Essential KHAYYAM : A Dozen Soulful Gems


Mohammed Zahur “Khayyam” Hashmi, fondly known as Khayyam, has always been one of those legends who had always let his music speak instead of himself. And it does speak beautifully, reverberating in melody & pathos, creating its own soothing soulful aura.

A second world war veteran, with growing up years deeply impacted by partition, Khayyam found his calling in music composition as early as 1948 for the film Heer Ranjha, when he made his debut along with partner Rahman Varma as Sharma’ji of the Sharmaji – Varmaji composer duo. However this partnership didn’t last long, as Rahman Varma decided to move to Pakistan, and the event turning a blessing in disguise for Khayyam. He soon found his footing as an independent music composer for Biwi in 1950, and from that point on Khayyam didn’t ever have to look back.

Continue reading “Essential KHAYYAM : A Dozen Soulful Gems”

Kishore Kumar – A Playlist of Underrated Melodies

PicsArt_07-30-11.01.54.jpg

If you are a cinema and music lover, you are bound to be in awe of Kishore Kumar! A Sampurna Kalakar with God gifted voice and talent, he has to be most popular playback singer across generations. In a career spanning 41 years, he sang to many beautiful compositions of the most respected music directors. My personally favorite phase of Kishore Kumar songs are the gems he produced with S.D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Hemant Kumar and others in the pre-Aradhana phase, but it was post Aradhana in a period of time in 70s to mid-80s where he almost single-handedly topped the musical charts of hindi films, being the voice of some of the most popular and evergreen songs. Naturally, there are so many of his songs which still dominate our playlists to date and offer a diverse listening pleasure.

However, there are so many beautiful songs of Kishore’da that are still less heard or remembered and can easily be part of best of his playlists. Many of these songs are from the post Aradhana phase of his career, where a host of more popular songs hogged the lion’s share of limelight. So on his 90th birthday, here is an attempt to list down 50 such less appreciated solo songs of Kishore Kumar – they aren’t necessarily all rare, but some of them are also in the list because they somehow don’t get remembered as much today because they weren’t either part of a popular film, or got overshadowed by a more popular song of that album, or just have not received as much love as they deserved.

Continue reading “Kishore Kumar – A Playlist of Underrated Melodies”

Jaidev – The Underrated Genius

Untitled-1.jpg

There is only one way to describe the immortal music composer JaidevThe underrated genius! For an artist whose entry into films was as a child artist, he induction as a composer happened as an assistant to stalwarts like Ali Akbar Khan and then Sachin Dev Burman. His first break as a music composer came in the year 1955, and over the next thirty plus years that he was active in, he score music for just over forty hindi films. And yet, he was the first music composer to be recognized with three national awards. That is the musical prowess of the man, who turned everything he touched to gold, and he didn’t need any big banner films to get attention and be heard.

Continue reading “Jaidev – The Underrated Genius”

When Rafi Saab sang for S.D. Burman, Magic happened!

If one has to talk about the finest music composer and the finest singer that Hindi cinema ever had, one has to talk about Sachin Dev Burman and Mohammad Rafi.

So, what else could be a more musical way to remember the two legends but recalling some of the best music that this duo created, melodious to the core, displaying a range of emotions that is mind boggling!

SD-Burman-Md-Rafi.jpg

Continue reading “When Rafi Saab sang for S.D. Burman, Magic happened!”

A.R. Rahman – The Divine Connection

a-r-rehman-5.jpg

A.R. Rahman is a musical revolution – and that is not saying anything new about him. Amongst the best music directors that India ever had, his music stands apart in the way he brought in fusion between traditional Indian classical music with electronic music, influences of world music. There is a very unique sound of his music that one can recognize just by listening to his songs, and all the national and international awards under his belt, or the legendary nicknames he has been given deservingly recognize his genius, his divine blessings.

Continue reading “A.R. Rahman – The Divine Connection”

Best of Madan Mohan & Lata Mangeshkar

The magic of Madan Mohan is beyond words. Possibly the best exponent of beautifully garnishing popular hindi film songs with influence of classical music and ghazals, it is appalling how underappreciated he has been in terms of recognition from mainstream hindi cinema. A treasure trove of brilliance, and yet there isn’t one single Filmfare award to his credit, the only established mainstream awards for the times he belonged to. He received a national award for Dastak (1970) but he deserved much much more.

The pathos that Madan Mohan brings to his compositions are unparallel, and though he has got unique gems with a range of wonderful singers from Mohammed Rafi to Bhupinder Singh, the name that has become inseparable from the magic of Madan Mohan is Lata Mangeshkar. Together they have created sheer magic in the world of soulful music. When you start listening to them, you do not stop for a long long time.

Continue reading “Best of Madan Mohan & Lata Mangeshkar”

Rabindra Sangeet in Films – This Millennium

5465.jpg

The songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore have always been a lifeline of Bangla films. For decades, they have been the voice of soul in our films, and when at the turn of the century a decision was taken to allow experimentation with the arrangement in Tagore Songs, there was a fear that it would be a disaster as far as preserving the sanctity of these songs was concerned. Has it really been the case in the whole?

Yes, there has been a Oo lala added to a Pagla Hawa in some cases, but Rabindra Sangeet has stood firm with its soul and its form preserved for the most, a few modern rhythmic adaptations like Jagorane jaaye bibhabori have actually worked, and in most cases even the form has remained as pure as possible. How much ever our storytelling might have changed, our filmmakers still fall back to the ever reliable and the deepest emotions of Rabindra Sangeet even today, and rightfully so.

Continue reading “Rabindra Sangeet in Films – This Millennium”

The Enchanting Female Duets

PicsArt_03-28-01.08.23.png

Recently with a few films trying to explore a rare genre of female bonding in Hindi cinema, it got me excited to explore how has this genre shaped up in the past years through cinema.. Come to think of it, forget cinema centered around female bonding, even good and impactful female duets have been few and far in between, although Bollywood is blessed with the two of the most enchanting voices ever in the two legendary sisters!

So given that it is a relatively rare genre, here are my favorite picks of the best female duets and in no particular order… (And I did not want the space to get crowded with the likes of relatively mediocre ‘Hastaa huya noorani chehra‘, ‘Mere mehboob me kya nahi‘, ‘Reshmi shalwar‘ or the more recent ‘Dola re‘, ‘Pinga‘ and their likes, which may be popular but not impactful to my musical sensibilities!)

Continue reading “The Enchanting Female Duets”

Classics Revisited – Jiya Laage Na

Kya jaane kyun hai
Kya jaane kaisi andekhi si dor
Jo khenchti hai, jo le chali hai
Ab yun mujhe teri ore

One of the most misunderstood films of our times, but a brilliant brilliant take of heartbreaks, personal trauma and seeking closures.

#6YearsOfTalaash #UnderappreciatedGem #WhenLoveHurts

Classics Revisited – Justjoo jiski thi

जुस्तजू जिसकी थी उसको तो न पाया हमने
इस बहाने से मगर देख ली दुनिया हमने…

तुझको रुसवा न किया, खुद भी पशेमाँ न हुये
इश्क़ की रस्म को इस तरह निभाया हमने…

कब मिली थी कहाँ बिछड़ी थी, हमें याद नहीं
ज़िंदगी तुझको तो, बस ख़्वाब में देखा हमने…

ऐ अदा और सुनाये भी तो क्या हाल अपना
उम्र का लम्बा सफ़र तय किया तन्हा हमने…

#RekhaTurns64