I have been waiting for Ishqiya’s music ever since I watched the promo of the film. It was just like whetting the appetite of an ardent music lover like me, with a taste of what they call ‘quality music’. Adding to that, a friend of mine told me that ‘That is how music should be’. These things came together to make me all the more desperate to lay my hands on Ishqiya’s CD and share with you the experience I had while listening to it. Yes, I used the word experience, because the winning combo of Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar no longer creates music, they create experiences and the happy ones that linger in your mind forever.
The movie stars Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan in lead roles. Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, who is better known as Vishal’s assistant all through, the movie is set in Uttar Pradesh boasting its scenic visuals. Based on the story of two thieves falling in love with a widow, this movie is set for a release on 29th January 2010.
This movie has seven tracks, three of which are remixes and two of best songs I have heard in a long time.
Dil To Bachcha Hai: Performed by none other than Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, this song is a sure winner. I cannot think of anyone else other than Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who could have added a bit of Sufism that was required to portray Gulzar’s words in the right manner. The music draws inspiration from the 60s with the whole lot of La la la la la’s and the beauty of the instrument in the intro which gets even better into the verse. The words are clear, sophisticated and mesmerizing. This is a track you should listen to at any cost just to feel how beautiful music can be.
Ibn-e-Batuta: This track serves a purpose for each of the the singers. It is another feather in Sukhwinder’s cap and at the same time, it takes Mika to a whole new level. The song has a folkish feeling, and the words seem perfectly fit for a delectable party at a certain dhaba (eating joint found on highways) in remote Uttar Pradesh. The visuals of the song will make the situation more clear. The music is fusion based and you may sense a variety of Indian and western instruments clubbed together for a song that would force you to sing “Ibn-e-Batuta tat a ta” all day long.
Ab Mujhe Koi: The vocals for this song have been rendered by Rekha Bharadwaj in a brilliant manner. The most interesting thing about this song is that it is a very intriguing summation of a few generations. The intro gives you a very different feeling but as soon as the vocals pick up, you would think that this is some Gazal. Then, two minutes into the song it will give you an altogether different feeling and eventually you will realize that this song is working for you. The track is another beautiful composition and for sure a dessert to all you lyric fanatics out there. Melancholy at its best and a couple of lines that proves my point exactly are as follows:
Jin Dino Aap Rehte The, Aankh Mein Dhoop Rehte Thi. Ab to Jaale hi Jaale Hain, Yeh Bhi Jaane Wale Hain. Woh jo tha Dar ka Karaar Kahan, Woh jo tha Dar ka Karaar Kahan
Badi Dheere Jali: This song is an interesting play of the musical arrangements and vocals, with a classical touch. Rekha Bharadwaj, once again, establishes herself as a superb singer. The song certainly is a gem and is special in many ways. The lyrics are typically Gulzar’s, and the songs consists of raw vocals and the use of different Indian instruments at different places to create magic.
Dil To Bachcha Hai (Remix): The song is remixed by Clinton Crejo and yes, the English parts are performed and written by Clinton himself. Coming to think of it, I was wondering if the English portions were required at all? Clearly, it doesn’t seems like a song that will be played in nightclubs, and if it is being remixed for the sake of creative purposes then I would prefer it without Clinton singing in between the phrases. The song would work equally nice, if not better than the original, if the first two minutes of the remix continued until the end.
Ibn-E-Babtuta (Nucleya Remix): All the trance lovers are going to fall in love with this one immediately. This track is perfect for parties, clubs and discos. I wonder why it is not named House Mix instead of Nucleya Mix. Over all, it is nice, fast paced and one of the better remixes you have heard lately.
Ibn-E-Batuta (Remix): Remixed by Jackie V, this song has something gone terribly missing. What could it be, you ask? Oh yes, this song lacks the rawness and the beauty of the original version. Take my word for it, if at all you are keen on the remix of ‘Ibn-E-Batuta’ then please listen to the Nucleya Remix over this one. Too much manipulation is killing the beauty and sincerity of Sukhwinder’s voice as well as Gulzar’s words.
Six out of seven songs worked for me. This is one of the music albums you should be buying, but even if you don’t like all the songs, then give ‘Dil To Bachcha Hai’ and ‘Ibn-E-Batuta’ a try for they are beauties indeed and worth every single penny.
Gulzar and Vishal Bharadwaj as a lyricist and composer duo date back to a long time. Every song they have worked on is beautiful, irrespective of the response it got. Let it be Makdee, Hu Tu Tu, Omkara or even Rekha Bharadwaj’s album, Ishqa Ishqa, each and every song they have shelled out for us is an object of eternal admiration. Luckily, this album gives you at least two masterpieces to fall in love with.
In the beginning I had said that the duo has stopped creating songs or music because they are now creating experiences. After listening to ‘Dil To Bahchca Hai’ and ‘Ibn-E-Batuta’ over and over again, I realized what a wonderful experience it has been.
In all probabilities, it is a must have album in your collection if you are moved by the words of the songs or if you just want to figure out what true music should sound like.