Tag Archives: Ismail Darbar

Listening to: Devdas (2002)

Let me state categorically : I do NOT like this story. You have a not particularly likeable young man who gives up his childhood sweetheart due to family pressures. Instead of making the best of his decision, he becomes an alcoholic depressive and slumps about in non-salubrious (but astonishingly beautiful!) surroundings. Then you have a nautch girl, so lovely and talented that she could demand her terms with anyone. Instead she develops a deep love for this most unlovable drunk who is always moping over another woman! And our leading lady marries a man richer than the one who gave her up, bowing again to family pressures. And does she make the best of life? Of course not! She is forever dreaming of her lost love. I could shake them all!

Yet seemingly I am very much in the minority. This story by the popular Bengali novelist Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay (1876-1938) has been very dear to the Indian audience and has been made into 12+ films in different languages. I have seen the Hindi version of Devdas (1936) starring Saigal in the lead and the 1955 version by Bimal Roy starring Dilip Kumar, both acclaimed films.

So given my annoyance with the  lead characters you’ll wonder why I chose to see the movie. Very simply, the music which, released ahead like for all Bollywood films, enthralled me from the moment I heard it. When I saw the film, as expected, I was annoyed with the characters for making such rubbish of their lives. But I came away with some visuals which will live with me forever. Oh the beauty of the two ladies! Oh the sumptuous setting! Oh the costumes and jewellery! Oh that scene with Aishwarya running through the many doors, aalta on her feet, sari flowing behind her! Oooooooh The Music! The director Sanjay Leela Bansali has created a visual feast which pleases my art loving eyes. Credit goes especially to cinematographer  Binod Kumar Pradhan.

The music composed by Ismail Darbar is, in my opinion, one of the best albums to come out of Bollywood in the last decade. The lyrics by Nusrat Badr in his Bollywood debut are equally memorable. You can listen to the whole album here.

  • Silsila ye chahat ka – Shreya Ghoshal : Truly sensuous, this is a siren’s call by Shreya. One of my daughter’s favourite songs. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Maar daala – Kavita Krishnamurthy, Kay Kay : Madhuri’s dance and her costume are wonderful, the song is good. Smile
  • Bairi Piya – Shreya Ghoshal, Udit Narayan : A slow, romantic song with a certain lulling quality I like very much. Both singers are extraordinarily good. When Udit Narayan first starts ‘kaise kahoon’, I always take a deep breath of satisfaction! Open-mouthed smile
  • Kaahe Chhed Mohe – Kavita Krishnamurthy, Birju Maharaj, Madhuri Dixit : A fantastic Kathak song with an unforgettable dance performance by Madhuri, its another memorable number. Kavita’s voice is not my favourite but she has done such a wonderful job of this classically based song that my respect for her went up enormously.  Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Chalak Chalak – Shreya Ghoshal, Udit Narayan, Vinod Rathod : I do like Shah Rukh in his Bengali babu dhoti-kurta look and in association, I like this song too ! Madhuri dances most alluringly. Smile
  • Hamesha Tumko Chaha – Kavita Krisnamurthy, Udit Narayan : I was addicted to this song for a while and HAD to listen to it daily. The tabla sounds so good! The composer has used the Ooli, the sounds that Bengali women make at auspicious times, and the sound of the conch very well.  Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Woh Chand Jaisi Ladki – Udit Narayan : My husband’s favourite song from this album, Udit Narayan is so very talented! Open-mouthed smile
  • Morey Piya – Shreya Ghoshal, Jaspinder Narula : I don’t like Jaspinder’s portion of the song, which I find a bit grating so I used to skip this song once upon a time. But Shreya’s part is really exquisite, so I have started listening to it nowadays. Smile
  • Dola Re Dola – Kavita Krishnamurthy, Shreya Ghoshal, Kay Kay : The dance is such a visual delight – two of the most beautiful women in the world without doubt! Again we have the Bengali Ooli used to good effect. The song has a joyful, teasing aspect which is very pleasing. All the singers do an admirable job.  Open-mouthed smile

Because the songs are both a visual and auditory feast, I am going to present not one but quite a few of them. Choose what you will to view.

1. Silisila Ye Chahat Ka – for the astonishing beauty of Aishwarya, her graceful dancing and Shreya’s lovely voice of which I am a true fan.

2. Kahe Chhed Chhed Mohe – For Madhuri’s radiance, her dancing prowess and sheer sensuality and Kavita’s wonderful singing. Credit of course to Birju Maharaj for his excellent choreography.

3. Hanesha Tumko Chaha for the breath-taking settings (see the house!!) and the story telling

4. Dola re Dola – for the pleasure of watching the two beauties do their thing – and to honour the choreographer Saroj Khan who has done a great job!


Filed under Bollywood 00's Music

Listing to: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)


Album : Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Music : Ismail Darbar

Lyrics : Mehboob


This album remains one of my favourites from the 90’s. I fell in love with the music the first time I heard it, even before the movie was released. It has something unique, this album. The music is fresh yet traditional, hummable yet complex. Credit goes to both to Ismail Darbar and Mehboob, the composer and the lyricist, for this beautiful work in what was their debut in the Hindi film industry. Though both of them were nominated for Filmfare awards, they lost out to Taal, which had superb music as well. But Darbar went on to win the National Award. When I finally saw the film, the gorgeous visuals imprinted themselves in my brain and it has remained there all these years, in multi-coloured glory.

  • Chand Chupa Badal Mein (Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik) A gentle and playful song,  it won the Filmfare award for Udit Narayan. I love the sound of the violin at the end. Darbar started his career as a violinist and the violin plays an important role in many of his compositions.  Open-mouthed smile
  • Nimbooda (Kavitha Krishnamurthy) This song with its touch of folk music (film is set in Gujarat) won a nomination for Kavita in the Filmfare awards. Though she sings superbly, I prefer her songs set to a lower pitch. She does an admirable job on this fast number. Check out the nice bol at min 1:41. Check out youtube, Aish dances very well.   Smile
  • Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan (Kumar Sanu, Kavitha Krishnamurthy) Beautiful, romantic and sultry. How can a song like this be forgotten? And the lyrics are very beautiful उठी आँखें जो बात ना कह सकीं, झुकी आँख कहते हैं। (The downturned eyes say what the raised eyes could not say). Well done Mehboob! This won Kumar Sanu a nomination in the Filmfare awards. Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Man Mohini (Shankar Mahadevan) I admire Shankar Mahadevan very much, both as a composer and a singer. He has done a competent job on this folksy and rhythmic number. Thinking smile
  • Jhonka Hawa Ka (Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy) A slow and melodic number, it suits Hariharan’s style.  I love the interlude with the Vedic chants. The instrumental which follows resembles the sitar interlude in the song ‘Hamesha Tumko Chaha’ from Devdas (2002) composed again by Ismail Mechant. Smile
  • Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje (Kavita Krishnamurthy, Vidod Rathod) Another folksy and highly rhythmic number, I love it’s start. I find myself dancing in my chair as I listen to this! The Dhol sounds great too! Check it out in youtube, its a great dance. Thinking smile
  • Tadap Tadap (Kay Kay) Very sad number, well sung by the Kay Kay. This song won him a nomination in the Filmfare awards. Its an interesting composition, I am not sure I like the way there are so many discrete bits to it.I don't know smile
  • Albela Sajan (Ustad Sultan Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, Kavitha Krishnamurthy) With my weakness for classical music, this appeals of course. Ustad Sultan Khan is a Sarangi player, I believe this is the first film in which he has given voice. He went on to sing successfully in other films and also brought out a light music album with Chitra which I like very much. Both Shankar Mahadevan and Kavita show off their classical competence. Smile
  • Kaipoche (Shankar Mahadevan) Another folk number, it is my least favourite number in this album.  Sad smile
  • Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Kavita Krishnamurthy, Mohammed Salamat, Dominique)  It is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful song that I have ever heard. The composition stuns and its beautifully sung by Kavita who won a nomination for this song too.   Open-mouthed smileRed heart

Today however I present for your viewing pleasure ‘Aankhon ki gustakhiyan’ – and viewing pleasure it indeed is! Aishwarya Rai makes it clear why she won her Miss.World title,  this is a beautiful song enhanced by a stunning woman..

Aankhon Ki Gutakhiyan–Kumar Sanu, Kavita Krishnamurthy

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Filed under Bollywood 90's Music, Kavita Subramaniam, Kumar Sanu