Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Kaminey Music Blew Me Away

To a man whose encounter with dreams in sleep can at most be called only faint acquaintance, it must be weird and other-worldly to wake up one morning having memory of his last night’s dream. It was no different for me. Looking at the monsoon clouds outside the window of my bedroom, I recollected the dream – visuals eluded me, blame my high eye powers, but in the dream I was lamenting the fact that music of upcoming movie Kaminey(literally a bastard) was launched but I had not listened to it though a full day had passed. What is so special about Kaminey? Well, it’s movie by my favorite film director Vishal Bhardwaj. When I checked about the music launch, I came to know it was on the very next day of my dream that the music would be launched. I did not waste any time in downloading the music the same day it got launched. How could I resist the temptation of treating myself with the music whose lyrics are written by Gulzar and is composed by Vishal himself?

When the words of the first song of the album penetrated my ears, I jumped out of my seat in excitement. And why not if Sukhwinder renders aaja aaja dil nichode\ raat ki matki todein\ koigood luck nikale\ aaj gullak to phodein. Who else but Gulzar can come up with such lines about squeezing the heart to find some stroke of good luck? The song was Dhan Te Nan. Vishal Dadlani(Vishal of the famous Vishal-Shekhar pair) joins Sukhwinder in the song. The next lines announced Til til tara mira teli ka te\l kaudi kaudi paisa paisa paise ka khel(Why do you think I downloaded the music – all paiso ka khel!). Some people may frown at the mindless words til tiltara mira, but that is the essential Gulzar for you. The man creates magic with profound words like naino ki mat maniyo re\ naino ki mat suniyo re\ naina thag lenge as well as gives us mindless but utterly enjoyable Beedi jalai le jigar se piya in the same breath. The carefree youth of the country likes to dance to such tunes. Many times I wonder how he mixes English and Hindi words in such a meaningful manner. Take this - aaja ki one way hai\ yeh zindagi ki gali\ ek hi chance hai\ aage hava hi hava hai\ agar saans hai to\ yeh romance hai. Dhan Te Nanhas that flavor of 70’s film music of a good cop chasing a bad man. Children of 70’s and 80’s have grown up playing this music with their mouths while recreating the scenes of their favorite movies on the streets of their towns – needless to say their loyalties shuffled based on whether Amitabh Bachan was a police inspector Vijay or a goon Vijay hardened by childhood hardships. Make no mistakes; Dhan Te Nan is going to be the favorite ringtone of mobile phone users and children of this decade will fondly remember it after a few years. There is also a remix version of the song, which is equally enjoyable. And the theme music of Go Charlie Go grows on its own before merging into instrumental Dhan Te Nan which transports you into 70’s completely if you missed the previous flight.

The guitar strings bring you back when the song Pehli Baar Mohabbat starts. This soft rock song is sung by Mohit Chauhan, the Masakalli fame. As his sumptuous voice sings thode bheege bheege se\ thode nam hain hum, it takes you to a romantic and sultry world. This is a song for lovers. Though the words are pehli baar mohabbat ki hai\ aakhri baar mohabbat ki hai, one can’t help but fall in love with the song again and again – zillion times over. Give special attention to how Mohit stretches his vocal chords when he sings pehli baar mohabbat ki hai. Also note how Gulzar remembers the days of love and the eyes of the lover - khwab ke bojh se\ kanp kapati hui\ halki palkain teri\ yaad aata hai sab\ tujhe gudgudana, satana\ yun hi sote hue\ gaal pe teepna, meechana\ bewajah besabab\ yaad hai peepal ke\ jiske ghane saaye the\ hunme gilhairi ke jhoote matar\ khaaye the. Simple yet sensuous. Oh, my love!

Raat Ke Dhai Baje seems to be a wedding song. It has hosts of singers - Rekha Bhardwaj, Sunidhi Chauhan, Suresh Wadker and Kunal Ganjawala. This is also a faster and less serious version ofPehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai. My favorite part in the song though is when Suresh sings, slowly,raat kuch aisa hua\ jaisa hota toh nahi\ thaam ke rakha mujhe\ main bhi khota toh nahi and then suddenly Kunal pinches in with fast ek hi lat suljhane mein\ saari raat guzaari ha\ jaan ki gathri sar pe le li\ aapne kaisi zehmat dee hai. This certainly can be considered the weakest song in the album, but still it can have its wedding functions moments. There is also a remix version for this one. Fans of Rekha and Sunidhi will regret that the two ladies didn’t get chance to repeat the magic of songs Namak Ishq Ka and Beedi Jalai Le respectively from Vishal’s last movie Omkara. Well, how can I forget Suresh singing Jag Ja Re Gudiya for Ajay Devgan inOmkara.

Fatak is the interesting song of the album. Sukhwinder and Kailash Kher teamed up to sing this one. I couldn’t make out which kind of song this is in the beginning. Ke Bhavra bhavra aaaya re… fatak fatak\ ke gun gun karta aaye re…fatak. Fatak doesn’t give any idea of the meaning of the song. But what I liked instantly was the use of the word fatak in the song. Fatak is actually a sound of a whip, symbolizing how some people need a cracking whip to understand a few things in life. It reminds me of Mangal Mangal of Mangal Pandey and Paghdi Sambhal of The Legend Of Bhagat Singh. Only when Gulzar blends his own lines with Jigar Moradabadi’s that I realizedbhanwra is a metaphor for AIDS. It is a song created for AIDS awareness– yeah, by now we have almost forgotten that it is a short form of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Jigar’s immortal lines are mixed with social message to encourage use of condoms: ye ishq nahi aasan\ aji aids ka khatra hai\ patwaar pehan jaana hayee\ yeh aag ka dariya hai. It seems Gulzar has voluntarily accepted to be part of Bindas Bol campaign. After all he has learned his craft from Bimal Roy – the social message and entertainment go together there. The words are unmistakable and unrelenting - ye chipku hamesha satayega\ yeh jaayega, phir laut aayega\ khoon ke maile katre mein\ jaan ke saare khatar ke aaaya, ke aaaya. Or darwazon mein kunde ko\ dafaa karo ye gunde\ ye shaitaan ka saaya re. It ends with the repetition of ke naiya doobe na\ re bhavra kaate na. How appropriate!

But this album would not be what it is without the title song Kaminey. Current lot of music directors keep the best song for themselves to sing and Vishal Bhardwaj didn’t want to break that trend. And boy, did he justify it! He starts with kya kare zindagi\ isko hum jo miley\ iski jaan kha gaye\ raat din ke giley with a little music. A little spark turns into raging fire as he breaks into meri aarzoo kameenee\ mere khwab bhi kaminey\ ik dil se dosti thi\ yeh hazoor bhi\ kaminey. Yes, it is a song of gloom, of despair, of meaningless complaints we have from life. But it’s also a song of reflection and introspection and soul searching - jiska bhi chehra chila\ andar se aur nikla\ masoom sa kabootar\ naacha toh mor nikla\ kabhi hum kaminey nikle\ kabhi dosti kameenee. It talks of desires and deceptions, friendships and betrayals. No, but you can’t say it’s a dark song; it also gives hope in horror. Kabhi zindagi se maanga\ pinjare mein chand la do\ kabhi lalten de ke\ kaha aasma pe taango is reminiscent of a child’s dream, innocent and pure. The song doesn’t complain, it just reflects, trademark Gulzar. He once wrotetujh se naraz nahi jindagi, hairan hoon main. He didn’t complain then, he didn’t complain now when Vishal threw word kaminey at him. Though kaminey is a foul word in Hindi, Gulzar’s lyrics have given it a poetical and majestic proportion, as if a touch of Lord Rama’s foot resurrected Ahalya from a stone and washed all her sins. Mr Bhardwaj, if you are looking for someone to volunteer to brand himself a kamina, look no farther. I will not disappoint you; just make sure you turn on the music.

One dream drew me to Vishal-Gulzar’s Kaminey. Kaminey is a lyrical delight, a magical music. Gulzar’s words played beautifully in Vishal Bhardwaj’s music. They both are great in their fields, but when they combine; they just explode on the scene. We saw it in Omkara and in No Smoking, we see it in Kaminey. Though I have no intentions of interpreting dreams (leave it to Freud), I see a divine signal in that dream – call it God’s will if you will. Did I tell you about the other dream I had the same night? I was roaming in a garden, looking for a particular kind of tree which bore beautiful small yellow flowers. Since it was not a season for flowers, I didn’t get to see the flowers, but I somehow recognized the tree from the dead flowers on the ground. If the Kaminey dream leads me to such superb music, where the yellow flower dream will take me to? I am too excited! Expecting…waiting… for the dream to manifest itself in the real world…the beauty all around…the fragrance…the freshness. You see now why I like that Kaminey title song so much? Meri Aarzoo Kameenee…

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