Baazigar O Baazigar – Baazigar (1993)

Before any more re-mixers get to it, wanted to get to you this immensely hummable and superbly-packaged *Kumar Sanu* and *Alka Yagnik* sung number from a score that sent *Anu Malik’s* career into a different orbit.

 Hoooo… Mera dil tha akela, tune khel aisa khela
Teri yaad mein jaagun raat bhar
Baazigar O Baazigar
Tu hai bada jaadugar
Baazigar O Baazigar
Tu hai bada jaadugar

Hooo…dil leke dil diya hai
Sauda pyaar ka kiya hai
Dil ki baazi jeeta dil haar kar
Baazigar main Baazigar

Chupke se aankhon ke raste, tu mere dil mein samaaya
Chaahat ka jaadu jagaake, mujhko dewaana banaaya

Pehli nazar mein bani hai tu mere sapnon ki raani
Yaad rakhegi yeh duniya apni wafaa ki kahaani

This song has all the Anu Malik idiosyncrasies one can think of – a grand opening orchestration, a lone violin riff, use of female chorus, percussion (especially tabla and dholak), use of multiple guitars and oodles of romance! What isn’t missing also is the ‘inspiration’ he got from Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya (Jhuk Gaya Aasman; Shankar-Jaikishan; 1968). Hum Baazigar O baazigar and Kaun hai jo…together and you will understand. Interestingly, both these opening pieces – Kaun hai jo…in particular – seem to be inspired by Elvis Presley’s Marguerita (; 1963; Source: IMDb: Another piece of trivia (Source: IMDb again) – Nadeem-Shravan walked out of Baazigar leaving Jaadugar O Jaadugar behind and their loss was Anu’s gain! Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu sing their hearts out for newcomers Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan. Nawab Arzoo’s words are simple yet effective. Malik’s planning, enthusiasm, instrumentation and super-packaging makes this number much endearing and soothing to listen. Worth the gamble listening to it and humming along!

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Aap yahaan aaye kisliye – Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971)

Presenting a super-fun song in question-answer, dialogue-laced pattern gleefully sung by *Asha Bhosle* and *Kishore Kumar* set to a lilting tune by the legendary *Shankar-Jaikishan*.

Aap yahaan aaye, Kisliye?
Aapne bulaayaa, Isliye
Aaye hain to kaam bhi bataayiye, Haa haa
Pahle zaraa aap muskuraayiye…

Tere binaa haay, Haan?
Neend nahin aati hai, Really!
Yaad teri aakar, Aahaa
Roz tadpaati hai, Sach much?
Apnaa banaa lo, haath zaraa thaam lo
Waah waah waah
Baar baar poochho naa, Kyaa?
Dil se bhi kaam lo, Kaam to bataao
Kaam seedhaa saadhaa hai, Bolo bolo
Aji lenaa ek waadaa hai, Kyaa?
Aajaa aajaa, Shaadi kaa iraadaa hai, Kyaa, Kyaa
Shaadi kaa iraadaa hai, Shaadi kaa iraadaa hai,

Shaadi? Aur tumse?
Shaadi kaa iraadaa hai, No no no…

The opening mandolin riffs beautifully introduce the voices with a soul-style rhythm and the question-answer style dialogues take over! Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar add their cute somethings as we move to the antara that has some lovely expressions and exclamations from the seasoned singers. As soon the shaadi question breaks, the female protagonist disappears and the number almost ends mid-way! Shankar-Jaikishan then demonstrate their orchestration prowess to re-start the dialogue the other way. The sweet number with the female protagonist putting conditions and making the male protagonist agree on the responsibilities and eventually ends up agreeing to the shaadi! Such a cute number and so much fun!! 🙂

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Luka chhuppi bahut hui – Rang de Basanti (2006)

Immerse yourself in a free-flowing composition expressing mother-son separation magnificently put together by Prasoon Joshi and laced with superlative voices of Lata Mangeshkar and AR Rahman in a semi-classical mould.

Luka chhuppi bahut hui
Saamne aa ja na..
Kahaan kahaan dhoondha tujhe
Thak gai hai ab teri maa
Aaja saanjh hui mujhe teri fikar
Dhundhla gai dekh meri nazar aa ja na…

Teri raah take aankhiyan
Jaane kaisa kaisa hoye jiya…

The acoustic guitar-based rhythm meanders and flows into one of the tabla-laced antaras adding a new dimension! Lata Mangeshkar poignantly expresses the motherly emotion for her lost son. AR Rahman effectively reaches the high notes signifying the son’s heavenly presence. Somewhat better Hindi diction from ARR could have made it even more endearing. I couldn’t resist noting a minor similarity of the antara here (2:57 – 3:00) with Kunal Ganjawala’s Indipop 90s version of Channa ve ghar aaja re (; 1:16 – 1:19). The sur-istic crescendo adds a new dimension to the composition. ARR shows his crooning prowess with the flute accompanying him note-by-note with the lovely tabla taal alongside. Prasoon Joshi strings the mother-son love and emotion in some lovely words. Has the ability to make eyes wet! Yahaan sab kuchh hai maa phir bhi lage bin tere mujhko akelaTeri raah take akhiyaan jaane kaisa kaisa hoye jiya…

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Mere naam tu – Zero (December 2018)

Enjoy a breezy song from the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan magnum opus Zero that is definitely worth much more than the movie title suggests! Newcomer Abhay Jodhpurkar with Ajay-Atul and Irshad Kamil do the honours.

Jab tak jahaan mein subah sham hai
Tab tak mere naam tu
Jab tak jahaan mein mera naam hai
Tab tak mere naam tu

The stage is grand …and so is the set-up! With such grandeur surrounding things, the tunesmith duo Ajay-Atul try to make it grand too with their meticulous orchestration! Their romantic and hummable tune though has the old world charm and somewhat ‘hungover’ from their earlier compositions especially Dhadak (July 2018; also read: Like most popular Ajay-Atul numbers, this one too loses pace but not steam as it meanders through the antaras! Newcomer Abhay Jodhpurkar sounds Arijit-ish but perfect and conveys feel elegantly. As always, Irshad Kamil’s words shine and are easy on the lips. The opening flute riffs accompanied with the piano initiate the number beautifully…as good as closing chorus-laden crescendo! Does not draw a blank for sure…and is not Zero!

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Rangeela Re tere rang mein – Prem Pujari (1970)

An evergreen classic from Prem Pujari (1970) sung beautifully by Lata Mangeshkar, pieced together meticulously by SD Burman and nicely written by Neeraj.

SD Burman, being his usual self, creates a super catchy and extremely hummable tune and adorns the mukhda, antara with magical preludes and interludes and heart-warming instrumentation using the guitars, the violin and percussion. Lata Mangeshkar brings the pain out with some really heart-stealing couplets from Neeraj be it ‘Maine to seenchi re teri hi raahen, baahon mein teri kyon auron ki baahen,’ ‘Palkon ke jhhoole se, sapnon ki dori pyaar ne baandhi jo tune woh todi’ or ‘dukh mera dulha hai, birha hain doli aansu ki saadi hai, aahon ki choli, aag main piyoon re jaise ho pani na re diwani hoon, peeda ki rani’. Simply mesmerizing to say the least! There needs to be a special mention for some of the instrumental pieces like 4:26 through 4:56 beautifully played by the guitarists and violinists. The latter deserve a special mention for the solo piece between 4:44 to 4:53. This racy but sad masterpiece has the ability to colour you in its own colour.

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Chaav Laaga – Sui Dhaaga: Made in India (September 2018)

This soothing number is from the upcoming Yash Raj film Sui Dhaaga: Made in India nicely rendered by Papon and newcomer Ronkini Gupta composed by Anu Malik and simplistically penned by Varun Grover

Kabhi sheet laaga, kabhi taap laaga
Tere saath ka hai, jo shaap laaga,
Manwaa ….bauraaya…
Tera chaav laaga jaise koi ghaav laaga!

There are bound to be comparisons with the hugely successful and popular Moh Moh ke Dhaage (Dum Laga ke Haisha; 2015) as Anu Malik composes once again for the same filmmakers! There are similarities like Papon, the flute riffs, the rhythm pattern and most importantly the soothing melody-focused feel. Nevertheless, this one’s also extremely hummable and Papon and Ronkini take it up one level. Anu meanders into the Vishal Bhardwaj territory with similarities especially from 0:20 – 0:25s with O saathi re (Omkara; 2006;; 0:24 – 0:29s). To top it up, Ronkini’s voice also sounds somewhat similar to Rekha Bhardwaj’s. The ace composer also starts the antara (1:34 – 1:38s) revisiting his own Aisa lagta hai (Refugee; 2000;; 1:13 – 1:18s). Varun Grover will make you fall in love with simple words, earthiness and cute expressions. The less you compare this one with Moh Moh the better even if you can’t ignore the similarities. Enjoy this one, sing along, hum it and you are bound to say ‘tera chaav laaga’!

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Ae dil-e-nadaan – Raziya Sultan (1983)

A mellifluous, soothing and haunting number from Raziya Sultan (1983) rendered soulfully by Lata Mangeshkar, excellently composed by Khayyam and beautifully written by Jan Nisar Akhtar

This swan song from Jan Nisar Akhtar released only in 1983 but the Urdu writer had died back in August 1976. That tells you about how long it took for Kamal Amrohi to complete this movie! Khayyam trumped Laxmikant-Pyarelal to compose this great score with such a hummable number due to latter’s high-headedness and Kamal Amrohi’s liking for the former. The beauty of this number lies in the fact that it has an excellent use of percussion via the tabla and the santoor. If you ever wanted to know how big a spell a santoor could cast on a song, this number is the answer. As the song progresses, you will find a long uncomfortable pause followed by (and signifying) ‘yeh zameen chup hai, aasmaan chup hai’ and then starting-off again with a thumping heartbeat. As we reach closer to the end of the track, I feel like the rhythm gathers some pace …but maybe that’s just me! The crescendo has a beautiful jugalbandi of the santoor and the sarangi. Jan Nisar Akhtar’s words go deep into the heart when he says ‘Aisi raahon mein kitne kaante hain, aarzooon ne har kisi dil ko dard baaten hain; kitne ghaayal hain, kitne bismil hain, is khudaai mein ek tu kya hai, ek tu kya hai ae dil-e-nadaan’. Khayyam magic ensures the santoor strings will keep ringing in your ears long after you have heard this number. No wonder Lata Mangeshkar herself considers this one as one of top compositions she has sung. Extremely soothing, haunting and appealing!

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