MUTED MUSIC


Sometimes, it’s not only music that makes you feel the music. Sometimes there are rocks that make you hum to yourself a tune so close to your heart. This rock could be a tiny chunk off a huge red rock, or even a pebble on the shores of a roaring sea. Sometimes, it’s just a piece of useless string- that makes you feel the music in it, unsung and personal. Sometimes- just an old and wrecked gramophone; the muted music in it plays just for your ears to hear. Sometimes there is no music around. Yet you feel that it’s all around you. The creaking door, the wailing baby, the hawker on road, the honking cars, raindrops, bronze bells, footsteps, words, silence.

Have you ever got stunned by anything? It may even be something that was ever present in front of your eyes- still you had hardly noticed it. But sometimes, that something conveys everything that it had ever wanted to convey to you, you stay stunned in front of it! Like the photograph of Madhubala. Beauty, innocence, love, pain- everything at once in front of you. You do not know what is there to it. I’ve heard of people talk of great things about the Monalisa painting. May be I’m not intelligent enough to understand the painting. But Madhubala’s photograph- is my personal version of Monalisa!

In the movie’ Howrah Bridge’ (1958), her dreamy entrance to the mellifluous humming of Asha Bhonsle to the spell binding music of O.P. Naiyyar- still sounds haunting! ‘Aaiye Meherbaan’- is still a chartbuster, even after 52 years! As I watch her on screen, serenading Ashok Kumar, I think for a moment- ‘WOW! She was real’!

She is seen dreaming away her love in movie ‘Rajhat’ as she sings ‘Mere sapne mein aana re’. When she sings, we actually get a glimpse of her dream, as we see her visualizing her love in her dreams, and smiling to herself as she does it! We see her thinking of things she plans to do- like posing to be asleep, waiting for her love to wake her up, and we actually see it in her eyes. I get a feeling that she does not need music to convey that to us. Her presence is enough. The song ends with a beautiful tune in the raag ‘Hameer Kalyani’, and she swings in the swing that rhythms with the tune. The Hero stands next to her, admiring the way she swings. And we see her, through his eyes!

Achcha ji main hari chalo’, from movie Kala Pani (1958). How could Dev Anand be angry? Had it been me- well. But seeing her trying to say sorry, you feel like telling off Dev Anand for making her plead so much! But again, like us, we guess he enjoys the way she says sorry!



May be the role was so much like her, that Anarkali became Madhubala. Madly in love, defying the norms, punished for her love, slapped by the one whom she loved- with her health deteriorating through every step she took, it would be right if I say- She gave her life for ‘Mughal-e-Azam’.

When Anarkali sings ‘Mohe panghat pe’, it was not a courtesan singing it, but you see a Gopika in her, singing a song for Krishna- the divinity kept intact. Her expressions of a woman troubled by a naughty boy of Gokul- yet enjoying the troubles and taking pride in the troubles she’s being put through, nevertheless. When she sings the stanza- “…Nainon se Jaadu kiya..” just observe her expressions!



“…Mohabbat hum ne mana, Zindagi barbaad karti hai; Yeh kya kum hain marjaane se duniya, yaad karti hai; Kisi ke ishq mein duniya lutaakar hum bhi dekhenge…”




As Ustaad Bade Ghulaam Ali sings ‘Prem jogan ban ke’ , I only watch the feather grazing lazily over Anarkali’s face, her expressions changing each time her face emerges out of the touch of the feather! Thousands of unsaid and unexpressed things lying there in the depths of her heart. All that she could manage to say to Salim, she tries to say it through her eyes...




May be it was her will to live beyond her life- as she danced to the music of Naushad, Lata singing “Chup na sakega ishq humara, charon taraf hai unka nazara…”


-she was indeed all around, as was the music, as were the words , her life, her beauty, her silence…



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RAGAMALIKAS IN FILM MUSIC


Raagamalikaas are an essential part of Carnatic Music. A Raagamalika is- we could say- a song with each stanza put forth in a different raga. Together- it is just one composition. But it comprises not just of one raga but many. A carnatic concert would give the performing artiste a chance to explore the various highs and lows of a song. But in film music- the song has to live up to the situation it is being used in. Tamil Film Music, those days- were only carnatic music that was not performed in front of Live audience. Yet, the film music those days were full of heavy carnatic music. The concept of "film music" or which is called the "light music" only came in later. And so, until then- it was the carnatic system that dominated the film industry for a very long time!

As we now know, that Ragamalikas are just one song- with different ragas forming a part of it, is a difficult form of the authentic carnatic music to be fit into a movie! For a movie demands songs for a situation- which are usually romance or sadness or loss etc. So how did the musicians of those days- fit in a Ragamalika into a Film song?

Ragas usually have a characteristic. Ragas that can begin your day- or sing you into a peaceful slumber. Ragas that can seduce, or ragas that can melt even the hardest of rocks! I do not know about the melting the rock ragas or ragas that can light a lamp. I have not tested their unusual powers. But the Film Makers and the musicians surely appear to have tested the characteristics of different ragas. Film music makers in those days, instead of creating a Ragamalika for the sake of having it in the movie- usually had a situation in the movie where their Ragamalika could fit in. For instance, we spoke about the ragas and the characteristics. In the movie 'Sampoorna Ramayanam', there is a situation where a musician performs at the court of the great king Raavana. But he makes a mistake. Being an expert musician and a scholar himself- upon his ministers' and sons' request, Raavana performs. The interesting thing about this song is that- his courtiers ask him questions like- "what's the raga to be sung in the morning"? In reply, Raavana plays and sings the Boopalam and says the name of the Raaga as well! Any connoisseur of Carnatic music would not fail to note how the special identity of each Raaga has been brought out within such a short space! I felt it was a brilliant way in which Carnatic music could reach common man- for the music and the movie was a huge hit!



'Sampoorna Ramayanam' is filled in with excellent songs and beautiful raaga handling, especially the Thilang of the song- 'Indru poi naalai vaa'. It was easier with mythological movies for the situations were all usually ready. There is again a contest kind of a situation between Raavanaa and the sage Agasthiyar in movie 'Agasthiyar'. The lyrics has in it the names of the raagas being sung.



Musicians/Lyricists usually put in the raaga names into the songs in case of Raagamaalikaas in most cases. The best of such a Raagamaalika should be a 1947 Sivakavi. Papanasam Sivan's wonder music, another crown jewel to the reighning Super Star of the 40s- M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar.



Mythology, as we discussed proved to be a best platform for exploring Raagamaalikas. Musicians gave some of their best creations in this area- that not only proved to be a hit but the tunes stayed on to become a regular Carnatic concert piece! The best known examples are from our very own Bharathiyar song collections like- 'Sindhu Nadhiyin' or 'Senthamizh naadenum'. The 'Vedaala Ulagam' was a T.R. Magalingam classic, not only a great musical hit- but had in it the one song that most people would keep listening to for years in Carnatic musical concerts. The song was a D.K. Pattammaal classic number- 'Theeraatha vilayaattu pillai', a Bharathiyaar song. The song is placed in a situation where the court artists perform in front of the Emperor- the tale of naughty Krishna as told by the Gopikas. It sure remains a concert favourite even now. Another such classic number is from a social drama, penned by Kalaingar Karunanithi, a 1957 classic- "Manamagal", "Cinnanjiru kiliye"- another Bharathiyar song with music by C.R. Subburaaman. A stuation is where a music teacher, in love with one of his puplis, teaches the Bharathiyaar song to them. This song- touched a new dimension of Raagamaalikaas in film music. It was actually exploring the emotions portrayed by Bharathi in the song- with a mild Kaapi evolving into a seducing and romantic Maandu when line reads "oodi varugayile, kannamma ullam kuliruthadi" and then moving on to a strange painful forbidden emotion that is actually a pleasure when felt- a Vasantha, when the line reads- "uchchi thanna ugarnthaal garvam ongi valaruthadi". It slips into this dazed and dreamy Thilang when Bharathi is absolutely smitten by Kannamma and writes- "Kannaththil muththammittaal, kannamma, kal veri kolluthadi"! And ends with a grief beyond expression- a Sivaranjani- when Bharathi feels totally helpless when Kannamma feels sad- he writes, "un kannil neer vazhindaal en nenjil uthiram kottuthadi"! This is by far the best Raagamaalika in Film music that I have come across, that totally does justice the beutiful lyrics by Bhaarathiyaar!

The film, though a social drama, has another beautiful Raagamalika in it- an absolute wonder- a masterpice by the MLV-P. Leela pair who have rendered many beautiful numbers together. The song here, is 'Ellaam Inbamayam' starting off with an elegant Simmendra madhyamam proceeds on to explore tunes and swaras never handled before and after!



In the 60s, once again Mythology took over the responsibility of Raagamaalikaas with Thiruvilayadal, a K.V. Mahadevan musical. The song 'Oru naal pothumaa' is not only famous for the KVM/A.P.Nagarajan/Bala MuraliKrishna names involved but also for the brilliant histrionics displayed by a great actor of those days- T.S. Balaiyya!



Romance, though seldom formed a situation for Raagamaalikaas- still we have managed to have a few great numbers in that area. 'Uththama Puthran' a G.Ramanathan musical had one such beautiful number 'Kaaththiruppaan kamala Kannan'. But my all time favourite would still be the 1957 superhit Tri-lingual that was called 'Manaalane Mangayin Bhaagyam'. the music by Aadi Narayana Rao- this song, even now remains to be a Contest-Favourite! If a contestant could sing this- and sing this as it is- then they can always sit back and relax for they are a sure winner! Not to forget names like Shreya Ghoshal and Chinmayee have been such contestants- it reigns even now as one of the toughest songs ever to be sung. The tamil and telugu versions of the song were sung by Ghantasala and P. Leela. I have here the Hindi version by Rafi and Lata- 'Kuhu Kuhu bole koyaliya'.



Raagamaalikaas might have taken a back seat these days. But they remain to be one of the most explored areas of film music of yester years- giving us some of the songs that would be carried forward- into the future!



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MI MARATHI


I have been listening to Marathi songs in the recent time. Bharathi was indeed right in saying "Singa Marathiyar tham kavithai kondu..." They have beautiful lyrics. But I am more into music than lyrics. Music is what that attracts me- the moment I hear it. I sincerely believe that Music is something beyond language or thoughts or geographies! So wherever I hear a few notes- they immediately touch my soul!

This song here- "Mi Radhika Mi Premika" by Aarti Ankalikar- Tikekar, in raag Malkauns(?) You can understand it's about the whole Radha- Krishna Saga. But the music in it- there could have not been a better choice of Raaga! The sorrow, the love, the happiness- forbidden pleasures all coming in together! But mostly- it's the 'Bhakthi' in it. And believe me, you need not believe in religion to feel the Bhakthi in this music.



There is this other song. 'Apsara Aali' from movie 'Natrang'. Bela Shinde- I remember her as a contestant of Sa-re-ga-ma from Sonu Nigam's time. I have never thought 'Mayamalavagowla' beyond Sarali Varisa of Carnatic music. May be I was not much into it- the raaga- since I had no clue what I was doing in a music class when I was initially forced into learning music by my dear dad! But this song, hanged my whole idea about this raaga! It's full of such warm passion. No passion is kind of a strong word. It's more like 'suggestive' may be 'provocative' but to put it simply- beautiful. The song is a poetry, describing the Lavni dancer- who is like Apsara, like how she looks, etc. When you listen to it closely, you can actually guess the meaning, even if do not know the language! (Fortunately, here I found a video that has subtitles!)



There is another Lavni number from the same movie that I totally enjoyed. It's a very difficult song to sing. But the music is so captivating! I m sure, it'll stay for a few days in your mind, from the moment it enters your mind.



There are so many songs that you've listened in your life. Sometimes, there are songs that just comes from somewhere- like you happen to listen it from somewhere. And it stays in you forever. The problem is- you don't understand one word of the lyrics. It's just the music that you know. How do you get the song? It's just a thought- may be in future, we shall have some Google search that would recognize your humming and display matching results! This is such a song. I had listened to it in AIR, ages back. I was very small then. I didn't understand anything back then. But the music stayed behind, in memory. And accidentally, I came across it. Now, I know it is a Kholi song. Kholi songs are another aspect of Marathi music- the song of the boatmen. This is a very old song. Very famous too. you might have even listened to it. It's Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar singing. And music is by Hridayanath Mangeshkar. But all these are details I found recently. It's the tune, that took me into it!



There are more such beautiful songs in so many languages. Each song takes us one step towards a totally new cultural and social code, that we should explore. And my search continues....



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RAHMAN'S ROBOT


If a review is something that defines music- I can only think of one word to define the music of “Enthiran” – Rajnikanth.

Music in Shankar movies has an identity. Listening to it- one can guess it has "Shankar" element in it. One could argue that it’s because of Rahman. But “Anniyan” (Harris Jeyraj) had the same element in it. Music in Shankar movies, have all the elements that are essential to make it a phenomenon. A Shankar phenomenon. “Gentle Man”- “Chikku Bukku Rail”. Kadhalan- “Pettai Rap”/ “Muqala Muqabla”. “Indian”- “Telephone Manipol”. “Jeans”- “Athisayam”. “Muthalvan”- “Shakalaka Baby”. “Boys”- “Dating”/”Girl Friend” “Anniyan”- “Kannum Kannum Nokia”. “Sivaji”- “Rathi”/”Oru koodai Sunlight”. These are songs that you can find only in Shankar movies!

“Sivaji- The BOSS”, which many people consider as a Rajni magnum opus had a music that defined the Rajni in it. The Rajni factor in tamil cinema is like water. It flows through anything and everything. The feel of Rajni movies, especially when you watch it on the Day-1, it is that of a believer! You feel as though you are witnessing the crowning of a king. Or perhaps- someone divine has landed on Earth to save the world! I am a very practical person. But once you decide you want to watch a Rajni movie, it is best to leave all logic and practicalities behind! It’s a great feeling, I promise!

When you watch a Rajni movie- you can see only Rajni, all around! There is no one else, but Super Star everywhere! That was how it was. The “Enthiran” songs. A movie written for Rajni. Songs for Rajni. Music for Rajni. And Rahman works wonders when you give him something off-beat. May be that’s why Rahman is first choice, when directors are thinking along the lines of Period Movies like Lagaan, Zubeidaa, Mangal Pandey, Legend of Bhagat Singh, etc. Pity “Marmayogi” is never releasing!

My favourite song in “Enthiran”- ok, songs. “Irumbile” by Rahman and Kash’n’Krissy; “Kilimanjaro”- Javed Ali, Chinmayi; “Kadhal Anukal”- Vijay Prakash and Shreya Ghoshal. All the “Enthiran” songs have very unique lyrics. Shankar has always favoured lyrics that has lines like- “Jurassic Parkkilindru Sugamaana Jodigal, Jazz Music Paadi Varudhu”! Or even- “Azhagiya nilavil OXYGEN nirappi angae unakkoru veedu seyvaen”. “Enthiran” concept is like a jackpot for Shankar! The lyrics- actually made me smile! It is a good thing. For instance- “Irumbile” has a line like “Google-kal kanadha-thedalgal ennodu”!

“Puthiya manitha”- is obviously the introduction song, as it has SPB in it! I liked a little part of the lyrics in it- “
Maatram kondu vaa- Manithanai menmai sei..”. That part sounded like a beautiful prayer to the machines! The techno beats- electro- chorus- TA-DAA! And there lands the “Robot”! But the song also launches Khatija Rahman! Some song to start with! “Kadhal anukkal”- sounds refreshing and unlike a “Robot”, perhaps! Shreya Ghoshal- what a voice! “Irumbile”- Rahman’s voice sounds good. Also- most adapted for this song. Kind of a space-song. A Robot love-song! Kash’n’Krissy- sound fresh, trendy – and an “Attitude” that makes you say- “WOW”! The Rap part sounds great! Tune sounds familiar? I don’t care.. Yes, Rahman! You are a Genius!

The “Aha Aha” part in “Kilimanjaro”- sounds vaguely familiar. Though I cannot remember from where! But sounds good all the same. I had nice times irritating my mom singing the “Aha Ahaa” part during the dead of the night, while she slept! I liked especially the “tribal-like” chorus parts in this song! Chinmayi’s voice is so flexible! And Javed Ali’s is a treat to the ears! “Arima Arima”- it sounded loud to me. Need to watch the movie. I could not judge the song when I listened to it. But I really felt that Sadhna Sargam should improve her Tamil pronunciation! Couldn’t help comparing hers with Shreya Ghoshal’s flawless Tamil pronunciation! The percussion is great in “Chitti Dance Showcase”. In fact, it is a great package of the genius in Rahman, Yogi B’s rap and a classical fusion! There is this other similar kind of experiment of Rahman’s. The track- “Liquid Dance” from “Slumdog Millionaire”. Yogi B’s rap again forms the core of the “Boom Boom Robot” song! Shwetha Mohan’s voice sounds just as sweet as her mother Sujatha’s. The song reminded me of another Shankar song- “Girl friend” from “Boys”! Not that they sound similar! But it kind of has the same essence as “Girl friend”, I suppose!

“Enthiran” music does kindle our interests. It also comes as a sign that Rahman is officially an International composer now! I especially felt this strongly when I listened to the “Irumbile” song! “Eanthiran”- the bottom-line. It has Rahman in it. It has Shankar in it. And most important of all- It has the Super Star in it!! I am keeping my fingers crossed- and awaiting for the movie to get released real soon! Hope I do manage to get hold of the first day tickets! And finally, I should to add- I am really going to miss Sujatha’s dialogues this time!




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தீ by Encore - Tamil POP

I met my friend Jagdish (Jagz) after longtime here in Seattle. He was an aspiring music director in college days and he still is. Interesting thing is, this guy was a part of a music troupe who published an album while in college; definitely not after watching Shankar's Boys. Big label (SaReGaMa), big names (Chinmayee, Shivamani, etc.) and of course, THEY WERE ORIGINAL.

I am not going write a review here because lot of people had already done that. I am just here to introduce them in our blog and post some links to follow.

http://theebyencore.blogspot.com/

This is their blogspot and you can read reviews, press releases and comments about their album from different personalities.

Personally, my favorites are 'Thai polave' sung by Chinmayee, 'Thee' theme song, and Thee instrumental performed by none other than 'Drums' Shivamani.

Enjoy song teaser's here. If you like the music leave a comment.

Song Teasers

(I just copied this part from original website. Please let us know if that is a problem)

If the song coughs up too much, click on "pause" immediately after hitting "play", wait for a while and play again. Make sure pop-ups are not blocked. (It's worth the trouble :) ) These are only samples and are encoded in 128kbps.

Theme of Thee - Vocals: Brat, KK, Minor and Amal

Theme of Thee: dial-up,lo-fi
Theme of Thee hi-fi


Thaai Polavae - Sung by Chinmayi



Thaai pOlavae: dial-up, lo-fi
Thaai pOlavae hi-fi


Dhinam Dhinam - Sung by Devan, Brat & Katz



Dhinam Dhinam: dial-up, lo-fi
Dhinam Dhinam hi-fi


Endhan Uyirae - Sung by Prasanna



Endhan uyirae: dial-up, lo-fi
Endhan uyirae: hi-fi


Thee - Sung by Ranjith


Thee: dial-up,lo-fi
Thee hi-fi


Album Credits
Percussion - Sivamani
Bass - Keith Peters
Guitars and Violins - AmalRaj
Rythm Sequencing - Simpson
Sitar - Kishore
Ethnic Percussion - Vikram,Thirumurthy
Keyboard Sequencing - Shankar

Vocals

Chinmayi,Ranjith,Devan,Malgudi Shuba,Prasanna,Manicka Vinayagam,Encore
Music & lyrics - Encore(Bharat,Katz,Jagdish,Karthik & Krishna)
Sound Engineer - Ramesh
Label - Saregama





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Noor ki baarish - Raining light

Before I begin this post, I have to thank a few people. First off, the people who write for Music, method and Madness - I would specifically like to thank both Ramakrishnan and Mathangi, for all the thoughtful conversations on the blog and the wonderful songs they bring to the table and their words. Secondly, to the people who read this blog and communicate their comments. Many thanks; it feels good to see my vision in print. Like it says on the sidebar, this space is open source, so if there is some song you would like to discuss/ write about/ or just share, please feel free to mail it to me.

In cultures across the world, people sing to their Gods. It is like offering one of the highest pinnacles of human cognition - music - to one of the highest conceptions man can have - God. By God and divinity, I do not mean a personal God so much as what every human being holds high, pure, unsoiled and sacred unto himself. The emotions that come out when one contemplates the divine in any form are boundless. They are human in all aspects, but because the object is divine and therefore, by definition, something that is superhuman and worthy of the best, the limits of our all too human emotions are elevated to a different plane. Whether this emotional outpouring takes the form of art or literature or music, the result is something that is ecstatic and transcendental at the same time.

I was organizing my iTunes folder when I came across a few Rahman songs that seemed to follow this theme - contemplation of the divine. Before I knew it, I had compiled a playlist of the same, and for the past few days, it is the first thing that I listen to every morning. Needless to say, Rahman and divinity in the same line is something that should not be talked about, but experienced. So I am going to share my playlist with you, with a few thoughts. Forgive the words, they are but an adoring fan's indulgence :-)

1. The first song is what has been looping on my playlist all day - the song from Rahman's latest album, Puli called Namakameeyara swami. I can see that Rahman is kind of on a 'Jaa re udd ja re' hangover, the orchestration seems similar. Absolutely love the transition into Ananda Bhairavi towards the charanam.

I got a Telugu speaking friend to translate the song in its entirety for me. The primary emotion of the song seems to be trust - God as a bedrock, something to believe, something that relieves all fear. Absolute trust. It is entreating the lord to give the supplicant all that is good and desirable, eschew all that is not good. The lyrics reminded me of the immortal 'Hum ko man ki shakti dena'.

Pawan kalyan with a gun is not the best title picture for this song :-) Adjust maadi please!

2. Where does the realm of philosophy end and where does that of religion begin? Philosophy demands intellectual rigor and logic to a large extent; religion is in the realm of experience. When there is synchrony and harmony between the two, what can there be but peace?
The reason I am quoting this next verse is not just the deep meaning of the verse, which summarizes the philosophy of the Sikh religion. I love the video - if viewed in the context of the movie, it exemplifies faith. For all their playfulness, what holds those characters in the movie together is faith. It was brilliant to watch this bit in the movie - if I remember correctly this comes up after Ajay (Madhavan's character) rejoins the army and they start filming again, and truly start believing in the ideals of the freedom fighters they are playing.


3.The third emotion in the list is harmony, and the third song is 'Tumre Bhavan Mein' from Delhi 6

Arguably one of Rahman's best albums ever, the film was not very popular. Personally, this is one of my favourite movies, and one of the reasons I like it is the subtle integration of themes into the plot. For example, this song comes up in the context of a puja held in the house of one of two brothers who are at loggerheads. It is am amusing scene, where they try to sing the bhajan to outdo the other. Then their wives chip in, singing together. Harmony is restored.

I preferred to post the noisy version of the video in the context of the scene in the movie than the song in full.


4. விண்மீன்கள் கண் பார்க்க சூரியன் தோன்றுமோ..
This is a beautiful composed song and a beautifully composed video. There is something incredibly heartwarming about a child's devotion, isn't there?

PS: Is this Vairamuthu?

5.Another of those 'situation songs' where the emotion comes out not only because of the divinity invoked but also the plot that demands it. Sita, as captured in this song, is close to my version of her and therefore I find that special resonance. Lyrics are beautiful, aren't they? 'Mann se Raavan jonikaale Ram uske mann mein hain' :-)


6. I feel so sorry that I could not find a video of this song. This is another context - situation song, I guess the emotion could be called Shringaram, given that the song is called 'Alaipayudhe kanna, en manam alaipayudhe'. The expressions on the faces of the lead actors speaks more than the song (or the dialogues following the song) do. Besides the song being a major plot point, it sounds so comforting. Not so much as an alaipanjufying mind so much as a lullaby.

Unfortunately, I don't have a video (there isn't one available on Youtube) and all the online streaming sites I checked at have this annoying code that plays immediately when the page opens. If someone can help me find the song/ video/ tweak the code, that would be great :)

7. Water is an incredibly soulful album. And this rendition of Vaishnava Jana tho is...just listen :-)

Vaishnava Jana To ...

8. I have lain under the stars many a night listening to this song on loop. It has ARR's very magical voice singing it out, and it is a very personal song for me. (I know I sound like one of those people on Sun Music dedicating a song to their mummy, daddy and 3rd bench Kamala, but I'm okay with that :-))

9. Arziyaan saari mein, chehre pe likh ke laaya hoon....
I like to think of this song as Khwaja's skipping-with-joy cousin. While Khwaja is solemn and supplicating, registering awe and mysticism, Arziyaan is familiar with the lord. After all, it is 'mora piya ghar aaya...' :-)


10. I included this song in my list of 10, because it is not a religious song per se, not in the sense of it being affiliated to a particilar religious belief system. However, the innocence and imagery of this song, the ideas in the lyrics, and the lovely music - nothing spells divinity better.


There are songs I have missed, I know. If there are any that come to your mind, do write about them in the comments section!



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THE MAGICIAN- ROSHAN

Classical Music had always been a pillar of strength to Film Music of those days. There have been many music directors who have explored the depths of the classical music through their film music. Like my earlier mention about G. Ramanathan, there is one other music director who has a special place in my heart. My favorite music director of those ages, may be O.P. Nyyar, but I cannot deny the fact that, Roshan's music had been far more influencing and close to my heart, when it came to classical-film music!

We have a cassette back home. A kind of a rare treasure rather. It has the first concert ever by Lata Mangeshkar outside India(London) where she performed for three days. It was organized by Nehru Memorial Trust. Here, she faces a problem which even we face! There are just so many songs. But so less time! So, she sings a few lines of songs that she could not manage to sing in the three-day time given to her. She sings a few lines of song- Duniya Kare sawal from Bahu Begum and there is such an applause for it, and that was my first encounter with Roshan's music.



There are so many songs that had already immortalized Roshan. Especially, Roshan's using voices like Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey! The output is just amazing. Manna Dey might have sung hundreds of songs. But till this day, we remember him with two songs. The one in Padosan which he sang with Kishore (Ek chatur Naar) and another is Roshan's Master-piece from Dil Hi toh Hai, Laaga Chunri Mein Daag.

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In fact, Dil Hi toh hai, according to me, is Roshan's best! Asha Bhonsle has been my favorite for ages. And this is a magic- a magic that brings together Asha's flexibility, voice control, classical music, a beautiful Qawwali and Roshan together, and gives us a spell binding- Nigahen Milane ko ji chahta hai!



I especially like Asha Bhonsle singing classical rather than Lata. That's a matter of personal taste. Asha is far more versatile than Lata Mangeshkar. This song, has again an amazing blend of classical Music(I don't know the name of this raag is Hindustani- but I feel it resembles Valaji of carnatic. Correct me if that's wrong and let me know the raag name if you know) by Roshan and voices of Asha and Usha Mangeshkar. The film Chitralekha is a treasure-chest of amazing music, but Kahe tarsaaye, here, is my favourite!



Is he all classic? No light? No. There is this perfect light-classical number from Mamta- Rahen Naa rahen hum. A beautiful lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri! This is my dad's all time favourite!



Roke Zamaana Chaahe Roke Khudaai
Tumko Aana Padega... Jo Vaada Kiya Woh Nibhaana Padega...

The song from Taj Mahal, stands alive, even now, as beautiful and as captivating as the Taj Mahal itself! For me, "Roshan Era" in Hindi film music was Golden! There were so many others too along with him, composing eternal songs. But there are a few songs that were meant to be immortalized by Roshan. And those songs, stand out still, keeping alive, the Roshan music, the Roshan magic....





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Why I think Raja is God

When it comes to music, I am a believer; I am a polytheist.

This song is by no means Raja's 'best' - if there's a superlative for his oeuvre. But it is trademark Raja in two very significant aspects.The first is Raja's violins - the whole symphony. One of my friends once remarked that if he were but a string in one of Raja's violins he would think that it was heaven enough and I am inclined to agree.

The second is Raja's piano. Two more recent songs I can recall offhand with amazing piano stretches are Nee Paartha Paarvai from Hey Ram and Appadi Paakrathuna from Ivan. This song has such a gentle stretch that accompanies Jayachandran's voice that it is like a little elf is dancing on the keys :)

Jayachandran is one of the most underrated singers of TFM. He is to singing what Alangudi Somu was to lyrics in the 1960s...both of them got overshadowed, PJ by Yesudas and Alangudi Somu by Kannadasan. It raises a very interesting question - is timing all that important for success? For it was not that these men did not have talent; they lived in the times of men with more talent than they.



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BULLEH SHAH- ABIDA PARVEEN


Her simplicity. Her voice. The words. The music. In Yuddha Kaandam of Kamba Ramayanam- Kamban describes that Rama's arrow bore into Ravana's body and searched all over his body for any love for Sita left-in. Similarly, her singing, bores into us- searching the soul unknown even to us- and touches it... This music fills our insides... How I wish, those people who pull down places of worship, listen to this...!



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Toss the Feathers

'Toss the Feathers' is one piece of amazing music that makes my day, everyday. It's an Irish folk tune and here is the Wiki text:

Toss the Feathers is a traditional Irish folk tune, typically played with a tin whistle and fiddle. It has existed in several variations, each in a different key, the two more common being D and E minor. More recently the music has been adapted in over 200 modern compilations, including both traditional versions by groups such as The Chieftains, and rock renditions such as those by The Corrs on their album "Forgiven Not Forgotten".

Toss the Feathers - The Corrs



Put this song,
close your eyes and
drown yourself in bliss!


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