Monday, June 25, 2007

A mark of a true Genius – One of the most innovative and captivating compositions ever……….

I listen to songs daily but no other movie has made me think over it so much as to make me write about it.

I was not able to figure out how but still I had not listened to the songs from Lagaan on my Ipod in about a whole year since I bought this gadget. In the past week I somehow noticed it and started listening to them on Monday, I have been listening to them ever since ;)). Such is the technical finesse of each of the compositions that I am still left wondering as to how the whole musical concept of each of the songs would have been conceived.

AR sure has a flat voice with which he cannot play around with a lot of bandwidth, the most important strength of this man is that he knows this and the genius in him selects absolutely only those songs which if rendered by him will be so apt. One among such immaculate selections is Chale Chalo. This song, sung by the great man himself, is a great mix of percussions that flawlessly compliment his flat voice in the same bandwidth. When he goes, Dharthi hila denge……………….. I am short of words……..

My chitaapa was briefly in the US for about 3 yrs and he came back and said even his English friends listened to one hindi song in their cars time and again even though they have no idea what it meant. The song was “Mitwa”. I had read articles and heard news reviews before I heard this song that AR does not think twice before approaching any one with a new instrument if he felt that it produces lovely music, be it even a beggar just rattling about something for his daily bread and butter. But I got to believe it on listening to this master piece. It starts off with a string instrument that’s used in bhajans (I don’t even know what it is actually called, somebody please enlighten me….) and Sukhwinder Singh starts off “Har santh kahe…….”. Its got one of the most inspiring lyrics and AR has paced the song ultimately with one instrument joining at one time in the rhythm, the first time when Udit goes “Katinayee se takra jaa thu……” the drum beats start joining the rest of the instruments and to hear it in Sathyam was just bliss what with someone beating the Dhol from the back of your head.

What better example of love can there be in this world than the one between Radha and Krishna. Ashutosh Gowarikar knew it so clearly that it reflected so sweetly in Raadha Kaise Na Jale….In fact die hard music followers feel this is the best song of the film what with a lot of swaras mixed in appropriately. Namakku enga atthana gyanam…. The point where I feel this song scores over others in the movie is that it has been rendered by veterans Udit Narayan and Asha Bhonsle. The bhojpuri accent was just another day at home for Udit and Asha is a winner in versatility on any given day. Prem ki apni alag boli alag bhaasa hai, baat nainon se ho kanha ki yahi aasa hai….. and comes the reply “Kanha ki yeh jo naaaiiinnnaa hai, jinme gopiyon ke chaaaiiiinaaa hai…..” Wow………… The swaras at the end of the song along with the flute ending with a passionate helpless feel in the voice rendered by Asha (the feel of yekkam…….) Radha kaise na jaale… Raaadha kaiiise na jale…. Radha kaise na jaaale………………….

If Ashaji is around busy can Lataji be far behind. If Asha Bhonsle is the mark of versatility then Lata Mangeshkar is a standard by herself. If its melody then it has to be Lata. When everyone is down and out watching the film she makes everyone literally pray, even though we know it is just a movie, by pouring out loads of devotion in O Paalanhaare….The whole feel of the situation was also depicted ultimately by the team as well, with the visuals showing a big crowd seated in the whole open ground at night ruing the current mess of the cricket team. Dukhi jan ko dheeraj do…..Tumre bin humra kounu nahin……….

If the number of individual singers in a song were taken for a statistics then Ghanan Ghanan would probably top the list. AR disproved the proverb “Too many cooks spoil the broth” by his sheer command over these immensely talented people by his skills and merged all their voices aptly. Some claim that the success of this song needs to be attributed only to his excellent team of sound engineers, I can only ask them one thing. If the sound engineers are the one who have created magic with their skills without much involvement of AR, why are they not as big as the man himself or why are they still sticking to him? I am not trying the take away the credit from them for the exquisite work they have done but the contribution of AR cannot be belittled here.
Two parts of the same line are sung by two different artists whose skill lie in totally different bandwidths but are rendered in the same pitch, with the same feel of listening to the full line from a single person. Sukhwinder goes “Bijuri ki talwar nahin..” and finishes Shankar mahadevan… “Boondon ke baan chalaoooo….”
Tipu says “Ras agar barsega, kaun phir tarsega” and completes shankar mahadevan “koyali adayegi baiti munderon par…..”
The whole song is accompanied with an unfailing rhythm that gives the necessary tempo to it……

My best pick of the album is arguably one of the most romantic songs of all times……
O Re chori……The lyrics of this song are just amazing, not that the others are not, but still their contribution to the mesmerism of this song is more here what with the whole song being a little slow. Vasundara das is definitely one the best singers in the country when it comes to western and she is just unbeatable when she goes “My heart, it speaks a thousand words……..” the lyrics again here could not have been better. And it is AR all the way to have fused this western piece with the rhythmic hindi song in the background.
Tere bin mein jiya tho kya jiya…….Tune thama aaj yeh aanchal hai man mein ek halchal hai…… Sun sun re sajan rahe janam janam hum prem nagar ke wasi…… More ang ang mein hai sugandh jo tune hai chu liya……… Than mehka mehka rang dehka dehka mujhe tu gulab si laage……. Chance illa……….. The sweet voice of Alka Yagnik is full of feel in this song and coupled with Udit’s ever green voice of that of a small lad…… This is definitely the best pick of the lot for me………..

If any of u guys manage to read this fully then u must be wondering what this guy is upto writing a music review of a six year old film…… I too don’t know but couldn’t contain myself…. Was so happy after hearing this in the precision of an ipod…….MUDIYALA..........

A Soaking Wet Darshan

The place which boasts of the highest number of visitors in the world, with the administration trust there being the one to record the second highest figure in the whole year in terms of religious contributions, is definitely one of the places in the world that defies any logic that man can fathom. Yes, Tirupati is indeed a very simple example of the fact that there are things in this world that man cannot just reason with.

For people who are familiar with this place it wont come as a surprise that one has to wait for 7-8 hours on a slightly crowded day to get the darshan of Lord Balaji. HE is supposed to be the most non-violent god in Indian mythology. People from various parts of the country come on a pilgrimage in regular intervals without fail to get HIS darshan and provide their religious contributions to HIM.

Regulars from outside Andhra make it a point to visit the place once in every 3 or 6 months whereas people who are more nearer to HIS abode visit Tirumala even weekly. When me and chinni went there about a week back we reached tirupati at about 2.30 AM. We were planning to get the tickets and climb u to tirumala to be in time for the darshan. The irony of the ticket issue was that the 50 rupees spl darshan which was supposed to be less crowded than the free darshan was issuing tickets for darshan at 9pm where as the free darshan, which was supposed to be crowded was issuing tickets with the darshan time as 12 noon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody even stopped to look at the free darshan counter’s timings, they were just following the person in front.

Tamizhla sollanumna aattu mandhai……

We got our tickets for 2pm and we had ample time at hand to climb up the way to tirumala and take a room, get ourselves refreshed and visit Papanaasam, Akasha Ganga and another smaller Vishnu temple in the meantime. We went in at about 1.30pm and reached the queue near the temple’s entrance only to be greeted with a chill breeze followed by a steadily increasing drizzle. By the time we were inside the temple it was pouring down heavily and we got drenched even before we entered the final praharam. Inside the praharam we had to run through ankle deep water to reach the final garbha graham and I have never in 25 years ever crossed the queue inside the temple praharam in such a flash as we did that day.

To make it a perfect finish when we were coming around the golden gopuram in pradhakshinam the clouds on one side of the sky gave way to the sun god and he shone ever brightly on the golden gopuram. It was a great sight because the gopuram had been just washed off by the rain and the wet surface gave us a glistening look which otherwise would not be possible during any other normal day. We had no doubts whatsoever that we would surely have the lord’s blessings as all these were enough indications. A fairly quick darshan (we were out of the temple in 2.5 hrs total), a dash through the praharam, which is otherwise an ordeal what with the pushing and shoving of devotees with the never stopping cries of jarugandi, the sight of the glistening wet golden gopuram and finally the rain relenting to just a steady drizzle right at the time when we came out of the temple, was enough activity in one single trip to Tirumala.

Somehow these things, even though natural, make you associate them with the lord’s darshan when they happen on a pilgrimage trip. And why not, if it is not the lord who controls the nature then who else….. ????

It was a proper fulfilling darshan for me and more special one for chinni as it was her first time by foot from Tirupati to Tirumala.