Day 37: Hum Ko Malum Hai

Movie: Jaan-E-Mann (2006)
Song(s): Hum Ko Malum Hai
Music Director: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Gulzar
Singers: Sonu Niggam, Sadhana Sargam
Actors (in the song): Salman Khan, Preity Zinta.

(This song is on this list for the sheer ridiculousness of it. Yes, I am in that mood! 😀 😀 😀 )

Go over the credits again. Yes, Gulzar and Anu Malik. Yes. Yes. I had a shock the first time I saw that as well. But honestly, listen to the song, and tell me if the following is not something that ran through your mind.

The antara and the mukhda are written by two different people. There is no way those that really promising opening lines into “Mom maani nahi, dad naaraaz tha, meri barbadiyon ka wo aaghaz tha, ishq ka ek hi ek andaaz tha“. Really. What were you thinking o you God of words!

Moving on, at 8.34 this song is really long, I won’t blame you if you feel it’s the entire movie in there. Because it really is. Part of being a Salman fan is watching movies like these. And Main Aur Mrs. Khanna. Though I understand that Shirish Kunder had noble ideas and planned to turn this into a musical-type of thing (Farah Khan almost succeeds), you really cannot take this love story seriously.

If I remember correctly, this movie had the costliest trailer ever, I have no clue why. If you’re planning to watch this movie: let me warn you, Anupam Kher is a midgety-dwarf. And a bad one at that. I have no clue what this movie aimed to do. Also spoiler alert, there is is Preity Zinta look alike called Preity Zintakova.

The biggest surprise though is Akshay Kumar. He did this movie and then went on to do Joker with Shirish Kunder. What were you think of boss?! Was one movie not good enough for you?!

Watch the video here (take ten minutes out to gape at it):

Day 36: Stop That

Movie: Gambler  (1995)
Song: Stop That
Music Director: Anu Malik
Singers: Devang Patel
Actors (in the song): Govinda

Honestly, I am quite surprised this is only my second Govinda song on this list.

And quite clearly, Devang Patel and Govinda are a combination no one who was alive from the 90s is likely to forget. In Gambler there was another song, Meri Marzi that captured the imagination of this country like no song before that.Not only is Patel the baap of rap in India, he also has his distinct style of inane-ness that no one since has been able to follow.

But most importantly, the lyrics of this song caught my attention this time. There’s a hint of sarcasm that could even be alluding to a dystopian future if you look for it. Or I am just over analysing! 😛

On the other hand it can always be said that the lyricist simply found rhyming words first and then put them together, that’s quite plausible considering that the brief for this song must have been “make it mad”.

Govinda is in his evergreen best here with garish get-ups and moves that can only be his forte. Seriously! Look at step he repeats on loop. It’s weird but very tough to do.

My favourite line is the one I can never forget:

Madhuri Dixit mili raste mein,
Khaaye chane humne saste mein.

(Madhuri Dixit met me on the road,
We ate chickpeas for cheap.)

Enjoy the video here:

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 34: Tanhai Tanhai

Movie: Koyla (1997)
Song: Tanhai Tanhai
Music Director: Rajesh Roshan
Lyrics: No clue!
Singers: Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik
Actors (in the song): Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit.

Koyla belongs to that generation of movies where ‘izzat lootna’ of the mother/sister of every character was common place. Even by those standards, Koyla was a movie that bordered on barbaric and almost ridiculous.

Take for example the innovation with which the songs in this movie present themselves. SRK is mute (for those who didn’t know) but that’s a rather small thing to hamper his songs! SO with some creative usage such as – dream sequences, mouthing the words when someone else sings, more dream sequences, singing songs ‘from the heart’ which the actress understands- our hero manages the lowly hurdle that is singing when you cannot even speak.

Moving on though, the highlight of this song is the picturesque locale it has been shot in (seriously, some places are really breath-taking), do notice certain features of the song, such as SRK styling Madhuri’s hair, the silly signing between them and other miscellaneous actions after which promptly Amrish Puri’s men shoot at Madhuri to break the happy couple up.

I heard this song on radio the other day and hit a realisation- a part of the interlude (3.19-3.37) is the same tune as the base tune of Hum Toh Dil Se Haare from Josh. The funny part is, the music of Josh is by Anu Malik, and Koyla is Rajesh Roshan. So obviously, there had to be a more popular original song from where these two were copied. Sure enough, itwofs to the rescue! The tune is from Conquest of Paradise (start at .15) composed by Vangelis for the Oscar winner Chariots of Fire.

Interestingly, the itwofs post also mentions another song by Rajesh Roshan that inspired the main tune of Tanhai Tanhai. It’s his own song Frenny O Frenny from Khatta Meetha. That’s nice, copying from yourself, Roshan ji! 🙂

Talking on a tangent here, but Khatta Meetha is a movie you should watch. It’s a sweet film about a Parsi widower and widow who decide to marry and bring their families together. Yes, Golmaal 3 came from here. It’s one of those nice movies that just make you smile. Khatta Meetha is also famous for the song Thoda Hain Thode Ki Zaroorat Hain – a name that later inspired a TV drama show (remember that one?!).

Coming back to Tanhai Tanhai, it’s not a song that stands for much. Nothing I liked. It’s just “showing off” on my part on how I catch song tunes out and relate them to others! 😉

You can watch the video here:

Day 25: Kya Kare Kya Na Kare

Movie: Rangeela (1995)
Song: Kya Kare Kya Na Kare
Music Director: A. R. Rahman
Lyrics: Mehboob
Singers: Udit Narayan
Actors (in the song): Aamir Khan, Urmila Matondkar

Rangeela was a starting point for a lot of things. Urmila Matondkar’s career, Manish Malhotra’s racy costumes, Rahman’s Hindi debut soundtrack and the start of what is around two decades of animosity between Aamir Khan and popular awards.

Originally the song for today was to be Tanha Tanha Yahan Pe Jeena, the return of Asha Bhosale and went with my songs of the last few days. However, the song happens to feature Jackie Shroff in a speedo, something that cannot be unseen in this life. You’ve been warned. Therefore, in my dilemma, I chose this one! Kya kare kya na kare humesha ki mushkil hain haay!

Aamir Khan is something else in this movie! A lovable galli ka gunda who makes money by selling tickets in black outside movie theatres. This is my favourite scene from the movie.

Rahman is featuring way too often on my list I realise, but it’s something I cannot help. This album has a haunting character to it that you cannot ignore. Especially the effervescent Hai Rama.

My favourite lines from this song are:

Wo saamne chamakti hain,
Saans hi atakti hain,
Aur ye zubaan jaati hain phisal.

(She shines in front of me,
I cannot breathe,
And my tongue slips) 😉

Watch the video here:

Day 24: Dekha Hain Aise Bhi

Album: Sifar (1998)
Song: Dekha Hain Aise Bhi
Music Director: No clue!
Lyrics: I’ve no clue!
Singers: Lucky Ali
Actors (in the song): Lucky Ali.

One of the best part of being born in the 90s was that I was a witness to a curious shift in the mindset of Indians and India. Not old enough to comprehend it then, I realise now how the new economy affected all that we consumed. Through movies, songs and even everyday reminders in our lives.

Lucky Ali, Shaan, Silk Route, Junoon, Strings, Euphoria, KK were the albums I grew up on, the album music culture that died a little after early 200s. The kind of music I sorely miss today in the time of remix! Remember Puraani Jeans? A song I totally comprehended almost 15 years after I first saw it.

Carrying on with my theme from yesterday of travel and being alone, here’s my favourite Lucky Ali song (after O Sanam). It’s a mix of messages like all his songs. There is lonliness, re-birth, love, mystery and the part I love the most – no resolution! His music videos are poetry, they’re short stories from bigger epics – just an episode from life. Yes, I do miss these music videos where women gyrating was not a given. Nor was Chaar Botal Vodka (whatever the aim of that be).

Raise your hands if you miss the entire phase of pop music and artists who existed outside of the film business! 🙂

You can enjoy the video here:

Day 18: Mera Dil Le Gayi O Kammo Kidhar

Movie: Ziddi(1997)
Song: Mera Dil Le Gayi O Kammo Kidhar
Music Director: Sameer Sen-Dilip Sen
Lyrics: No Clue!
Singers: Lalit Sen
Actors (in the song): Sunny Deol.

Ever had that moment when a childhood moment was completely ruined when you discovered something about a beloved TV show that made you feel betrayed and deserted? I’m having that now. More on that later.

Last week a friend suggested I include this song on my list and I completely jumped at the offer since now I had support, also because the choice for me was between this song and “Sheher Ki Ladki“. And Sunny Deol won hands down!

Watch Sunny Deol do warm-up for some sport in this song from 1.17-1.25. It’s funny and no-brains entertainment similar to the movie. Ziddi literally means to be obstinate- Sunny Deol is stubborn to be the messiah of men. That’s him literally the same role in every movie I can recall.

I am not commenting on neither the lyrics nor the music today, because there’s something that happened today. I started this day on a nice note, everything worked fine, I was sorting through my list of songs and found this one, hummed it for a good part of the day and decided to make it the song of the day. The hitch? IT’S PLAGIARIZED. I can feel my disappointment and rage on the keyboard at this moment.

After watching the video a couple of times I noticed the comments below, the very first comment mentions that it is copied. I immediately did a search and discovered, that yes, it has a Pakistani counterpart with the exact same tune. As expected. With practically the same lyrics. Not expected.

Earlier this year for the “Talent Round” of my University’s Best Student competition, I presented Bollywood’s talent in stealing music and tunes. The obvious ones are Bappi Lahari, Anu Malik, Pritam and the not so obvious ones include Rahman, R.D. Burman etc. It’s been on for years and nobody basically bothered to tell our movie-waalas that Boss, this is wrong.

Billo De Ghar is the original tune of Kammo Kidhar (see the lyrical similarity?) by Pakistani pop singer Abrar-Ul-Haq. It released a year before Ziddi did, so clearly, we know who copied whom. Not just the tune and the lyrics, but even the Bhangra beats and some portions of the choreography are the same. Really, ye too much ho gaya.

Anyway, I cannot help but laugh at the hypocrisy of it all. A man who built a major part of his career on movies with hate propaganda against Pakistan, did war and partition themed-stories for more than a decade dances on a song stolen from an artist of the same country. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to blame Sunny Deol for the song, it’s the music director. But anyway, Karma they say…

My pick? The original one! It’s better, funny and even though the print may not be clear, it’s more hilarious than Sunny Deol.

P.S. If you’re interested, http://www.itwofs.com/ is a brilliant website maintained by a certain Karthik who has the most comprehensive list of songs, tuned copied from International artists. I’ve been following him for close to 5 years now, his work is a tremendous boost to the call for original music in Hindi cinema.

Hope you enjoyed the destruction of one of the most fun songs from my childhood. -_-

In retrospect, I should neither be shocked nor disappointed, this is how it has been for the longest time. Thank you for reading this song rant!

You can watch the stolen song here:

And the original here: