2 Oct 2013

Ram Leela Music Review

Director:  Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Ranveer Singh & Deepika Padukone
Music Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Lyricst: Siddharth-Garima
Release: November 15, 2013

My Rating: 5/5 (only the 2nd album I gave this score to. The other one was this.)

This album is heavy on the sex appeal. That’s one way of putting it! The other is that it highlights everything that Bollywood tries to run from, and that’s its own roots. There is a rustic quality to the album that eludes most music directors, but Sanjay Leela Bhansali has managed to capture it so well. The heavy bass in almost all the tracks is done beautifully, in a way that enhances the traditional musical instruments that are also present in every.single.track. Flute, nagada, dhol, shehnai, cymbals, you name it! Overall, I loved it!  There is a lot of passion in this album, without even a hint of vulgarity, a rare combination, especially in Bollywood. One play is just not enough so I’m going back for seconds, thirds and definitely more.

1.       Ram Chahe Leela-  A soft rock opening track. The lyrics set the scene: a heavy focus on the violent, hot blooded nature of the two characters along with the surroundings. The song opens with a nice mike echo in Gujarati, giving the feeling that you’re sitting in the audience in a mela waiting for ram leela to start! I am guessing this track will play in the opening credits. Nice job by Bhoomi Trivedi, but not my favourite.

2.      Lahu Munh Lag Gaya- The instruments make this track. Very sensual langrous pace with lazily paced vocals to match. Loved the synth and bass in this one. Shail Hada sings wonderfully.

3.      Ang Laga De- Another sensual slow song. Very nicely sung by Aditi Paul & Shail Hada. I prefer this track to the previous one, even though both are slightly similar. Love the addition of the ghanti and chanting, they definitely add to the rustic feel.

4.      Poore Chand- wonderful use of instruments making up the chorus. Another slow track.

5.      Nagada Sang Dhol- Just in time for Navratri, this definite hit will strike a chord with most folks just because it’s so well composed. Theres the traditional garba song mixed with oomph and bass and sung beautifully and with emotion by Shreya Ghoshal. A high energy track. Let the comparisons with this and Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam begin (I like both but the video for this is definitely better!).

6.      Laal Ishq- A more classic number, Arijit Singh opens with a melodious tarana, and continues to mesmerise with his vocals thereafter. Have to say though, I didn’t like the line ‘mera naam ishq, tera naam ishq’ what does that even mean? He sang it beautifully though so it’s okay.

7.      Ishqyaun, Dhishquyan- opening with my favourite instrument, the sarangi, this is a high tempo track with a modern twist. More of a fusion track with a northern feel with all the dhol. I love how there is a little conversation going on with the sarangi and the flute at one point in the start of the song.

8.     More Bani Thanghat Kare- this was originally written by Gujarati poet Jhaverchand Meghani over 50 years ago. The title literally translates to ‘Today my heart, dances like a peacock’ and the song is usually played during Navaratri in a garba. Osman Mir really shines in this track. Loved it!

9.     Dhoop- another slow track, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, it reminded me a bit of Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka from Devdas. But there are tons of instruments used here that weren’t around in devdas. Listen to the words and like me you may also love the imagery in this track, very haunting.

10.Tattad Tattad- I don’t think this song can be described as anything other than an item number! Sanjay leela Bhansali gets all his actors to do one of these tracks (remember Ranbir Kapoor in Jabse Tere Naina?) Ranvir Singh is topless for most of it so there’s that. What was I saying? Oh right, the song.. Great track, high energy levels, opens with trumpets, lots of dhol, very rustic feel to it, but with snippets of guitar thrown in here and there! Loved it.

What did you think of the album? Favourite song? I feel Ram Leela is going to be a mega hit, even if for the cinematography alone (and Deepika’s outfits).

23 Sep 2013

Karol Bagh Decoded

Hanuman Statue next to the Metro. Amazing view from inside the Metro!!

Today I ventured out to a part of Delhi that I've never really been to in my life (read: not South Delhi).
Shock, horror. I left Delhi when I was a kid and have never really ventured out to parts outside South Delhi. But Delhi is *massive*. Apparently the government is rolling out a new number plate system for auto rickshaw's which will specify which part of Delhi they are from , N S E or W. Delhi is *that* big.

17 Sep 2013

Sarojini Nagar Decoded

After dissecting Lajpat Nagar market, I decided to do the same again. This past week I went to another of Delhi's most popular shopping hubs, Sarojini Nagar. Located near I.N.A. this market is easily accessible by metro and any other form of transport. Nearby you can go to Dilli Haat which is an awesome little gated market to visit for handicrafts and other very 'Indian' produce. 

3 Sep 2013

Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor JAMAWAR ARIA Collection

Recently I was invited to attend the Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor's fashion show in Delhi. Here are the images, gorgeous and glitzy to sum it up! How amazing does Bipasha look??! 

Check out their Delhi store in Defence Colony E 4, Defence Colony and D – 33, Defence Colony and in Mumbai at Essajee & Son, Landsown House, Colaba , Battery Street.

anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013
anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013
anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013
anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013
anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013
anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013

How pretty is the invite?!
anjalee arjun kapoor jamwaria 2013

31 Aug 2013

Lajpat Nagar Decoded

Image Courtesy know.burrp.com

So today we ventured to South Delhi's favorite market, Lajpat Nagar. If you are in the midst of wedding shopping, my verdict would be to avoid this market as there's just not a great range of stuff here. Its a nice enough market for everyday Indian wear but its real strength is in its accessories especially footwear, bangles and other such trinkets!

9 Aug 2013

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara- Soundtrack Review

Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara Review Soundtrack OUATIMD

Finally! The entire soundtrack is out! Worth the wait you ask? Absolutely, I say! The album is made up of 5 tracks out of which the first 4 were released what now feels like years ago (around May/June). Rarely has a Bollywood soundtrack been released where I've thoroughly enjoyed each and every song. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara is probably among the rare few. Others that came a close second would be Devdas, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (because I was a 12 yr old girl which was basically all of SRK's target audience in 1999), Delhi Belly and Dev-D, also Pakeezah ofcourse. But lets not get started on the oldies because there's too many gems there.

Back to this album. What makes it so addictive, so appealing? I gave it some thought and decided that its a mix of brilliant vocals, catchy lyrics, tunes you want to keep on humming and songs that make you want to fall in love all over again, whether you're already in love or not! 

The first 4 songs of this album came out a while back but the last track Bismillah only came out yesterday so I had to put this review on pause. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara is one of the best soundtracks of the year (its actually THE best for me, with a close 2nd place to Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, maybe).  

One aspect of this movie I do find a tad irritating is its stereotyping of muslims, mainly: 
-not every muslim girl has her nose pierced, seems to be Bollywood's top stereotype.
-not every muslim speaks with elegant talaffuz 
-every muslim certainly doesn't do adaab every two sentences. Lol!
Not sure where these directors get their ideas from but I guess it adds to the dream world of the 'muslim' characters he's building here. All good fun I say. Adds to the glamour. Buy the entire album here

Music director: Pritam, Anupam Amod
Label: T-series

My Rating 5/5 (A first on this blog!)

1. Yeh Tune Kya Kiya (Javed Bashir): The opening song speaks of the power of love, what exactly it is, what it does to a person and how it breaks down yet builds up a person: 'Itna hua badnam phir bhi har zubaan pe ara hai'. All very artistically done, this wonderful track leaves you thinking. It builds layer by layer, qawwali style, bollywood style, all mixed up. Between the chorus you can hear the instrumentals playing the excellent track 'Pee Loon' from Once Upon A Time In Mumbai - part 1. Its an all out fida over the girl track 'jab jab saanse leta hoon tera hi naam leta hoon , yeh tune kya kiya.' Uff, what romance! The instruments gel with Javed Bashir's beautifully throaty vocals. Everything about this track is perfection.

2. Tayyab Ali (Javed Ali): Remember Amar Akbar Anthony? This is a rehash of that song 'tayyab ali pyaar ka dushman hai hai' picturised on bollywood's most famous kebab-mein-haddi-father 'Tayyab Ali'. The beat here is more pronounced here than the original, of course modern technology helps bring out the best of everything. The skeleton of the song remains the same as the original. The harmonium is ever present  to add the UP feel. This is roadside romeo, shareef style! What appealed to me about this song is the way they've mixed old world U.P. music with modern beats and lyrics. It makes for one jaunty ride! Another song that will leave you singing the chorus. I had no idea this was a rehash of the original so when the Tayyab Ali line came on I could only say WOW! Really well made. Thumbs up.

3. Tu Hi Khwahish (Sunidhi Chauhan): Apparently this song is the one the movie opens with and Akshay Kumar's bad boy character is introduced, romancing a couple of Arabic belly dancers along with Sophie Chaudhary (poor lady never gets anything meatier than vamp). This song took a little longer than the others to grow on me. But it definitely grew on me. Sunidhi Chauhan's vocals are unwavering, not a note out of line in a pretty difficult song. Its a bit of cabaret-mixed-with-item-song style. Her voice is all vamp one seconds and sweet songbird the next. So many item songs sound extremely tacky and just cheap (pinky from the upcoming Zanjeer with Priyanka Chopra, just horrible). Sunidhi keeps this song classy. The beat here is the other aspect that makes this track very catchy. 

4. Chugliyaan (Javed Ali, Sahir Ali Bagga): Lovely vocals by Javed Ali but what really makes this track is the chorus. I guarantee you wont be able to get it out of your head. Its romantic music at its best. Sahir Ali Bagga is the music composer from Lahore behind a lot of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shafqat Amanat Ali's hits, among others. He has done wonderful work here too. I loved the lyrics of this one, esp the chorus, 'Oh yaara tere naal akhiyaan lariyaan ki aisiyaa sajjiyaan mohabbattan pakiyaan ki mere piche ishq paya, hai dil mera thirak gaya.'  

5. Bismillah (Anupam Amod): This is a disco track, and is going to be BIG I guarantee you. I was hooked from the first listen a few hours ago. The lyrics, by Rajat Aroraa are superb'Chaand zameen par aaya hai tu haath utha kar bismillah.' Bismillah literally means 'in the name of god'. The track is describing Sonakshi Sinha the 'beauty', so when both love interests see her they call out the name of god to say 'thanks'. A truly fun, peppy track with an amazingly catchy sound. This one ends the album in the best way possible- on a high! 

21 Jun 2013

Issaq Soundtrack Review

Bollywood's modern-day Romeo & Juliet, starring Prateik Babbar & Amyra Dastur has a soundtrack that's full of love songs. So if sweetness is not your cup of tea, maybe skip this one. 

Buy it here
**- Skip to this track
My Rating- 3.5/5

1. Issaq Tera- Pleasant but generic love song. Its nice but didn't leave much of an impact on me.

**2. Jheeni Re Jheeni- This was originally a doha (poem) by Kabir, a weaver and one of India's great mystics from Benares, called 'jheeni jheeni beeni chadariya' (see the full poem here). While the literal meaning of 'jhini re jhini' is  'finely woven cloth', the philosophical meaning is that life is like a woven cloth where what you get out is what you put in). Coming back to Isaaq's rendition,  this is a slow love song with an amazing sound made even better by Rashid Khan's singing.  The lyrics are beautiful, comparing memories of his loved one to a finely woven cloth. The best song of the album, hands down. Hear the Kabir version sung by pandit jasraj here.(Note: avoid if you don't like Indian classical)

3. Bhole Chale- Faster track, seemed like a lot of noise to my ears. The song is about a baraat so that makes sense I suppose! Skipped after 45 secs.

4. Aag Ka Dariya- It has a rock n roll feel. I skipped after 1 minute. Not my cup of tea.

5. Enne Unne- Fun lively song. I have no idea what its about as the title is not even Hindi? Is it? Seems a nice semi-quawwali /arabian/ item song type. Skipped halfway.

**6. Bhagan Ke Rekhan Ki- Beautiful Shehnai opens this very obviously wedding song. The lyrics make it a bidaai song so I'm guessing this one will be picturised on a marriage/wedding sequence. Really enjoyed it, but I love a good Shehnai so I may be biased. The singer Malini Awasthi has a lovely richness to her voice.

7. Issaq Tera duet- Same as track 1 but with a female singer included. Its Ohkay.

**8.Aag Ka Dariya (unplugged)- Ankit Tewari's vocals accompanied by the flute and piano make a surprisingly melodious mix.

6 Amazing Work Handbags at Jabong.com

I found 6 amazing work bags. An ideal work bag should be big enough to fit all your girly essentials plus a few bit n bobs of office items (e.g. the stationary you stole. Just kidding.) A dainty chain purse will certainly not do and will look a bit barbie-ish at work. So here are 6 bags all under 2000 Rupees (whaaat?!) I know, amazing right?! Neon- check, Electric Blue- check, Black with studs - check, lady like pastel Blue - check check! Basically, Jabong.com has an amazing range of handbags.

Jabong.com, handbags, 6

Where to buy:
1. P.H.A.T Turquoise Bag Rs. 1199 // 2. Alessia Yellow Handbag Rs.999 // 3. Hot berries blue handbag Rs.1799 // 4. Done By None Green Handbag Rs.1299 // P.H.A.T Black frame handbag Rs 1299 // Cheri Blue Tote Rs 999

4 Jun 2013

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani - outfits available at Pernia Qureshi

If you like/LOVE the outfits worn in YJHD you can buy then at Pernias pop up shop here. Designed by Manish Malhotra, a few saris are sold out, (eg. the blue one below) but lots of choices still there, including Ranbir Kapoor's silver sequined kurta! I don;t know who designed Madhuri Dixit's beautiful lehengas (also the ones in the background are beautiful and so summery!) so if anyone knows, do let me know!

4 Aug 2012

Babar the Elephant for Bonjourparis.com

Check out my latest article for the lovely Parisian website bonjourparis.com on Babar the Elephant. One of my favorite reads as a child, I thoroughly enjoyed researching this heartwarming big elephant. Click HERE to    read the article. Bonjourparis is your one stop site for the insider info on Paris and France that no other Tourist guide will offer.