा कब से मुसलसल,
बेबाक़ आरज़ू मेरी कब हो मुकम्मल,
तुझ से कुरबत चाहे, तेरा सुकून चाहे,
दिल की दराज़ में है रखे ख़ाक तेरे प्यार के,
सीने में है उठाए दर्द-ए-सकल

किथे मेहेर अली, किथे तेरी सना,
ग़ुस्ताख़ अँखियाँ किथे जा अदियाँ,
अज सिक मित्रां दी वधेरिए,
क्यूँ दिलरी उदास घनेरिए?

लकीरों से कर चला हूँ मैं शिकायत,
सरफिरा मलँग हूँ ना मानु मैं हिदायत,
(ज्यों नाचत कठपुतरी, करम नचावत गात,
अपने हाथ रहीम ज्यों, नहीं अपने हाथ)
उड़ गया है परिंदा बाग़बान छोड़के,
हाथों से अपनी क़िस्मतों की ज़ंजीरें तोड़के,
ख़ुद की कही को कर चला हूँ मैं रवायत

जा दिन तें नैननी अंतर भय
अनुदिन मुश बाढ़ी अति बारि
मनहु सूर है सुभग सरोवर
उमगि चले मरजाद उदारि

दिल मचाये यह बवाल, यह बवाल
ख्वाजा संग खेलिए धमाल, धमाल

– Subrat Mohanty

The list might include some songs that some of us might have heard earlier. Pardon me for my late discovery. As the saying goes, a thing of beauty is joy forever. So here goes the playlist. If you want to read, then scroll down, else just play it and let us know what you think of it.

Dhafer Youssef is a Tunisian composer and after coming across his performance in Bombay (recorded by a dear friend and shared with me), I have been itching to tell the world about him. If you haven’t heard his earthy tunes, I suggest you head straight to his Youtube account. I have included a 4 year old clip in the playlist. Trust me, his work is much wider than what you will see in this playlist.

The sun won’t set (Anoushka Shankar – Norah Jones)Although the entire album (Traces of you) is brilliant, this song somehow did the trick for me. Norah Jones and Anoushka’s Sitar have such a musical symmetry to it. Ravi in Hindi means Sun. The song is an obvious tribute to their father and a classic one at that.

Bajre da sita (Neha Bhasin)Much before we came across her splendid version of jag ghumeya, Neha came out with this beautiful interpretation of a folk song. Easily one of the most promising voices we have today. Hats off to the light arrangement by Sameer Uddin as well.

Ismail Ka Urdu SheherIs a Sci-fi comic conceptualized by Zohaib Kazi. He penned and composed the music for his comic (yes! music for his comic) which was breathtakingly good to put it mildly. You can read our recco post on the same here. The album has artists like Sara Haider, Zoe Viccaji, Jaffer ali Zaidi, Omran shafique, Samra khan and Nida Khurram. Do pick this one up. Easily the find of the year. There is a distinct feeling of a free fall in what Zohaib does, and I love it! (Fun fact – The last song in the playlist is also composed by Zohaib and it came out 4 years ago. check it!).

AsWeKeepSearchingI am late to discover this band and even though we have put the link to their song called ‘tattva‘ (which came out in 2013), I strongly urge you to check their album titled Khwaab. The entire album is here. Search the song titled ‘Other side’ and melt away. We are looking at you people @Aswekeepsearching, give us more!

Ahesta bero (Ahmad Wali) – Essentially a wedding song. The understated singing and the simple 90s like arrangement of the song is heartwarming to say the least. Heart aches if you hear it and think about what has happened in that region.

Sunoh Shilpa Rao – While private albums aren’t topping the agenda of artists these days, it was heartening to see Kailash kher, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Javed Bashir, Monica Dogra (really?) and few others come out with theirs. I loved the mood of this album by Shilpa Rao, and in spite of the fact that my favorite song from the album (Ka karu sajni) doesn’t have a music video right now, the one you will see in the playlist is equally good.

Gerua/Kabira cover medley (Bryden-Parth feat. The choral riff) – Rarely have I come across a remix/re-imagined version of a song that can make the original pale in comparison. The simplicity of this mash-up made me love Gerua and Kabira.

Maya (Bipul Chhetri) – We are so happy we discovered his work sometime back and this year he gave us another stunner of an album. Do check his work out and you can buy his album from oklisten dot com.

Ae ri sakhi morey (Papon) –  In what would be yet another good album this year that was titled The story so far, Papon gave this ethereal tribute to a timeless composition in his own honey dipped style of singing. We loved it, hope you do so too!

Nawazishein  (Shuja Haider) – Discovered this song thanks to this season of Coke Studio Pakistan. Some found it terribly low on energy, some loved the helplessness in the singing. Depends which side of life you are when you play this, but do play this once, for no matter where you are, you might just end up humming Kaneezein hain…

Coke Sudio 9 – This year, Coke Studio Pakistan experimented with multiple composers and giving them company were disco lights that went haywire on their own will. It was a weak season but left us with some gems, like always. We have reviewed the season here and have included 4 best songs of the season in the playlist. Hear the soothing lullaby vocals of Ali, the reincarnation of a timeless classic by Momina and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, The rock solid combo of Saein Zahoor and Sanam Marvi, and the ever so moving Abida Parveen, who, according to me, sang the song of the season. Do check out the full playlist at the link above as well.

Tu mera nahi – Nescafe Basement (Xulfi) – Nescafe basement has been doing some really exciting work off late. Still this gem from season 4 leaves me teary eyed every time I listen to it. Great arrangement, killer flute, lovely execution and so much pain!

Mil ke baithenge + Vanjhali Wala – Angrej (Amrinder Gill) – Yes, I cry when I hear a good song and many a times it has nothing to do with lyrics. Here, however, whatever little I understood, made me waste more and more tissue papers. What a lovely composition. Hear it. Then, when i hear Vanjhali Wala, it makes me smile as it reminded me of a certain Coke studio (Pak) song that we have featured here. Delightful Amrinder!

Swahh bann ke – Punjab 1984 (Diljit Dosanjh) – Diljit Dosanjh has sensibilities that can outrun most thinking actors of today, and a voice that can melt stones. With this song, he politely pointed out that he is just not ‘bruaaaaah’ singer. Quite simply my favourite song from him, so far. Yes, it is a sad song. No, you don’t want to know the meaning of it, trust me on that.

Yad laglaSairat (Ajay Gogavle) – Well, to state the obvious, it doesn’t matter whether you listen to this song on V-Moda headphones or on a bad quality tweeter speaker, you cannot stop yourself from dancing. The sheer force of love and melody when combined sound exactly like this. We loved this album, as you can read here, but this remains the pick for me. Ajay-Atul, you sexy sexy people! :*

And that’s it.

Please let us know your picks and discoveries of the year. In addition to the non-bollywood playlist, we are also putting the ‘dinchak-playlist’ which might make you cringe but well, you might want to dance on it anyway. Wishing you a musical new year from all of us here @moifighclub!

Here goes the dinchak list, that contains my 2 favourite Hindi film themes from this year as well. Have fun!

– @Rohwit

adhm

This year was mostly dull, film songs wise. The clutter was celebrated by digging the same old formula to return a fake spectacle of sanitized arrangement, auto-tune overload, and, in most cases zero relevance to the film which the album represented. My ‘top film songs’ are as under. Yes, it features a song from a Sunny Leone film and another song from a film you might not have heard about. These songs remain in my playlist, till today as we close the year.

I would suggest you click the play button and then keep scrolling down to read the post. The songs will play in the sequence you will read about them.

Dug dugi dug (Jugni) Vishal bhardwaj‘s voice, Clinton‘s free flowing composition and Shellee‘s beautiful poetry, all made up for a fantastic song that lasted the whole year in spite of the fact that the film released in January. The album was quite ok but nothing lasted longer than Vishal’s balm of a voice in this song.

Dil mein hua ghotala (Saala Khadoos) – Now I am mindful that there is an ‘original’ of this song in another language, but I don’t think most songs retain their charm when they are reborn as a Hindi film song. Ok jaanu?  That said, the frisky vocals of Monali and the ‘toom toom’ in the song made it impossible for me to take the song off my playlist. Santosh Narayanan gets full marks for using strings which are intertwined beautifully in the song. Monali Thakur, sing more?

Haminastu (Fitoor) – Rarely have I come across a song so beautiful about Kashmir. Tapas’ superlative string play, Zeb‘s spirited singing and Amit Trivedi‘s talent culminated into a magnificent song that will outlast us all.

Bollywood Diaries* – I wish I could write a recco post about this beauty. Oh wait! I did! You can read me raving about the album here. Vipin Patwa‘s music and Dr. Sagar‘s lyrics were beautiful and devastating in equal measure. Hear Titli (By Papon), my pick of this album. It might have escaped your attention but tell me if it doesn’t affect you as a song, as an album. Highly recommended.

Single chal reya haiMohit chauhan got the bhopali accent right and Krsna‘s composition made the song even more adorable. I do suspect that the lyricist Rajshekhar has paid a tribute to Javed Akhtar by mentioning him, subtly. Anyway, the cute song’s high point is – Tu hai ab tak akeli, humko khal reya hai…ha! what fun!

Le chala (One Night Stand) – Jeet Ganguli can melt us with his romantic tune is old news. For One Night Stand (the film), he teamed up with Jubin Nautiyal for a song that deserved much wider audience than it got. This is one of the better penned songs by Manoj Muntashir and even if you are rolling eyes thinking ‘Sunny Leone’s film? really?’, give this song a listen, you will know what I mean. A romantic song, done right.

Waiting* – Mike Mccleary is much more than someone who makes ‘English-type’ songs. He has a distinctive sound and it is time for the ‘gyaani’ mainstream people to fuse his sound with good lyrics. The effect of that would be something to look forward to, just like it was in this album. My pick is tu hai to main hu, of course.

Mehandi (Dhanak) – While the album didn’t set my playlist on fire, this song from Dhanak rocked and how! Tapas Relia‘s earthy fusion and raw singing by Anwar, Swaroop & Niyaz sounded just too good to miss. Do not miss the khadtal all throughout! This is just a glimpse of what we can achieve in bollywood music if our neeyat is at right place.

Udta Punjab* – This album by Amit Trivedi didn’t soar exactly but gave us the delightful Kanika Kapoor in memorable da da dasse, Splendid re-imagination of ik kudi, and my favorite title song of the year – Udta Punjab. Disclaimer – Now the lyricist is somewhat related to our blog, but trust me when I say this – Haven’t heard such wildness in a song this year. Andar da kutta, rifle dikha ke mushayre lutiye forever! Also, fuck disclaimers! Amit trivedi and Vishal dadlani should be fined for sounding this good with a song that has Bakaiti written all over it.

Jag Ghoomeya  (Sultan) – Salman, err! Sultan had some decent tunes to its credit but Neha Bhasin’s affectionately sung version stole my heart and hid it somewhere in those strings that accompany her throughout the song. A song for bonfires and those mushy evenings. Kudos to Vishal-Shekhar and Irshad Kamil as well.

Chu liya (Hai Apna Dil Toh Awara) – We don’t come across such simply composed songs anymore. So kudos to Ajay Singha for creating this song. Papon and Neha Rajpal sound like fragile lovers. (Fun fact – The central riff of this song is pretty similar to Bipul Chettri‘s asaan from the album that we featured here 2 years ago. Still it is a damn good song.)

Mirzya* – If only music could save the fate of a film! I was quick to pronounce Mirzya as the album of the year in my post here and it pretty much remained so till someone else invaded the playlist. More on that later. Mirzya, if not the best, can be surely called as the most experimental album of the year. We have included the title song of the film in the playlist but the entire album remains our favorite.

Dariya (Baar Baar Dekho) – Granted that the song is a case study in excessive auto-tuning, still, I love the way Arko has retained the emotion so well in lyrics and the way he has sang this. Hopelessly in love, flowing like a dariya.

Besabriyan (MSDhoni – The Untold Story) – Amaal- Armaan Malik are good guys but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find out which song of theirs belongs to which album. Still, this gem from ‘Dhoni’ makes me soar the way Udaan‘s music did. Yes, big statement, but Manoj Muntashir has penned a beauty and full marks to Amaal and Armaan for such a fabulous effort.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil* – For me, the album of the year. For me, the album that should get Amitabh Bhattacharya and Pritam all the awards. The way songs came together and helped the narrative was unparalleled this year. Channa mereya is where I have been living since I heard it for the first time, I don’t think I will ever relocate from there. It has a destructive pleasure that lucky few among us have experienced. Give all the awards to Arijit Singh already!

Haanikaarak bapu (Dangal) – While I love Raftaar‘s Dhaakad a lot, I go crazy at the smart lyrics and crisp presentation of this song. Sarwar Khan & Sartaz Khan Barna are such a treat! Also, Amitabh Bhattacharya should be weighed in gold for every word, and the way he has used them here – haanikarak, baapu, torchar, vaahanchalak, mogambo, khalnayak…wooot! Total riot.

This does it! Yes, this year had Mr. Rahman coming out with an inconsequential album that neither sounded true to its time nor the present. This year also had Neerja which fit the film well but sadly didn’t stay in my playlist beyond the film’s release and stay in theaters. We had almost Sanam Re which was almost instructive in telling us not to expect much from the songs as it is. Then we had embarrassing attempts like Zubaan, Terra Surrooor, Fever and so on.

That said, we have a ‘Dhinchak Bollywood’ playlist as well that we will share in our post about the non-film songs of the year. Till then, share your favorites and let us know what you think of this playlist.

Rohwit

(* signifies that I liked the entire album but in the interest of keeping the post shorter than an Ashutosh Gowarikar film, I had to pick one song)