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Travel, Handloom, Golden Era Hindi Film Music, a working mother’s musings & more……

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I believe that there is trivia in every nook and corner. All you need is a discerning eye to spot it! And if you are trying to spot it then you are spot on as this is the blog to read. Enjoy the trivia that I shall be writing about!

My Posts

लफ़्ज़ों में फेर बदल – कुछ फ़िल्मी गीतों पर मेरा अभिप्राय (२०/०६/२०२१ को प्रकाशित) इस लेख में, मैं गुज़रे ज़माने के पाँच नायाब गीतों की चर्चा करुँगी I मेरा मानना हैं कि अगर इन गीतों के लफ़्ज़ों में थोड़ी सी तबदीली की जाती तो शायद गीत कुछ अलग लगते I यहाँ मैं स्पष्ट करना चाहूँगी कि मेरा उद्देश्य उन महान गीतकारों की आलोचना करना कतई नहीं है, जिन्होंने ये अमर गीत लिखे हैं …… और पढ़िए

Murphy versus Coelho (Posted on 13/06/2021) Have you ever wondered how there is space for diametrically opposite views on life? I guess that is because each day is different. One day could be Murphy’s and the very next Coelho’s. Let me just juxtapose the two schools of thought below for better impact and understating…….Read More

Songs of (skewed!?) Work-Life Balance (Posted on 05/06/2021) – Work-life balance is that (elusive!!) state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life. Achieving that perfect balance between ‘work’ and ‘life’ is easier said than done. The reasons for the imbalance could be many. This post is an attempt to list all such songs which depict skewed work-life balance……Read More

Trivia – The spice of life turns one I started my blog – Trivia – The Spice of Life – during the lockdown last year (2020). The fact that I have been posting weekly pieces regularly since last May, gives me immense pleasure. Despite having a full-time job, I look forward to Friday evenings (TGIF) and the ensuing weekends to work on a song blog post or a non – song one. Read More

A year passes by …..The circumstances were pretty much the same. There is a strong sense of déjà vu, as 2021 is turning out to be no different. The last year was perhaps kinder….. Read More

Title Tracks of Old Doordarshan Serials : A Journey Down Memory Lane (Posted on 22/05/2021) In this post, I have tried to shortlist ten title songs of shows that were aired on DD in the late eighties and early nineties before the culture of daily soaps started. Those who have grown up watching DD will surely get nostalgic. The music directors, lyricists and singers of these songs were very talented artists in their own right….Read More

The Catch-22 Songs (posted on 15/05/2021) In this post, I have tried to showcase songs, largely of the golden era, which juxtapose options and thus, present dilemmas. Some are frivolous whereas the others are weighty. The words/phrases that suggest that there is a quandary are doraha (दोराहा), mushkil (मुश्किल) and uljhan(उलझन)…...Read More

The Slammed Door I am sure all of us have slammed doors once in a while. Isn’t the door the softest target of our anger? The harder you slam it, the more you feel you have vented your frustration, even though the reason for the anger/exasperation is not addressed. If you have teenagers at home….. Read More

Romantic Songs with a Third Person There are songs where apart from the couple in love, there is someone else in the frame – either obtrusively or unobtrusively. Sometimes, it may be difficult to understand which of the actors in the song is the third person. The ‘third person’ could also be more than one. Here is a playlist of ten songs – which are rather disparate. The rallying point is the presence of the third person. In some, it is a case of two’s company, three’s a crowd (kabaab mein haddi as is referred to colloquially)! …. Read More

बचपन की गुल्लक बचपन में मिट्टी के गुल्लक तो कई तोड़े हैं, पर यादों के इस गुल्लक को मैंने मन के किसी कोने में सहेजकर रखा है I कभी कभी बिना तोड़े ही उससे एकाधा याद निकाल लेती हूँ; उसपर जमी धूल को पोंछ देती हूँ और फिर से उसे उसी गुल्लक में बड़े ध्यान से वापस डाल देती हूँ । सच कहूँ तो यादों की यह गुल्लक ही जीवन की जमा पूँजी है !! …..और पढ़िए

Songs with a Regional Twist There are quite a few songs of golden era Hindi film music that have a phrase or two or even an entire line which is from a different Indian language; but, the rest of the song is in Hindi. This post is dedicated to such songs which have a smattering of other regional languages. And yes, there are some typical expressions that we associate with certain languages. Aiyayyo, Aiga, Ayya – do these strike a chord? ….. Read More

The Rag Story The rags to riches and the reverse has been talked about and discussed quite a bit. But does any one spare a thought for the poor, measly ‘rag‘? I felt it was high time we spotlighted the rag and discussed how important it is in our daily lives…..Read More

Songs of Betrayal Betrayal (or bewafaai) is a very common theme in songs of the golden era. Mistaken identity, amnesia, love triangles, family honour, the male lead going abroad at the critical moment – all these tropes only help to churn songs echoing this feeling, which then could lead to more serious consequences…. Read More

Vice – Wise Smoking and drinking – social or otherwise – are akin to treading a slippery slope. It is a path of self-destruction. Thus, there is no glamour or sophistication in indulging in spirits and puffs. Further, the gender construct is senseless in the context of smoking and drinking. Nicotine and alcohol destroy the person irrespective of gender!….Read More

Songs of the Unsure/Insecure Lover I have often tried to thematically explore love songs of golden era Hindi films. This post is a playlist of yet another shade of love – that of the unsure/insecure lover. There are a few songs where there is a declaration of love but the same is accompanied by a niggling doubt that the lover may not be true to his/her commitment….. Read More

What’s the Good (Pass)Word? Aired on Doordarshan was India’s first English-language game show, a word-guessing game called What’s The Good Word? It was about guessing the key word with a list of related clues.Today we still play this game in our daily lives but the game has emerged in a new avtaar! You must be wondering what the present day version is. It is passwords, of course!!…. Read More

Songs that Shun Love (और भी दुख हैं ज़माने में मोहब्बत के सिवा) There are a handful of songs which question love and even swear to stay away from it. There are also some songs where love is not viewed as the top most priority. There is a reference to various sufferings of the world which need to be attended to first. Here is a post that tries to list ten songs – largely of the golden era – that capture this sentiment….. Read More

The Perfect Present It is often said in the context of presents that one’s presence matters more than presents. This is particularly true in the case of close family and friends. But the COVID-19 pandemic has turned this entire notion on its head……. Read More

Songs of Stairs Some time ago I had written posts on Terrace songs in two parts. These were songs that were substantially picturized on a terrace. It then struck me that stairs also have featured prominently in many movies and songs. Stairs have a symbolic role to play. The calibrated ascent/descent, the landing, the handrail sometimes with elaborate ornamentation – all these convey so much in a song…. Read More

The Follow-up Saga Have you ever wondered how much of your waking time is devoted to following up? The dictionary meaning of follow-up is “pursue or investigate something further“. In this post, I shall dwell on the former meaning i.e. pursuing something further…….Read More

The lesser heard romantic duets of Manna Dey (Part 2) – This is the second and final part of the post which features lesser known light hearted romantic duets sung by Manna Dey with Suman Kalyanpur, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Sudha Malhotra. I have excluded qawwalis and classical raga based duets – largely to make a point that Manna Dey was equally adept at singing light hearted romantic numbers…..Read More

The Winged Ogress (!) There is no human being on earth who has not been the victim of the winged ogress. Do not go by her size. Her damage potential is immense despite her miniscule size. This ogress can wreck your sleep, suck your blood – like the Dracula – and even make you a long term visitor at the doctor’s clinic. I am sure there couldn’t be a better eulogy for this winged ogress!……. Read More

The lesser heard romantic duets of Manna Dey (Part 1) – The Mangeshkar Sisters special Manna Dey was par excellence in rendering classical raga based songs. Unfortunately, he got typecast and several of his songs, at least in the early 1950s were for classical music based movies This makes one (falsely) infer that this was his forte. This made me explore other renditions of Manna Dey – the light hearted romantic duets – especially the lesser heard ones… Read More

The Dual Purpose Vehicle It is said that one must hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. This is what the combination or the dual purpose vehicle – which is how I refer to it – is all about. You must be wondering which vehicle I am alluding to. Please do read on and you will fathom. This is a vehicle which only the stoic can drive……..Read More

Songs of Music (!) When I mean songs of music, I mean those songs which deal with the many dimensions of music or where music plays a very important role in the song and / or the movie. It is songs that espouse the cause of music or are music centric that I am alluding to…Read More

Organized MessThe Golden Mean Oxymorons that would best describe our daily life would be minor crisis, working holiday or only choice. But according to me, organized mess is the best oxymoron… Read More

Songs of the Charmer – Jaadugar Special This post explores those songs of the golden era that are dedicated to the lover, who is a charmer par excellence – almost like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He is a jaadugar – a magician of sorts – who can cast a spell and mesmerize his beloved. Read More

The Perfect Potboiler Just like looks can be deceptive, so can captions. From the caption, you must have inferred that this post is a review of some run-of-the-mill movie. Well, this is not a film review. In order to understand the post you would have to take the title at its face value……Read More

Songs of Defiance The songs I list here are those where there is defiance, where there is cocking a snook at the world and not caring about what it feels. These songs are about living in the same world, but on one’s own terms. The message is that…….Read More

Bursting the Bubble Be it children or adults, all of us fancy (our own!) bubbles. Here is my multidimensional take on bubbles and the different connotations associated with bursting them. …. Read More

Songs of Reminiscence – Flashback Special There are umpteen Hindi film songs – both old and new – which speak of reminiscence (yaad). In this post, I am trying to explore this genre of songs but with a rider – there has to be a flashback sequence in the song. ……Read More

‘Sporting’ Songs A welcome change in Hindi cinema in recent years has been sport-centric films. Unfortunately, there are very few movies of the golden era which even peripherally touched upon any sport. The depiction of any sport/game being played either in the movie or in its songs was only incidental….Read More

Changing Coordinates – Shifting Woes Ever heard of compounded woes? Well, shifting your residence in a pandemic is exactly that! This whole week has been devoted to relocating, albeit in the same city….. Read More

Songs of the ‘Earthen Lamp’ Diwali is round the corner. Yet another festival that the Corona virus shall devour. The festivities will have to be low key this time round with all norms of social distancing in place. For me, the best part of Diwali has always been lighting earthen lamps (दीया in Hindi) with ghee or oil and cotton wicks; thankfully, COVID-19 will not put a dampener on this…. Read More

Madurai Sungudi – Six Yards of Knots and Dots I have been meaning to write a post on the Madurai Sungudi for quite some time now (even as I continue to write posts on old Hindi film music). Finally, I have found the time to put my thoughts in words. The impetus to write this post has been my recent purchase of a lovely black and red Madurai Sungudi (online of course), from Co-optex……Read More

Musings on Mahal(1949) The fact that Mahal is a celebrated movie need not be overemphasized. Reams have been written about the movie and its greatness. Thus, I do not intend to write another review of the movie. Let me tell you…….Read More

Solo Songs of Lata – Vocal Preludes Special There is a genre of songs which is unique and uncommon – where there is a prelude, which has both instrumental as well as vocal music. This genre of poetry is perhaps called Qat’a in Urdu and vilambit laya (introductory slow tempo) in Hindustani classical music….Read More

True Colours Colours have always fascinated me, more so if they are true colours. You would perhaps be puzzled as to what I mean by that. Please do read on to fathom what I am hinting at………Read More

Duets of Subir Sen Subir Sen (1934-2015), who hailed from Bengal and whose voice was very similar to Hemant Kumar’s (1920-1989) sang quite a few memorable songs in Hindi films, some of which were duets. Whether this similarity of their voices was preordained or not, the fact remains that Subir Sen’s prowess as a singer is unquestionable………Read More

Fairy Tale Week This week has been ‘Fairy Tale Week’ for me. Please do not draw conclusions just yet. I say this not because something magical or unbelievable happened. I call it ‘Fairy Tale Week’ because both my daughters kept me busy with Fairy Tales……Read More

Songs ‘Spoken and Sung’ This post tries to show that there is no end to experimentation in music and each time something unique emerges out of such trials. Speaking and singing the same spoken words, though rare, is surely a category of songs to reckon with….. Read More

Online Schooling – Limitations and Challenges Though learning has shifted to the virtual world, it is not all hunky dory out there. There are many challenges here as well. If online learning has to be developed as a holistic and workable alternative to formal school education, we still have a long way to go. …… Read More

Songs of ‘Teachers’ On the occasion of ‘Teachers’ day, I thought it would be a good idea to list out songs of teachers and school children or children of school going age in a group. However, these songs are different in that I have ensured that the song is picturized outside the four walls of a classroom in order to relive the gurukul experience…… Read More

The ‘Terrace’ Songs – Part 2 Here I present songs where there is a reference to the terrace in the lyrics. The reference is not necessarily in the mukhda of the song. Also these have not necessarily been shot on a terrace. The virtues of the terrace have already been dwelt upon in part 1 of my post and so I shall straightaway come to the playlist. Read More

The Krishna – Sudama Story Dramatized in Hindi Even as I thought I would work on the second part of ‘Terrace’ songs, my daughter’s school kept me busy. My daughter along with her classmates, had to stage a play live on Zoom, on the story of Krishna and Sudama in Hindi. The script had to be written in Hindi. I decided to give it a shot. If long posts can be written in English on songs which are in Hindi, why not write something in Hindi? Here is the script that I wrote …. Read More

The ‘Terrace’ Songs – Part 1 The terrace is a place where one can inhale some fresh air, view sights from a vantage point, enjoy some me-time (also nirmal anand!), shed tears in privacy and of course last but not the least – find true love. So here are some songs which echo …….Read More

Life – thy name is uncertainty ! Have you ever wondered what is most certain in life? Its uncertainty, silly! Yes, contradictory though it may sound, that is the greatest truth; it is akin to the adage of Heraclitus the Greek philosopher, who maintained that…… Read More

Tongue-in-cheek Songs While writing my post on Songs of ‘Surrender’, which speak of self-deprecation and subjugation, I felt I must also enlist songs which are antithetical to these songs and thus this post on tongue-in-cheek songs. The flavour of these songs …..Read More

Sense(less!) Technology The virtual world can only invigorate two of our senses – that of sight and hearing. There is nothing in it for the other three senses…. Read More

Songs of ‘Surrender’ The songs of ‘surrender’ are those where there is both inordinate faith and praise for the beloved – sometimes bordering on self-deprecation and subjugation…. Read More

Modern day Cinderella Whenever I hear or read the fairy-tale, I cannot help but feel that all working mothers are in some way like Cinderella. I am sure, you would have raised your eyebrows after reading this sweeping statement ……Read More

The Anchored Feeling Today’s world is characterized by increased mobility with the great technological leaps that mankind is taking……..Read More

Birthday Goosebumps I sincerely hope some of you, especially those belonging to my generation, must have experienced what I call birthday goose bumps.  Let me explain…… Read More

The Kandangi – Chettinad’s (chequered!) pride The first time I bought a Kandangi was almost 15 years ago. That was the time when I did not even know how special it was. I casually…. Read more

Songs of S.Mohinder and Md.Rafi I have always been intrigued by compositions of some unsung music directors who worked with top notch playback singers; their music is as sublime as that of the front runners….. Read More

Songs of ‘another world’ The songs of ‘another world’ convey myriad emotions – of hope, of playfulness, of escapism, of disenchantment, of inquisitiveness or of a never-ending search for the idyllic world. …..Read More

In search of sculpted serenity There is trivia tucked away in every nook and corner. One just needs to have a discerning eye…….Read More

Tress induced Stress Behind every beautiful braid is a mother toiling away to make it look its best. No one can explain this ……Read More

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