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Archive for the ‘The Magic of Movies!’ Category

Dustedoff

I have been watching with increasing despair and sorrow these past few months as India has teetered on the brink of disharmony and violence, hoping against hope that it was just a passing phase. There were moments when I felt things were looking up, for instance, when people of other faiths—not just Muslims—came together at Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere to oppose CAA and NRC. There were times I told myself it was getting better, that India was essentially secular, and that divisive forces would eventually be defeated.

Then the Delhi carnage happened. Many were killed, even more injured. Property was destroyed, people were forced to flee their homes. Curfew was clamped. We mourned. Not just for the dead, but for the way the hydra-headed monster of hatred, bigotry and violence had again reared its head.

I have lived in Delhi for most of my life, and to see the city…

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ashokbhatia

TALAT_MAHMOOD

For those who continue to be enamoured of the velvet-like voice of the late Talat Mahmood, here is an article from Mr Raj Kanwar, an India-based author, freelance journalist and music lover.

His ‘quivering’ voice still a rage

One of Talat Mahmood’s most unforgettable songs is “Meri yaad mein tum na aansoo bahana,” rendered way back in 1951. Over the following two decades, Talat sang one hit ghazal after another and continued to cast a spell on legions of ghazal aficionados both in India and abroad.

Today 64 years later, the musicality and lyricism of these ghazals still haunt generations of his loyal fans.

However, it was not all hunky dory for Talat Mahmood as he had to compete with the likes of Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Manna Dey.

It is, therefore, creditable that Talat was able to hold his own and remain the first choice for…

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One often wonders as to why nature has stopped playing an important role in Bollywood songs. Perhaps, themes have come to represent the urban lot, and are no longer village-centred. Moon no longer gets compared to the face of the beloved as frequently as it did in the past. The gentle rustling of soothing wind has all but vanished from our soundtracks. Shimmering waters of a sea or a lake no longer excite our lyricists. Snow-covered mountains make a rare appearance. The soothing sounds of nature have got replaced by metro screeches, car honkings and trains trudging along.

Not to fret, though. Here is a brilliant post from Dusted Off, which takes us back in time, right into the warm embrace of nature.

Dustedoff

Several years back, poet, friend and fellow Sahir Ludhianvi fan Karthika Nair and I were discussing Sahir’s poetry. After a while, we arrived at the conclusion that, while everybody acknowledges the brilliance of Sahir’s more revolutionary poetry—of the Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye or Chini-o-Arab hamaara—and some of his more angsty and emotional lyrics (Chalo ek baar phir se, anyone?), many people tend to overlook the fact that Sahir was also one of those poets who could describe nature brilliantly.

When I mentioned having studied Pighla hai sona in school (it was in our school textbook), Karthika remarked that, in that song, “nature became an active agent, not a landscape.” That reminded me of a theme I’d been toying with for a long time, for a song post. Songs that celebrate nature, songs that appreciate the beauty of nature. Nature or an aspect…

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

On September 21st, 2019, I had the good fortune of watching a brilliant play titled ‘Devika Rani: Goddess of the Silver Screen’. Written by Kishwar Desai (whose book on this incredible screen diva will be released next year) and directed by the talented stage veteran Lillette Dubey, the play brought to fore many significant and hitherto unknown incidents in the personal life of Devika Rani who was indeed a trailblazer of pre-independent Indian Cinema.

IMG_20191025_091217__01The play roughly covered around 18 years of Devika Rani’s life from 1926 to 1943- approximately from the time she met her husband Himanshu Rai to the last time she appeared on the silver screen as an actress. Lillette Dubey’s daughter Ira Dubey who reprises the role of Devika Rani comes up with a memorable performance and also does a fabulous job of singing the famous song – ‘Main ban ki

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By Sharada Iyer Multifaceted Kishore Kumar was an enigmatic personality and an entertainer par excellence. A truly gifted singer with a God-given voice who never received any typical classical training yet proved with every song that he was in no way lesser than any of his contemporaries of the ‘Golden era’. Blessed with a rare […]

via The inimitable Kishore Kumar in ‘classical’ mode — My Views On Bollywood

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

It is sad that our beloved Superstar Rajesh Khanna is not around to celebrate what would have been a milestone year in his amazing career. As five of his super-hit films Aradhana, Do Raaste, Ittefaq, Doli and Bandhan enter their 50th golden year, the actor is not around to enjoy and bask in this glorious moment. But as his character in Anand saysZindagi aur maut toh ooparwaale ke haath mein hai jahanpanah! Ise na toh aap badal sakte hain na main’ in other words-life and death are not in our hands and no one can change what is ordained. Well! Rajesh Khanna may not be physically around but he continues to live in the hearts of his fans and entertain us even today through his movies and songs…

Rajesh Khanna was a phenomenon who crashed into the industry like a meteor and exploded…

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

Our rich repertoire of films boasts of many kinds of unique song picturizations which have kept the songs as well as the artistes associated with them alive in our hearts. Take for instance the innumerable songs picturized on different modes of transport- from bullock cart and horse cart to cycle, car, jeep, bus, train, plane and even helicopter- the vehicle in all these songs imparts a special character to the songs and thus help the actors in conveying their emotion in a distinctive manner in the concerned situation .

The very conception of such ideas requires tremendous imagination that definitely needs to be lauded. The director who thinks of the apt situations to insert such songs in the narrative, the dance director or choreographer who translates this idea into reality, the lyricist who writes the words, the music director who turns them into catchy songs and finally…

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My Views On Bollywood

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Sharada Iyer

The musical instrument ‘Guitar’ has always been associated with love, romance and a youthful vigour in Hindi cinema. From the Black & White era to the present scenario we have had various actors and actresses lip-syncing to some fabulous songs in different situations in our films.

Many songs were picturized in clubs and party settings while others were solo numbers sung by the hero to the heroine and in rare instances vice versa. Still others became part of the film’s story when the actor concerned was playing the role of a singer in a band in the film. Some directors imaginatively picturized guitar songs as part of the background in a situation.

Ironically many of our popular stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dharmendra, Salman Khan, etc., never got the opportunity to have a full-fletched guitar song picturized on them. On the other hand some of the…

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My Views On Bollywood

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Sharada Iyer 

The rich repertoire of our century-old Hindi film music boasts of a wide range of songs based on a variety of classical Hindustani ragas. There is no denying that the reach of Hindi films and Hindi film music in our country is far beyond any other form of music. Therefore instead of composing these songs in a typical classical style which may appeal only to a select audience with in-depth knowledge of the technicalities of classical music, our music directors draw inspiration from our vast legacy to compose either semi-classical songs or just touch upon the raga lightly. 

These subtle modifications in the raga allows them to compose apt songs to suit the mood and setting of  the story and the character keeping in mind the visual medium of cinema. Therefore, such compositions not only help to enhance the appeal and reach of these ragas to the large…

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My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

Lyrics impart soul to the song and form an integral and important part of any song. Not only do the lyricists have to use their talent to express in words a variety of feelings and emotions but they also need to have the knack to fit the words into a 3-minute song format to suit the character and the demands of the scene as conceived by the director. Indeed it requires tremendous skill, a lot of imagination and mastery over the language to come up with winning results.

Our film industry has been blessed with some brilliant poets and lyricists in every era but not all of them attained the same level of popularity. Though we may recollect the names of some top lyricists like Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Anand Bakshi, Indeevar, Majrooh Sultanpuri, etc., not many of us can remember lyricists like Naqsh Lyallpuri, S…

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