Day 39 – 46: “Petrichor waale gaane” Part I

After a huge hiatus that involved a lot of procrastination, some body aches, some cursing my fate and some more cursing everyone in general, I’m back with the songs that I am sure you missed! 😉

Sunday mornings in the monsoon are my favourite, especially when I am indoors and have a cup of chai (green tea now) in my hand to watch the rain flow on the window.. did you imagine me with a book? Yes, I most certainly have one in my hand!

But what of the times that I am travelling? Or when the luxury of sitting and staring at the clouds is not available? I listen to these songs. This list was initially 5 songs, then they became 10, and now after a lot of playlist searching, they’re two posts! And hopefully this will help me fill the void in my challenge! The second one will be here on Monday morning! 😀

The following list is a LONG one, trust me on that! But none of them have anything to do with the monsoons – no wet saris clinging to the body, no wet hair being side swept with a half grin and certainly no tip-tip of the boondein. It’s just songs I love to listen when it’s raining.

Have a listen when it rains next time and tell me if you like them as much as I do. Mind you, all new and soulful numbers. Let’s start shall we?

P.S. Petrichor is the smell of rain on dry earth! 😉 Happy monsoon-y Sunday! 😀

Day 39: Tu Bole

Movie: Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008)
Music: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Abbas Tyrewala
Singers: A.R.Rahman

Genelia and Imran. Xavier’s and Bandra Fort for the backdrop. This movie and it’s soundtrack got a lot of attention but for all the wrong songs. Listen to this version from MTV Unplugged and then the original here. Tell me you don’t love it. I challenge you. 🙂

Day 40: Mar Jaava

Movie: Fashion (2008)
Music: Salim-Sulaiman
Lyrics: Irfan Siddiqui
Singers: Salim Merchant, Shruti Pathak

Fashion was a very forgettable movie but an unforgettable soundtrack. It was one of those that made me notice this music composer duo. Mar Jaava is the correct mix of ambition and ruthlessness that drives Priyanka Chopra in the movie.

Day 41: Ramta  Jogi

Movie: Taal (1999)
Music: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Alka Yagnik

This is my cheat song. I promised new songs and I am giving you one from the 90s! But yes, cannot do without this one. Also notice the sounds in the background – the continuous bells and then the swishing of the water. There is a bell that plays throughout. And yes, a song where my eyes never left Anil Kapoor.

Day 42: Kitni Baatein

Movie: Lakshya (2004)
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Singers: Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam

Love story in the middle of the war. Guns, artillery and reminiscing about love gained and then lost. Farhan Akhtar makes a good case for his actors- no words spoken but looks exchanged; but it is Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam who steal the show.

Day 43: Aas Paas Hai Khuda

Movie: Anjaana Anjaani (2010)
Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: Vishal-Shekhar
Singers: Rahar Fateh Ali Khan

Strangers with a suicide pact, seen that before and know what happens in the end. What you haven’t heard, is this song sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan that is like him and yet, so unlike him!

Day 44: Maula Mere Maula

Movie: Anwar (2007)
Music: Mithoon
Lyrics: No clue!
Singers: Roop Kumar Rathod

Anwar is a movie that deserved to be noticed because of the theme, but unfortunately, it lost all direction halfway through and then, disappeared entirely from all our collective movies. This song, however, everyone remembers. Partly because of the music and the way it is sung, and partly because of Nauheed Cyrusi. Watch her in the song and you’ll know why.

Day 45: Lukka Chuppi

Movie: Rang De Basanti (2007)
Music: A. R. Rahman
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, A. R. Rahman

I have spoken a lot about the soundtrack of RDB. It’s genius. This one is a song that makes it to my list of exceptions – I don’t like the voice of the Nightingale of India much, but this one.. yes this one does it for me. A tearjerker and what composition! Rahman just compliments everything beautifully! Listen to the full track here.

Day 46: Iktara (Male Version)

Movie: Wake Up Sid (2007)
Music: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singers: Tochi Raina, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Raman Mahadevan

They say you get only one chance to prove yourself, for Amit Trivedi this one was enough. In a soundtrack by SEL that was extremely formulaic and absolutely lackluster, Iktara stood out. Amit Trivedi shone. While the female version by Kavita Seth is the famous one, give this an ear. Tell me what you think of it. And oh yes, it rains at the end of this song! And Mumbai during the rains! ❤

So that’s it for today! 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll soon be back on track! 😀 Leave your comments about what your feel about my monsoon playlist!

Day 34: Tu Hi Re

Movie: Bombay (1995)
Song: Tu Hi Re
Music Director: A. R. Rahman
Lyrics: Mehboob
Singers: Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy/K.S. Chithra
Actors (in the song): Arvind Swamy, Manisha Koirala

Considering the number of Rahman songs that have made it to this list, I could do 100 days of Rahman! Though, I should probably finish this one first! 🙂

If this song doesn’t give you goosebumps, then I think little else will. Though I do insist you must try Bombay Theme from the same movie. And if you haven’t already seen it, do watch the movie, if only for the music. Though, there is a lot to love in it, it’s a movie that hits hard with the riots and rioters.

My sole memory of this movie is the one with the grandfather and the grandson walking the streets one night after the riots begin and them meeting rioters of the other religion. The grandson quickly covers for the old man, a close brush that to this day I have vivid recollections of.

Like every Rahman soundtrack worth its salt, this one too is difficult to find fault with. The man leaves no stone un-turned, to get you to feel the music when you hear it, even if it has been almost 20 years since it’s release, the songs are just as evocative.

Which brings us to this song. Uyire Uyire in Tamil (movie is dubbed into Hindi) is sung by Hariharan, a first time for him as well as Rahman who has experimented much with his voice later on. Tu Hi Re is a long song at almost 7 minutes, but it is never once boring. It keeps throwing one emotional punch after the other that hits you right in the feels.

Kehna Hi Kya is my favourite of this soundtrack, not only is the music exemplary, so is Manisha Koirala. Watch out for the part where Chithra sings “wunhe mein pukaaru“, typically Southie style! 😀

Humma Humma is a classic you cannot not hear. Even Benny Dayal (Cue for me to go Ooooooooo) infused it with his own brand of enthu and groove! You must watch this video even if it is only for the Carnatic bit in the beginning!

There are three versions to this song, in Tamil, Hindi and English. The two videos today are:

The original in Tamil:

The live performance which is bilingual (Hindi and Tamil):

Day 22: Yeh Hain Bombay Meri Jaan

Movie: C.I.D. (1956)
Song: Yeh Hain Bombay Meri Jaan
Music Director: O. P. Nayyar
Lyrics: I don’t know!
Singers: Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutt
Actors (in the song): Johnny Walker.

My first introduction to Johnny Walker was through the movie Chachi 420 as the make up artist who turns Kamal Hassan into a woman. I remember my father telling me that though he played the role of a drunkard all his life and was most famous for it, he was in fact a teetotaler.

This song takes even more meaning when you understand that Johnny Walker (born as Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi) moved from Indore to Mumbai when his father lost his job. Walker had to work and support his family eventually working as a BEST conductor where he was “discovered”.

Interestingly, he was named after the scotch whisky because he portrayed the role of a drunkard so well. You can read about his life here, here and here.

Watch him do actions for every word in the song here, especially in the second antara:

Day 19: Raftaarein

Movie: Ra.One (2011)
Song: Raftaarein
Music Director: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: No Clue!
Singers: Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravijani
Actors (in the song): SRK and Kareena Kapoor.

This song should hopefully be the only one on my list that is here solely because I love the video more than the music… 🙂

When I think of Mumbai, I think of the trains. As much as I may despise the daily commute in the trains that usually runs into hours, I cannot help but miss them.

This song from Ra.One is one of the best picturised on the Mumbai Suburban Railway network, especially since a lot of it is graphics. The train, the small tidbits of conversations in Marathi  and the fear of there being a bomb – it’s all too real and well represented.

Personally, Ra.One was a well made movie, but sadly I was bored too soon. Especially with SRK and his noodles with curd habit. Really?! However, I  love the soundtrack of this movie as well as the background score. It’s a pity that some really great numbers got over-shadowed by Akon’s songs. My favourite song from Ra.One is Bhare Naina – the perfect blend of Western orchestra with Indian instruments and vocals.

Why apart from the video did I then choose Raftaarein today? It’s because there is something to be appreciated here about Vishal-Shekhar. The song clearly has the feel of an R.D.Burman number(typically the voice in this song) and since it’s sung by the duo as well, it just becomes much more fun! For a while now I’ve liked Vishal-Shekhar for what they do beyond music, they make it fun! Whether it be having Bappi Lahiri to do two lines in Bangla at the beginning of a song, a full song when he’s not been heard for ages, Usha Uthup with a peppy number in her inimitable style or SPB in a psuedo-Tamil one, singing for other music directors, or getting other music directors to sing for them, they’ve done it all. Which is a great shift from the previous generation of music directors who were so rigid that two songs with the same tune <– (explicit language) and battles over which was the “original” were far too common. This makes me connect with them, because for them music is part nostalgia and part novelty! Just like it is for me. (Sorry for the links! Proving a point. 😛 )

Coming back to this song, I love the feel of the song. It’s fast, peppy and in my opinion was put to perfect use as the promotional song for the movie. Coming to the video, there are some details that you cannot miss. The “secret control room” from where trains are monitored, the “fast train aahe ki slow” comment etc. are typical to Mumbai. Delnaaz Paul’s cameo matches her persona and somehow not funny at all but SRK warning the kids not to try his stunts at home certainly is.

There are some details so wrong that I’m surprised no body from the post-production team caught it before. CST (Main) train not stopping at Bandra station? Really?! It’d be weird if it did stop at Bandra. And what is the gibberish that the man speaks from the control room? “Panchbatti se CST local Varla station pe nahi ruki“(?!) even after 5 hearings I didn’t get that. Though I may not be knowledgeable, when Kareena increases the speed of the train, it is at around 35-40 km/hr. Is that how slow a train that’s not stopping anywhere will go at?

My favourite lines:

Khayalo mein bhi jo mumkin nahi ho,
Wahi kar dikhana himmaton ki to pehchaan hai

(That which is not possible even in imagination,
Performing that is the recognition of the brave.)

Enjoy the song, the singing, SRK and the Mumbai locals here! 🙂

The Other Side of the Gender Debate

When people don’t offer seats to pregnant women on buses and trains, I really wish they would rot in hell.

Since 2007 I’ve been travelling in buses and trains practically everyday including on most Sundays. I often marvel at how women don’t offer seats to pregnant women, while they “book seats” as soon as they walk into the compartment.

The other day I offered my seat to a lady with toddler in tow. While she sat and thanked me, another one told me why did I get up. “If she’s has a young kid, then she should take an auto.”

I’ve read and participated in many debates and discussions regarding women in public spaces and what “etiquette” one applies in these situations. However nothing prepared me for a sixteen year old kid’s response yesterday.

If you’ve travelled by buses in Mumbai, you know that the “reserved” seats are quite prominent on the buses. Seats where women must be given preference to sit. These “reserved seats” are a bone of contention between many a lady and men who travel regularly. The two most extreme situations I’ve seen are that of a college girl asking a senior citizen to get up because it was a “ladies” seat and another when men stand in a relatively empty bus because the only available seats are “ladies” ones. I was quite taken aback at the first incident and mildly amused at the second.

Coming back to yesterday’s bus ride, I was comfortably standing in the bus after I sat for a solid hour in the train. I was probably the only woman standing and strangely enough, a boy got up to offer me his seat. On my repeated refusals, he just said “Baith jao. Gardi mein kisika dhakka lag gaya toh molestation ka charge daal doge”. (Sit down. If someone pushes in the crowd, you’ll file a molestation case.) And smiled.

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it. Are we really putting the fear of the public or “mob” in men of this country or is this how it’s going to be now? Every woman gets offered a seat (read as unwanted chivalry) so that a Dowry-esque accusation doesn’t get filed against the men?

I’m still pondering on what to make of it. Any ideas?

The New Year!

Happy New Year!
Hope you have lots of fun this year.
Now let’s get to the news: I’ve taken up a challenge this year. Unlike my very straightforward, SAVE MONEY, this year’s resolution is to READ MORE. And if that sounds vague then here goes what I’ve planned:

  1.  I’ll read a book a week and post what I thought of it here every weekend.
  2.  I’ve a rough list ready of what I have to read and then I just go with the flow.
  3.  I’m not doing book reviews. They take effort and time. I’ll give my opinion, hopefully with no spoilers! If you want reviews for books, go to Bookhad. 
  4. The second part of this resolution/challenge is the fact that I keep posting here. The blog has regular posts too, or so I hope!
Easy peasy?
I’ve had only four days with Book #1 of this year. SO the opinion should be up by tomorrow. Also, this is not an exercise into reading more because I don’t read much now; this is because I want to read more and barely make any time for it at all!
I’m making a list of all the books I want to read, if you’ve an input or something you absolutely want me to read (fiction, non-fiction, comics, picture books), I’m open to knocking off a few from my list!


PS. Check out the absolutely awesome Aamil here. He’s doing a book challenge of 130 books this year. He’ll do one every 3 days. Or so he thinks!

The crocodile who does the dishes…

The vacations have had different meaning for me over the years. Back in school, it used to be a cool time to hang out with friends, play till you were drenched in sweat, visit places, then hang out with a gola in hand.
In junior college, it was more of a break from the SSC-HSC competition and spent mostly in tutorials preparing for what we planned to do in degree. And now, once in BMM it’s the time for the internship hunt. After making my work fun last year, I decided to stay home this summer and simple “build” my health and enjoy my LAST summer vacation.
Guess what? In less than a month since my exams have ended, I have now perfected one thing. To be a crocodile. Yes you read that right!
All that I do after getting up in the morning is lie down, on my stomach, first in the bedroom, then the living room, alternately. And I must say I have perfected the task at hand. I do nothing for the first 6-7 hours of my day. Simply curse the heat and get back to lying down aimlessly.
My mother, obviously, doesn’t take kindly to this.
So, now this crocodile also does the chores. Chutti mein to kuch kaam kar! Which by the way, involves, washing the vessels when the kaamwaali bai takes an off. And guess what? I can’t even complain “Tai tumchya ghari bhaandi khup aahet!” (Too many vessels in your house, sister.)
Last night, after the second day off in a row, I washed vessels post dinner. At 10.45pm to be precise. So now here are some of my top five findings from this late night excursion.
  1. Banging the vessels at the end of the day is a lovely way to unwind.
  2. Washing vessels is an easier and energy saving way of venting out your anger.
  3. Your hands may become rough, but the diversion of the frustration at the vessels keeps your relationships soft (or wherever they were previously).
  4. Attempting to finish a research paper in 24hrs is a lot easier than getting the malai off the doodh ka bartan.
  5. Although playing music is helpful when you’re to do this task; your mom won’t object to you screaming “Mala zaau dya na ghari aata vaazle ki baara” at the top of your voice, as long as the dishes are getting done! *wicked grin*

There is something so depraving about removing the food from the mori, so that the sink doesn’t get choked up, that it actually is very liberating. You’ve finally overcome your disgust at touching the remains of 8-9 dishes from last night, which might even include the remains of half chewed drumsticks and tomato pulp. *shivers*
I always wondered, why non-Indians did the dishes post supper. It’s usually done in the daylight in most Indian families. I know the reason now; it’s a nice way to be happy when you’ve had a bad day and most of all, the best way to enjoy some moments of solitude without complaints of being unproductive.
By the way, in these odd 30 days, I’ve also made paneer kofta, fried palak puris (both of which were eaten by 10 people and all of them are very much alive.), cleaned out my bookshelves and my clothes’ cupboards, wiped all surfaces of the house more that thrice, successfully opened a jar of honey (It needs to be heated over the fire), and watched all those soaps on Star Plus, including hold your breath..Maryada…aakhir kab tak? Sigh!

So yes, you may now inform bharatmatrimony/shaadi.com that there’s a crocodile in town that can do the dishes. I, on the other hand, will get back to perfecting my art of being a crocodile!