Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Before you read this, let’s set the mood! 🙂 Just go and listen to the first 10 seconds of this (embedded below also) song. And then the next 10. And then the entire song, the verses as well.  And the interludes, especially the one at 3.08 sec.

It does something to you, right? Not at one place, but at thousand different places. Not one thing, a thousand different things. All those things carefully placed side by side or on top of each other or front and behind, all resonating against one another, the instruments and the senses they evoke, all combined into one rich, wild forest of music.

The first time I heard it, I went whoa, this is crazy! So carefree, so unique, so much banjarapan, so much more than Mehbooba mehbooba. I loved it! It was in cable TV times, CVO, I think. Had little clue who this R.D.Burman chap was, but knew he was somewhat special because Dad spoke highly of him and sister’s eyes began to shine when his songs played. Slowly, mine began too.

 

Manzil khoyi, dil bhi khoya milke aapse

That’s the thing with his music, it’s not about his prolificacy it’s about the richness that stays with you long after the song is over. Yet, on repeat listening, seems as fresh. So it feels it’s always been around yet it gives some new joy next time. Yes, it’s true, I must admit, of Chura liya hain tumne too, a song so ghisaoed that even Asha can’t make me listen to it anymore. But then sometimes, R.D. does, even today. I give in helplessly when the glasses start clinking mischievously. Ting ti-ding, ting ti-ding. R. D. is a sly musician, you know. Oh, did I say musician? I meant magician.

Years went by in the safe familiarity of his presence, never really actively sought though. The news of his passing had hit a dull spot, he wasn’t a potent memory, wasn’t attached to his music in my heart and mind yet. And then 1942, A Love Story happened. It rekindled all that sheer amazement I had when I heard Kaho kaise for the first time. Just that now I knew who this Burman chap was and promptly proceeded to fall in love with him; after his death and also much after I had fallen in love with his music.

Kaho kaise rasta bhool pade

It wasn’t until Jhankar Beats happened in 2003 that I actually realized this man is a cult in himself. And that he is still alive. Fourteen years later, watching that very fine documentary, Pancham Unmixed, reaffirmed this fact.

Just like R.D., this film seems to have been around me for the longest time. I happened to first know of it in 2009. I couldn’t watch it then, and it has crossed my path many times since and finally, like lost opportunities that are actually hidden boons, it fell in my lap the other day.

I’ve always wanted to understand the man and his music better but I didn’t go to know the technicalities of his music or the history of his life. I already knew what those who were closest to him thought and felt about him. So much is spoken of him everywhere you keep coming across these things all the time even if you are not looking. They are important of course, but yesterday I just wanted to feel the joy of knowing R.D., better, again. I wanted to feel that joy of familiarity and the joy of rediscovering him, again and again, just like I do with his music. Also watching old, favorite, Hindi films and film songs in NFAI gives an especially delicious, romantic kick. I went in smiling and came out crying.

Bahut door hoke bahut paas ho tum

I am a sucker for documentaries loaded with great artists and experts, especially Hindi film legends. Where else do you get to listen to so many great minds at the same time? There is a certain precision in their articulation and incisiveness in their observations that lends another dimension to the subject. The film is a huge knowledge base for R.D. Burman historiography but that is not the main reason it is important. There is something that binds the experts, friends, colleagues, and fans in the film and it is above the man or his music. It is the nature of their love for him; reverence, admiration, adoration, protectiveness, affection and a strange kind of happy-sad nostalgia of still feeling a man long-gone around them. It fills the film to the brim and I think it is this effusive romance of R.D. that makes the film far more valuable and memorable. It is this that I wanted to soak in and soak in I did, fully. It is this that told me that the man is still alive, and will remain alive now.

Actually, not exactly this. I had an inkling in June. A random FB post led to one song and that to another and for three whole days, I listened to these three songs non-stop, only three songs on loop, amazed yet again at the genius of this man. It made me so happy to listen to them I thought I will keep listening till I get bored. But it didn’t happen and I didn’t want it to happen either. There was this mad joy surrounding me and I was content to exult in it, the only thing I wanted to know, as always, was if the man knew how much happiness his music was still capable of spreading. Teer kya patthar bhi nahi haath mein dikhlane ko, kis ada se maare hain aapne deewane ko…And it all happened around his birthday and that was so maddeningly filmy I loved it even more. It was like he was around, taking me through the intricate, delicate joys of his music.

Koi mera…tujhsa kaha…

Pancham is a shared joy but a personal love, a very intimate bond, an individual connect each fan has with him, very similar but never the same. It’s like you will share your love story only with him, only he will get it. And get it he does, and how. And if you go to him when you have none he will give you one to dream about. A little like Shahrukh.

Those three to five days, as I was soaring up and down, in and out, this way and that on the tunes of O Meri Jaan, sharing love stories with RD, I kept thinking about the man who could do this. I got to know him much better through the film than the image I had created in my mind, it wasn’t different but it had holes. I had safely obscured his low phase from my mind. I had conveniently forgotten he may not have been as happy and happy-go-lucky as I like to imagine him. All of us want to remember him that way and the documentary affirms it loud and clear. My favourite image is him in his white shirt, white shoes, red muffler, red cap and sauve shades, sharing smiles of ever-lasting happiness with Asha Bhonsle, with just a hint of naughtiness as Katra katra plays in the background. That’s how I want to imagine he spent his entire life and is somewhere, even now.

Ek din bik jaayega maati ke mol

The image of the fallen R.D. still remains with me. A lot of the interviewees agreed he was ‘naïve’, and in his own words his ‘mind wasn’t understood well enough by those around him’. It was surprising but by the end of the film I knew he wasn’t naïve as associates think, nor a mad genius as fans want to believe, he was the most self-aware artist we will see.

And it is this self-awareness, more than his phoenix-like rebirth or a pied piper image, R.D. must have wanted to be known for, I think. Because only when your art is this self-aware can it flow so free, so fluid, so rich, so mysterious. Because only when your art is self-aware will you take great pains to stay with your melody and nurture it and nourish it, as Gulzaarsaab reminisces he liked to do, in Gulzar Remembers Pancham. Only when your art is self-aware will you blow bottles and trumpets with the same flair and only then will it be infused with that undying spirit of life, wriggling to be set free, that underlines every song of his.

The film introduced me to this R.D., scientist as much as an artist, maverick as much as disciplined, hero as much as human. I think it is possible that this very self-awareness told him that maybe he was too ahead of his times, and someday he would be understood better through his music. I think he let go early because he knew his music will live.

Tumne mujhe dekha hoke meherbaan

Almost 3/4th of the film is an effusive celebration of both the man and his music, detailed, descriptive, articulate and incisive – both in the observations and the weave of the film, the text and context, thematic relationship everything; bringing alive his persona and the palpable love for him. But when it comes to this part no one wants to acknowledge it, not even the film, it looks like. Suddenly no one has words; all that effusive articulation has evaporated. It is like even the film doesn’t know what to do…it lingers shortly, respectfully, on the wordless and graceful emotional moments, and leaves it in silence. As though gently laying a flower on R.D.’s memories in the same way Shammi Kapoor did on the memories of his beloved wife Geeta Bali, in that beautiful debut of R.D.’s … ruk gayi yeh zameen, tham gaya aasman… There was silence and stillness in the hall too.

It’s been three months and I still haven’t gotten bored of those three songs, life takes over from time to time but so does R.D., sometimes insistently, and I am happy to let him do so. After all, aisa sama na hota, kuchh bhi yaha na hota, mere humrahi jo tum na hote.

 Thank you for the music Panchamda 🙂

Fatema Kagalwala

There was a lot of buzz this year about Coke Studio 10, much before even the first teaser came out, and till then that was my only grouse. I will save my angry rants about the season as a whole here, and leave you with our favourite picks from 28 songs that were aired this season in 7 episodes. Click on the playlist embedded below to play the songs as you read the post.

You can read our Coke Studio Season 8 round up here and  Season 9 roundup here.

Ranjish hi sahi – Ali Sethi should sing all the old classics that we have come to love and live with. Even though this rendition was hurried at some places for ghazal purists, the velvet-ness of Ali’s vocals rubbed on the listener and reminded us of well paced out ghazals where lyrics and not hashtags were celebrated. That Ali Sethi is probably the best contemporary singer from across the border these days isn’t ‘overdoing’ it. It’s just a fact. Jaffer Zaidi is probably the only musician who is keeping Coke Studio Pakistan’s legacy of good music with subtle presentation and production alive post-season 6.

Cha rahi kali ghata – A beautiful song composed by Sahir Ali Bagga that gave us a flavour of old times when a raga based song would be melodiously rattled by a contemporary tune in between and touch our hearts. Hina Nasrullah and Amanat Ali were top class, and the moment that took my  breath away was at 4:04 mins when Amanat got into the skin of ghazal gayaki…what a beautiful beautiful song! Thanks to good people in Youtube comment section, I have come across some real good work by Hina Nasrullah. Do google her.

Faasle – A simple heartbreaking duet that played within its zone and didn’t let too many instruments get in the way of expressing hurt. Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch gave us too many reasons to play this on repeat. Jaffer Zaidi has a voice that is a balm on the senses and when he wished well to his beloved with devastatingly helpless yet beautiful words (penned by him incidentally), it was a delight. Quratulain Balouch, who finally got  a lot of real estate this season to display her brilliance, was equally melancholic and melodious. Easily, the most underrated and under appreciated song of this season. Watch how they ended this song…jaa haha hu main…jaa rahi hu main...c’est magnifique!

Tinak din na – I am penning this post on 22 September and I still cannot understand what did Waqar ehsin  bring to the song. Ali Hamza got the solid anchor role whereas Ali Sethi glided the way only he can. Waqar was more a spanner in the works than anything else. Perhaps Ali Noor would have been a better choice. Watch Waqar lose the sense of tune at  4:11 in the song. Still, the sheer energy of Ali Hamza and Ali Sethi is enough to hear this song on repeat. I have never disliked them but there was absolutely no need for the backup vocals in the song as well. A good song that is good in spite of the back up vocals, pointless detours in the composition in between and Waqar.

Laal Meri pat A song that took me back to Rohail Hyatt days barely a second in the song. Akbar Ali (with his alaaps to die for) and the voice of God Arieb Azhar introduced the song. Quratulain Balouch’s voice provided the perfect rooting to the song. This is what old Coke Studio Pakistan fanatics would call psychedelic-meets-traditional, a brilliant brilliant song. I love the way Strings structured the song with terrific humnavas. Leaving the predictable, famous hook of the song and creating a new high point is a job that is too difficult and risky when you are tackling a generation defining song. They got it right, alright!

Naina moray –  Years ago, I came across this timeless composition for the first time in the voice of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali khan sahab. Akbar ali is the discovery of the season for me and unsurprisingly here as well he shapes the entire song around his powerful gayaki. Yes, there is a terrific Zaki with axe in the song as well. I am somehow getting a bit tired of excessive murki filled gayaki of Javed Bashir though. It kills the mood and creates unnecessary intensity in song that don’t need it. Still, a powerful song.

Ghoom taanaSalman ahmed along with kick-ass Irteassh and talented Momina re-created the magic of this song and it sounded pretty good. Unlike the horrible Sayonee this season, Salman got the singer selection right this time round and apart from the ‘rattle and creaking’ production sound that is signature Strings, the song stood tall and made a smashing statement of hope. We could do with hope in these times.

Katay na katay – Ali Hamza gave us this cracker of the song with loads of help from Aima Baig, Rachel Viccaji and Humera arshad. I loved the energy and the melody this fusion oozed. Let’s try and think one Indian song we heard in unplugged, Coke Studio@MTV, blah-blu studios etc that comes close to the experiment of  3 super talented girls bringing the house down like this? Lastly, the tarana by Ali Hamza towards the end…stunning!

Tera naam – There is a saying in Pakistan music circle that loosely goes like – ‘Whatever you think is possible in music, Sajjad ali has already sung it’. With this song, Sajjad quietly re-affirms that position. In Coke Studio itself, barring few songs which I haven’t mentioned here, we have seen Sajjad ali give us a magnificent rang lagaa soulful Tum naraaz hoa tongue in cheek kir kir kiran insanely enjoyable suth  gana and all that was remaining was a beautiful love song…and here it is! The tune, the presentation, the sound and those lovely humnavas, everything just perfect.

That’s it for season 10 of Coke Studio Pakistan. If you want to read episode by episode review, you can click the link on the contributor’s name below. Do share with us your favourites.

– Rohit

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