Ye duniya agar

One of the most important feature of this year for me has been my music and more so on my blog. Things have come and gone, many thigns have changed a lot, yet the only constant through this tumultous year for me has been my music, even when my life had almost deserted me, it was the music which played a major part in keeping me sane. Thats why I thought what better way to end the year but with a post on a song, yet again. I have written a lot about the english music and shall be (hopefully) doing so, in near future as well. Thats why, a little bit of detour lands up us at Sahir Ludhianavi from Paul McCartney.

Since inconcievable time, I have always been enamoured by Sahir Ludhianavi, to my own admission, I havent listened much of his writings. Yet, the very rare that I had the pleasure of listening, has been exemplary. I generally dont have much fondness for the music of Amitabh Bachhan era, specially his songs, yet the 2 songs of AB, which I prefer the most have been penned down by Sahir Ludhianavi. Rafi as I have alread mentioned has been my favourite male singer in bollywood. S.D.Burman has since time infinite been my favourite music composer, while the world has always gone gaga about the other Burmam, but for me its always been the elder Burman, who called the shots, never liked RD as much. While Guru Dutt is a genius whose standing in hindi film industry has been rarely challenged by people coming after him. Its only when all 4 of these people met in a song that we could get the awesomeness better known as Ye duniya agar mil bhi jaye .

Its only been 53 years since the song and the movie were released and the song carried on just by the soulful voice of Rafi with almost nill instruments, might seem to be the death cry of a person and could be rather too mellow to be considered a song. Still, a few listens of the song or a read through the lyrics and you are just too overcome by the beauty, the pain, the euphoria of the song to be able to say anything and any effort to describe the song in any way shall remain rather futile. Even I shall not dwell too much on the lyrics or any aspects of the song, beside just stating perhaps a million times that things rarely do come better than this.

Leaving with my fav paragraph from the song :

जहां एक खिलौना है इंसान की हस्ती
ये बस्ती है मुर्दा परस्तों की बस्ती
यहाँ पर तो जीवन से है मौत सस्ती
ये दुनिया अगर मिल भी जाये तो क्या है

 

Guru Dutt : Pyaasa

 

 

 

BTW wishing you all, a

Happy New Year!!!

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Rafi vs Kishore

Of the 5 “classic” hindi singers, the biggest fight has always been between Kishore and Rafi. Asha Bhosle growing up in the shadows of Lata Mangeshkar could only ever go as high as Lata (perhaps at times succeeding her). Lata is perhaps the greatest of them all, men and women. Mukesh, Kishore and Rafi don’t stand as far apart as Lata and Asha. Yet, I (and many people I know) put Mukesh on a paddle below the other two, partly due to fact that he’s a bit typecasted.
Mukesh = rona dhona , raj kapooor euphoria songs.

Just like the McCartney- Lennon comparison which has egged on Classic Rock enthusiasts for generations, Rafi vs Kishore battle has been going on, even in the present generation, even though Rafi died, a good 7 years before I (avg age of our generation) was born and Kishore died a few months after my birth. Now coming to the main question, the debate between the two and my view on it. Even though I was a Kishore Kumar enthusiast since the time I can remember done in by his yodeling and the masti in his songs, also coupled by the fact that until quite some back I wasnt proficient in recognizing the different voices of Rafi & Kishore ( I still can hardly distinguish between old Lata & Asha songs, although newer songs are easily identifiable).

It would actually be a sin to downgrade Kishore when compared to Rafi, coz there might not be much of a difference, but if you ask me, my fav male singer in Bollywood, there’s only going to be 1 answer, Mohammed Rafi.

For the starters, a fact which many might not know is, although its Kishore who is associated with Yodeling and is the only Indian in this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Yodelers, but its Rafi who was the first one to bring  it into bollywood, using it in songs, as early as the early 50s, while Kishore Kumar popularized it almost a decade later.

I have always had a fascination with the songs of 50s, 60s featuring people like Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee and people of that generation and while songs from Rajesh Khanna period are huge favourites with people all around, but I have more than often found those songs, either sad (lost of rajesh khanna songs) or Happy go lucky(typical Kishore songs) and I like these kinds of songs, but the soul stirring, the harmoniously beautiful songs which came in the 50s and the happy go lucky  + romantic songs in 60s, are more of a feature of Rafi than Kishore. Kishore Kumar while managing to be succesful in the early decades of his career (he had a proper start to his career in mid 50s) only came to the fore in 70s with songs in the film Aradhana, being the important milestone in his career, but before that it was Rafi all the way.

In my opinion, while Mukesh is chained to sad songs, Kishore is more or less limited to the cheerful and sad songs, but Rafi with his ethereal voice always fits the bill for me, whatever be the type of songs, he has hummed out songs, which would surpass Mukesh anyday, his romantic songs/duets with Lata/Geeta Dutt would always be counted as the most romantic chapter of hindi music, while he couldnt give Kishore a running when it came to the bubbly and ecstatis songs, but perhaps the most famous fast paced song of bollywood, Yahoo! Chahe koi mujhe Junglee kahe, was sung by NOT Kishore but Rafi, which can us a fair idea about his talent.

While I will always be enamoured by Kishore’s voice in songs like Diye Jalte hain, Roop Tera Mastana, Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz and likes but the only question to my all time listing preferences will always be Rafi because his songs have always  retained that freshness for me 50-60 years after they were recorded, but with Kishore you at times tend to get bored, more so coz of the type of songs he sang, rather than his voice being the reason. But, when you dont have much to chose from, this is the type of things which can make the minor difference.

Dil Chahta Hai?

PS: Personal Opinions
As far as I can remember, there are only two things cricket and movies, which have ruled the hearts and minds of the Indian dispora. Other events and things can come and go but these two have been rooted at the top of popularity charts. Both of them are full of success stories and disappointments likewise. Yet, since its the winners who are talked about the most

Every calendar year in bollywood, comes up with a multitude of flops, a few hits and a super block buster movie which trumps almost any other movie in terms of praises heaped on it,the collections at the box office and the awards at the year end shows. Some lucky years we have more than one such movies which can be termed as the biggest movies of the year but as far as my senses go (which would be Hum Aapke Hain Kaun in 1994) there has been one movie which people associate with that particular year and its just the exceptions which occur sometimes when you’ve got more than a movie.

Looking at a list of the biggest movies of the year from 2000 to now, we notice that there’s always been something entirely different with almost every movie in this list.
If KNPH was the emergence of Hrithik and his style of acting, DCH was the harbinger of a different genre of movies, Lagaan was a combo of Cricket and Patriotism, two things people hold closest to their hearts. If Munnabhai was a comedy of different type, then Dhoom was the first time Indians were fascinated with bikes and so on almost every movie had something new to offer.

2000 – KNPH
2001 – DCH/Lagaan/Gadar
2002 – Devdas
2003 – Munnabhai/KHNH
2004 – Dhoom
2005 – Black
2006 – RDB
2007 – TZP/Chak De/Jab We Met
2008 – Ghajini/Rock On
2009 – 3 Idiots

Yet if you look at the list, DCH could easily be said to be the biggest movie of the decade. Agreed, it may not be the highest grossing by any means. If DDLJ was the movie that changed the style of movie making in the last decade by introducing Indians to the NRI dream. DCH changed it all this decade with the cosmopolitization of the entire movie industry. DCH was the movie which moved Bollywood from cities to Metros. There have been numerous movies located in Bombay/Mumbai before that but somehow the treatment always remained different. You can infact very well say that success of movies like Rock On, Dhoom, 3 Idiots are a direct outcome of the metro environment created by DCH.

Another reason for this is the optimal timing of the movie. Its only after stepping into the 2000s that India has achieved a spot of importance in the world in fields ranging from economy to cricket. 90s was a pretty average time in recent Indian history with unstabiliy and mediocrity being the norm. For no reason is the music of 90s the most dreaded by many people, Indian cricket team of the 90s considered as a benchmark for any poor performance. Breaking out into a new age literally and metaphorically, perhaps it was also a time of change in the bollywood and that fortunately was provided by DCH.

Some of the facts that still point to the never decreasing popularity of the movie is the fort in Goa which is commonly known as DCH Fort or the fact that everyone wants to make a road trip to Goa (but in a car.. The DCH way). DCH could be credited for making Goa more interesting to a whole generation of people.

The Women of Bollywood

My fav actresses in Chronological Order

Madhubala :

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(she just leaves me speechlesss)

I dont think a more beautiful women must have ever set foot on this earth than this dame. She is the perfect woman (when it comes to beauty) anyone could ever ask for. Now I am not a person who observes nuances about other people, so its always the full package for me, So i cant say for sure, if its her large round eyes which captivate or that mischiveous laughter, those tresses flowing down her forehead, the antics, the walk, everything about her makes me more mad 🙂
The only grudge I have against B/W cinema is, I could have seen her better in colour movies.. B/W after all seem so surreal.
I would prefer being the slave of this woman than being the lord of a harem . She is just mesmerizing 🙂

Zeenat Aman : If you want a combination of Sherlyn Chopra and Katrina kaif, then you need to go back in time to the 70s when a certain hottie named Zeenat Aman ruled the silver screen. Agreed she might not be a great actress in her time, but she is one on whom you will put your money to set the screens ablaze. She is the epitome of Hotness which is coupled with sheer grace and elegance of a queen. If Madhubala is the most b’ful woman of Bollywood, she is the hottest ever. N she can give current actresses a run for their money even at this stage 🙂 She had it in her not to look vulgar even when exposing much more than her contemporaries 🙂 HOT


Kajol :
Not the conventional beauty, Dark skin is generally not considered a compliment for girls in India, and yet this dusky beauty captured the mind of millions if not billions around the world. She was not the beauty in conventional sense and yet it was her demeanour, her ways, those deep black eyes, those silky long black hair which can even set afire the moon or slow down the sun. Shge definitely an inspiration for poets. One who could bring out the poet buried deep inside your heart 🙂


Aishwarya Rai : Arguably the most Beautiful Woman in the world and no doubt the most beautiful Indian woman in recent times. Although all is plastic, superficial and polished about her but in the past. Even thinking of someone in Bollywood more beautiful was a crime. She was The Beauty, the chick, the girl and the woman. The best part about her was her beauty wasn’t pushed on using over exposure, she was decent and yet desirable 🙂

Katrina Kaif : She is the one you desire for. She is not a lust object like Bipasha and the likes neither is she the cute girl like Preity Zinta and yet she is sexier than Bipasha and cuter than Preity Zinta if she’s upto it. She is the current standard of beauty, sexy. She is hot,svelte, and nice all at the same time. She is one you long for, each and every inch of her 😛

PS: Honourable Mentions -: Juhi Chawla, Helen, Asha Parekh
PS: Somehow never liked the junta favorites Madhuri, Sridevi, Rekha & Hema Malini

Masoom

There are quite a few movies made world over, there are pathetic movies, then we also have the good and the average movies, a limited number are given the standing ovation but then there a few movies which you can count on your fingers which make it to the list of your favourite”st” movies ever and recently I found another movie which took that no from 5 to 6 and the movie is “Masoom”, a classic from 1983 by none other than Shekhar Kapoor. I have one little problem, I generally don’t fancy very highly rated movies that much, that’s why if somebody swears by “Shawshank Redemption”, I start comparing it with “God sees the Truth but waits” (a story in our class X English book by none other than Leo Tolstoy) and get disappointed. Somebody talks about Forrest Gump, I can only remember the TT scene in the movie and a guy who keeps running and running and then comes the big daddy Godfather, thinking of which I can just think of a guy whose voice no normal human can make out. Agree that these are all good (or great) movies but unfortunately they didn’t touch me. That’s why I was quite pleased to enjoy a movie which is highly rated in bollywood.

Basically a senti movie about the dilemma of a guy & his family who has to take his illegitimate son into his well established family when the mother of the boy dies while already having two daughters from his wife. The picture shows the emotional turmoil which the family and the kid goes through just because of a mistake committed by the father. The story is not much to tell of, not a new innovation must have been told quite a few times, I remember seeing another Hindi movie with almost the same theme but it is, the way the story is told which makes THE Difference.

We have two of the most seasoned actors in bollywood, namely Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi playing the lead roles so the acting had to be good and there is no doubt it is good and very real, not at one time in the movie would you feel that this is not a couple which you will encounter in real life as your neighbours. Full credit to these two actors but the surprise package of the movie is the acting by the two kids, Urmila Matondkar and Jugal Hansraj, using the term wonderful for the kids would be just an understatement, Urmila’s facial expressions made me wonder at times if kids this young understood emotions as much as we do and ofcourse Jugal Hansraj with his beautiful eyes which are almost always filled with sadness, except when playing with the girls also does a commendable job.

But, Shabani Azmi easily steals the show with a power packed performance of a woman torn between the hatred for the offspring of the “other woman” and the love and sympathy for a kid who needed her love and support. The best scenes of the movie are also the ones featuring her, whether it be her displaying her anger against her husband in a typical Indian wife manner, having to adapt to her husband’s infidelity. The best scene in the movie for me in the movie is the one when the kid Rahul says “Sorry Aunty” after he ran away from home and the one where she learns that the boy knows about his father.

When you talk of this movie, you can’t forget the music, Lakdi ki Kathi is still one of the most popular kid songs, even after 25 years and you would be hard pressed to find a soul who hasn’t heard the song “Huzoor is kadar bhi na itra ke chaliye” but the song of the movie is ofcourse “Tujhse Naraz nahin hoon zindagi“, one of the most haunting music ever made, the female version of the song can bring tears to your eyes if you (which reminds me, I don’t have the female version of the song, if you have it then please email me at himanksharma[at]gmail[dot]com)

One of the most memorable line of the movie (copied from imdb)

Rahul: [Rahul has accidentaly smashed his finger with the hammer and has run to Indu for a bandage]
[whimpering]
Rahul: Mummy!
Indu: [completely shocked and dropping the knife she had in her hand] MAIN TUMHARI MUMMY NAHIN HOON!

You just have to see the movie once to savour the magic of one of the best bollywod movie.

I was very disheartened to note that Shabana Azmi didn’t get the Filmfare award for this movie (though she won it for Arth that year). And I have to admit, I found Shabani Azmi very very attractive in the movie(pagare should be pleased to hear this 🙂 ), there is some charm in the sheer Indianness of her appearance which appeals more than some hot bod sporting a bikini.

Song of the Day:- Tujhse naraz nahin Zindagi

PS1:- 2 posts in a day, though will publish it tomorrow may be 🙂
PS2:- Will try to return back to regular blogging, have a huge backlog!! 😦
PS3:- Obama wins in US, Test match starting tomorrow, pretty interesting stuff this.
PS4:- I know I am gonna be flamed for naming three of the biggest movies ever… 😐

ROCK ON!!

A.R.Rehman is definitely the best music director in Bollywood but the trio of Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy is surely giving  the maestro a run for his money. The thing with them is they come up with quite different albums every time and this time they have come up with an album entirely different from any album which has ever been released or will be coming for quite some time.

I don’t see much prospects of this album being a major hit, the music is just too experimental for the taste of the masses. I don’t think the youth in India is ready for Rock yet. This is typically Rock music, Guitaring, Drumming and all make you feel as if you are listening to Maiden or sumthing like that.

Socha Hai Starts with the guitar sounding a bit like Jimi Hendrix (tried it) and then we see the birth of another singer, Welcome Farhan Akhtar, he starts singing and for a moment you begin wondering if this is Lucky Ali singing (but alas we dont seem to be having any music from him) . He sounds so similar to Lucky Ali, specially in this song at times.  I liked the lyrics of the song quite a bit . 🙂

Pichle Saat Dinon
Again starts with a Rock guitar. Lyrics are just strange but surely a good listen, the song which I expect to be a chart buster from the album. This is one song which I think will stick to everybody’s lips with its one liners and I expect to be listening more people humming these lines in some days.

Rock on – Title track of the album again starts with a Guitar and Drum intro trying to give a Rock feel. This is an okayish song but the thing is you can get away with these type of lyrics only once or twice in the album and SOcha Hai & Pichle Saat Dinon Mein, already do it by the time. So these lyrics don’t excite you much by the time you get to this song.

Ye Tumhari Meri baatein
– Typical hindi movie song, not much to write about the song, a good and melodious song ideal for light listening. You can put in in your when trying  to unwind after a hard day’s work. Dominiquie Cerejo has done a decent job in the song.

Zahreeley –
The song of the album, not my favourite song in the album, not even 2nd best or 3rd best but this is definitely the pinnacle of experimentation in the album. I never could have thought that Indian music directors can come up with such song in near future but Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy have done it. Tadaa.. presenting to you the first Hindi movie Rock song. Don’t think it will be a huge hit but definitely its a new genre and may be if I amke this list 10 years later then this song might feature in it. The guitaring and drumming is definitely on par with rock bands and if you dont know before hand that this is a Hindi song then you will confuse it with a typical English Death metal song.

Tum Ho Toh –
Again not much new stuff in this one another melodious song and if you are going into this territory then you have to do something exceptional to get noticed and unfortunately Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy & Farhaan Akhtar fail in doing so, an average song in my opinion.

Sinbad the Sailor –
This might not be the story of India but Sinbad is certainly the only adventurer with whom Indians can identify, as Sinbad has always been the story of folk tales in India. A fast paced song with main focus on vocals and Farhan Akhtar along with Raman Mahadevan do complete justice to the song. This song can become quite popular with its catch lyrics and fast music, the only thing I don’t understand is that sometime around 4:45 out of the blue, between telling the story of Sinbad, they start singing lines of song “Tum To Ho”. I mean here you are talking about a warrior and his bravery and somehow you bring romantic angle into it with these 4-5 lines… Strange!! Very strange!!

Pichle Saat Dinon Mein(Live)
Original song is great with its unusual lyrics but this song somehow doesnt do it for me, the main let down of the song is Farhan Akhtar interacting with the audience in Hindi, Comeon man I know this is a hindi movie but you could have done with English, it just seems so out of the place him saying “Ab aap log sab mere sath gaiye”, things like “Aap gaiye jab main apna haath upar karun” make it unbearable for me, atleast!! Singing and music are decent enough but just wish they could have done away with that part

Phir Dekhiye –
My favourite track in the album and ironically it is not a path breaking one, the thing for which I am praising the album but a good melody is THE THING, nothing can compare to a good melody. Caralisa Monteiro(another foreign looking name) with the backdrop of an acoustic guitar just does wonders to the song. I couldnt stop myself from putting this song on an infinite loop for 2 days and finally stopped after the song had been played 150 times into my ears.
(Btw if anybody knows the meaning of “Hasham” then please comment)

My Rating – ****

Half Star for the experimentation factor.
Btw I am quite excited to see this movie, seems like it will be based on Rock Music and I seriously hope that Farhan Akhtar would have done justice to the theme. Lets hope and wait for 29th August.

Song of the Day –
Pichle Saat Dinon Mein from Rock On

PS1:- A random observation, my posts generally reach word count of around 1000.
PS2:- 18 live bombs found in Surat now, what the hell are these terrorists trying to do?? WTF are they gaining by all this?? 😦
PS3:- This PS makes my word count exact 1000