Here Goes Nothing…

Ahem. I am going to blog like nothing happened. Let’s ignore the last year when I completely gave up on writing. Ok? OKAY.

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“Oh God Why Me?”

I turned another year older last month. Honestly, I cannot pinpoint to anything that’s changed in the last year. The last few years though? A LOT.

Responsibility comes with age, said my school teacher. Ya, right.

I cannot for the life of me point to one phase of my life where I didn’t feel that I wasn’t surrounded by kids. Too many negatives in that sentence. Basically, I’ve always felt like I was surrounded by immature kids who could do with some growing up.

Which gets me to my current phase in life.

I don’t blog as frequently as I used to at one point. I take on more work than what I can humanely accomplish. Which leads to muddled up deadlines and a lot of apologies. Much like the kids in my class.

See, there? I am actually growing more rash, as I grow up.

One might argue, that growing up is actually about taking calculated risks. But really, I am too much of a scared kitten for it to apply to me.

SO what are the risks I have taken in the last few years? Let’s see…

  1. I decided to let go of a career I dreamt of having since I was a kid. Sigh. (The sting never leaves, does it?)
  2. I have decided to get totally disconnected to any mainstream news and pop shows. (Still getting there!)
  3. I decided to be a teacher. (This is not funny.)

I put myself up for scrutiny every day. Every single day. The fellow teachers, the snotty 17-year-olds who cannot even cook their own food, the neighbours, the friends. Everyone judges me, because I am a teacher.

And no, this isn’t the snide, oh-you-must-be-teaching-because-you-can’t-do-anything-else kind of judging. That I can deal with. It’s the career-advice and job-accomplishments type of judging. Big deal, you say?

“Everyone gets that!”

NOT really.

You see, the problem is this: Not all of us might ever have dealt with a civil engineer. Not all of us know exactly what a doctor does. Nobody wants to know what an architect does. Or even a designer for that matter. None of us have a clue what CAs do! But here’s the thing, every single one of us, has had a teacher. Probably for an extended period of time. This, apparently, qualifies all and sundry to tell me how to do my job.

Now here’s the thing, I am new to this job. I never professionally trained to be a teacher. But I am one. And if I need advice, I’d rather go to someone who is a teacher rather than ask you, Madame and Monsieur Randome. You, who were teachers for one glorious day in 10th standard when you lorded over a bunch of 10-year-olds.

Also, everyone who is a teacher has only one advice for everyone else. You learn on the job! You’ve no clue what a class will be like unless you’re there – experiencing that hate emanate from a multitude of sources. Hate, or awe. There is never an understanding or appreciation for what you do, in my very vast experience. Kidding.

There’s a silent understanding – ‘I will behave. Hence, it is my right to demand that you end the class 10 minutes earlier than scheduled.’

I get this, and I do this; because even if I may be this young-ish teacher who is still figuring out how to carry on talking when a 100 faces are furiously stabbing at their iphones; I was on the other side of the table just a few moments ago. And while I demanded of my teachers to be a little more considerate towards me, a person balancing her education and a job, I think I can extend the same courtesy to my kids.

Moral of the story? As I grow another year older, I’ve realised educating someone isn’t entirely my cup of tea. Not yet at least. I will probably need advice. Not yours, though. Maybe advice from the people I am trying to learn with. My students.

PS. This birthday bought some awesome gifts. That deserves its own post! 😀

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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 28: Nani Teri Morni Ko

Movie: Masoom (1960)
Song: Nani Teri Morni Ko
Music Director: Robin Banerjee
Lyrics: I’ve no clue!
Singers: Ranu Mukherjee.
Actors (in the song): I recognise none of them!

One of the sweetest songs of my childhood, something my nani taught me! 🙂 She still sings this one to me. Thinking of my grandparents today, here you go, this song sung by singer Hemant Kumar’s daughter Ranu has been recreated so many times that I’ve lost count now.

The best part about the song is no doubt the little girl who prances and swirls in the house in her cute skirt. However, the singer is clearly closer to the actor’s age and the difference in the voice is so prominent when you compare it to the other “child” singers of the era, who were more or less adults. Even if you shut your eyes, you can picturise a little girl singing this song with deep breaths in the middle to begin a new sentence and then suddenly losing the beat! 🙂

About the same time, Gharana had a similar song Dadiamma Dadiamma Maan Jao sung by Asha Bhosale and Kamal Barot. I wouldn’t be surprised if both the kids in the song are actually girls playing boys. Anyone know who they are? Also, Lalita Pawar is very entertaining as the Dadiamma. I remember watching this movie when I was a kid, and Pawar has since been the evil mother-in-law for me! 🙂

A song from your childhood that you like? Any suggestions for me to take up? Leave a comment!

Enjoy both videos here:

And

 

Day 14: Tujhe Dekha Toh Ye Jaana Sanam

Movie: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Song: Tujhe Dekha To Ye Jaana Sanam
Music Director: Jatin-Lalit
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Kumar Sanu, Lata Mangeshkar
Actors (in the song): Shahrukh Khan, Kajol

Yes, I did it. I reserved the biggest song of the decade for my birthday! 😀

Heard this song? Obviously you have! There’s no rock under which you could’ve lived where you couldn’t have heard this song. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) holds the title of the longest running Hindi film ever. One of these days I will watch a show in Maratha Mandir.

So, if you’ve not seen this movie, then I suggest you must. It’s the reason why most Indian girls think that the ultimate European vacation includes finding yourself a nice boy and buying a bell from souvenir shops in the Swiss Alps.

There’s nothing special about this song, the lyrics are not remarkable for the period, Kumar Sanu and Lata Mangeshkar sing normally, SRK and Kajol re-play their entire European vacation with retrospection on “what if”s, while they’re sitting all the while in the khet of Punjab, even the choreography is the same as all other movies of the 90s.

What is remarkable though, something that strikes me now, what is it with metallic toned saris in the Alps? And then switching to neon coloured pseudo-western salwar kameezes?! While watching the video for posting this post (?!) today, I found myself shrieking, “Will you cover yourselves you fools! It’s so cold!” Thankfully, the snow is a very small part of the song. Have you also noticed SRK at 2.02? It’s like he is controlling a fit of laughter. (Go watch and laugh!)

My favourite lines are the opening lines:

Tujhe dekha toh ye jaana sanam,
Pyaar hota hain deewana sanam.
Ab yaha se kaha jaaye hum?
Teri baahon mein mar jaaye hum.

(When I saw you I realised this dear,
That love is madness dear.
Where do I go from here now?
I will just die in your arms.)

P.S. I miss Kajol (especially the unibrowed one).Very much.

Watch the video here:

Day 4: Yeh Dil Deewana

Movie: Pardes (1997)
Song: Ye Dil Deewana
Music Director: Nadeem Shravan
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Sony Niggam
Actors (in the song): Shahrukh Khan, Mahima Choudhary, Apurva Agnihotri

This is one song that I can never have enough of! Everything about the song is perfect, the lyrics, to Sony Niggam, SRK, the long driving scene in the dessert and obviously all the places SRK dances in.

Why this song suddenly? My roommate from Paris is a HUGE fan of SRK. After two days of talking to her about him and his movies (she calls him George Clooney of India), we came to Niagara today. The streets of Niagara are fun, there are haunted mansions, museums and incidentally a wax museum with SRK’s statue. Immediately, this song came into my head because my surroundings are so similar! (Not the Las Vegas part but wherever it is that SRK dances with dolls at.)

The highlight of this song is Sonu Niggam. I doubt there is a single person who doesn’t like the way he “ooh”s and “aah”s in the song! It is simply impossible to ignore how earnestly he sings this song. Especially in the chorus line of “Phir bhi yaad ussi ko karta hain yeh diilllll”. The “dil” always makes mine melt.

I don’t think much can be said about the movie though. It is one those movies that I watch only for the songs. This one and a couple of others (hopefully some other day). I love what Nadeem Shravan have done to the music in this song where it is in equal parts fast paced with a western feel and about the very Indian way of dealing with heartbreaks, running away! 😛

Random thoughts: 1. How did Anand Bakshi decide to insert the random verse “God Saves The Man..” etc etc.? It doesn’t even gel with the music, it’s like a break in the entire feeling. I always cringe when I hear the melody that leads to this piece.

2. What is a grown man doing in Disneyland when he is supposedly grieving?! 😛

3. Portion from 5.09 to 5.16 is a green screen? The dance moves look like they weren’t shot on site. (See what I did there?)

My favourite lines:

Dil Kaisa Be Peer Hain, Wo Ek Tasveer Hain,
Main Kehta Hoon Tod De, Kehta Hain Zanjeer Hain.

Makes me go “Waah! Waah!” everytime. Time to shut the overanalysis.

Do you agree with me? Do watch the video and comment.

Day 3: C-A-T Cat Cat Maane Billi

Movie: Dilli ka Thug (1958)
Song: C-A-T Cat Maane Billi
Music Director: Ravi
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shailendra and S.H.Bihari
Singers: Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosale
Actors (in the song): Kishore Kumar and Nutan

From Govinda to Govinda ka baap, Kishore Kumar. Obviously I didn’t mean that literally! If there is one person I never understood in terms of the wide pool of talents, it is Kishore Kumar. Singer, dancer, actor and even a comic. I sometimes wonder if he learnt to create those funny voices or if it was something he was born with.

This song is older than my father, so obviously, it being famous now is a testimony to how absolutely mind blowing it is. Not only the lyrics (funny and insane) make it different, a lot of credit  has to go to the singers! Asha Bhosale is my favourite singer of the bygone era, and when I play Antakshri and try to sing this song, I fully appreciate how difficult it is to get all the lyrics correct!

The music is fun too because it complements the energy that Kishore Kumar brings to this song. The music by Ravi (also the composer of the evergreen Chaudavi ka Chaand) is especially great in this movie that has my other Kishore Kumar favourite – Ye Raatein Ye Mausam. Hopefully, it will make this list too!

However, though Nutan is the one actress whose songs make me want to try be all shy and coy while being mischievous (how does she do that with her eyes and eyebrows!); I don’t particularly like her here. Absolutely no justice to Asha Bhosale’s effort, which is sad because we’ve seen her be soooo great in a lot of songs! While she is in one place syncing to the lyrics, her co-actor steals the show from under her nose with all his trademark antics.

My favourite part (also the random-est part of the song):

B-A-D Bad, Bad maane bura,
B-U-T But, But maane lekin,
Arre dil hain tere panje mein toh kya huaaa!

Watch the video here and do comment!