My “now” song: Ab ke baras bhej

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. That particular piece of music becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

My “now” song is Ab ke baras bhejo bhaiya ko baabul from the film Bandini and sung by Asha Bhosle to music by S.D. Burman and lyrics by Shailendra.

In Ab ke baras… the singer yearns for the return of her childhood days and the song remains one of the most haunting Hindi film melodies to be composed. I have always loved this song, but right now I love it for a different reason — the emotions in the song capture my yearning for the monsoons to arrive in Mumbai.

It’s end June and the monsoons have been delayed for almost a month now. Yes, Mumbai’s had a few showers, but not of the monsoon variety. These showers have only increased the humidity and the heat, while cooling, drenching, traffic clogging, train stopping monsoons are nowhere in sight. I monitor the skies all the time, alert to change in wind pattern. But to no avail. The wisps of clouds floating in the sky mock me as does the bright sunshine.

Though the song makes a passing reference to the rains, and the context is very different, no other music captures my mood right now. And I have been humming it for a while now and also have it playing on a loop when I’m working.

Rain gods, weather gods, gods of climate change: are you listening?

PS: This post is a first of sorts. I typed, edited, corrected, linked, added media, published this post and then shared it on various social media platforms using a Dell Venue Tablet that has been sent to me for review. I’m not sure, if I can do my usual long posts from a tablet, but this short one has been surprisingly easy.

My “now” song: Kuchh toh log kahenge

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

Last week, I received a call from an old friend. She was quite upset with a common acquaintance of ours for having made some disparaging comments about her on a social media platform. I had seen those comments and also the insecurity that had brought forth such petty comments.

I mentioned as much to my friend and told her to just ignore the comments. She said that she was trying to, but was finding it difficult as she was worried about what others who had read those comments would think. Her exact words were in Hindi: “Log kya kahenge?”

And my reply to her was this song:

“Kuchh toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kahna
chhodo bekar ki baaton mein, Kahin beet na jaaye raine…”

I haven’t stopped singing this song since then. Not surprisingly, this beautiful song from the film Amar Prem, sung by Kishore Kumar to music composed by R.D. Burman with lyrics by Anand Bakshi has become my “now” song. I find this song very self-affirmative, especially in a world that is so impatient and with people who are so quick to jump to conclusions and judge you.

My friend has put the incident behind her and is feeling better, much better. To be honest, I’m feeling better too. I didn’t know I needed this song as well. :)

PS: What is your current “now” song?

My “now” song: Oh re taal mile nadi ke jal mein

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

My “now” song is Oho re taal mile nadi ke jal mein from the film Anokhi Raat and sung by Mukesh to music composed by Roshan with lyrics by Indeevar.

This song was a hot favourite during my college and University days in Pune and I have some fond memories associated with it…

  • of listening to this song on Vividh Bharati
  • of singing along while completing whatever assignment or journal I was working on at that time
  • of hostel gatherings and antaksharis where this song was a ‘must sing’.
  • of hearing this song rendered at every field trip and class picnics by a classmate who only knew this one song.

I was in Pune last week and met some friends from my University days. As it usually happens with old friends, there was some talk of the present, a little of the future and a lot of reminiscing about the past. And one of the things that came up was this song.

I sang the song then and I’m still singing it after a week. :)

My “now” song: Anjan ki siti

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

I love the rains, not so much for the romance associated with it, but for the freshness that it brings. It is a time for to take things a little slowly, for long walks, hot cups of tea, books to be read and listen to lots of music, particularly folk music. If you were to ask me what the connection is between folk music and the rains, I have no explanation.

Therefore, it is not surprising that my “now song is Anjan ki siti mein mhaaro man dole, a folk song sung by Rehana Mirza.

A mix of Rajasthani and Haryanvi, Anjan ki siti... has been pretty addictive and I have this song playing at home, at office… and often singing along with it as well. :) I was introduced to this song by Teevramadhyam and I can’t thank him enough for this.

What is your “now” song?

My “now” song: Dasht-e-Tanhai

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

I discovered Coke Studio Pakistan (CSP) sometime last year, and life was never the same again. The musicians featured here have opened up an entirely new world through their folk numbers or ghazals or qawwalis or raga-based pop numbers. The sheer variety and quality of music has always amazed and delighted me and has given me hours of pleasure.

One such song is Dasht-e-Tanhai, a ghazal by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and sung by Meesha Shafi. Ever since I came across this song about 2-3 weeks back, I have been listening to it or singing along with it during all my waking hours. And I think I hum this song in my sleep as well. Little wonder then that this song is my “now” song.

Dasht-e-Tanhai was originally sung by the legendary Iqbal Bano (you can listen to her version here). Though her version is very good, Meesha Shafi’s rendition of this song is a sensory delight. It is a song that is full of pathos, longing, hope, love, romance and Faiz’s beautiful Urdu poetry is matched by Meesha’s sensuous and earthy voice. You can actually feel the emotion behind each word in this song and when I listen to…

apni khushboo mein sulagti hui madham madham
door ufaq par chamakti hui qatra qatra…

I get goosebumps. (Please switch on the sub-titles option in the video for the English translation). What a song ! What. A. Song. :-)

Have you listened to this song before? Which rendition did you like — Iqbal Bano’s or Meesha Shafi’s?

To listen to other songs from this series, please click here.

My “now” song: Daya ghana

Do you ever have a song, an idea, a storyline, or an image stuck in your head? And it just refuses to go away? For some time at least? I have this with music — it could be a song, an instrumental piece, a jingle, etc. This becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

These days, I have been listening to a lot of both film and non-film songs based on Raga Puriya Dhanashree. And one of those songs has become my “now” song: Daya ghana, sung by Suresh Wadkar to lyrics by Sudhir Moghe and music by Hridayanath Mangeshkar for the 1981 Marathi film, Sansar.

I am a great fan of Suresh Wadkar and, in my opinion, this is one of his best renditions ever. A highly underrated and under appreciated singer, no one else could have sung this song.

Daya Ghana is a song about the futility of this life and is directed towards God asking for the explanation of the reason behind this entire existence. The song is dark, questioning and sombre and quite reflects my own reflective, inward-looking mood these days. Whenever I listen to this song, the existential angst conveyed by the lyrics touches a chord, while the calming music soothes me.

Does your music reflect your mood or does your mood choose the music?