Tag Archives: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

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

Listening to Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

I remembered the movie as being refreshingly different when I saw it first. ‘Will it feel the same on re-viewing?’ I wondered, as I slid the DVD in. It did not disappoint. Its story is predictable enough but there is a feel to it which is indeed unique. It was longer than I would have liked it but then its a Hindi film. A few things which caught my attention:

  • Akshaye was good! He plays his role very low-key and still makes a very good impression. Why is his career in the doldrums ten years on?
  • One end of Akshaye’s lips go up when he smiles and the other end dips!! Reminds me of Mowgli from Jungle Book !
  • Saif was leaner than he is now..suits him better. And he has legs made of Jello –check out his dancing in Koi Kahe.
  • Hasn’t Saif played ‘my heart on my sleeves’ role a bit too often?
  • Aamir Khan is always good but..… I suppose I didn’t sympathise with his character like I did with the other two. His fault? or is it the script?
  • The ladies are decorative. Dimple has a good role but its too small to make an impact. Preity makes a better impression.

Is it a film worth watching? Yes!

The music felt very young when I heard it first. Given my taste for old fashioned music, I might not have listened to it very often but for the fact the my husband was addicted to it and played it non-stop in his car until I begged him to stop! But I did listen to it often and it made an impression. On seeing the movie this second time, I found much to like in the music. This album was a turning point for the composing trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, whom I admire very much. They have gone on from strength to strength since then. The lyrics by Javed Akhtar are very good indeed. Click here to listen to the whole album.

  • Dil Chahta Hai – Shankar Mahadevan. The title song is a male-bonding-on-the-road song, an old Bollywood tradition! Nice beat, I love the instrumentals. Definitely East-meets-West but well done. Smile
  • Jaane Kyon Log – Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan. This song makes me home-sick for Australia! Shot in Sydney, the locales are stunning. Kudos to the music directors for incorporating the sounds of a Didgeridoo. The music is unique and the lyrics tell the story well, showing the two opposing perspectives that the protagonists have. Open-mouthed smile
  • Woh Ladki Hain Kahan – Shaan, Kavita Subrahmaniam. I laughed aloud when I saw it the first time and it still makes me smile. Retro dancing and styling, Saif and his Dev impersonation, a most obviously studio-shot driving, a bit of Spanish influence and best of all, a most ridiculous hand flapping dance – its all so endearing!! Shaan and Kavita sound excellent. Of all the songs in the album, this is the one I associate with this movie.  Open-mouthed smileRed heart
  • Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut – Srinivas. Gentle music to suit a gentle song. Smile
  • Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe – Shaan, Shankar Mahadevan, Kay Kay. Another East-West synthesis, this song works very well indeed. A dance song where the three male leads get to strut (really!) their stuff, it has a very youthful feel and a great beat. Open-mouthed smile
  • Tanhayee – Sonu Nigam. A song of loneliness and sadness, it is very well sung by Sonu. The composition is lovely and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are on the nose. I like how Sonu well emotes with his voice. There is a charming flute interlude which reminds me of Payalein Chunmun from Virasat. A bit of inspiration perhaps? Open-mouthed smileRed heart

As usual I am in a dilemma, a song to smile or a song to cry? I like them both..so here they are. Hope you enjoy them.


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Filed under Bollywood 00'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