Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sangeet Sarita, an AIR Programme - 'Raag Pahaadi' in film music, by Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma

I am an addict to the radio programme, 'Sangeet Sarita' in AIR (Vividh Bharati).  I have already written 2 posts on 'Sangeet Sarita' and this is going to be the third one!
This time, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma (Hindustani Santoor vaadak) discusses about raag 'Pahaadi' and how various Hindi Film music directors handled this raag in different ways (in their own ways), in their songs.  He talks about the orchestration - which instruments were used - by these music directors for the same raag.  I cannot or not capable of writing in detail but I had jotted down the songs and will list them down here.  In 'Sangeet Saritha' programme itself, he had narrated his life history in 'Meri Sangeet Yatra' and in the current series, it is 'Paarshwa gaayan ke rangeen taane baane'.
Pt. Sharma himself is a music director and has created many gems along with Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasiya in the name of 'Shiv-Hari'.  They have directed music for some gazhals and bhajans too.
I heard these two songs today.  Both the songs are my favourites and while hearing them, I thought I will write a post about this programme.  Now, hear and enjoy the songs, like I did!
I love this film, 'Silsila' and Amitabh and Rekha are my all-time favourites!  Music is by Shiv-Hari.  He says that this raag suites well for the songs picturized in scenic places like Switzerland , Kashmir etc.  Beautiful song:

This song is very melodious but without much orchestration!  Normally, the orchestra gives flavour to the songs... this is so beautiful and peaceful to the ears that you will never notice the minimum instruments used in the background:

This beautiful song is from film 'Chandni', music is by Shiv-Hari.  The singers are Latha and Babla.  The song starts with the peaceful tune of Pt. Chaurasia's flute.  This too, is one of my favourites:

This song is from the film, 'Kashmir ki kali',  and the music is composed by O.P. Nayyaar.  The same raag 'Pahaadi' is handled in a different way:

Latha's golden voice!  Film is, ' Aakhri khat'.  Pahaadi raag again by Khayyaam:

Again, this song is composed by Khayyaam.  Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur...hmm, such a beautiful song:

This song of Latha, is composed by the most versatile music director,  Madan Mohan.  Sadhana is without 'sadhana cut'?!

Slow and melodious song, composed by Naushad, who has got hundreds of classics, to his credit. This one is sung by our inimitable Rafi saab:

'Chanda ki chaav mein, thandi thandi hawaavom mein', 
The above mentioned song, by Latha, composed by Sri Ramchandra, is also based on raag 'Pahaadi'.  I couldn't get the video.
The next two songs are based on Rajasthani Folk music.  These are also based on raag  'Maand'.  
Music is by Shiv-Hari, sung by Latha and the famous Rajasthani folk singer, Ila Arun. Picturized on our beautiful, talented Sridevi! The film is 'Lamhe':

He quoted the song, 'Kesariyaa...baalam',  which was composed by Hridayanath Mangeshkar, sung by Latha for the film, 'Lekin'.  I could not get the video for this song.  But came across this video in which a young girl Aishwarya, sang  this song beautifully, in a reality show, 'Chote Ustaad'.  She is going to be a star singer in the future...beautiful voice.

This programme, Sangeeth Saritha,  is being aired now (tomorrow is the 13th episode and must be the last one) and you can hear more songs on raag 'Pahaadi', from 7.30 am to 7.45 am in Vividh Bharati! After this series is over,  some other prominent person will be interviewed about some subject connected to classical music or film music...our own good music!
Friends, this is my last post for this year, 2009!  This is the 132nd post!  Your encouragement has prompted me to write so many posts, this year!  I thank you all wholeheartedly!

Now, let us all welcome the New Year, 2010!  All of us in our family wish you a
Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year!
God Bless you!  Be Happy Always!

Edited: Corrected the title - Raag Pahadi in film music - 11th Jan.'10

Edited to add on 21st Nov.'16: The two Maestros are playing their instruments here! Click this link pl. Heavenly music! 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I wonder in which language do people pray to God or 'think' - in mother tongue or English

My memory...I forget words in mid-sentence and they come back like a flash at mid night! So I keep thinking about something or other, all the time ...!

My son asked me a few days back, "In which language do you think, Ma?"!  One of my relatives asked me "In which language do you pray to God, Maami?"

I started thinking...day and night...suddenly I would remember these questions and try to concentrate on what I was thinking and in which language!

These questions were put to me because my mother tongue is Tulu.  I am from Udupi (Karnataka)  where most of the people speak Tulu at home and study in Kannada at school. Tulu language had a script, till a few decades back but it is dead now.  

I studied here, in Chennai (Tamilnadu) - from V std., so I am very fluent in Tamil.  Then got married to a Tamilian!  We speak Tamil at home...for the past 35 years now!

Now, I noticed these things:

When I pray to God, after the usual shlokas, I do namaskaara...and I pray in Tulu! I noticed one more thing...I don't ask for a particular favour, just say, 'please keep everyone happy', 'everything should happen peacefully' (mantherenla santhoshontu ijile, manthala porludu nadapodu, devere), I recite these lines also, like a shloka! Now, only Aishwarya Rai and Shilpa Shetty will understand this language! 

If I had a fight (misunderstanding!) with my husband and if I forgot to give back in proper words immediately, later on, when I am alone, I start doing it in my mind first - in Tamil! And maybe I mug it up also, till I get a proper time to use it!

Now, let me think about the language in which I speak with my children...normal usage is Tamil.  When I want to pamper them (laad karna hai to),  I call them 'bete' (Hindi!) and use some Hindi sentences also! If I am angry, English is the 'most used' language along with Tamil! English words don't sound too harsh, I feel!  My elder son is abroad and he speaks only in English nowadays.  The language in which I speak to him in my mind is English!

My mother is no more...she passed away two years back.  I used to speak to her, my brothers and sisters and cousins, in Tulu, in my mind, i.e. if I think about telling them something, it will be in Tulu.  My sister's husband speaks only Kannada, not Tulu, so I speak to him in Kannada, in my mind!

Our business partner is a Maharashtrian.  He is fluent in Tamil and so we speak to him in Tamil and to his wife, in Hindi.  Again, if I think of telling her something, the words that form in my mind, are in Hindi! Funny, I don't think about it in Tamil, first!

Our family friend once told us about an incident which happened,  when he was on his way to Delhi, by flight.  He is a jovial person.  He started chatting with a man, who was sitting next to him.  Though that person was also a Tamilian, he was particular about conversing only in English!  On the way, the weather worsened and the plane had to go through the clouds. The plane was shaking so much that the passengers got scared and started praying.   Next minute, the Tamilian started praying in Tamil, 'ennathu yithu, yippadi aadarade...kadavule, yenne badramaa oorle kondu serthudu, wife, chinna kozhanthe yirukku' means, 'why is this plane shaking this much, God, please  take me to my place safely...have got a wife and kid'!

My research about myself is over now!  It is your turn now...in which language do you pray to God or think, normally? 

Image Courtesy: Google

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paa, Literally AMITABH's Movie!


When we planned to go to this movie, 'Paa' I wanted my husband to join us but he refused saying that "looking at Amitabh, it looks like a sad (glycerine!) movie"!  So five of us, ladies and girls, went to the movie and we had a big surprise - it was nearly a comedy movie!

Before going to the movie we just knew that Amitabh Bachchan was acting as Abhishek's son and the story was about this rare disease called 'progeria', which accelerates the aging process.    Only the first part was correct.  It does not show Auro (Amitabh), being treated differently because of his medical condition (he acts like a 12 year old boy who looks like a 60 year old man), bringing in emotional melodrama. But Progeria is just taken as a backdrop for a drama revolving around human emotions, with Auro's great sense of humour, intelligence and sensitivity. Amitabh is the correct person for this role, with his natural sense of humour, which we have seen in many movies and 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', TV show!

The movie started with Jaya Bachchan just repeating the sub-titles (ABCL productions) and I was wondering if she was going to be the narrator of the story.  But her part was over with the sub-title recitation! Thank god!

Abhishek Bachchan as  Amol Arte (Abhisekh Bachchan), is a young, idealistic politician and mother (Vidya Balan), a gynecologist. The entire movie deals with the emotional turmoil that Auro’s parents go through.  Abhishek's role reminds us of Rahul Gandhi in many ways!  Rahul Rawail, as his father, as usual entertains us with his witty comedy lines.  Arundhati Nag (Kannada actor Shankar Nag's wife,  a film and stage actress and we have seen her in 'Dil Se' and 'Sapnay') fitted the role of Vidya's mother very well.  Auro's and her (he calls her 'Bum'!) tantrums make the whole theatre laugh loudly!

Auro, as a student is shown as a normal 12 year old intelligent boy with lots of friends who adore and love him. The audience were laughing at the scenes where he runs at the glimpse of his classmate (the girl who is in the photo shown on top)! 

Abhishek is becoming a matured actor with each and every film of his, from 'Guru', 'Sarkaar' and now 'Paa'.  Vidya Balan fits in very well in the role of a single mother of a child with rare disease.

PC Sriram's camera work is very good.  Some scenes show Auro as small made but Amitabh's tall frame is not that easy to conceal, I feel.  Progeria is a disease which accelerates aging process, so the child's frame should be the same, logically - wrinkles and other aging features should be shown, but the director, Balakrishnan (his earlier film, 'Cheeni Kum' also featured Amitabh in a different role),  a BIG fan of our 'BIG B', blindly ignored these things!  Let us also ignore and enjoy this movie with very minimal draw backs! 

Very rarely we come across movies with such good clean humour.  This movie is for the whole family to watch together and enjoy!  We get so involved with Auro that we cry when he dies, which is expected, with his desease, in the end.

I loved this song of Ilayaraja, though the tune is from his Malayalam film song:

Here, this clip shows photos of the process of Amitabh getting converted to Auro!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Dream Of Riding A Two Wheeler...

My family (mother's side) never had any vehicle at home, in those days.  We used to travel by bus, mostly or walk!  We never felt it as a drawback because having a two wheeler was a luxury in middle class families in those days...the result was, everybody looked thin!  We used to calculate distance as '2 bus stop distance or 3 bus stop distance'! My school was at 3 bus stop distance! Even now, I use this calculation!  Bus fare was 15p for 4 bus stop distance! 

After I got married, my husband said that his dream was to ride a motorcycle!  So he bought a second hand Rajdoot motorcycle.  For the first time in my life, I rode on a motorcycle with my husband!  Later on, he bought a Bullet motorcycle, which was my favourite!  We used to go to Bangalore from Hosur (40 Km.) with my two kids comfortably by that bike, often.
Then we shifted to Chennai and then built a house in the outskirts.  Everyone said that if I had my own two wheeler, it would be easier to come to the city.  My sons had bicycles and husband had a car at that time.  So I and my sis-in-law, who is a working lady and didn't know to use any vehicle, decided to learn to ride a two wheeler!  We did not know even cycling! 
Then we came across the advertisement which said that they taught two wheeler riding to women of any age (both of us were in our mid 40's!) and no need to know cycling! The training period was 2 weeks and we could have a 'learner's licence' too, in the end!  We paid Rs.500 per person.  The training started!
First, the lady taught us how to use the front brake, accelerator etc.  Then I sat on the seat of a two wheeler (moped 'luna') for the first time!  She taught us to ride inside the campus of a polytechnic college where very minimum people could be seen (you know why!!).  
The first step was 'duck walk' - we had to walk using our two feet, sitting on the bike.  The vehicle was of low height and weightless, so it was not difficult for us.  After a day of 'duck walk', she taught us to slowly start the vehicle and do 'flying' - two legs would be flying outside the vehicle, when it was on the move!  Next day, she asked us to keep one leg inside.  If we became nervous, we could put our other foot down immediately. Using the brake was fun.  We used to jerk and nearly fell down, a couple of times!  Then after 2 days, the teacher was bold enough to let us ride normally, around the campus!  One of her assistants was coming at the back, most of the time.  
When the second week started, I started to ride a bit faster. I was so happy and with the breeze hitting my face,  I just deviated and went into the main road. The road had some potholes on the sides and so I started riding on the centre of the road! Some van was coming from my behind and I just didn't give a hoot to that vehicle...I was in my own world!  The driver of the van rode on to the platform and driving by my side, said 'Yennamma, Sozhavaram racele vandi oattareengala...neenga innum kaththukutti, nenavule vachchukkonga!' (Are you going to participate in the Cholavaram race...remember, you are still a baby learner).  I was scared to lift my eyes from the road but went on at my speed!  On the last day, our teacher took us into the heavy traffic road.  She was going in the front and all of us were going after her like small ducks behind the mother duck, in small vehicles! I think our group had 18 students!  It was early morning and all the passengers were watching us from the bus...all women riding two wheelers!  When our line turned into the side road, there was a pothole and I forgot to go straight first and then turn...but just turned and fell down from the bike!  But within seconds got up and joined the line...I just don't know even now, how I did it!  My family will read about it only now!
That was my two wheeler training tale!  But my dream stopped with that!  My husband and my sons didn't allow me to buy a vehicle for myself, saying that our road was too busy with traffic and they would worry all the time, leaving me on the road by myself!  I tried to ride my niece's Kinetic Honda sometimes, but lost interest in the end!
Whenever I see women happily riding on their two wheelers, I just watch them with envy, while going by our car.
This post was inspired by Dhiren's post, thank you!

Photo courtesy:  Google
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