I need a favour…

Having studied literature and then liking to write and read isn’t an easy job, it isn’t the easy way out from the multitude of tougher careers out there as people might think it is. I not only do my work but I am obliged to a number of people to write/rewrite their essays, SOP, letters, speeches and help in all things related to language. It’s okay till the time I do not have work and wouldn’t mind “looking” at your work and approve of it; but more often than not I end up doing a Hermione Granger and write multiple versions of the same thing for people.

After having taken up writing/translation and whatever it is that I call “work” these days, it’s too cumbersome to do work for free for friends/family in the time I’d otherwise be charging for. It’s a curse to have a skill that others don’t appreciate as a profession. Tera toh English acha hain na, mere bete ko zara essay writing mein tips de. -_-

From avmarchitect.blogspot.in

From avmarchitect.blogspot.in

In a conversation with a CA friend I realised how wrong I was. He gets asked by people to look over his money matters, while an MBBS friend gets calls from neighbours when they have the sniffles. The law graduate friend constantly turns down requests from chaddi buddies to accompany them on trips to “scare” people and the engineer friend is required to fix mixer-grinders in the houses of all and sundry. My singer friend recounts how he was once asked to sing at the mourning/chautha for a friend’s father while the chef is constantly invited to potlucks where no one cooks anything.

Sportsmen/women have it the best though. At least they’re not asked to run from point A to B by acquaintances to showcase their skills at a birthday party or to box the host of a party to display that signature jab or hook. But I’m very sure there’s an aunty lurking somewhere who says field pe toh itna daudta hain, jaa sabji leke aa 10 minute mein.


Troubling Twenties

Something we’ve all been through and still are. Follow the girl, she makes a lot of sense.

Troubling Twenties.

Day 10: Ae Nazneen Suno Na

Movie: Dil Hi Dil Mein (2000)
Song: Ae Nazneen Suno Na
Music Director: A. R. Rahman
Lyrics: Mehboob Kotwal
Singers: Abhijeet
Actors (in the song): Kunal Singh, Sonali Bendre.

I am really sleepy and very tired after a looooong day! So just posting the link to the song today, details will follow later. Don’t let that bother you though, listen to the song and enjoy the romantic setting like I did! 🙂

Update: Finally the promised post.

Dil Hi Dil Mein is one of those movies that I can say was before it’s time and not at the same time. Two people meet on the internet, lie about their identities and finally discover the truth – that certainly seems like something from this world. However, the number of times they confess their love to each other and the number of times it goes haywire is astounding! Even for a Bollywood film!

Originally in Tamil, this movie was dubbed into Hindi, so quite honestly, I am surprised it has good lyrics. Not only that, I think this is a rare album by Rahman where only a single song has stood out to me in an entire album. Seems like the rest as simply timepass.

Enjoy Sonali Bendre in various dresses simply wandering about in this song (reminds me of her “Soundarya Sabun Nirma” ad), and the picturesque locales. Abhijeet has really done a nice job with the song.

The lines I would listen to over and over again:

Lagta hain ke tum ko, rab ne banaya jis dum,
Apni kudaraton ko usne tum mein kar diya tha gum,
Iss jahaan ko husn baatna bhi kar diya tha kam.

(It seems like the moment the almighty created you,
he lost his nature in you,
and he he distributed less beauty to the world since.)

Watch the video here:

Day 8: Garaj Baras Saawan Ghir Aayo

Movie: Paap (2004)
Song: Garaj Baras Saawan Ghir Aayo
Music Director: Ali Azmat
Lyrics: Ali Azmat, Sabir Zafar
Singers: Ali Azmat (in the video accompanying this post it is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as well).
Actors (in the song): John Abraham, Udita Goswami.

Thinking of when it will rain in India? It’s already been raining here in Montreal. That’s a tangent I went on while listening to this song.

Though the song has really nothing to do with the rains, the lyrics literally are about the rain and the thunder. Paap is one of those movies with a great potential in the script that’s absolutely ruined thanks to it’s lead actors. John Abraham is so bad that it’s painful to see him try. While Udita Goswami is slightly better, they both fail horribly when pitted against the likes of Mohan Agashe and Gulshan Grover (in another stereotypical “Bad Man” role).

This song along with Lagi Tumse Mann Ki Lagan (incidentally it is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s first in Bollywood) are the saving grace of the movie. I think the movie should also be credited with paving the way for a lot of Pakistani music and artists into mainstream Bollywood movies.

I first heard Ali Azmat as a kid. Sayonee, his song with his erstwhile band Junoon and his brand of sufi music is so famous that I doubt there was any kid in the Indian Subcontinent with access to a TV who hadn’t heard it. It’s one of those songs that you understand nothing of but is so soulful that it just remains with you.

Garaj Baras… is another such song that I had no clue of the meaning when it first released. But the song remained with me till I saw a performance of the same by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Azmat on Coke Studio. That’s the version I am sharing because it is easier on the eyes (and ears) than the version that’s from the movie Paap.

There’s not much to say here, but I feel that the two styles of music that Khan and Azmat follow might intersect at some point further on the road. However, this performance is not one of the best intersections (as I realised towards the end.) Enjoy the song nevertheless!

The verse I like the most:

Yeh zindagi rango mein dubegi,
surmai shaam ye bhulegi na kabhi.

Koi toh baatein ho aankhon se aankhon ki,
pyaar ki roshni jalti bujhti hui.

(This life will be submerged in colours,
never will the dark night forget this.
Let some talk happen between the eyes/from your eyes to mine
as the light of love lights up and extinguishes.)

On the request of a friend who follows my blog but wrote to me to say doesn’t understand Hindi, I will be translating my favourite lines everyday from now  on, I don’t guarantee that it is the best translation though. 🙂

Not the video from the movie, but enjoy!

Day 6: Nahi Saamne

Movie: Taal (1999)
Song: Nahi Saamne
Music Director: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Singers: Hariharan, Sukhwinder Singh
Actors (in the song): Akshaye Khanna, Aishwarya Rai.

As expected, here’s another song by Rahman in this list. Taal was one of the first soundtracks by Rahman that I loved every track of. Without a doubt it is also amongst his best five in Hindi. In this song he comes together with Hariharan to weave a magic that is unique to them (others that come to mind are Tu Hi Re, Chanda Re, Aye Hairathe Aashiqui, Roja Jaaneman).

While Taal as a movie was totally dependent on it’s music for its fame, this song is the gem of the soundtrack with the usage of sitar as a main instrument (reminds me Rahman’s perfect use of shehnai in the song Rehna Tu from Dilli 6) along with the unforgettable rendition of a single word “Priyasi” in a number of ways by Hariharan.

The video however has always been a let down for me. Akshaye Khanna was never the one I thought could pull of this song, Anil Kapoor may be. But close your eyes and enjoy this song, it is worth Rahman’s effort to totally ignore the video. Therefore, I am sharing a different version from the original, this one is Rahman live in concert with Hariharan singing this song with minor tweaks along the way. I prefer this one.

While listening to this song over and over sometime last month, I realised there are vocals by Sukhwinder Singh too! And Wikipedia confirms it for me. What  stumps me whenever I am sorting playlists is, where does this song go? Is it happy? Sad? Hopeful? Mourning the loss of a lover? It’s really all of them. The perfect example of grey emotions.

Besides the opening two lines of the song, here are my favourite ones:

Bichhad ke bhi mujhse, juda toh nahi,
Khafa hain  magar, bewafa toh nahi.

(Even though you’re away from me, we’re not separate,
You may be angry, but not dis-loyal/unfaithful to me.)

On the request of a friend who follows my blog but wrote to me to say doesn’t understand Hindi, I will be translating my favourite lines everyday from now  on, I don’t guarantee that it is the best translation though. 🙂

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing the maestro Rahman and Hariharan live, here’s the video you must watch:

Day 5: Khalbali Hain Khalbali

Movie: Rang De Basanti (2006)
Song: Khalbali
Music Director: A.R.Rahman
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Singers: A.R.Rahman, Mohammad Aslam and Nacim
Actors (in the song): Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Sharman Joshi, Soha Ali Khan, Alice Patten, Kunal Kapoor.

From one all-time favourite to the other, one Khan to the other, this song is one that I can never get tired of listening to on loop! In fact that is what I am doing now.

Khalbali literally means hullabaloo or a bustle causing things to off the track they were meant to. Rang De Basanti (RDB) is one movie I remember walking out of the theatre with goosebumps on my body and seething with the injustice of the ending. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way considering the reaction of the Indian populace to the movie and the political catalyst it eventually became for social movements.

This song and others (not the only one on my list, I’m sure), suit the movie so seamlessly that you may remember the songs and not the picturisation at all. They’re a part of the narrative and set the mood. For me, Khalbali does that brilliantly.

Take for instance the opening sequence of Siddharth smoking in a pensive mood (it’s always a pleasure to watch him) and then funny dance moves of Aamir Khan that all of a sudden metamorphose into a swanky step with Alice Patten and then a kiss (I don’t even remember seeing this!). Then the movie’s main plot of the juxtaposing between the past and present that is merges with the dialogues in the background and the mesmerising voice of Rahman.

I have no idea honestly of what is the one thing that makes this song tick. The music, the singing, the lyrics by Joshi, the actors, the tone it sets for the events of the movie, a mix of hope, romance and youthful spirit set together in a old tank/lake on a lazy afternoon, diving into water, graffiti painting – it’s just one free flowing river of a poetry.

I don’t think I can pinpoint my favourite verses or a anything I don’t like about it. It uplifts and makes me smile at the same time on how much this song/movie appeals to me even today almost a decade later! Especially the casual manner in which they say “hum lapakte saaye hain, hum sulagne aaye hain, ghar bataake aaye hain…” Especially the last part that signifies that we’ve no care, and we’ve informed those at home that don’t worry, I will do this. Oooof!

Still to keep traditions up, my favourite lines:

(starts after the dialogue “hum unke jazbeh tod nahi sake”)

Ziddi ziddi ziddi ziddi jazbaah (or is it ye zubaan?),
ziddi ziddi ziddi armaan,
ziddi hain toofan,
ziddi hum bhi yahaan.

Honestly, listen and enjoy the music without the video first!

Watch the video here: