Archive for the ‘Year end special’ Category

Screenshot 2018-12-22 at 4.20.58 PM.pngYou can find old year round ups non filmi here – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

  • If you don’t want to waste time reading (you know because blogging is dead), scroll down straight to the playlist.
  • The post is filled with links and you must check out few of them especially where I am talking about Namit Das.
  • The selection here is what I came across as new albums came out and/or when someone shared something with me. The flip side of being permanently absent from social media is – losing out on good music reccos. Please feel free to add your reccos because I know that there is a lot that I have missed…or not.
  • If you want to have a quick look at the list here it is:
Song Album Singers
1 Hass ho gaya Sahotas Sahotas
2 Jigar mein dard Namit das Namit das + Anurag shankar
3 Jaantha tha Sanam puri Sanam revolution
4 Bawra Sahil Samuel Naalayak band
5 Marz Yellow diary Yellow diary
6 Tum ur main he to hain Zaraasa Pavan Gaikwad
7 Gaddi Zero to infinity Raftaar
8 May or Sheeda Young desi Young desi
9 Insaan Alif Alif
10 Sapne jeete hain Harpreet unplugged Harpreet
11 Baalkada
Coke Studio 11
Nagma, Lucky and Jimmy Khan
12 rap hai sara Lyari U.G. + Young Desi
13 wah jo kalaam Asrar, Shamu bai and Vishnu
14 Ya kareem Bridge of dreams Shubha mudgal
15 The awakening Live at the Amarrass desert festival Lakha khan
16 Mess Cold/Mess Prateek kuhad
17 Marijuana Shamoon ismail Shamoon ismail

Hass ho gaya Sahotas, remember them? Band of brothers who shot to prominence in early 1990s when ATN TV channel used to play music. Though I couldn’t find their ‘original’ music video of this song, I am happy that I could find them and put them on the list. Simple, non autotuned, a bit off note here and there and insanely enjoyable.

Jigar mein dard – Anurag Shanker and Namit DasI have written about the duo earlier this year as well. You have got to hear them live to know what dimension they bring to our dying ‘non-filmi-non shouting – non bollywoodlike’ genre. Namit’s alaap refuse to leave me to this day. As far as this song goes, well, hear it and feel yourself. With people like Namit on the scene, I do feel there would be a part resurgence of Ghazal or Ghazal like joy.

Jaanta tha – Sanam Puri and the gang – I know this came in 2015 but I heard it thanks to the album that came out this year. Beautiful, 90s-sque pop album grammar of this album,  wonderful experience.

Baawra – Nalayak band – I know Sahil Samuel came out with this song in 2017 but I didn’t come across it then, largely because they released a set of songs this year as an album and that is when I got a hold of it. It turned out to be a good outing and even though I found the lyrics to be a bit of a let down, I loved the sound of the band.

Marz – Yellow diary – Thanks to someone pointing me to Sony youtube channel earlier this year, I came across this explosive song. Though the follow up of this song with the album titled izaafa, wasn’t as good as the song Marz, I would love to see what Yellow diary does next. Do see and hear the the song. You won’t regret it. Word.

Tum aur main he to hain – Pavan Gaikwad – A simple album albeit too short had this lovely little gem..Do check it out.

GaddiRaftaar and Deep Kalsi – The space is filled with below average clowns who think wearing oversized clothes and having misogynistic lyrics in a song is enough. Raftaar is miles ahead of all of them in terms of talent and thank God for it. I loved his album Zero to infinity and especially this song did me in. It has a lovely little tribute to Babu mann as well.

May or Sheeda – Young Desi – This is a Punjabi rap that I discovered through a dearest bud in Pakistan. This is rap song. This is savage funny. Young desi is so kewl! Fun fact – somewhere in the song, this appears on screen ‘1947 was more injurious thank alcohol or smoking’. *Mic drop*

Alif – The find of this year for me. Though I cannot get over Katyo Chukho, I suggest you check his channel right away and Yes, do check out the song(?) in the playlist.
Sapne Jeete hain – Harpreet – Though it was still not as beautifully sung as he is capable of, this quiet little song of Harpreet penned by Dr. Shiv Bahadur Singh Bhadauria has remained a favourite of mine since last 3 years and thankfully now I can speak about it, openly.

CokeStudio 11 – Though we shared a playlist of our picks of this season earlier this year hereBaalkada, Rap hai sara and Waah jo kalaam refuse to leave my playlist and that is why I have included these 3 lovely songs in the playlist as well. Whatever happened to CokeStudio India at MTV (Remember Imran khan was the brand ambassador for it? Hahaha!)

Ya kareem – from Bridge of dreams – is a hauntingly beautiful song and though largely Shubha mudgal and the team has been embarassing in the whole album, this beauty stands out. It is not available on Youtube and if you want to listen to a portion of it, may be try iTunes or click on this link. 

Live at Amarrass desert festival – Yet another beautiful album that I discovered thanks to Amazon music.My favorite remains the awakening with which the album opens. It is done by Lakha khan sahab and boy does it pierce your heart..!

Mess – Prateek Kuhad – Of course the visuals play a large part in yours truly loving this song, (even the taxi seat cover adds to the mood). My heart is a mess…Prateek Kuhad you beauty and a big up to everyone associated with the song, in any capacity and what a way to end the year. Fantastic time to be alive and of course to die. May be check the live version at amazon music...it doesnt have that glass crackling vibrancy to it but a good enough vibe to accompany you as you cry slowly, alone.

Marijuana – Shamoon Ismail – Explore his channel, I implore you. His work is plain brilliance and buzz has it, we will see him in the next season of a popular music movement. This song here is one for long drives and for closed rooms where you find yourself, sitting with half finished chai, a cigarette you threw too soon, a longread article you promised you will read tonight…Listen on, you crazy people and till then remember – Toon jivain marijuana, Koe davay na drama, Chaliay baar tenu mein naal le ke jawan, Toon jivain marijuana, Tethoon jalay zamana,  Jaande loki nae jeray tera fasana

A Few Quick points and useless gyaan:

  • 2018 was an excellent film year and like someone said, it took 3-4 years of hard work and writing for everyone to find better stories and excellent execution of 2018. Let us hope our music scene (film and non film) is also where film making was 3-4 years ago.
  • Yes, I love Ali Sethi and it kills me to see Bollywood lifting songs that Ali has been re-imagining and Ayushman-khurana-ising it. Guess which one has more ‘views’? One example here and for the second one, search ‘kithay naina na jodi’.
  • If you are one of those who don’t get jealous of other people,  do not devoid yourself from what Shivani and Chhaya are doing. Check out their channel here. Check from oldest to current songs, there is just so much happiness and effort here with a bit of character progression as well. I hope Bollywood doesn’t corrupt them. I cannot run in the gym without the music they handpick for their dances. You have no idea how good their videos are. Real hardcore workout, real happiness, not sitting on sorry ass and making opinions about things on social media in a bid to get a job with those you ‘hate’. Hit it! brrrruah!
  • I hope non film songs (and not those by mainstream record companies) get a suitable outlet to come out with more songs. I am sad by what has happened in this area so far.

Quick useless gyaan:

  • If you are looking at non apple, sweat proof, bluetooth earphones, do not consider BOSE soundsport – they have a huge issue of battery drain. Don’t consider the skull candy SB wireless 2, they are not sweatproof.
  • If you are looking for good headphones and can do without noise cancellation, please pick V-Moda Crossfade Bluetooth 1. Do not pick the ‘latest’ model (BT CrossFade 2), their sound is not as good as the earlier model, though BT Crossfade 2 are more portable. If you are a confirmist and don’t want to invest in ‘weird’ design of V-Moda, then please stay happy with your QC35 Bose and some such. Fun fact – it is not about ‘design’ stupid!
  • If you are looking at buying a good sound dock, consider looking at these before making a choice –  Devialet Gold Phantom and Marshall Woburn.

Here is the Non film playlist and below that, the dinchak playlist. Happy new year!

Dinchak kyunki – badhaaiyan tere ot nu tere pot nu tere baaaap bantey got nu! 

Finis~

Mukkabaaz-2018-Full-Movie-Free-Download-720p

 

In the last 5 years, 2018 was easily the best when it came to film music. It was also the year in which the drip irrigation music release technique (‘release one song when you want and let them wait for the album’) was at its peak(?). At the time this post is getting baked, albums for the music release of Simmba (to be released on 28 December) and Zero (To be released in 3 days) are yet to hit the music listeners. So Boo you makers! for being so insecure and under-confident about music. I hope some sense penetrates your nonsensical surround sound system you cover yourself with, filled with Yes-men and favour seekers (who can also make a playlist for you, I hear). I have so much to say but I guess we should just get down to the business end now.

We have picked  one song per album, a rule I wish I could go around but am thankful it exists. Do suggest your favourites which aren’t on the list for I am sure I have missed some gems. Also, there is a separate Dinchak playlist that would be tagged along with the non film music post.

If you are in no mood to read, just scroll down to play the embedded playlist.

If you just want to have a quick look at the list, here you go.

No. Song Singer Lyrics Music
1 Adhura Main Deepak Thakur Vineet Kumar Singh Vineet Kumar Singh
2 Aaj Se teri Arijit Singh Kausar Munir Amit Trivedi
3 Binte Dil Arijit Singh A M Turaz Sanjay Leela Bhansali
4 Lae Dooba Sunidhi Chauhan Manoj Muntashir Rochak Kohli
5 Lo Safar Shuru Jubin Nautiyal Sayeed Quadri Mithoon
6
Shraddha Mishra
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Sandesh Shandilya
Papon
7 Ae Watan Arijit Singh Gulzar Shankar ehsaan loy
8 ishq di baajiyan Diljit Dosanjh Gulzar Shankar ehsaan loy
9 Saansein Prateek Kuhad Prateek Kuhad Prateek Kuhad
10 Tera fitoor Arijit Singh Kumaar Himesh Reshammiya
11
Jonita Gandhi
Irshad Kamil
Niladri Kumar
Arijit Singh
12
Ammy Virk
Shellee
Amit Trivedi
Shahid Mallaya
13 Har Har Gange Arijit Singh Siddharth-Garima Sachet-Parampara
14 Naina Banjare Arijit Singh Gulzar Vishal Bhardwaj
15 Wo Ladki Arijit Singh Jaideep Sahni Amit Trivedi
16 Mere naam tu Abhay Jodhpurkar Irshad Kamil Ajay Atul

 

Adhura main – Being a fan of Deepak’s Harmonium accompanied voice since humnee ke chhori ke, it was easy to love this earthy song with emotions spilling all over the senses. Vineet, the composer and lyricist, has summarised the entire struggle in this fabulous song. You cannot listen to this song on repeat, that is how devastating it is.

Aaj se teri – Endearing, melodious, rich, simple and filled with love.

Binte dil – Though I am madly in love with Nainowaale ne and Ghoomar, I just couldn’t get beyond this mad mad song that has everything and a little more. Of course the song is composed and written very well, but for me, the refreshing whiff is Arijit‘s effortless singing. Those who tell you they loved Ranveer Singh because of ‘khali bali’, are actually thinking of this song. Yep.

Lae dooba – A song filled with Shiv Kumar Batalvi‘s mainu tera shabaab lae baitha vibe, Lae dooba gave us Sunidhi Chauhan the way we are almost forgetting she can touch your soul.

Lo safar shuru ho gaya – When Mithoon composes happy romantic songs without the Aashiqui-sque familiarity, such pleasant songs emerge and boy what a delight they are!

Raat yun dil mein – The first duet I liked this year. I dislike romantic songs but when Faiz is done right, it feels…Jaise beemar ko…bewajah qaraar aaye..The song cures you of ailments you didn’t know you had.

Ae watan  – A song in 2018 that celebrates ‘desh prem‘ subtly, a rare event these days. Pahuchu mein jahan bhi meri buniyaad rahe tu. Though towards the end of the song, I felt like I am listening to the end notes of ‘Noor e khuda’, it only made me love the song more.

Ishq di baajiyan – Though I didn’t enjoy the backup vocalists going a bit too hard on ‘door na jaa’, S.E.L.’s masterstroke of using Shankar Mahadevan‘s voice smartly did me in. Though it is the least ‘repeated’ song this year amongst all here, how can you not fall for Diljit Dosanjh’s charming voice?

Saansein – Main apne hee mann ka hausla hu, Hai soya jahan par mein jaga hu..Main peeli seher ka nasha hu…Main madhosh tha..ab main yahan hu. Prateek Kuhad, you beauty!

Tera fitoor – There is always time for an old fashioned, non autotuned fantastically composed romantic song from Himesh Reshamaiyya isn’t it? I don’t care how the video is, I love this song a bit too much for my own good I guess. Arijit Singh, are you human?

Ahista Ahista – Laila Majnu, the album delighted me in ways that A.R. Rahman’s albums used to. There is too much to thank this album for and I choose Ahista Ahista for the playlist. Irshad Kamil has penned easily the best film song of the year here. Doori ye kam hee na ho, main neendo mein bhi chal raha. Truly a song worth dying for.

Daryaa Mannmarziyaan was no Dev D, still it came dangerously close and broke everything that came its way this year. Both versions of this song are super good, still I feel the rush much more thanks to Ammy Virk‘s version. I could write pages about the way Ammy makes me soar. Most importantly, don’t forget – Shellee.

Har har gange – The most intense yet calm song of the year. Off late, We seem to hardly get spirituality right in Hindi films, let alone music. This is a beautiful exception. Tera karm hee hai jo sang tere hee jaaye. No intellectualising, just a simple message, delivered simply. Arijit singh, I love you.

Naina Banjare – I was so tempted to put the title song here, still this mad song took the better of me. Giri re giri babua, beech bajaare. Did you notice Arijit call Naina as Nahena…?

Wo ladki – The overarching tune, magnificent composition, irresistible singing and what atmosphere! Amit Trivedi, the dominator of the year!

Mere Naam tu – The only reason I have not put any song of Dhadak is because even the title song (which wasn’t as embarrassing as other ‘dubbed’ songs) had the stamp of Ajay Atul and you could predict the pace and sound of the song. This one however, has a ‘Jaadu teri nazar’ madness and that with the confident Abhay Jodhpurkar on the microphone is just too difficult to put away. Lastly and most importantly, Irshad Kamil. Yep.

P.S. – I feel compelled to mention a few more things here.

Genres that Hindi film music touched this year which I absolutely loved:

Friendship – Tera yaar hu main from Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety – If that horrible qawwali detour wouldn’t have existed in the song, this would have made it on the list above. Still, a good addition to the genre.

Sensuous done right –  Mujhe Chaand pe le chalo – A.R. Rahman misses a lot and hits far too few off late. Nikita Gandhi and Irshad Kamil ensured this one is a hit and boy does it stay hit! (With No-hea Kakkar-isation of every song these days, it is difficult to extract real emotions from the barrage of autotune-ness these days…and this is why, Mujhe chaand pe le chalo feels even more delicious).

Inquilaab – Azaad Kar – The film had other gems as well but somehow it was reassuring to hear a wistful Swanand Kirkire pay tribute to times we are living in.

Me, as I am – Tere jaisa tu hai – I love the song but for occasional shrillness. What I absolutely love are the opening lines. Hear them again if you cannot recall them.

Kashmir – Katyo Chukho – It would have been unfair to ‘trap’ this song in the main list above. This is the best song I have heard this year and this is a song for which I would always be thankful to the makers of Laila Majnu. They gave me Alif. A song to live by and die to. It is what Channa vey wanted to and what Agar tum saath ho was.

Infinite Joy (a.k.a. Bitiya rani) – I cried all 3 times that I saw the song on screen. Yep, this one. What brilliant work by Sunny Bawra-Inder Bawra, Kumaar and of course Shubha Mudgal.

2018 – One of the most difficult years to make this playlist and am glad it was so.

 

As we have done in the past, this time too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best bollywood films of last year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose, and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

To read the scripts of best bollywood films of last few years, click here. In this post, we are sharing the script of ‘A Death In The Gunj’.

Konkona (L), Disha (R)

Konkona Sen Sharma made an assured debut with A Death In The Gunj. More atmospheric and less plot, more characters and less events, this was a brave choice to make a debut with. A nuanced take on how toxic our daily casual masculinity can be, the film took us to a new place in an old era. No wonder the film was among the top favourites of all critics.

Happy reading!

Film : A Death In The Gunj

Director : Konkona Sensharma

Based on a short story by Mukul Sharma

Written by Konkona Sensharma

Addition Screenplay : Disha Rindani

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best bollywood films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose, and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

To read the scripts of best bollywood films of last few years, click here. In this post, we are sharing the script of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan.

Hitesh Kewalya

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan managed an impossible task – took a sex related subject and made it a middle class family affair. All thanks to its brilliant writing. Though it’s a remake of a Tamil film but only the plot points are same. Hitesh Kewalya’s sparkling writing gave a new flavour, setting, characters, and atmosphere to the same story. The best part – without being crass or vulgar at any point, it was one of the funniest film of the year. Who would have thought that dipping a biscuit in tea and Ali Baba-40 Thieves story could be interpreted sexually too.  Innuendos were never so family friendly!

Happy reading!

Film : Shubh Mangal Saavdhan

Director : R S Prasanna

Screenplay & Dialogues : Hitesh Kewalya

(gif via http://www.invisiblerabbit.in/)

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best bollywood films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose, and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

To read the scripts of best bollywood films of last few years, click here.

From this year, we have also decided that we will be sharing the pictures of the writers, and not some random still from the film. Let’s have a good look at the faces who burnt their blood to fill the final draft pages. We should have done it earlier par jab jaago tab savera.

Amit (L) Mayank (R)

Amit Masurkar made his debut with a small delightful indie film, Sulemani Keeda, which perfectly captured the mood and feel of the bollywood writers surviving on the fringe. Mayank Tewari was one of the leads in this film. The duo came together for Amit’s next film, Newton – a challenging subject which required treading a tight rope as it balances different point of views. The biggest achievement of the script was that it explored every political and human angle related to the story but was never morose, dry or heavy. No wonder it has emerged one of the top favourites of the critics and was a commercial success, too.

We are sharing the script of Newton in this post. Happy reading!

Film : Newton

Director : Amit V Masurkar

Story  :  Amit V Masurkar

Screenplay/Dialogues : Mayank Tewari & Amit V Masurkar

 

 

To quote Stephen Witt, Listening to hundreds of new releases a year could lead to a kind of jaded auditory cynicism. Last year, I wasn’t expecting a lot, and the year was fine. This year, I wasn’t expecting much yet some albums surprised me (Thank God I have always been a cynic). We have picked  one song per album. We don’t care how the colour scheme of the films to which these songs belong, compliment the character as movie progresses. It is just about the music. Do suggest your favourites which aren’t in the list for I am sure I have missed some gems.

If you are in no mood to read, just scroll down to play the embedded playlist.

  • Badnaam jiya –  Sung by Rekha Bhardwaj and composed so well by Rohit Sharma, this track sounds earthy, retains the charm of a filmi thumri and sounds splendid. I loved the entire album of Anaarkali of Aarah, and it was a task to pick this one over Sonu Nigam’s mann bekaid hua, but I did, gladly so.
  • Tera junoon – From the film Machine (yeah! Have you heard about it?), composed by Tanishk, sung by the excellent Jubin Nautiyal, penned beautifully by Arafat Mehmood & Mohammed Irfan, the song ticks all the right boxes – understated, melodious and very well presented.
  • Humsafar – There are confusing words/lines in the song (Hai nahi tha pata?), still I love the hopeless romanticism in the song from Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Akhil Sachdeva, thumbs up to you!
  • Alvida –  I love this entire album and the keyboard of my laptop will tell you how conflicted I was between this and the magnificent ‘Ye Ishq hai’ (Arijit Singh), both from Rangoon. Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj & Arijit Singh. Alvida wins because Gulzar reminded us to question all goodbyes and everything there’s to a goodbye. Aye kahin tu khuda to nahi? – God bless you Gulzar saab!
  • Rozana – Oh the delight of listening to Shreya Ghosal in her normal pitch! Composed intimately by Rochak Kohli and such fabulous words by Manoj muntashir, this one is from Naam Shabana. I quite liked the way the song has been presented. She longs for her love, yet she is not weak because she longs for her love. Aate jaate yun hee, mere liye theher, Rozana..  Simply beautiful!
  • Maana ke hum –  There is a lovely moment in Insomniac City* when O says to Bill,  ‘I’ve suddenly realized what you mean to me: You create the need which you fill, the hunger you sate. Like Jesus. And Kierkegaard. And smoked trout.’ I feel the same can apply to ghazals as well. There are hajaar genres and then there is ghazalThis year, Sachin-Jigar flirted with ghazal-like film songs, and if you remember Sachin’s Kho dia hai (from Bhoomi), you would know what I mean when you hear it along with this fabulous song. I am, of course, referring to the version by Parineeti Chopra in Meri Pyaari Bindu. A contemporary presentation of ghazal in my view. I love Kausar Munir’s pen for what it has done in this song.
  • Phir wohi – I see Amitabh Bhattacharya, Pritam and Arijit Singh together and my heart races in anticipation. I love this song from Jagga Jasoos (JJ)and I felt alive when Arijit went ‘gham ka jaya‘. It felt like a rejoinder to the first song of Arijit which I loved – beprwah rang ka jaaya. Back to JJ, I love the entire album but now that we are picking one song per album for the post, I couldn’t go to any other song than this gem. Arijit Singh
  • Safar – Haan, so what was I saying about Arijit singh? Oh yeah…Arijit Singh, please never stop singing. For me, this is the song of the year, from Jab Harry Met Sejal. Pritam, Irshad Kamil & Arijit singh – I bow to you for this one. Did you notice the ‘jaana maine’ part from 3:00 to 3:02? I could give my cassette collection to Arijit Singh for that. (I desperately wanted to mention Hawayein and Ghar but I won’t because we are picking one song per album. You didn’t hear anything from me Ok?) If I could live in a song, I would live in this song, may be I do. 
  • Ek Chaand – Guitars by Sanjoy Das, pretty much everything else by Tony Kakkar, this one is from Loev. I remember pausing the film and immediately picking this song, and playing this everyday since then, and perhaps this won’t change. I am still conflicted what I like the most? The music, the singing, the film, the lounge where Shiv is shown in the last shot? Well Jaane do…iss baat pe phir kabhi baat kar lenge. The song conveys pain and hurt yet it doesn’t console, doesn’t even demand to be heard, it plays almost in the background. Do yourself a favor, pick up the full song because the youtube clip doesn’t have the full song. Best 18 bucks you will ever spend.
  • Barfaani – Written by Ghalib Asad Bhopali, composed by Gaurav Dagaonkar and sung by the sublime Orunima Bhattacharya, this song is from Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. The excellent arrangement of the song sounds so close to the ground on which we stand and the singing ensures the song burns that very piece of the ground, just splendid!
  • Hoshiyar rehnaOh yes! The beauty of listening to Neeraj Arya’s Cafe singing Kabir without dumbing it down or polishing it excessively! Enough said.From Baadshaho.
  • Kho dia – Penned by Priya Saraiya, composed by Sachin Jigar and sung by Sachin, this song took me back to explore the whole album of Hariharan titled Kaash. I love the ghazal-sque vibe of the song and I hope at some point of time, the unplugged version of this song comes out. From Bhoomi.
  • Nachdi phira – Ah! My secret superstar of the year – Meghna Mishra! I loved this album a bit too much and this song just didn’t let me move on, and hello again Kausar Munir! Impossible not to shower adulation listening to this kiddo going all teri nagariya, teri najariya and doing all this so effortlessly..too much! Lastly, Amit Trivedi – Thank you kood kood ke ! I said (Thank Yoooooou in falsetto, kood kood ke)! From Secret Superstar.
  • Na jaa – For some reason, I couldn’t find Asees Kaur’s version of this superlative song (from Jia Aur Jia) on youtube. I like both versions of this song which is basically a friend calling out her friend, her sakhee. When was the last time we heard a hindi film song touch this genre? Excellent music by Nisschal Zaveri and brilliantly penned by Raqueeb Alam.
  • O mere sanam – The answer to ‘What if Benny Dayal decides to floor us with a song so romantic it charms our pants off’? First things first, apart from Benny’s superlative yet understated singing (hear him say ‘varak‘ so perfectly!), what stood out for me are the excellent words by Shakeel Azmi. Girish G has composed this song for The House Next Door.
  • Tu bann jaa gali banaras ki – Yep, Shakeel Azmi with his murderous pen again! Composed by Rashid Khan and sung in two solo version by Asit Tripathy & Asees Kaur respectively for Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana. Tujhe isskooter pe bitha ke main, tere saath hawa mein uda karoo – the way the song is presented comes across with a certain degree of purity and honesty, without being too self aware. It’s like a really cute kid who is indulging in all her** cuteness without caring if someone is filming her mischief. Please hear both the versions on my request. Everyone cries small-town-simplicity, if only half of them could make us live it. This one does it. Lastly, do check Shakeel Azmi on internet.

P.S. – I feel compelled to mention few more things here. 

Genres that Hindi film music touched this year which I absolutely loved 

  • Non manipulative kiddo love to her mum – Ammi from Secret Superstar
  • Teen love done right – I miss you – Secret superstar
  • A song for a friend, by her friend – Na jaa – Jiya aur Jia
  • Non manipulative comment on demons within – Hoshiyar rehna – Baadshaho
  • Classical done right – Babul morai – Poorna
  • Classical done right – Sunn bhavra – Ok Jaanu!
  • Scratch better than the recorded version – Main faraar sa (sung ONLY by Anupam Roy) for ‘Running Shaadi’. The writer of the film made me listen to it on his phone and i loved it. I don’t have it for he rightfully didn’t share it with me, but if you get hold of it, hear it, you will know what i mean.

*The entire book is filled with lovely moments. I am no book recommender, but do pick this one up, or not.

**Hashtag girlchild, Hashtag feminism

– Rohit

Even if you ignore the hyperbole in the header, you shouldn’t miss the show. BBC’s Planet Earth II has come at the end of the year, and it straight goes to the top of my list. You probably have already seen this video of snakes chasing baby iguana, it went viral few weeks back. This is Mad Max on steroids! If this isn’t the best of the year, I am not sure what else can top this one.

And if you are addicted to gifs, you must have seen the funny gif of the bear scratching its back on the tree, too. That’s also from the same show.

I love reading year end lists. To see who has discovered what that i might have missed. And these days it’s more difficult to keep track as we are bombarded by content in different forms across various platforms. Strangely, i didn’t see too many people putting the show on their list. I quickly did a search on my twitter feed, too. Hardly any mention. And that’s why this post.

This show comes ten years after the original one was aired. A decade is a long time. Shooting technology has advanced, more natural habitats have been destroyed,  and David Attenborough is 90 now.  But what the show has achieved this time is unparalleled. Shot in 40 different countries, with crews making 117 filming trips, this is the result of four years of hard work.

The series is divided into six episodes – Islands, Mountains, Jungles, Deserts, Grasslands, Cities, and a compilation titled, A World Of Wonder. As you sit down to watch the first episode, you wonder two things simultaneously – what an ambitious show this is, and how the hell have they managed to shoot all that. Remember the docu, March Of The Penguins? This one is like a march in every sequence.

It’s breathtakingly immersive as the narrative glides from one sequence to other. Set to Hans Zimmer’s music, it’s the story of survival in extreme conditions. The story is the same in ever sequence – either struggling to find food to survive or a mating partner to produce babies. But shooting in the extreme conditions, and looking for elusive animals, interesting patterns, funny behaviour, rare breeds, and heart-stopping footage is what makes this show great. Add to that Attenborough’s voice-over. That’s not all, the shooting Diaries at the end of every episode tells you how they achieved those amazing shots.

The show has received some criticism for the way it has shot/put together some of the sequences by using archival footage in few places. But you will find genuine emotion when you watch it. I was on the edge of the seat cheering for the baby iguana to survive.  A sequence where baby tortoise struggle to survive or the one involving penguins on Zavodovski island is heartbreaking. It also makes you realise that as humans our life is such a luxury compared to these animals who struggle everyday just to survive. As predators turn prey in few seconds, it’s frightening to navigate through the wild.

Episode 4 and 5 seems bit weak compared to the first three. Maybe because of the terrain it explored. But the show gets its groove back in the last episode, Cities. Remember the picture of Leopard that was caught on cam in Mumbai, that sequence is in the last episode. Almost every episode has sequences from Indian terrain. As i try to rewind all the six episodes, too many astounding moments come flashing back – sloth looking for a mate in an island, bobcats diving into snow, wasp attacking eggs of glass frog, birds flying miles just to collect water for their babies, sequence of langurs, bowerbird with a red heart, and ibex climbing mountains, to name a few. Watch it. Because when nature is the showrunner, every drama is dazzling. This is the unscripted stranger things.

@notsosnob

(ps – watch it only in the best video quality. It’s out #ykw if you can’t find a legal streaming site)

(pps – it’s the only show that my cat watches, too. completely mesmerised.)

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