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5 November 2007

Kuch bhi na kaho

I'm not sure when bollywood music gave way to the noise and jolting - kabutar, khatiya, khaskayi lo, khet mein aaja, meri pant bhi sexy, gutar-gutar goo and such inane stuff- to/from lyrics and melody. But a breath of fresh air that blew these nonsensical rhymes away was 1942 love story. Of the five filmfare awards it bagged, four were for the music.

It waltzed into our lives with Kuch na kaho, and Rimjhim Rim Jhim fell as gentle fresh raindrops into the arid desert created by the earlier genre.

The dhun soundtrack evoked the call of the satyagraha movement and created a warmth within the heart of every Indian, much before the recent Rdb and Chak De clarion calls. A simple and serene Manisha and a dapper Anil Kapoor set the heart free with Ek ladki to aisa laga.

The windows it opened let in light into the dark dungeon that bollywood music music had become, and after that, every year there have been at least a couple of hummable tracks that have kept the ball rolling, with of course the other big thing on the scene being A R Rehman.

But it puzzles me why the songs, even good ones, eerily resemble quarterly results of companies and last only as much as the next hit around the next quarter. As a result we have people who still remember and hum tunes from the eighties, seventies and even from thirty years ago. An example is, आ चल के तुझे,में लेके चालू,एक ऐसे गगन ke तले from दूर गगन कि चाओ में-.

The new(er) songs just don't seem to sustain that hold on the listeners heart.

As Asha-jee and Lata-jee would have us know- Us zamane ki baat hi kuch aur thi- music mein ek sadhana thi, lagaan tha, hum ghanto tak riyaz karte the, tapasya and so forth- Ab sab fast, fast, fast hain.

I wonder if is it just that. Or is it simply one more indicator of a generation that demonstrates increasingly very small attention and memory span. I am thinking these thoughts as I listen to the lovely lyrics of Sawaariya.

The title track does not rock. But the lilting, Jab se ye naina..tere naino se.... laage re..is so so soft and sweet. And, Woh dekho chand nikal aaya is a quawali after a long time-i.e. if you don't count the version from "Main hoon na", picturised on Sush-tumse milke dil ka ye jo haal- which was also great.

These are two new tracks that gladden the heart and makes one feel good as the end of the year is just around the corner.

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