Naam Gum Jayega, Part I - Jaidev

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Naam gum jayega, chehra ye badal jayegaMeri awaz (Mere saaz) hi pehchaan hain, gar yad rahe…

I am not talking about the forgotten heroes who are only a part of our subconscious. Rather, this is an attempt to remember those whose names have been almost erased from the pages of history. Like a diligent archaeologist, I am on a path to dig deep through the layers of time and refresh our memories.

Who amongst us has not been enthralled by the soft crooning of Rafi and Asha in the song 'Abhi na jao chhodkar'? All the smokers still endorse 'Main zindagi ka sath nibhata chala gaya' as their anthem while the heartbroken lovesick teens find solace in 'Kabhi khud pe kabhi halaat pe rona aya'. These songs are only a glimpse into the musical realms of the immensely talented composer JAIDEV VERMA.

Trained under the tutelage of Sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Jaidev composed songs for over 40 movies and won 3 national awards. Unfortunately, most of the movies failed at the box office which was a sufficient reason to forget the works of this genius. Jaidev's mastery is not just limited to these accredited creations. In fact, while assisting S D Burman, he is also known to ghost compose songs like kahin bekhayal hokar and aise to na dekho for the superhit Teen Deviyan (1965).

In an effort to celebrate this legend's birthday (August 3, which went completely unnoticed) let us take a walk down memory lane and immerse ourselves in the ocean of melody.


1. Abhi na jao chhod kar
What an album! I would like to include all six songs of this movie in this list but would refrain from doing so for the sake of variety. While Jaidev has had some success in the past, Hum Dono (1961) truly brought him into limelight. If I was forced to take only 10 songs to an island, this will certainly be the one. The first blossoms of spring find their true colors not by chance but through the playful smiles, twinkling eyes and dodging glances among the trees that spoke a thousand unspoken words with the language of the leaves. I believe this is where the magical tradition of the heroine coyly hiding behind the trees and dodging her lover's advances began. The minimalism of instruments and the epic rendering by Rafi and Asha, poetry by Sahir Ludhiyanvi, this song has the stuff that dreams are made of.

2. Tu chanda main chandni
Remember one of the first talent show 'Meri Awaz Suno' which made Sunidhi Chauhan a household name? Sunidhi spellbounded us and the original singer Lata bai herself with a wonderful rendition to bag the finals.
This song from Reshma aur Shera (1972), penned by Balkavi Bairagi is an absolute delight. No wonder why Jaidev is one of the favorite composers of Lata Bai along with Madan Mohan and Salil Chowdhury or why he earned a national award for this album. 

3.  Madhushala
 Mere shav par wah roye ho jiske aansoo mein haala
 Aah bhare wah jo ho surbhit madeera peekar matwaala
De mujhko wo kaandha jinke pad-mad dag-mag honte ho
Aur jaloon uss thaur jahan par kabhi rahee ho madhushaala

I am not going to say much about this. Just listen to the most illuminated work of Harivansh Rai Bachchan. We may not fully comprehend the difficulties of composing a 'shudh hindi' poetry into a song but Jaidev and Manna Dey converted this piece of poetry into a timeless classic.

4. Ye dil aur unki nigahon ke saye
The movie Prem Parbat (1973) is today remembered only for its immortal music. Penned by Jan Nisar Akhtar and sung by Lata, some people regard this song (based on Raag Pahadi) as his best composition.

5. Tumhe ho na ho
If for a minute you believed that Jaidev only composed classical music based song, he surprises you with the peppy poetry of Naqsh Lyallpuri (often mistaken to be written by Gulzar) rendered by the youthful innocence of Runa Laila. If you are based in Mumbai, I bet you will run to Chaupati grab some panipuri and nariyalpani after listening to this song. In the same movie, Gharonda (1977), you will also find a brilliant use of violin in perhaps the most depressing song 'Ek akela is shehar mein' which identifies  with the pathos of the loner Jaidev who never married.

6. Caravan
No. Not the formulaic movie of Jeetendra, the Indian James Bond or the groovy 'Piya tu ab to aaja'. 'Caravan guzra kiya' is a non-filmy ghazal by Fani Badayuni (who belongs to both Ghalib and Mir's tradition of poetry). And when you will listen to Asha blow life into this ghazal, you will stop reading this article until you have heard it at least 5 more times on repeat.

7. Seene mein jalan
Gaman (1978) brought another national award to Jaidev. The movie boasts of the combo of director Muzaffar Ali and the poet Shahryar who would later collaborate to create a magnum opus Umrao Jaan in 1981. Sung by the then newcomer Suresh Wadkar, 'Seene mein jalan' has almost become a byword amongst ghazal lovers. If there is any other song besides the iconic 'Aye dil hai mushkil' that truly captures the loneliness which engulfs you amidst the fast paced crowds of Bombay, this is it.

8. Thumak thumak pag
How many music directors of today can get a legendary vocalist like Pt Bhimsen Joshi sing to their tunes? The song is a traditional Krishna Bhajan from the movie Ankahee (1985) which brought Jaidev his third national award as well as a national award for the playback.

9. Raat bhi hai kuchh bheegi bheegi
Sunil Dutt produced Mujhe jeene do (1963) and changed his sweet persona into a menacing bandit. Watch Waheeda Rehman move like a nimble footed gazelle on the enchanting beats of Jaidev and the alliteration filled rhyming of Sahir. 
Noted journalist Mayank Chhaya considers this song amongst the top 20 hindi song compositions and he says: "I talked to Dutt about ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’ on another occasion. I knew him rather well. He said he vividly remembered the filming of this particular song which was not an easy one to shoot. He said he kept humming the song on the set because of Jaidev’s lilting composition."

10. Aayee ritu sawan ki
Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Alaap (1977) not only has an extremely unconventional theme of classical music, it also shows Amitabh Bachchan in a completely different light. Kumari Faiyyaz (another forgotten gem) and Bhupinder Singh give voice to the poetry of Dr Rahi Masoom Raza. The album also contains a popular Yesudas song 'Koi gata main so jata' for which the critics appreciated Jaidev's innovative style of composing a mukhda with only 5 words.

Stay tuned for more in this series. Phir Milenge!


Bombay & Bollywood Songs

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Bombay. Bambai. Mumbai. This city doesn't need any introduction. Some call it मायानगरी while some call it "City of Dreams". Some hate the fast pace of this city while some just don't want to leave this city. Such is the vibe of this city. You can never be in two thoughts about this city. You either LOVE IT or HATE IT. Born and brought up in Bombay (I still love calling it that), this city has been an integral part of my life. The city has taught me many things - to love/hate people, never get bogged down by bad things, never trust anyone other than the person in a mirror & basically it has taught me to embrace life the way it is.

By now you may be thinking what nonsense I am talking of. This is supposed to be an article about films, music & other related things. Why the fuck am writing about Bombay? Aaah... got carried away. Well lets start now. Bollywood which churns out maximum number of films per year in the entire world is based in Bombay. Many directors over the years have tried to capture Bombay/Mumbai in their films & some have also used this city as a character (OUATIM, Shor In The City, Wake Up Sid!) in their films. Visually it has always been captured well by several cinematographers. I can't recollect old films but in recent past films like The Lunchbox, Ship of Theseus, Wake Up Sid!, Kaminey, Aamir, A Wednesday etc. Bombay has been showcased visually stunning.

For me it was always about music & songs. Hence I always used to find out about all those songs that were based on Bombay or depicted Bombay, its lifestyle, hardships of people living here and its madness. But most probably only one song comes to our mind when we think of Bombay and that it is classic Mohd. Rafi number "Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan" featured on Jhonny Walker saab. Other than that there are several other songs which describes something or other about Bombay - some are known while some are severely underrated.

So here in this article I will list out all those worthy tracks where lyricists have tried to pen their thoughts to describe Bombay & would also state that part of lyrics that I feel describes Bombay aptly. And yeah... it would always be tough to figure out which is the best song on Bombay, so I've decided to put all the songs in their order of appearance. Here goes the list -

1. Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan (C.I.D. - 1956)

Music - O P Nayyar
Lyrics - Majrooh Sultanpuri
Singers - Mohd. Rafi & Geeta Bali



Probably the first ever Bollywood song on Bombay according to me. I researched a lot but couldn't find any other song about Bombay prior to this. Guru Dutt's protege Raj Khosla's directorial debut C.I.D. was a classic investigative thriller with a brilliant performance by Dev Anand. Interestingly this song was featured on Johnny Walker's character who plays a pickpocketer & important witness in the murder mystery instead of Dev saab. Song is such a classic that it served as an inspiration to several other songs & films in future. Nishikant Kamat used the same song in the closing credit of his critically acclaimed Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008) as a tribute to Bombay's undying spirit. Mohd. Rafi's rendition was brilliant while O P Nayyar kept his music simple yet engaging. But it was definitely Majrooh Sultanpuri's lyrics that makes this song a cult classic and unforgettable. Lyrics had bittersweet quality to it where Sultanpuri brilliantly reflected that era ('50s) with lines like
 कहीं बिल्डिंग कहीं ट्रामे कहीं मोटर कहीं मील, 
मिलता है यहाँ सब कुछ पर मिलता नहीं एक दिल.

Now buildings have been replaced by skyscrapers, trams with Metro & Monorail and mills with shopping malls & multiplexes yet somewhere this city is still soulless. Another great thing about this song is that instead of shooting it in a studio they shot it on a real locations (Marine Drive, VT Station) & you can actually see in that Carriage scene where public is running behind the Carriage trying to get into the frame of camera.

Best Part in Lyrics -
बेघर को आवारा यहाँ केहते हस हस,
खुद काटे गले सबके कहे इसको बिज़नेस,
एक चीज़ के है कई नाम यहाँ,
ज़रा हटके ज़रा बचके ये है बॉम्बे मेरी जान.

2. Do Deewane Sheher Mein & Ek Akela Iss Sheher Mein (Gharaonda - 1977)

Music - Jaidev
Lyrics - Gulzar
Singers - Bhupinder Singh & Runa Laila


The best part about this film is Gulzar's screenplay. It is very simple and explores various human emotions throughout the film. Gharaonda (Nest) is a story of Sudip (Amol Palekar) & Chaya (Zarina Wahab) who belong to middle class section of Bombay and work in the same office. Sudip shares his house with his friends while Chaya lives with her siblings. They soon plan to get married and hence save every penny to buy a new house for them. They go house hunting in Bombay which suits their budget. They finally invest in a flat of an under construction building. But when their dreams were about to come to reality, a tragedy strikes their lives. Director Bhimsain Khurana beautifully explores the situation of several people dreaming of owning their house in Bombay which still remains a dream for many.

Such was the story & setting of Gharaonda that film had not one but two songs on Bombay. Gulzar who wrote screenplay also served as lyricist & trust me Gulzar never disappoints. Film's music was composed by very underrated composer Jaidev. The first song "Do Deewane Sheher Mein" is mostly shot in an under construction building where Sudip & Chaya have decided to buy a flat. Sung by Bhupinder Singh & Pakistani singer Runa Laila, song is basically a conversational number where characters are quite happy about their lives.

 
Best Part in Lyrics -
दो दीवाने शेहर में, रात में या दोपहर में,
आबुदाना ढूंढते  हैं, आशियाना  ढूंढते  हैं,
इन भुलभुलिया गलियों में, अपना भी एक घर होगा,
अम्बर पे खुलेगी खिड़की या खिड़की पे खुला अम्बर होगा.

The emotions of both characters were so beautifully expressed through these lines specially the last one. And for your simplicity आबुदाना stands for food & water while आशियाना stands for a home. The second song "Ek Akela Iss Sheher Main" is kind of a sad version of previous song but its Gulzar who makes that sadness even more beautiful. Song comes at that point in a film when tragedy has stricken Sudip's life and Chhaya is now no more in his life (that doesn't mean she is dead, plot twist is brilliant. I don't wanna spoil it. Just watch the film) to support him. Even song is conceived superbly by showing crowded Bombay with streets full of ambassadors, trains, high buildings & Amol Palekar's character is just wandering alone in all these places. It subtly shows that even this crowded city sometimes we are still all alone.


Best Part in Lyrics -
  इन उम्रो से लंबी सडको को, मंजिल पे  पहुँचते  देखा नहीं,
बस दौड़ती फिरती रहती है, हमने तो  ठहरते  देखा नहीं,
इस अजनबी से शहर  में, जाना पहचाना ढूंढता  हैं.

3. Seene Mein Jalan (Gaman - 1978)

Music - Jaidev
Lyrics - Shahryar
Singer - Suresh Wadkar

Even Before Muzaffar Ali made hugely popular & National Award winning Umrao Jaan (1981), he made his directorial debut with this lesser known film called Gaman (Departure). Gaman is a story of a migrant Ghulam Hasan (Farooque Sheikh) who has migrated from his village in UP to improve his living in Bombay. How he faces hardships but finally settles down in the city is the basic story of Gaman. Film is very underrated (even I am yet to watch this one) and soundtrack again by Jaidev is even more underrated. In spite of winning National Award for best music, songs never became that popular. Jaidev's classical base to the song was fascinating & Suresh Wadkar just nailed this song with his flawless rendition. It was I guess Wadkar's debut in Bollywood. But 2 brilliant aspects of this song again is its lyrics & the way it is shot. Shahryar's lyrics were just brilliant & showcased protagonist's trying to understand the lifestyle & fast life of this city. This song shows busy city life of Bombay in '70s like no other film in that era did with amazing aerial shots showcasing Bombay's skyline. Watch out for that aerial shot post 2 minutes in the video. Its simply awesome.


Best Part in Lyrics -
सीने में जलन, आँखों में तूफान सा क्यूँ है,
इस शहर में हर शख्स परेशान सा क्यूँ है.

4. Ee Hai Bambai Nagariya (Don - 1978)

Music - Kalyanji Anandji
Lyrics - Anjaan
Singer - Kishore Kumar

Another popular song that comes to our mind when we think about Bombay. Farhan Akhtar's version of Don may be stylish but it will never be as iconic as Chandra Barot's original. Vijay is a simpleton who earns some money by doing such street acts & feeds 2 foster kids. One thing that Farhan Akhtar smartly did in his remake was that he didn't make SRK do something like this & instead made him do that Ganpati Visarjan track. Because in today's time hardly anyone has time to stop in their busy life & take a look at such street acts. And now-a-days they are almost extinct at least in metros. Kalyanji Anandji's music had a folk feel with dholaks & shehnaai. Even though Anjaan tried to weave the theme of "Attraction for Bombay by outsiders" through his lyrics but real star of song was definitely Kishore Kumar's vocals. His singing had that slight UP twang which very well established Vijay's character and goofiness. Its a fun song on Bombay which is very well directed by Chandra Barot.


Best Part in Lyrics -
देखो दूर दूर से, लोग दूर दूर से,
इहाँ आते है दाव लगाने, इहाँ आते है दाँव लगाने,
देस गाँव  छोड़ के, प्रीत प्यार तोड़ के,
सोया सोया नसीबा जगाने, सोया सोया नसीबा जगाने.

I am not into much of '80s & '90s Bollywood music. Baring few soundtracks, most of the music in those decades was bland & unimaginative. There were some songs on Bombay during those times too but I chose not to write on those songs because I didn't find them that exciting. Some of them were  -



5. Mumbhai (Bombay Boys - 1998)

Music, Lyrics & Vocals - Javed Jaffrey


Even before Kaizad Gustad made crapshit films like Boom (2003) & Jackpot (2013), he made a nice English language indie dark comedy called Bombay Boys (1998). It was a story of 3 NRIs - Ricardo (Rahul Bose), Krishna (Naveen Andrews) & Xerxes (Alexander Gifford) who have come to Mumbai for a purpose. Ricardo is in search for his missing brother, Xerxes wants to make music & Krishna is here to act in Bollywood. How their lives affects each other forms the story of the film. But one character I totally loved was of Bollywood producer/Gangster Don Mastana played brilliantly by Naseeruddin Shah. It was like Delhi Belly of '90s set in Bombay. In spite of been critically acclaimed film never became that famous. Instead what became famous was this song by Javed Jaffrey. Song is a part of end credits & has gained tremendous cult following over the years with its tapori/bhai style lyrics. Javed Jaffrey's music may not have anything worth talking of but what really is commendable is his lyrics & brilliant rap sections. Another reason this song is perfect about Bombay is the way Jaffrey dons various bambaiya characters like bhai, muslim butcher, SoBo guy, eunuch, marvari businessman & parsi guy all effortlessly. Watch out for that brilliant last part & some typical tapori words like रापचंदुस, पंगा, त्रास, खोपचा & nudding.


Best Part in Lyrics -
नेता, अभिनेता या हो कोई builder,
भाई को देगा सुपारी करवाता है murder,
हाथ में उसका power है, सब उसका आगे झुकता,
उसका खोपड़ी सनक गया तोह पूरा मुंबई रुकता.

6. Ye Kaisa Hai Sheher (Paanch - 2002)

Music - Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics - Abbas Tyrewala
Singer - Dominique Cerejo

Having penned Satya which is definitely one of the finest Underworld films of Bollywood set in Bombay, Anurag Kashyap knew Bombay right since early '90s when he first landed in this city. His still unreleased directorial debut Paanch was also set in Bombay and explored the life of 5 individuals who form a rock band & are very much involved into drugs, sex & smoke. This song about Mumbai comes at that point when band wants to earn some good money & a bit of fame. Set in a posh lounge where band performs this song. Music composer Vishal Bhardwaj took the entire song into wonderful Jazz/lounge space with brilliant use of trumpets, guitars & mouth organ. Dominique Cerejo who later sang popular songs like Yeh Tumhari Meri Baatein (Rock On!!) & Dhoom Again (Dhoom 2) did a wonderful rendition to this song. But song definitely belongs to lyricist Abbas Tyrewala who in his pre-Aditi days (Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na) did some amazing work. He wrote screenplay for Maqbool and served as lyricist/dialogue writer for films like Paanch, Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and Main Hoon Na. He superbly explores the loneliness, hustle bustle, selfish attitude & madness of the Bombay through his lyrics. Paanch even had a classical song called "Ankhiyan Chipki" sung by legendary Ustad Sultan Khan. Do watch out for that too.


Best Part in Lyrics -

क्या दिन क्या रात है यहाँ पर, के साला दोनों बराबर,
ना रास्ते कभी हो खाली, ना बंध होती है गाली,
माँ बेहन की याद सबको आती हर पहेर,
हल्ला गुल्ला शोरगुल ये कैसा है शेहेर.

7. Sahi Hai Re (Jhankaar Beats - 2003)

Music - Vishal Shekhar
Lyrics - Vishal Dadlani
Singer - Udit Narayan

Sujoy Ghosh's directorial debut Jhankaar Beats was an out and out tribute to musical maestro R D Burman. Composer duo Vishal Shekhar whose previous works like Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999) & Supari (2003) were liked by few but it was their soundtrack for Jhankaar Beats that made them instantly famous. Their soundtrack complimented the film's premise brilliantly and even won them Filmfare R D Burman Award for New Music Talent. In a flawless soundtrack which boasted some extremely popular songs like Tu Aashiqui HaiHumein Tumse Pyar KitnaSuno Na & Ruk Ruk Rukna Na; there was this underrated yet awesome song called Sahi Hai Re dedicated to Mumbai. Penned by Vishal Dadlani himself, song was focused on transformations in the city from Bombay to Mumbai yet everything was same here. Only thing that changed was name. Vocal percussion & Udit Narayan's singing are reasons enough to listen to this underrated track.


Best Part in Lyrics -
Building है, बस्ती है, tension है, मस्ती है,
जितनी महंगाई है जान उतनी सस्ती है,
दुनिया के शेहेरो को देखा फिर भी ऐसा और नहीं है रे,
है ये जैसा वैसा भी सही है रे.

8. Boombai Nagariya (Taxi No. 9211 - 2006)

Music - Vishal Shekhar
Lyrics - Vishal Dadlani
Singer - Bappi Lahiri, Nana Patekar & John Abraham

Another Vishal Shekhar entry in this list. In spite of being loosely based on Hollywood film Changing Lanes (2002), Taxi No. 9211 was an entertaining film thanks to terrific performance by Nana Patekar. One thing I really liked in this film was that it seamlessly fused different lifestyle of two unknown people very well. In fact, I love such films where various strata of society are thrown together for a cracking story. For eg. Sudhir Mishra's Yeh Saali Zindagi (Old Delhi & New Delhi were nicely fused together), Raj & DK's Shor In The City and Abhinay Deo's Delhi Belly. Here it was a wealthy young businessman & a poor Taxi driver disguised as an Insurance agent. The reason song became instant hit was due to inclusion of famous dialogues by lead actors, Bappi Lahiri's rendition & peppy tune. Song which forms the cool opening credits of the film is also well shot & edited. Though entire song is great but my favourite lyrics here are from 2 different paragraphs.


Best Part in Lyrics -
लाख लाख रोज़ आके बस जाते है,
इस शहर से दिल लगाके फस जाते है,
सोने की राहों में सोने को जगह नहीं,
साला इधर तोह footpath भी housefull है.

उतर जाए रगों में जो तो ये नशा है,
इसकी आदत जो पड़ गयी तो ये सज़ा है.

9. Bade Sheher Ke Bade Nakhre (Raat Gayi Baat Gayi - 2009)

Music & Lyrics - Ankur Tewari
Singer - Anushka Manchanda


Coming from Rajat Kapoor's "Low budget high concept" group of films, Saurabh Shukla's Raat Gayi Baat Gayi? sadly went unnoticed just because of bad releasing strategy. Film was released a week after Rajkumar Hirani's mega blockbuster 3 Idiots. Honestly, film was a one time watch experience with excellent mix of art-house actors. Film was basically set in rich society of Mumbai specifically SoBo (South Bombay) and revolved around the themes of infidelity and marital crisis. It had one heck of a catchy soundtrack by Indie composer Ankur Tewari with couple of jazz numbers & several acoustic ballads. If you have heard Ankur's first indie album Jannat, then you will surely get a hang of what kind of music he follows. Acoustic ballads are his forte & soundtrack of RGBG had that in plenty composed by him & other members from his band Ankur & The Ghalat Family. This track was one of the 2 jazz numbers from the soundtrack which was sung seductively by Anushka Manchanda. Ankur Tewari's lyrics described the modern, selfish & rich lifestyle of people in cities & taking potshots on upper class folks' mentality. You can listen to fabulous soundtrack of Raat Gayi Baat Gayi? here.

Best Part in Lyrics -
यूँ अपने में खोये है सब, अपने से अपने को मतलब,
बड़े शेहेर के बड़े नखरे है, समजा ना इनको कोई.

एक दौड़ में भागे हे सब, फुरसत का जाने ना मतलब,
पडोसी भी है पडोसी से अजनबी, होगा अनजाना कोई.

10. Bombay Bombay (Striker - 2009)

Music - Amit Trivedi
Lyrics - Prashant Ingole
Singers - Siddharth

Promotional video

Chandan Arora is a criminally underrated director. His previous 2 films, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003) & Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh (2005) were moderately successful on box office but no one knew the director. His next, Striker was stuck for 4 years and finally got a theatrical release & simultaneous Youtube premiere in 2009. Though film was a disaster on Box Office but it was well appreciated by critics for authentic production design & performances (Ankur Vikal, Siddharth, Anupam Kher). It also had a terrific multi-composer soundtrack with composers like Vishal Bhardwaj, Amit Trivedi, Blaaze, Swanand Kirkire, Yuvan Shankar Raja & Shailendra Barve. This song "Bombay Bombay" was a promotional song composed by Amit Trivedi & sung by actor Siddharth himself. Thinking of best part in lyrics would be tough because every line written by Prashant Ingole is hard hitting & mindblowing. His choice of words perfectly describe the city Bombay/Mumbai - the City of Dreams & City that never Sleeps.

Entire Song

Best Part in Lyrics -
सपने लेके आते है यहाँ सारे, किस्मत फुटी दुनिया लुटी हारे,
कभी कंधों पे ये बिठा दे, कभी तुझे ये रोंग दे.

साला ये शेहेर भी अजीब है,
जन्नत से दूर पर मन्नत के करीब है,
मांगता मेहनत पर चलता सिर्फ नसीब है.

Building तो सब बहोत solid है यहाँ,
पर रिश्तों में वोह बात कहाँ,
आज इधर कल उधर,
किसको मालूम कल गुजरी रात कहाँ.

The Special One - Boondon Ke Moti (Wake Up Sid! - 2009 )

Music - Amit Trivedi
Lyrics - Amitabh Bhattacharya
Singer - Salim Merchant


Many may complain that lyrics of this song doesn't contain a single word that would describe Bombay but still this track is there on this list. Ayan Mukherjee's excellent coming-of-age debut Wake Up Sid! (2009) was a story of lazy, rich & aimless guy named Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) who realizes his dreams, aims & responsibilities after meeting a free spirited & independent women Aisha (Konkana Sen Sharma). This song was a part of background score (which was never officially released though Karan Johar did plan to do it post terrific success of "Iktara") which was done entirely by Amit Trivedi. Sung by Salim Merchant & penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya, song comprised of a wonderful climax leading towards happy ending. These song finds its place in this list only because of 2 reasons - stunning cinematography & classy epilogue by Konkana Sen Sharma. Never before Bombay looked so beautifully in rains with a whiff of Arabian Sea, smell of rains, breezy wind near Marine Drive & realization of love. Totally Awesome!!!


Mumbai जीतनी खुबसुरत है, उतनी सख्त भी,
अपने मंज़िल के पीछे दौड़ते हुए, 
हमारी नज़र कई बातों से हट जाती है.

इसलिए.... कुछ देर के लिए ही सही,
अपनी busy जिंदगी से नज़र हटाये और उस special एहसास को धुन्दिये, 
जो आपके शेहेर, आपकी जिंदगी को .... आपके लिए और भी खुबसुरत बनाता है.

क्या पता आपको भी एक हमसफ़र मिल जाए......

On Hitch's BirthDay

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Even if you have never seen a film by Alfred Hitchcock, you will most probably still be aware of the man. He has become a popcultural icon in the film industry. You may recognise him because of his gaudy frame or maybe because you are aware of the shower scene from Psycho or the crop dusting scene from North by North West. 

'The Master of Suspense' as we know him, was born on 13th Aug 1899. Concocting masterful mysteries and top-notch suspense is a feature we all recognize him with, but he became a cultural icon by his signature cameos. 

The man brought so much to cinema as a whole as well as to cinematography and forever changed the thriller genre. As much strange or wrong it may sound, but Hitchcock never won an Oscar award for best director and had a meagre 2 nominations. His style kept evolving over the long spanning career and his later classics were almost close to scandolous to the audience as well the industry which was still not over the melodramatic 40s and somewhat slow 50s.


The man brought so much from his personal life into the films. His failed relationships, his troubles with his parents, it all made him a paranoid but a genius person. 

As a tribute to this great master, here are his 5 memorable works as we remember him on his Birthday.

Meanwhile youtube has a dedicated channel to Hitchcock which has some amazing stuff for fans - http://www.youtube.com/user/cinenetahtv


Rebecca





Rebecca was Hitchcock's first American Project and proving Hitchcock's mettle, it won best picture award at Oscars. Based on eponymous novel, Rebecca is a gritty psychological drama. The best part of movie is Hitchcock showing up near the end, but that was just one of the many cameos to come.







Rear Window



A typical Hitchcock classic with a typical Hitchcock-ian panache, Rear Window is one of Hitchcock's Best. The movie is an adaptation of "It had to be murder". James Stewart was again a part of one high-class Suspense thriller that bagged four academy award nominations.





Notorious



Ingrid Bergman's 'Spy Adventure' venture with Hitchcock is pretty Notorious in its own right. This movie is signified by a two-and-a-half minute stop-and-continue kiss. It touches upon multiple genres combining elements of Gothic fiction (an imprisoned woman), a woman's film (woman in a love triangle with unworthy men), a spy film, and a film-noir with a femme fatale protagonist(cf wikipedia).







Psycho




Psycho is my Hitchcock favorite.It is a perfect Horror-psychological-thriller which a generation of directors look up to for inspiration. Among other things, Psycho is famous for its most epic Shower Scene. Despite absence of a supernatural being, this is a treat for horror movie lovers



Vertigo

Clearly the career defining film of good ol' Alfred starring James Stewart once again. Vertigo replaced Citizen Kane as the best film of all time in the 2012 British Film Institute's Sight & Sound critics' poll. It gave the world "Vertigo (Camera) Effect".









Some of the films which are noteworthy 
The man who knew too much
Murder
Rope
North by NorthWest
Strangers on a train
Birds

The Essential Robin Williams

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The world woke up today with the unfortunate news that it is now a poorer place with the departure of Robin Williams, comedian extraordinaire. He had been a part of our lives through his films for over three decades. He made us laugh, made us cry, made us think, and in some ways changed the way of our life through some of his films.

Filmy folklore states that a lot of Robin Williams' on-screen antics were ad-libbed. This is quite plausible since any comedian is more confident/brilliant with his own material than with reading lines given to him by someone else. Robin Williams was exceptional in his stand-up. He was the best of them, he was brutal, he was unforgiving, and he made you laugh through it all : Have a look at the video below


I am bringing this up because this performance is from a time when his films weren't doing well. The only bits of old Robin Williams was evident in the The Night of The Museum series, the third installment of which would be unfortunately part of his swan song.

Robin Williams will be sorely missed, and today in his untimely demise we look back to celebrate his life with the best of his oeuvre.

1. Good Morning, Vietnam


The words war and comedy do not gel together (except that they should considering the farce that war in general is), this is one of the few films of this particular genre about Vietnam war. And in my opinion this is the best.

Robin Williams starred as Adrian Cronauer, a real life radio jockey who had been flown to Vietnam in 1965 to build up troop morale. Most of the Radio announcements that he made in this film were improvised, and the trademark 'Good Moooooooooooooooorning, Vietnam!' has been imitated by RJs worldwide.

2 Dead Poets Society



This is not a comic film. However this is a very inspiring film. It is about seizing the day, it is about breaking free and it is about ripping out a page from your text book because it does you no good.

John Keating is the teacher you still wish you had when you were back at school. And even today if you watch this film you would still be shedding a tear at Neil's suicide but would also be feeling uplifted overall, you would be tempted to write that story which you had been thinking about for a long time but could never get along to writing, you would want to  travel to that one destination which had eluded you to now, you would want to literally Carpe Diem, and all because of Robin Williams' performance.

3 Aladdin


The writers of the film wrote the character of Genie keeping Williams in mind. Robin Williams was already known for his impersonations, working as an animated character literally gave a freehand to his voice. It is said that he did more than 50 impersonations for this role, the genie anachronistically referencing Jack Nicholson and others, and the makers of the movie must have had a field day matching the genie to Robin Williams.

Like most of his better roles, this too was based almost entirely on improv responses to the situations in the movie. Genie remains one of the best animated disney characters, and tonight I wish to watch Aladdin again only to have a re-look at all of Genie's scenes.

4. Mrs Doubtfire



How did he do it? How did he transform himself for an entire movie into Mrs Doubtfire, how easily he convinced the audience (who wouldn't have been able to discern the man in the wig and make up if they hadn't been in the know). How did he take a formula already done by Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie and make it better?

I remember watching this film for the first time when I was seven, and I remember laughing uncontrollably throughout. This was the movie which made me a fan of the actor (Aladdin released theatrically in India an year later) and even today given a chance I would chose this over many comedy films.

5. Insomnia


This is one of the most unlike Robin Williams roles that he has done in his life. This movie unfortunately set tone for him acting in a lot of serious roles thereafter, but in this particular film he was brilliant.

Directed by Chris Nolan and also starring Al Pacino and Hillary Swank, Insomnia gave Robin Williams a chance to showcase a side of him which his fans had never seen. And he did not disappoint. It is because he is such a good actor that he terrifies as the villain of the story. This was perhaps the last good film of his career where he had a starring role.

6. Good Will Hunting


For me, this is the best role of Robin Williams. Sean Maguire is the best guide and confidante that you can wish for. No words that I write here will do justice to the pure awesomeness of this film.


An icon of our childhood/growing up phase has passed away, we know there will never be another like him. The best we can do now is to revisit his films and relive a few of our memories. I am personally going to start with Good Will Hunting.