My “now” song: Piku’s background score

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, a background score, etc. That particular piece of music becomes my “now’” song, and the “nowness”  (pardon my English here) could be for any length of time.

I watched Piku the other day. Like most people who’ve seen the film, I loved it. However, unlike most people who’ve seen the film, I thought the real star of the movie was its background score. Composed by Anupam Roy and also played on the sarod by him, Piku’s background score is my “now” song.

The score is first heard in the film when the opening credits appear on the screen — white lettering on a black background with the tittle on the ‘i’ appearing in red. Simple and beautiful. (In retrospect, I thought it was the perfect way to listen to the score and not get distracted by any visuals or graphics on-screen.) The background score appears several times in the film sometimes as an interlude, sometimes to underscore a particular emotion, and sometimes as the background score it is meant to be.

Each time this music was played in the film, I would just get lost in the music. And each time a different set of emotions would be invoked, some nostalgic, some bittersweet. Continue reading

My “now” song: Aao balma

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.

That day, I was bored and trawling YouTube for some interesting music to listen to, when a suggestion popped up. It was a Coke Studio India session featuring A.R. Rahman and Ustad Ghulam Mustafa. Now, I had not been particularly impressed with Coke Studio India till then. Sure there had been one or two good sessions, but nothing really spectacular like Coke Studio Pakistan has been (some of which I have shared in this series).

I clicked on the link and the music began to the familiar strains of Raga Yaman and then a young boy started to sing, followed by three other men before the chorus joined in to sing Aao, Aao Aao Balma… Three generations of Ghulam Mustafa family singing together. So far so good, I told myself. Nice, but nothing spectacular.

And then at exactly 1.52 minutes something happened. The guitar or rather Prasanna’s guitar came in and the magic began.

Continue reading

My “now” song: Kabhi neem neem, kabhi shahad shahad

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.

I think that my regular readers would know by now that I love music, but few people know that I sing too. One of the reasons for not knowing this is I’m quite shy about singing in public and therefore only some very close friends and immediate family members have heard me sing.

But last week, I surprised myself. I had gone to Agra to attend a conference with two colleagues, who are also friends. Somewhere during the car journey from Delhi to Agra, one of my friends started singing and before I knew it I had joined in. We sang old Hindi film songs, some not so old ones too and had a great deal of fun. We sang in between the conference sessions, after the day’s sessions got over… get the picture?

Long after my return, one of the songs that we sang has remained with me and I have been singing it and humming it all the time. Not surprisingly, it has become my “now” song

Kabhi neem, neem, kabhi shahad shahad“, from the film Yuva, sung by Madhushree (& A.R. Rahman) to lyrics by Mehboob and music composed A.R. Rahman is one of the most melodious, romantic and mushy songs I have heard. And unlike many beautiful Hindi songs that I can’t bear to watch on-screen due to bad picturisation, this is one song that I like to listen to, sing and watch as well.

I particularly love the portion where Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherji do a little jig (2:02 to 2:51 minutes) as the former yodels away. Kabhi neem neem… is so much on my mind that I’m singing the song even as I type out this post. :)

So tell me, what are you listening to these days and what is your “now” song?

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 as part of the “Dell Blogger Review Programme”. 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. :)