Long Forgotten Songs #1

In a musical mood/mode today, I thought of documenting some of my favorite songs here.

Since I am a 90’s kid, my list would most probably cover songs that came out during the late nineties and later.

If you are an AR Rahman fan, this album would definitely be cherish-worthy for you. Rockstar which was released in the year 2011, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri, is one of the best albums of the Mozart of Madras hands down. He has experimented to his hearts’ content on this album, a major part of which happens in Prague.

Each song is a gem in itself. Three particular songs stole my heart the moment I heard the first few beats.

Hawaa hawaa – Mohit Chauhan and chorus

This song starts off with peppy beats and has a folksy-gypsy taste to it. Set in the backdrop of the stony lanes and castles of the beautiful city of Prague, the song narrates the story of a King who had imprisoned the queen by restricting her from doing what she wished (dance).

The song is fast paced and a happy one, with a riot of colours and tap dance steps peppering it. It is said that the song was based on some unheard Czech gypsy traditions.

In a way, the story narrated by the song depicted the leading lady’s life in Prague, lonely and imprisoned.

Mohit Chauhan has done a superb job in adding a kick to this song and his meow sounds in between the lines truly add lustre to this number.

Click for the video of this song

Kun Faya Kun- ARR, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan and Chorus

ARR is no newbie when it comes to Qawwalis and Sufi songs. Inspired by the rich traditions of Persia, Sindh, Arabia and Turkey, Qawwali music has elements of harmoniums, tabla and handclaps. ARR has used bits and pieces of qawwali strains in Bombay and Guru and also full blown qawwalis in Fiza and Jodha Akbar.

This particular song is a qawwali of the type Manqabat (Manqabat – Wikipedia) , sung in praise of the saint Nizamudin Aulia.

A hymn in praise of the saint is followed by the song. This song depicts life’s philosophy from the mind of a devotee. It, in fact, explains how a human is a mere tool in the hands of a bigger divine power and how each and every action of a human is led by that power.

My favorite lines would be-

“Rangreza rang mera tann, mera mann”

These lines, when translated, mean “Oh Painter! Paint thou body and mind with colours”

This song comes at this crucial juncture in the movie, where Ranbir is thrown out of his house, wanders around and ends up seeking asylum at a Dargah. The atmosphere there adds to his musical essence and helps him mould his music.

This song is total surrender to the Divinity!

Click to watch the video song

Aur Ho- Alma Ferovic, Mohit Chauhan

My last pick from this album would be “Aur Ho”, which is placed somewhere in the later half of the movie.

This song speaks about the bereavement and the anguish experienced by Ranbir, owing to his love. The proximity to Nargis also adds to his pain, making him sing this song in a concert.

The lyrics are excellent and I loved the wordplay in this song. The lyricist, Irshad Kamil, has done a fabulous job by using words having the same meaning in adjacent lines. For example- Fire- Aag, taap, aanch and jal.

This song is symbolic to the fire burning inside Ranbir, raging, due to his separation from his ladylove.

We can listen to Mohit Chauhan traversing through wide ranges in vocals with Alma Ferovic adding tone to it with her stunning voice.

This song is pain, pain and more pain packed into a 5-minute punch!

Click here to watch the video song

Also, this was the movie that ended with the famous words of Rumi,

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

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Reethigowlai- The Mellow Mistress, an adorable anomaly

Music is more a language than an art. It conveys and is capable of expressing thousands of emotions which we might not be able to express by words or actions.

While there are many ragams to be explored and drowned in, may I let the beautiful “Reethigowlai” take the stage today?

Reethigowlai is one of those ragams, which are soft by nature. Used widely to depict the emotions of divinity, love and cajoling, this ragam is a hit. Many people will be familiar with the undertones of this since this is easy to follow and sing or hum along.

Born out of the legendary “Karaharpriya”, Reethigowlai has therapeutic properties too. It is known that this ragam gives a lot of calm and clarity to the cluttered mind, when sung or heard with absolute focus.

Two of the famous compositions in this ragam is “Guruvayoorappane Appan, Sree Krishnan” and “Enna Punniyam Seideno” composed by the legend Shri Uthukadu Venkata Subbaiyar.

The piece “Enna Punniyam” rendered by Bombay Sisters, is one of my all time favorites, which soothes me to a great extent.

The Tamil filmdom is a big fan of this ragam, using it extensively to depict love and admiration of ones love and beauty.

The famous song, Kangal irandal, from the movie Subramanyapuram is weaved on this ragam.

This is one another hit song of AR Rahman, detailing the beauty of the lady by the male lead.

Another number of the same thread of reethigowlai, rendered by Shri.Unnikrishnan.

This raagam is perfect to listen to when in solitude. Just oneself, silence and some apt volume with reethigowlai playing away in its glory.