Category Archives: Bollywood 10’s Music

Listening to: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011)

Zindagi Na Milegi DobaraAs I sat down to watch the film, I had no plans of writing in this blog about it. I write in appreciation of the music I enjoy and the music of this film has only very limited appeal to me. Yet here I am!

I was not surprised that I enjoyed this road-movie so very much. I have a serious travel bug and if nothing else, I would have been happy enough to ogle at all the lovely scenery. The cinematography is delightful and Spain has been shot with a loving eye.

What I liked especially is that the three lead characters (the women are just addendums) have shades of grey and hidden depth. One is a man who is in a straight jacket of work-ambition-need for money & security, sharp and bitter, losing life as he lives it. Another is a boy-man who has not outgrown his teenage years, an extroverted-introvert, shallow in parts, conflicted in others and a poet in secret. The third is a pacifist who fears confrontation, he is the cement which holds these three together, a team player, heading towards marital disaster for lack of backbone. With three main leading men and three stories to be told, nothing is delved into with too much detail but what there is, is well-told. Except for Arjun (Hrithik) who takes a 180 towards the end, the others remain true to character. Unlike other reviewers, I didn’t mind the stupid jokes and horseplay at all; I have seen much older men behave in a similar fashion when they get together with old friends!! I liked also that it is fast paced and well-edited. The performances are above average and the film very enjoyable.

The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy remained unobtrusive on the whole. I shall not dwell on it; it is not my genre of music and I don’t have the ears to appreciate it.  The one song which caught my attention was Senorita. I enjoyed the dancing and the spectacle and the song was fun without being memorable. It added to my pleasure that the actors sang for it themselves.

But today I am writing this post to showcase the poetry by Javed Akhtar featured in this film. I moved to Delhi when I was 11 years old with no Hindi. Those first months of struggle in understanding and coping at school in this alien language was quite horrible. I learnt the language soon but didn’t really appreciate it. The next year I had a teacher called O.P.Sharma who was a hasya-kavi, quite a well-known poet whose verses would leave you in helpless giggles. He was not good at following the syllabus but his classes were fun as he would recite his poetry to us. That, more than anything else, made me fall in love with this language and to this day I have a weakness for a well-written phrase in Hindi. Javed Akhtar weaves his words with enviable mastery. Listen to the clip below with four poems recited by Farhan Akhtar  (see footnote for lyrics).

Poem 1
पिघले नीलम सा बहता हुआ यह समाँ

नीली नीली सी ख़ामोशियाँ
ना कहीं हैं ज़मीन
ना कहीं आसमान
सरसराती हुयी टहनियां, पत्तियाँ
कह रही हैं कि बस एक तुम हों यहाँ
सिर्फ मैं हूँ मेरी सांसें हैं और मेरी धडकनें
ऐसी गहराइयाँ
ऐसी तनहाइयाँ
और मैं सिर्फ मैं
अपने होने पे मुझको यकीन आ गया

Poem 3
जब जब दर्द का बादल छाया

जब ग़म का साया लहराया
जब आंसू पलकों तक आया
जब यह तनहा दिल घबराया
हमने दिल को यह समझाया
दिल आखिर तू क्यूँ रोता है
दुनिया में यूँही होता है
यह जो गहरे सन्नाटे हैं
वक़्त ने सबको ही बांटे हैं
थोडा ग़म हैं सबका किस्सा
थोड़ी धुप हैं सबका हिस्सा
आँख तेरी बेकार ही नम हैं
हर पल एक नया मौसम हैं
क्यूँ तू ऐसे पल खोता हैं
दिल आखिर तू क्यूँ रोता हैं

Poem 2
इक बात होंटों तक है जो आई नहीं

बस आँखों से हैं झांकती
तुमसे कभी, मुझसे कभी
कुछ लफ्ज़ हैं वोह मांगती
जिनको पहनके होंटों तक आ जाए वोह
आवाज़ की बाहों में बाहें डालके इठलाये वोह
लेकिन जो यह इक बात हैं
अहसास ही अहसास हैं
खुशबू हैं जैसे हवा में तैरती
खुशबू जो बे-आवाज़ हैं
जिसका पता तुमको भी हैं
जिसकी खबर मुझको भी है
दुनिया से भी छुपता नहीं
यह जाने कैसा राज़ है

Poem 4
दिलों में तुम अपनी बेताबियाँ लेके चल रहे हो,
तो जिंदा हो तुम!
नज़र में ख़्वाबों की बिजलियाँ लेके चल रहे हो, तो जिंदा हो तुम!
हवा के झोंकों के जैसे आज़ाद रहना सीखो
तुम एक दरिया के जैसे लहरों में बहना सीखो
हर एक लम्हे से तुम मिलो खोले अपनी बाहें
हर एक पल एक नया समा देखे यह निगाहें
जो अपनी आँखों में हैरानियाँ लेके चल रहे हो, तो जिंदा हो तुम!
दिलों में तुम अपनी बेताबियाँ लेके चल रहे हो, तो जिंदा हो तुम!


Filed under Bollywood 10's Music

Music to keep from 2010 (Part 3)

1st Place

Album : My Name is Khan

Song : Sajda

Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Lyrics : Niranjan Iyengar

Singers : Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Richa Sharma, Shankar Mahadevan


So here it is at last, my favourite song from 2010! Some songs are made wonderful by the lyrics, some others by a beautiful voice. In my opinion this song is a composer’s triumph;  all credit goes to Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy for orchestrating this lovely piece of music.  The different elements – the male voice, the female voice, the instruments, the rhythmic clapping – they all come together in a glorious concoction. I especially like the female voice used in the lower register and the male voice in the upper register. 

In the movie, the song is used as a background score and at times one gets distracted by the dialogues, which is a pity. Surely this song deserved the full attention of it listeners? Still, one can admire how very well Kajol ‘speaks’ with her eyes and face..what a fine actress!! And Shah Rukh Khan, when he receives that complimentary look from Kajol, expresses his mix of embarrassment and happiness in a beautiful half smile. Well done, both of them!

So here is the clip from the film. Enjoy!

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Filed under Bollywood 10's Music, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan

Music to keep from 2010 (Part 2)

2nd Place

Album : Ishqiya

Song : Badi Dheere Jali

Music : Vishal Bharadwaj

Lyrics : Gulzar

Singer : Rekha Bharadwaj


My choice for 2nd place in my ‘Keepers for 2010’ list is this little gem from Ishqiya.  I admit, I am biased towards classical music, and even within Bollywood music, I tend to like the more traditional songs. Compliments to Rekha Bharadwaj for having beautifully rendered this song in Raga Lalit. I paid attention to the words once I realised they were by Gulzar but honestly it works for me on music alone. The clip below plays the songs to the stills from the movie.

Badi Dheere Jali–Rekha Bharadwaj

There is another song in this film which is noteworthy, though it doesn’t make my list  – ‘Dil to baccha hai ji’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The clip below is wonderful, see how Naseeruddin Shah emotes with his eyes. What a fantastic actor !!

Dil To Baccha Hai Ji–Rahat Fateh Ali Khan


Filed under Bollywood 10's Music, Hindustani Classical Music, Rekha Bharadwaj

Music to keep from 2010

After a week of dwelling in the past, today I want to propose the first of the three filmi songs from 2010 which are ‘keepers’ for me.  My definition of ‘keepers’ ? Songs which don’t date. Songs which give listening pleasure inspite of being played numerous times. Songs which, on re-hearing after a certain period of time, one thinks ‘oh, how could I have forgotten that?’. For my ‘Keepers’ list of 2010, I propose in the 3rd Place :

Album : Dabangg

Song : Tere Mast Do Nain

Music : Sajid-Wajid

Lyrics : Faaiz Anwaar

Singer : Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

I believe that I will be happy to listen to this song again and again over the years. I like the beat, the mood, the melody, the voice..however the picturisation was a disappointment !! Oh well…I’ll forget the movie, the story and even the actor but I will remember the song for a long long time. There are other short term winners from this film so if you haven’t listened to the album as yet, its worth your while to lend your ear to it, but for me this song is the ‘keeper’.

Tere Mast Mast Do Nain–Rahat Fateh Ali Khan


Filed under Bollywood 10's Music, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan