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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

Musings on Tea (posted on 27/11/2021) Anybody who is not working from home would at once appreciate the importance that a cup of tea or “chai” has in the larger scheme of things. It is this beverage that keeps many going. For some it is a diversion, for others an addiction. For still others…. Read More

The Mela Songs (posted on 20/11/2021) In this post, I have tried to collate the mela songs – some which are shot in a mela setting and others which refer to the mela, either literally or symbolically. Songs shot in a mela setting are largely dance numbers – some of them are rather loud, which is what they would be in a rustic setting…. Read More

Forty Winks (posted on 13/11/2021) Somewhat like Snowy in Tintin, the one conundrum that faces people like me – who go to work five days a week – on a Saturday afternoon is whether to have those forty winks or not after a sumptuous and leisurely lunch. While research seems to suggest…. Read More

Songs with Laughter (posted on 07/11/2021) Have you ever tried to sing and laugh at the same time? It is quite challenging as two aerobic exercises have to be performed at the same time. A person always inhales after laughing, as he had exhaled earlier. The art of breathing while laughing in a song is tough to master…. Read More

Weighty Deliberations (posted on 30/10/2021) Today, many have weighing scales at home to monitor body weight regularly. However, there was a time when these machines were not that ubiquitous. There was one place (other than the doctor’s clinic) where one could definitely find them….Read More

The Rendezvous Songs (posted on 23/10/2021) There are many songs that express the euphoria that the very prospect of going to meet the beloved sparks. They describe the state of mind. They talk of how the lady decks herself up to meet her beloved. Such songs describe courtship at length. But not many songs speak of the actual meeting place…..Read More

Speaking Polite (Non)sense (posted on 16/10/2021) Starting a conversation, especially with someone you are not familiar with, can be quite daunting. In fact, the silence is sometimes deafening. Many of us are introverts and feel uncomfortable while speaking to strangers. There are some stock questions – which according to me, fall in the realm of polite nonsense – that come to one’s rescue…..Read More

Sanchari Bengal’s invaluable contribution to Hindi Film Music (posted on 09/10/2021) When Bengali music directors started to compose music for Hindi films, it was but natural that the Bengali flavour was added to the melting pot in generous proportion. One particular innovation that the music directors of Bengal – largely Salil Chowdhury, S.D.Burman and Hemant Kumar – introduced into Hindi film music is called Sanchari (संचारी)…… Read More

The Bespectacled Trio (posted on 02/10/2021) I was rather nonplussed to see my optician sending me a ‘good morning‘ message on WhatsApp the other day. You would not expect the optician to send you such messages. When I scrolled up, I saw details of the last online payment made to him, which he had enthusiastically acknowledged; it was more than three months since I had last visited him……Read More

Songs of Age (posted on 25/09/2021) Many believe that age is just a number. Abraham Lincoln said, “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.” Pondering over these thoughts, I felt there was potential to come up with a post about how age has been perceived in songs, especially, of the golden era…. Read More

The Substitution Effect (posted on 19/09/2021) Readers who have a knowledge of economics will be extremely disappointed when they read this post. Substitution effect in economics is defined as the effect on demand of a price change caused by a switch to, or away from, a cheaper or more expensive alternative. However, I am talking about more mundane things like the temporary ….. Read More

The Paper, Ink and Pen Songs (posted on 11/09/2021) It would be interesting to enlist the writing materials mentioned in songs. One must note here that there are bound to be flights of fancy in songs that refer to writing. Poetic license is used to the hilt. An analysis of the songs – up to the late eighties – throws up some interesting facts. The ink….. Read More

The Telia Rumal – A Handloom Lover’s Delight (posted on 04/09/2021) The other day, I was vegetating before the idiot box and flipping channels – a half an hour luxury I am wont to after dinner. It was then that I caught a few scenes of the critically acclaimed Shyam Benegal movie – Ankur (1974). However, my entire attention was focused on the head gear of Sheikh Chand (played by Aga Md. Hussain) – the overseer of the Zamindar’s property. I was thrilled to see him sport a Telia Rumal……. Read More

One Movie, Many Lyricists (posted on 28/08/2021) Usually, one lyricist pens all the songs for a film. Sometimes, there could be two. However, the quest was for movies where there were four or even more than four lyricists….. I have tried to ensure that the entire gamut of music directors – which used multiple lyricists – finds a mention. The movies are arranged chronologically. …. Read More

Texting, Writing or Typing ?? (posted on 21/08/2021) Those like me who grew up before the advent of the IT (information technology) revolution would cringe at the kind of acronyms teenagers use nowadays. I recently got a first hand experience of what generation gap is and also felt happy that there was one, in the first place……Something that I would prefer typed rather than handwritten is the doctor’s prescription!!……Read More

Songs that Measure (⚖) Love (posted on 14/08/2021) Emotions can only be felt, never measured. Thus, when some one asks you how much you love them, it is rather difficult to quantify it – in fact impossible. I was thus trying to fathom how songs that speak of how much someone loves the other, deal with this question. In some songs……..Read More

The Alarm(ing) Bell🔔(posted on 07/08/2021) Traditional wisdom has maintained that all eggs must not be put in one basket. However, we all are guilty of defying the adage. Our dependence on the smartphone has only been increasing. In fact, the first object we touch as we get up in the morning – especially on working days – is the smartphone; this is to put off the alarm that has been set on the phone. ….. Read More

Songs of the Sun🌞 (posted on 31/07/2021) Isn’t it strange that there are umpteen songs of the golden era that mention the moon? The moon has been a faithful companion of lovers. The moon is pampered no end. What would all the lyricists do without the moon? But the star that gives its light to the moon is seldom mentioned in songs. Yes, I refer to the sun. I have tried to make a list of ten songs which refer to the sun in the mukhda. I have steered clear of metaphorical songs….. Read More

The Jal Tarang Songs : Revisited (posted on 25/07/2021) I had written a post on the Jal Tarang on 04/07/2021 in which I had listed ten songs from golden era Hindi film music where the instrument was used. One of the songs that I had listed was – Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhaata Chala Gaya. One of my fellow bloggers rightly pointed out that the instrument was not the Jal Tarang. There was some confusion about other songs as well. I felt that Pandit Milind Tulankar, an accomplished Jal Tarang artist, would be the best person to consult for a final opinion…… Read More

The Tip of the Tongue Syndrome👅 and the Earworm👂🎶 (posted on 24/07/2021) Today’s post is about two syndromes which are diametrically opposite. In the case of the first, you are desperate to recall and in the second, you are trying your best to obliterate. The first syndrome, where we have trouble recalling (words) is called the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. The second syndrome is colloquially called earworm, sticky music or stuck song syndrome…. Read More

Static (!?) Solo Party Songs (posted on 17/07/2021) Party Songs in golden era movies would have the piano being played. If it is not the piano, there would be a live orchestra performing and the actor/actress would be singing and or dancing. But, there are some songs which are sung at a party which do not fall in line with the above. It is these that I wanted to compile…. Read More

The Signal Entrepreneurs (Posted on 11/07/2021) When you stop at a busy intersection after seeing the red light and care to observe the goings-on at the cross roads, there is a good chance that you will see many vendors with perfect business acumen moving around with great agility. A deal in struck by these vendors……Read More

The Jal Tarang Songs – Musical Ripples (Posted on 04/07/2021) When the free flowing chattering water is filled in bowls – of porcelain or metal – and gently struck with wooden sticks creating vibrations, what you have is the Jal Tarang (also called the Jal Tarangam)- jal meaning water and tarangtarangam meaning waves. Though the Jal Tarang has been used in film songs of the golden era, identifying and compiling a list of the songs, where this instrument has been used is a daunting task…… Read More

Home Favourites (Posted on 26/06/2021) Home is where the heart is, they say! And even in your home, there is scope for setting your heart at some specific places and in some defined objects. Don’t most of us have our own corner or chair which we feel, we have a monopoly over, in our homes?….. Read More

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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