Of Stories and Songs

September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love stories. Reading them, listening to somebody narrate them, imagining how the characters, locales and events play out. I used to write them too. Stories. A long time back.

I like songs. Songs sung well. Songs with meaning. Songs which are not songs just for the sake of being songs. You know what I mean? Maybe you don’t. But I do. I always know what I mean.

But stories which are songs? Or songs which are stories? What brilliance they are!!

Songs actually started out as a way to tell stories. In the olden times, people would sing of stuff that happened around them or of stuff that happened to/around their ancestors (also known as ‘folk’ songs). They still do. But not as much.

Coming to Bollywood and Hindi music in general, there isn’t much of a storytelling tradition there. But there are a few songs that come to mind. In no particular order:

The story of India’s most famous tragic romantic figures, as explained in Aaja Nachle

I love stories. Reading them, listening to somebody narrate them, imagining how the characters, locales and events play out. I used to write them too. Stories. A long time back.

I like songs. Songs sung well. Songs with meaning. Songs which are not songs just for the sake of being songs. You know what I mean? Maybe you don’t. But I do. I always know what I mean.

But stories which are songs? Or songs which are stories? What brilliance they are!!

Songs actually started out as a way to tell stories. In the olden times, people would sing of stuff that happened around them or of stuff that happened to/around their ancestors (also known as ‘folk’ songs). They still do. But not as much.

Coming to Bollywood and Hindi music in general, there isn’t much of a storytelling tradition there. But there are a few songs that come to mind. In no particular order:

The story of India’s most famous tragic romantic figures, as explained in Aaja Nachle

The story of Deception in Louw from Karz(the original movie)

And also as later explained by Himace in Karzzzzz. He’s done a decent job with the song, regardless of what he did with the so-bad-its-good other song in the same movie Tandoori Nights

And a recent number from Bollywood…from the proponent of the Drunken Monkey Style of singing, Mohit Chauhan. Not exactly telling a full story as such (just a middle section which tells a story), but in an age where such songs are rare, a welcome tune.

That’s pretty much what I remember from Bollywood.

There’s one Rajasthani folk song, Beero Binjaaro from Coke Studio Pakistan which narrates a story. A lilting tune.

Also, my favourite angrezi song of all time, American Pie by Don McLean. A story spanning a generation.

Dark beguiling eyes

May 26, 2010 § 5 Comments

A friend of mine sent me this email and I reproduce it below, to honour her immense lowu for all things Himace 😛


Get Ready once Again to see one of the (Superb, Fantastic, Outstanding, Mind-blowing, History) Best Music Director, Best Singer & Best Actor

Lets See the Jhalakkkkk……………..

Jai Mata Di……………….Lets Rockkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets Rockkkkkkkkkkkk the world…


Me being me, I set out to find more about this Kajraare thing. The ‘story’ if you will. According to a Wiki Page, it is a story about a lawyer who falls in love with a prostitute and how they find true love.

Hmm, looks like the girl is playing the part of the lawyer.

😛

The philosophy of life…

September 14, 2009 § 4 Comments

…explained in six compact lines.

hoye zindagi jaise ek radio
Alag alag dhun sunati hai
Kabhi happy kar de
Kabhi sad banaye
KKabhi senti kar de
Kabhi mad banaye…

If only Socrates had known… 😛

Where did the good old days go?

January 25, 2009 § 1 Comment

Back in the 90’s(you know, when I start talking of the 90’s,that means my mind must be in some state of mess), we had a string cavalcade of movies that went by in which the hero and the heroine would separate briefly in the middle of the movie, only to reunite again towards the end. And that separation part would inevitably be the part in which there would be the song, in which the hero would sing a heart rending, bleeding and crying song for the heroine, in the presence of a 100 or so guests(they called that thing a ‘party’, in which people would hold glasses of stuff that looked like whisky and pretend to enjoy the party). The heroine would almost always have another guy with her(who would later turn out to be a bad dude, but not always) but the hero would have nobody(an odd uncle or group of friends was an occasional exception). The hero would be sad, very sad, very very sad. It is sadness that cannot be described. Just like the pimple that doesn’t go away 😛

The heroine would look very pained and in anguish, just like Rahul Dravid does when he can’t score any runs or Himace does, whenever he tries to deliver an expression. The heroine’s new boyfriend would either have a gloating expression or one of bewilderment. The song would end with either the heroine crying or the hero crying, or both of them crying; the guys in the audience wondering if they would ever have the misfortune to do something like that, and the girls wondering if the guy they ditched last would do something like that if they were in a party together(they would go “mental note: throw party, invite ex” 😀 ).

These songs were good, as most songs in those days were. Chartbusters all of them. But alas, this tradition of soulful heart rending songs sung at a party for your ex-lover doesn’t appear in movies anymore. Instead, we have item numbers or dance club numbers where the ditched go to drink themselves silly. Sad, but a reflection on the times we live in. Which prompts me to ask : Where did the good old days go?

I wanted to post some songs that go with this theme I just discussed, but my playlist has way too many to embed into one post, so I’ll post the oldies first, then the 90’s in a subsequent post.

1. Dil ke jharoke mein from Bhramachaari

2. Ab teri galiyon mein…

3. Kya hua tera waada…

Slow Roasted Nights aka Tandoori Nights

October 15, 2008 § 11 Comments

In the relatively short history of this blog, I have brought to the readers translations of some good, meaningful songs like Javeda Zindagi and Aaoge Jab Tum and lyrics/translations of some weird songs like You are my chicken fry and Love you unconditionally. It is a tedious job people. Translating songs requires much energy and brains (of which I have very little 😛 ). I was tired of translations and meanings and so forth, and no song stirred me as such to take it up once more. Just when I thought that I would give up this hobby once and for all, out came Tandoori Nights shining like a beacon from the wasteland of inane lyrics and lifted tunes. Here is a song that is so inane, so meaningless that it makes You are my chicken fry look like an ode to classical lyric writing.

I have pakaoed you guys enough, here it is then, the lyrics and (I think) the translation of this much revered song(mark my words, this song will go down in history, thou as what still remains to be seen 😀 )

Male- Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights..(Noise…..Tandoori Nights….)

Female- Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights..(Noise…..Tandoori Nights….)

Shama sharabi dono jahan sharabi,(light is a drunkard, both the worlds are drunkards)
Rutt rawa sharabi, dildar ve,(the wind and environment are drunkards, oh my darling)
Hawa sharabi, teri ada sharabi, (the air is a drunkard, your behavior is that of a drunkard)
Yeh fiza sharabi, dildar ve.. (the breeze is a drunkard, oh my darling)

(yes, somebody was drunk alright 😀 )

Tanha tanha hai din, (lonely are the days)
Tanha tandoori nights,(lonely are tandoori nights :O )
If loving you is wrong,
I don’t wanna be right.. (todally…)

Rabba rabba meri jaan jale, jale, jale, jale.. (oh god my body burns, burns, burns…(makes sense, being tandoori nights and all))
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,(Noise…Tandoori Nights)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,(Noise…Tandoori Nights)
Tere bin tere bine meri jaan jale, jale, jale, jale(Without you, my body burns burns burns)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights.. (Noise… Tandoori Nights)

Tere sadke mein jau,(I prostate before you)
Karle aitbaar ve,(Have faith in me)
Tere dum se hi yaara,
Mera sansaar ve..(My world is contained in you)
Tujhpe fida hai mere husn ki bahar ve,(The world of my beauty I give to you)
Duniya se mujhko nahi, koi darkar ve,(I don’t have anything to do with this world)
Jiya yeh dhadhka, bada hi tadpa,(My heart beats, it has faced torture…)
Laga jo tadka pyaar ka..(…because of the garnish of love)
Mere zehen pe, mere jigar pe,(On my mind, on my heart…)
Nasha tere iqraar ka.. (…is the headiness of your love)

Tanha tanha hai din,(lonely are the days)
Tanha tandoori nights,(lonely are tandoori nights)
If loving you is wrong,
I don’t wanna be right.. (truly)

Rabba rabba meri jaan jale, jale, jale, jale..(Oh God, My body burns burns burns…)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,(Noise…Tandoori Nights)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights
Tere bin tere bine meri jaan jale, jale, jale, jale(Without You, my body burns burns burns)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights..

Teri aashiqui hai mere jaan ka jahan ve,(Your love is the world of my life)
Tujhse judi hai meri saari daastan ve,(All my stories are connected to you)
Tujhe paa ke aaya mere,
Dil ko itminaan ve,(My heart is content after achieving you :O )
Faasle rahe naa koi,
Apne darmiyaan ve.. (Nothing should separate us now)

Teri lagan laagi, tere lagan laagi, teri lagan sunn yaar ve,(I worship you, O Friend)
Teri agan jaagi, teri agan jaagi, teri agan dildar ve,(I need you, O Darling)
Tanha tanha hai din, (lonely are days)
Tanha tandoori nights,(lonely are tandoori nights)
If loving you is wrong,
I don’t wanna be right..

Rabba rabba meri jaan jale, jale, jale, jale..(Oh God, My body burns, burns, burns…)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights
Tere bin tere bine meri jaan jale, jale, jale, jale(Without you, my body burns burns burns)
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights,
Tak tana na na tandoori nights,tandoori nights, tandoori nights..

So, we have a song which proclaims everything around it as drunk and which has elements of food fetishism and open proclamations of a something called tandoori nights(which could have deep meaning…it could mean that the atmosphere inside a disco/pub is like that of a tandoori…a telling comment that would be on the ways of the young generation) or maybe the lyrics writer was drunk.

Debt

October 10, 2008 § 3 Comments

Yes it is back 😛

…with a golden statue…

and a new expression 😀

And I cant wait to pay it back!! 😛

The Real luvvv storrryyy…

May 8, 2008 § 5 Comments

[caution: Reading further might induce an intense desire to strangle the author… which you cannot do because you do not know where I live 😛 Anyways, read on at your own risk…of damage to the sense inducing part of your brain.]

It was a hot, dusty day in the town of Naakhodda (Naak-o-da) in the Kathiawad region of rural Gujarat. Himace was 14, talented at music and a regular fixture at the dandia orchestra. Himace was also in love. With Sayyoni, his neighbour. But more about that later.

Himace was, as I said, talented. But not at studies. It didn’t help that he only had one expression in class. He looked like he was angry at the teacher and teachers generally don’t like that. He also spoke of himself in the third person. For eg, when told to write a essay on “My Best Friend” Himace wrote:

Himace is very popular. Himace has lots of friends. But the best friend that Himace has is Himace. Jai Mata Di. Lets Rock!!

Oh, did I mention that Himace had another problem, a small problem. He would shout out, “Jai Mata Di. Lets Rock!!” every half an hour. This created a lot of problems in class, especially with classroom discipline and many attribute his schooling troubles to this.

And he had other problems. Sayyoni was one. She was a very good friend of his. His heart ached to be with her. But because he had only one expression(yes the angry/constipated look), she could never get it. Yet Himace nursed his love for Sayyoni, composing songs for her, writing music for her. Unbeknown to Himace, Sayyoni had a boyfriend. And the boyfriend was Huzoor (hey, it was a small town, people in small towns name their kids funny, I tell you! :D). Anyways, this Huzoor was quite a jealous fellow. Whenever Sayyoni talked of her good friend Himace, Huzoor would secretly be very very angry. He wanted Sayyoni for himself, she was his and she should talk only about him, he reasoned. He longed to bash up that Himace.

It was dandia season and Himace was performing at the community garba. He decided to propose to sayyoni that night. On Stage. He sang the following song:

Apne zulfon pe meri ungliyaan rehne do,
Apne hothon pe meri galtiyan rahne do,
Apne seene mein meri daastaan rehne do…

Yaara sach kehna
Jis tarah pyaar hai mere dil mein,
Hai tere dil mein bhi,
Yaara jhoot na bolna, sach kehnaa…

I love you, O sayyoni,
Jai Mata Di,
Lets Rock!! (pumps fist in air and exits stage)

Naturally, Sayyoni was shocked. She ran out of the dandia hall, to her house. Himace saw her leave. He tried following her. But Himace was waylaid by Huzoor and his goons. Himace was surrounded. He was scared, but he did not show it (rather he could not show it, he just seemed angry to the goons, who naturally, got more merciless). Himace fought the goons valiantly. The air of Naakhodda was rent with “Jai Mata Di, Lets Rock!!” as Himace pounded the goons, striking fear into their hearts with his cries. But the numbers were too many. Before long, Himace was subdued. Huzoor punched him on his nose and tore his hair off. And left him there. Bleeding from the nose and with a bald patch on his head, Himace lay there, thinking. He blamed Sayyoni, he blamed Huzoor, he blamed himself. He should never have loved her that much. He wasn’t sure if he ever could love somebody again. He looked angrier now, but the truth was that he was sad, very sad. Himace got up. He wanted to go home. As he wobbled home, he found a cap in one of the alleys. He dusted the dirt off the cap and wore it.

The next day, at the dandia hall, as the curtain rose off the stage, a boy with a cap and angry expression appeared on stage and started singing,

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Huzoooorrrr…..Tera Teraa Tera….. Kusoooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..”

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