Tag Archives: music

रंग्रेज़ मेरे

ये बात बता रंग्रेज़ मेरे
ये कौनसे पानि मे तुने कौनसा रंग घोला है
के दिल बन गया सौदाइ और मेरा बसंति चोला है

अब तुम से क्या मे शिक़वा करु
मैंने हि कहा था ज़िद करके, रंग दे चुनरि पि के रंग मे
करमुहे कपास पर रंग ये ना रुके
रंग इत्ना गेहरा तेरा कि जानो जिगर तक को भि रंग दे

Rangrez Mere from Tanu Weds Manu – sung by the Wadali Brothers

(There could be spelling errors as I am not much familiar with the written form of Hindi)

Sunrise – Norah Jones

This song by Norah Jones is one of my favourites. Besides her beautiful voice, I like the ‘farmville’-ish video that comes with it:

Sunrise, sunrise
Looks like mornin’ in your eyes
But the clocks held 9:15 for hours
Sunrise, sunrise
Couldn’t tempt us if it tried
‘Cause the afternoon’s already come and gone

And I said hoo…
To you

Surprise, surprise
Couldn’t find it in your eyes
But I’m sure it’s written all over my face
Surprise, surprise
Never something I could hide
When I see we made it through another day

And I said hoo…
To you

Now good night
Throw its cover down
On me again
Ooh and if I’m right
It’s the only way
To bring me back

To you

From the পূজা পর্ব (puja parbo)

নয়ন তোমারে পায় না দেখিতে, রয়েছ নয়নে নয়নে।
হৃদয় তোমারে পায় না জানিতে, হৃদয়ে রয়েছ গোপনে ॥
বাসনার বশে মন অবিরত ধায় দশ দিশে পাগলের মতো,
স্থির-আঁখি তুমি মরমে সতত জাগিছ শয়নে স্বপনে ॥
সবাই ছেড়েছে, নাই যার কেহ, তুমি আছ তার আছে তব স্নেহ–
নিরাশ্রয় জন, পথ যার গেহ, সেও আছে তব ভবনে।
তুমি ছাড়া কেহ সাথি নাই আর,সমুখে অনন্ত জীবনবিস্তার–
কালপারাবার করিতেছ পার কেহ নাহি জানে কেমনে ॥
জানি শুধু তুমি আছ তাই আছি, তুমি প্রাণময় তাই আমি বাঁচি,
যত পাই তোমায় আরো তত যাচি, যত জানি তত জানি নে।
জানি আমি তোমায় পাব নিরন্তর লোকলোকান্তরে যুগযুগান্তর–
তুমি আর আমি মাঝে কেহ নাই, কোনো বাধা নাই ভুবনে ॥

Janey Kya Baat hain – Chokhey Namey Bristhti

Two versions of the same song… one (hindi) about love that is all set to start and the other version (bengali) is ironically about love that’s lost. Equally poignant whichever you listen to. Personally I like the Bengali version more, mostly because of the lyrics.

Here is the first version, from the film Sunny:

Jaane Kya Baat Hai, Jaane Kya Baat Hai
Neend Nahin Aati, Badi Lambi Raat Hai

Saari Saari Raat Mujhe Isne Jagaya
Jaise Koi Sapna Jaise Koi Saaya
Koi Nahin Lagta Hai Koi Mere Saath Hai

Jaane Kya Baat Hai, Jaane Kya Baat Hai
Neend Nahin Aati, Badi Lambi Raat Hai

Dhakdhak Kabhi Se Jiya Dol Raha Hai
Ghungat Abhise Mera Khol Raha Hai
Door Abhi To Piya Ki Mulaqat Hai

Jaane Kya Baat Hai, Jaane Kya Baat Hai
Neend Nahin Aati, Badi Lambi Raat Hai

Jab Jab Dekhoon Main Yeh Chand Sitare
Aaisa Lagta Hai Mujhe Laaj Ke Mare
Jaise Koi Doli Jaise Baraat Hai

Jaane Kya Baat Hai, Jaane Kya Baat Hai
Neend Nahin Aati, Badi Lambi Raat Hai

And This is the second version:

চোখে নামে বৃষ্টি, বুকে ওঠে ঝড় যে
তুমি তো আমারই ছিলে, আজ কত পর যে

হাল ভাঙা খেয়া হয়ে খুঁজে ফিরি কুল তো
জলেরই লেখন তুমি, নেই তাতে ভুল তো
আমি যেন চোরাবালী, ধুঁধু বালুচর যে

চোখে নামে বৃষ্টি, বুকে ওঠে ঝড় যে
তুমি তো আমারই ছিলে, আজ কত পর যে

সময়ের যমুনাতে বয়ে যায় দিন তো
সব কিছু মুছে তবু রয়ে যায় ঋণ তো
ওপারের ছায়া ছাড়া নেই কোনো ঘর যে

চোখে নামে বৃষ্টি, বুকে ওঠে ঝড় যে
তুমি তো আমারই ছিলে, আজ কত পর যে

My First Ever Drum Circle

Earlier on most weekends we used to end up either catching up on sleep or shopping for groceries or aimlessly roaming around Camp. These days I have found new things to keep me occupied, thanks to multiple newsletters that land up with event information around Pune. Last Saturday, after a disastrous morning show of ‘Raajneeti’ and a number of chores down, Shreyank and I got to spend a fun evening at a Drum Circle. Essentially, it is a gathering of people who sit around to form a circle and play percussion instruments. The one we attended is held every Saturday at the Rewachand Bhojwani Academy right next to Bishop’s School in Camp and is conducted by Mr.Peter Vieges.

Both Shreyank and I had no idea about the location of the School, so we hired a rickshaw from around SGS Mall. Unfortunately, the rickshaw driver did not know the place either but he insisted that he would locate it for us. We passed it once, but later found it without much of a hassle. A few people were going in and we walked in too. Peter and a few others were setting the chairs and bringing out the drums. Everyone present seemed to know each other and we both were the newcomers. After some warm hellos we took our seats. Shreyank apparently had dabbled a bit with drums earlier, but I was a complete novice. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, but Peter told me to grab a drum and to join in nevertheless. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask the names of the instruments we played that day so for this post I’ll stick to ‘big drum’ and ‘small drum’. I got a ‘big drum’ for myself. The drum had a cord on its side and Peter showed us how to hold the drum between our legs and it had to face outside for a resonant sound. Me being vertically challenged nearly had it facing straight up. Next up, Peter showed us the basic hand movements and the beat to follow and we started playing. It wasn’t anything spectacular like one sees in starry concerts. But the sounds from a dozen drums started resonating to the beats. With smiles to match.

Next up we tried some variations in the beats and also in the way we were playing. Half of us played one beat and the others played another. Peter stepped up and led us by tapping his feet to give us a cue about when to play the bass (open palms on the face of the drum) and the tone (finger tips on the edge of the face of the drum). Each time we started slow and then the beats picked up speed to create ecstatic music that echoed around. Shreyank and I were both playing the ‘big drum’ earlier. He was hitting the edge a lot and his fingers started hurting after a while. He exchanged his ‘big drum’ with a ‘small’ one and looked happier. We even played a round of ping pong (1 beat for the person on your right to play and 2 beats for the person on your left) with the drums. The evening ended in a crescendo with a rumble.

Initially, we started with about 10 people, including children aged approximately between 4 to 14 years. A few more people joined in soon after. We had a round of introductions and turns out that like us nearly everyone had day-jobs (the grown-ups in this case) which had nothing to do with music. Some have been attending the circle for as long as a year. We played for nearly 90 minutes and a couple of other instruments were also brought out to accompany the percussions, including some lovely flute. The group was welcoming and at no point did Shreyank and I feel that we have intruded. Since I wanted a couple of pictures for my blog, everyone graciously smiled and sat down again with their drums for me to take photos. Phone numbers were exchanged and we helped in putting away the drums. Both of us are definitely going back. If you are in Pune, then do come and join the circle, which meets every Saturday at 7:00 PM at the Rewachand Bhojwani Academy near Bishop’s School in camp.

The rest of the photos are here

Husn – E – Haqiqi (The Beauty of Truth)

Ramkrsna introduced me to the music from Coke Studio a few weeks back. Ever since, I have been finding a new song each day to loop on. Until a couple of days back I was incessently listening to an Afghan song ‘Paimona‘ and ‘Rona Chor Diya‘ both by Zeb and Haniya. This morning I found the most haunting of these songs. Its a poem by Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901) and sung in the resonant voice of Arieb Azhar. The poem/song is titled ‘Husn E Haqiqi‘ or ‘Beauty of Truth‘. Considering my very little understanding of Urdu, I could not comprehend most of it. Thankfully, an English translation by the singer himself was available.

The song is here to listen to and the English translation below:

Husn – E – Haqiqi (The Beauty of Truth)

Khawaja Ghulam Farid
English Translation: Arieb Azhar

O’ Beauty of Truth, the Eternal Light!
Do I call you necessity and possibility,
Do I call you the ancient divinity,
The One, creation and the world,
Do I call you free and pure Being,
Or the apparent lord of all,
Do I call you the souls, the egos and the intellects,
The imbued manifest, and the imbued hidden,
The actual reality, the substance,
The word, the attribute and dignity,
Do I call you the variety, and the circumstance,
The demeanor, and the measure,
Do I call you the throne and the firmament,
And the demurring delights of Paradise,
Do I call you mineral and vegetable,
Animal and human,
Do I call you the mosque, the temple, the monastery,
The scriptures, the Quran,
The rosary, the girdle,
Godlessness, and faith,
Do I call you the clouds, the flash, the thunder,
Lightning and the downpour,
Water and earth,
The gust and the inferno,
Do I call you Lakshmi, and Ram and lovely Sita,
Baldev, Shiv, Nand, and Krishna,
Brahma, Vishnu and Ganesh,
Mahadev and Bhagvaan,
Do I call you the Gita, the Granth, and the Ved,
Knowledge and the unknowable,
Do I call you Abraham, Eve and Seth,
Noah and the deluge,
Abraham the friend, and Moses son of Amran,
And Ahmad the glorious, darling of every heart,
Do I call you the witness, the Lord, or Hejaz,
The awakener, existence, or the point,
Do I call you admiration or prognosis,
Nymph, fairy, and the young lad,
The tip and the nip,
And the redness of betel leaves,
The Tabla and Tanpura,
The drum, the notes and the improvisation,
Do I call you beauty and the fragrant flower,
Coyness and that amorous glance,
Do I call you Love and knowledge,
Superstition, belief, and conjecture,
The beauty of power, and conception,
Aptitude and ecstasy,
Do I call you intoxication and the drunk,
Amazement and the amazed,
Submission and the connection,
Compliance and Gnosticism,
Do I call you the Hyacinth, the Lilly, and the Cypress,
And the rebellious Narcissus,
The bereaved Tulip, the Rose garden, and the orchard,
Do I call you the dagger, the lance, and the rifle,
The hail, the bullet, the spear,
The arrows made of white poplar, and the bow,
The arrow-notch, and the arrowhead,
Do I call you colorless, and unparalleled,
Formless in every instant,
Glory and holiness,
Most glorious and most compassionate,
Repent now Farid forever!
For whatever I may say is less,
Do I call you the pure and the humane,
The Truth without trace or name.

Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaye Badariya

I have always had a soft corner for songs themed around the rains, the most favourite being ‘Oh Sajana, Barkha Bahar Aayi’ (equally sweet Bengali version). I came across this lilting tune from the movie ‘Chote Nawab’ today and this has been looping since the past couple of hours.

Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaye Badariya

Ghar aaja, ghir aaye badara sanwariya
Mora jiya dhak dhak re, chamke bijuriya

Soona Soona ghar mohe, dasne ko aaye re
Khidki pe baithe baithe, saari raien jaaye re
Tap tip sunat-a main toh, bhaye re banwariya

Kasamaasaa jiyara kasak mori dooni re
Pyasi pyasi ankhiyon ki kaliyaan hai sooni re
Jaane mohe laagi kis bairan ki najariya
Ghar aaja, ghir aaye badara sanwariya
Mora jiya dhak dhak re, chamke bijuriya

Listen to it here

Jack Johnson – Go on

Came across this beautiful song on SWB‘s latest blog post. Loved the post and loved the song even more, for a lot of reasons.

In my rear view
I watch you watching the twilight
Behind the telephone lines
Nothing to prove, or to assume
Just thinking if your thoughts are different than mine
In my rear view
I watch you
I gave you your life, would you give me mine?

I see you slowly swim away
Cause the light is leaving town
To a place that I can’t be
There’s no apologies

Just go on
Just go on
There’s still so many things
I wanna to say to you
But go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood that’s moving
From the moment that we started
From the moment that we started

I see perfect little lives
Watch the shadows of the clouds
And the surface of the ocean out the window of a plane
I get nervous when I fly
I’m used to walking with my feet
Turbulence is like a sigh that I can’t help but over think

What is the purpose of my life
If it doesn’t ever do
With learning to let it go
Live vicariously through you
You could do the same
It’s the least you can do
Cause it’s a lonely little chain
If you don’t add to it

So go on
Just go on
There’s so many things
I wanna say to you
Go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood and love
From the moment that we started
Just go on
Just go on
There’s still so many things
I wanna say to you
Just go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood that’s moving
From the moment that we started
From the moment that we started

Listen to it here

Lyrics from: http://www.sing365.com/index.html

Endless Wait

I finally managed to get myself into a movie watching mode and watched this bengali film called ‘Antaheen‘ – which literally means ‘Endless’, although the english title is probably ‘Endless Wait’ which is more in tune with the storyline. Well, I quite liked it and imho its probably a big deal, worth a blog post….really. I grew up when the only good enough watchable fare from Bengali cinema were the classics from the black & white period of the 60s-70s. Anything after that and in colour was utterly disgusting, crass and totally out of sync with any kind of sensible or relateable bengali social structure. There were little pieces of jewels like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Paroma, Atanka, Kharij etc, but considering the mature content nature I never got to venture that side until much later.

Well, from the 90s onwards, the alternative stuff started pouring in, primarily led by Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Unishe April‘. Most of these films were based upon stories surrounding upper-middle class households and explored the dynamics in the relationships between the main characters – women occupied in some kind of art related field and involved with wimpy men seeking emancipation and men who smoked like chimneys & worked in media houses. They could be in various stages of relationship maturity – dating furiously, about to be married, married, married but living apart, about to be divorced, divorced yet dating each other furiously, divorced and married to other people and still wanting to get back… whatever gets them to put their relationship status as ‘complicated’. The dialogues were stretchy and laced with abusive language to bring in some kind of contemporary flavour, the scenarios pretentious, and the characters contrived to carve in complications. And they all looked the same. Compounded by the fact that there were a handful of actors who kept rolling by in all these films.

Whether it was the street-fare commercial stuff or the alternative films, both lacked money and it showed. The finances started pouring in, when rich production houses from Southern India started investing in the Bengali film industry. However, it also started an era when commercial Bengali cinema garbed itself into a mode which was always associated with the over-the-top action movies from the Southern shores – elaborate sets, cavalcade of vehicles, baddies, violent fights, dances (the horror!), facial gymnastics, everything that could alienate them even further.

Perhaps, this also led to a second round of alternative set of cinema being churned out. These had a much richer look than their earlier cousins, but somehow the pretentious facets still haunted them. I mostly shied away from them as well. Anuranan being one. The last film that I really liked was ‘Dosar‘, a black & white film by Rituparno Ghosh. It was stark, with effortless performances from most of the cast members. Antaheen (from the same director as Anuranan) just got added to my list of liked movies. It is the story of a television journalist & police officer, who strike up a friendship over the internet as strangers and seperately in real life as well. Parellely, goes the track of an estranged middle aged couple who still rely on each other as old habits, yet prefer the distance between them that allows them to be close without stepping on each others toes. There are a few other tracks as well, which bring in their share of resonance to the story. There was a small one with Mita Vashist. This lady is a bombshell and made the minor character of Mrs.Mehra the most profound of them all. The sets and costumes were contemporary, dialogues mostly pert and very very normal, actors looked their part and the music… oh beautiful! (And apparently Shantanu Moitra did it for free.) Some of the trimmings looked a bit forced though, as if to bring in a touch of the exotic. But then these can be comfortably overlooked for an evening well spent.

The following are the lyrics of the song Pherari Mon (Wandering Mind) that got Shreya Ghosal a National Award this year. Even if you can’t read bengali, you can go ahead and listen to the song here

আলো আলো রং, জমকালো চাঁদ ধুয়ে যায়
চেনাশোনা মুখ, জানাশোনা হাত ছুঁয়ে যায়
ফিরে ফিরে ঘুম ঘিরে ঘিরে গান রেখে যায়
কিছু মিছু রাত, পিছু পিছু টান ডেকে যায়
আজও আছে গোপন ফেরারী মন
বেজে গেছে কখন, সে টেলিফোন
চেনাশোনা মুখ, জানাশোনা হাত রেখে যায়
ফিরে ফিরে ঘুম ঘিরে ঘিরে গান ডেকে যায়
আজও আছে গোপন ফেরারী মন
বেজে গেছে কখন, সে টেলিফোন॥

ছোট ছোট দিন আলাপে রঙিন, নুড়ির মতন
ছোট ছোট রাত চেনা মৌতাত, পলাশের বন
আহা, অগোছালো ঘর, খড়কুটো মন চিলেকোঠা কোণ
কথা ছিল, হেটে যাবো ছায়াপথ
আজও আছে গোপন ফেরারী মন
বেজে গেছে কখন, সে টেলিফোন॥

কিছু মিছু রাত, পিছু পিছু টান অবিকল
আলো আলো রং জমকালো চাঁদ ঝলমল
আজও আছে গোপন ফেরারী মন
বেজে গেছে কখন, সে টেলিফোন॥

গুড়ো গুড়ো নীল, রং পেনসিল জোছনার জল
ঝুরো ঝুরো কাঁচ, আগুণ ছোঁয়াচ দেখেছে আঁচল
ফুটপাথে ভিড়, জাহাজের ডাক ফিরে চলে যায়
কথা ছিল, হেটে যাবো ছায়াপথ
আজও আছে গোপন ফেরারী মন
বেজে গেছে কখন, সে টেলিফোন॥

আলো আলো রং, জমকালো চাঁদ ধুয়ে যায়
চেনাশোনা মুখ, জানাশোনা হাত ছুঁয়ে যায়
আজও আছে গোপন ফেরারী মন
বেজে গেছে কখন, সে টেলিফোন॥

Dance with all your heart

The other day while waiting to collect my order of idli-sambar at the neighbourhood food court, I noticed on the television above the counter the news of Sania Mirza calling off her engagement. Thankfully, the telly was on mute and except for the cheesy graphics I was spared the horror of the reporter’s agony and angst ridden repertoire. Later I came across the news again in the paper and liked what the lady had to say about the break up. Something to the tune of – “We were friends for years, but found ourselves incompatible as fiances”.

Every relationship has its own tale. Like the opening lines of Anna Karenina:

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

It often takes a lifetime to realise that relationships do not always work out the way they were expected to. There are the ones which take off like firworks and then fizz out. Or the ones that start burning like a slow fire with wet wood and then glow bright, spreading a comfortable warmth. Often relationships come a full circle and don’t know where to go next. Especially when people have known each other for a considerably long time, that by the time they come together there is nothing new to discover about each other (#notmyquote). They become partnerships or just households. Secure and staid, but without any heartaching emotion. Often leading into territories where dilemmas, questions and justifications of faith raise their heads.

People come together with myriad yearnings – love, compassion, physical bonds, security, freedom, and sometimes even impassioned calculations. Some things work out, some others don’t. The ones that don’t, need attention. And without resolution they stay on, like the throbbing of an age old migraine. Painful, yet ignored by a practised habit. Most often than not (especially here in our country), people carry on with their long-dead relationships for the sake of societal norms, ranging from family pride to the stigma of being homewreckers or just as their own personal choice (a nice post related to this here).

I was drawn into a discussion the other day about two films – When Harry Met Sally and The Notebook. Both were extremely enjoyable, but I had my own reservations about them. The first assumes that men and women can never be friends and eventually ends with the protagonists getting together. While the latter has the female lead returning to her first love, leaving behind a fiance at the last minute. Both were ideal solutions to seemingly complicated situations, which would make most of the audience happy. While Harry & Sally effectively seal the ‘fact’ that other than lovers there is no possibility of men and women to have any kind of non-romantic-but-emotionally-caring-buddies relationship (*), ‘the notebook’ on the other hand dilutes the complications of the quagmire that the lady finds herself in. On one side is her memory of a whirlwind teen romance which was nipped without a closure, and on the other end was a mature romance between two people who have seen more of the world and had connected at a stage of their lives when moving towards a stable and mellow bond would come with the least of regrets. In anycase, the fall guy had hardly spent enough screen time for the audience to feel much sympathy for him and he made way for the first love. I would have liked to know how this couple overcome the awkwardness that generally creeps in due to the time spent apart, or how the lady gets over the guilt of cutting short her second relationship that must have been at an extremely intimate state (perhaps the book deals with it better). Or how Harry & Sally settled household matters and other mundane stuff. Well, these are perhaps the least of the worries that cinegoers would like to indulge in.

People shape their perpectives from what they see around them and then nurture them with their own experiences. Cinema is a primary source for a lot of young people to form their opinions of ideal relationships. And these mostly end up in monochrome. Binaries of extremes, that churn out moony eyed expectations. Imho, relationships have so many vivid and nested shades. Even when things seem to have come to a stop, there are the hidden undercurrents that makes it easier to share and care for each other. Some call it habit. Probably, it is also a mix of guilt-ridden sense of responsibilty that one is unlikely to desecrate. However, these shades are generally not visible, unless a person shares a relationship into a considerable depth. It is unfortunate that the monochrome visions often miss these lines in between and by the time they figure it out, the depth sucks them in. A possible solution here would perhaps include widening the horizons from personal experience, but then that brings with it, its own set of complications. And honestly, I don’t think our society is liberal enough (not just in patches, but entirely) yet to handle such lifestyle changes.

Moving on, these two lines from the song ‘Uff- yeh ada’ (Karthik Calling Karthik) have stuck into my head.

pyar agar hai mujhse pyar jataa ke naach
jaan-o-dil jo hai teri mujhpe luta ke naach

Roughly translated they read – if you have love for me in then show it while you dance, give all you have to it while you dance. I believe this is true for every kind of relationship – not just romantic ones. Whatever you feel in your heart for a person (friend, lover, sibling) don’t hold any of it back and give all it takes to make it honest and worthwhile.

* apparently if it hurts to share a friend then its definitely not friendship any more… #notmyquote, but that was a convincing argument during the discussion that can perhaps measure when people can no longer be ‘just friends’ and have moved onto the next stage.