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 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! 🙂