There are few immortal teams who seldom fail to inspire awe, right from SD Burman-Sahir Ludhianvi, Shankar Jaikishan-Shailendra, RD Burman-Gulzar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy-Javed Akhtar, and AR Rahman-Gulzar, and of course, Amit Trivedi-Amitabh Bhattacharya. Lootera, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane takes the mantle of such musical collaboration further.
“Gulon ki shokhiyaan jo bhanwre aake loot gaye” goes the second line of this honey-strewn melody reminiscent of the melodies of the yore. The very usage of ‘shokhiyaan’ has become rare these days. I mean when was the last time you heard this word which was immortalized by lyricist Neeraj in ‘Shokhiyon mein ghola jaaye’ (shokhiyon means pranks in Urdu). The song reveals yet another gem of a line, ‘Baraamde puraane hain, nayi si dhoop hai’.
The line, ‘Kaise usko naam se mein pukar loon’ reflects the long-lost ornament called ‘sharm-o-haya’ in women, but again, where is the ‘Adab-o-tehzeeb’ in men these days anyway? The line, ‘Yeh saari koyalein bani hain aaj daakiyaan’ is a line we would cherish long after the movie’s release (just like we do the songs of Udaan, which still has the pride of place in our playlist). The song, ‘Sawaar loon’ sung by Monali Thakur flows like a stream tiptoeing effortlessly over the pebbles of percussion, blending music and lyrics into an ocean of grace.
The second song, ‘Ankahee’ is easily the best song of the album (Or is it ‘Sawaar loon’, Shikaayatein, Monta Re, Zinda, or Manmarziyaan?) . This song makes one wish Kishore Kumar was alive. He’d have lapped it up with his imitable style, breathing life into words like, ‘Sookhi siyaahi, deti hain gawaahi’. I am sure lyricist-singer Amitabh Bhattacharya would surely agree. The lyricist had once shared how much he yearned to become a singer and we’re glad that he gets to sing ‘Ankahee’.
The composition by Amit Trivedi disguises this ‘sad song’ as an upbeat number. It’s only when you mull over the lyrics that you suddenly realize that it’s a melancholic song sans violins, shehnaais or piano chords. Sample these lines, ‘Baarishein naaraazgi bhijataa jaati hain’, ‘Patte jo shaakhon se toote, bewajah to nahin roothe hain sabhi’ or ‘Khwaabon ka jharokha, sach tha ya dhokha’. Respect.
Agnee Band’s lead singer Mohan Kanan renders the song, ‘Shikaayatein’ reminds of the song, ‘Kahani khatm hai’ from Udaan, especially the chorus. The best thing about the music of Lootera is that it doesn’t resort to the clichés associated with the vintage songs and it sticks to the core emotion of the song rather than the period the film is set in. This song takes a leap from an ordinary song to an extraordinary composition when the leitmotif of violin (as seen on TV) makes its debut in the chorus. In fact, the chorus is so well written that you stop caring for other words. For instance, ‘Ek jeet tu hai, Ek haar main hoon, Haar jeet jode, Jo taar main hoon, Ek jeet tu hai, ek haar main hoon (Rightly pointed out by my friend, Hardik Mehta on his status update, who also happens to be an Assistant Director in the film). The line ‘Zameer ki kahaani hai yeh, Yehi bairaag hai, yehi bairaag hai’ leaves you yearning for more.
Okay before you Google these words, here’s the translation: ‘Disha-haara’ means ‘directionless’, ‘kyaamon’ means ‘how’, ‘boka’ means ‘foolish’ and ‘Monta’ means ‘mind’ (Monta re means Manwa re) in Bengali. Now let’s proceed exploring hidden gems from this beautiful song effortlessly sung by Swanand Kirkire, who right from the first line, ‘Kaagaz ke do pankh leke uda chala jaaye re’ gets you hooked to the world he’s taking you to. The lines, ‘Maati ko ye chandan sa maathe pe sajaye re, Zubaan pe jo moh-maaya namak lagaye re’ is stuff legends are made of. Sleep over the line and you’ll know what I mean.
‘Hawaaon se jo maanga hissa mera, to badle main hawa ne saans di’, ‘Akelepan se chhedi jab guftagu,
mere dil ne aawaaz di’ is a befitting retort to people questioning the ability of ‘today’s generation’ to write meaningful songs like the yesteryear classics. Well, Sahir Ludhianvi must be smiling up there every time someone plays this song, remembering his line from the movie ‘Pyaasa’, which was the opening scene.
In this scene, Guru Dutt is introspects, ‘Yeh hanste hue phool, yeh mehka hua gulshan’ and goes on to conclude, ‘Mein doon bhi to kya doon tumhe, aye shokh nazaaro, le-de ke mere paas kuch aansoo hain kuch aahein’. Just like Guru Dutt’s character rambling on the thoughts that he has nothing to offer, ‘Zinda’ sung by Amit Trivedi is a song which reflects the character’s dilemma where he seeks solace in the thought that ‘Zinda hoon yaar, kaafi hain’.
The movie, ‘Yahaan’ (Released in 2005, directed by Shoojit Sircar) had a song ‘Pooche jo koi’ sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan, written by Gulzar saab and composed by Shantanu Moitra had a unique style of blending verses ‘Shaamein bujhaane aati hain raatein, raatein bujhaane tum aa gaye ho’ into the chorus of ‘Kabhi kabhi aas paas chaand rehta hai’.
This style can be savoured again in this song, ‘Manmarziyaan’ sung by Shilpa Rao, Amit Trivedi and Amitabh Bhattacharya, where the chorus of ‘Yun to solaah saavan’ becomes a constant leitmotif throughout the song only to stop and let the antara take its course.
Interestingly, if you listen to the chorus carefully, it completes its line in fragments, which goes, ‘Yun to solaah saavan aaye gaye, bheega mann ka aangan is martaba’. This is a true mark of a genius lyricist that Amitabh Bhattacharya is and only Amit Trivedi could have done justice to his words.
To sum it up, the music of Lootera steals your heart with its ‘Ishqwaali’, ‘Zid ki maari’, ‘Bholi Bhaali’, ‘Kuch alag si’, ‘Sikko jaisi hain uchaale’…Manmarziyaan.