( Also published in Northern India Patrika, December 08, 2013 )
One needs a great musical mind to appreciate the music of Vishal Bhardwaj. We are well aware of his directorial skills, having seen his ability to deal with complex themes in movies like Omkara, Maqbool, Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf, to name a few. In my eyes he is a music director par excellence, who still have guts to introduce original compositions in Bollywood given way to borrowed tunes. If we analyze deeply the happenings inside Bollywood’s musical landscape what prevails is recycling of works of others in most blatant manner with no credits to original composers who composed these compositions in the first place.
Very recently I watched “Ek Thi Daayan” which dealt with supernatural elements. It was a theme which had not much scope for a romantic number. However, Vishal managed to create magic with his “Yaaram” song. Gulzar after demise of his best friend RD Burman felt a great sense of loneliness. He wasn’t all wrong in feeling that way. Only RD Burman had that capability to lend perfect musical notes to newsy type lyrics penned by Gulzar. Thanks to the arrival of Vishal Bhardwaj, which allowed Gulzar to breathe a sigh of relief. Vishal didn’t disappoint Gulzar. The chartbusters like ” Yaaram”, “Naina Thag Lenge”, “Darling”, “Chod Aaye Hum Wo Galiyan”, “O Saathi Re”, “Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji”, “Raat Ke Dhai Baje”, “Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola” and “Sapney Me Milti Hai” etc. are the ones which bear testimony to the fact he knows what treatment very sensitive verses of Gulzar actually need.
This very highly conscious music director, dealing in experimentation and improvisation in unorthodox manner, loves to introduce best of the literary works, which until now remained unexplored by Indian movie-makers. The cinematic versions of Shakespeare’s Othello, Macbeth and Hamlet really impressed all film-goers. At the same time, movie versions of Ruskin Bond’s “Susanna’s Seven Husbands” and “The Blue Umbrella’ also left the lovers of cinema spellbound. In fact, even in movie meant for kids like Makdee you can notice the variation he introduced in his music. He has received National Award for his music in Ishkiya and Godmother. Today Bollywood is dominated by musicians who first don’t know what music really means, and second, they are not musicians but technocrats depending on arrangement of music done by the computers. A reason why film music sounds so mechanical and jarring to the ears. Worse, it’s so humiliating when foreign composers make allegations that Indian music makers totally copied their compositions in the name of inspiration!
Against this backdrop, this genuine music composer evokes a sense of self pride within with his creativity. Let’s hope his fabulous compositions which make wonderful use of various instruments like Piano and Guitar keep enthralling music lovers. One is not against Western music and use of latest technology but against ignorance of richness present in Indian music. There is calculated attempts on part of movie makers to diminish the aura of Indian classical music. Vishal Bhardwaj is the best example of how to blend western notes with Indian classical music. This art needs to be learnt by new age Indian music directors, who, sadly, are more interested in making money instead of truly enriching the world of film music. Anyway, Vishal Bhardwaj needs to be complimented for keeping the roots of Indian classical music green and fresh.
Some of the songs composed by him:
I mean stop evaluating a great writer from your petty standards. Do you expect a writer to be a person belonging to Statistics Office who has all the details in support of his/her theories ?If that’s the case then what’s preventing the guys from Statistics Office to turn into writers ?
Let’s realize that good writers belong to a higher plane of consciousness,who come to present thoughts in black and white only after certain observations which they may or may not substantiate with dull loads of facts.
Again, I am not saying treat their versions as gospel truth but then what’s the need to be so cynical about their findings in a hurried fashion ? I do not entertain the fact that great writers ever enter in generalization.It would be indeed naive to assume that all the epics/novels written by the “greats” are critical in portrayal of female characters just because they have been penned by men !!! No. That’s not true.They have been critical only after they had found enough reasons to do so.
Their essence which appear as “generalization”in our eyes is,in fact ,representative of their meditative wisdom or better call it intuitive wisdom.Do you think female characters that have appeared in the plays of Kalidas,Tulsidas, Bharthari ,Shaw and Shakespeare have been by product of their generalized or casual understanding of the females ? I don’t think so nor I wish to appear as chosen fool by believing so.
In my eyes both positive and negative attributes unfolded by these great writers like Kalidasa,Tulsidas ,Shaw and Shakespeare are genuine and authentic.Let’s first develop a proper mind to grasp the essence portrayed in their writings.There is no point in entertaining a flawed view that when they deal with women all they tend to unfold are “generalizations”.
If Tulsidasji can carve such a nonpareil female figure in form of Sri Sitaji that has attained a glorious position in the history of female characters the world has seen till date then I have no reason to doubt that when he entered in the criticism of women he did that in mindless manner!
Like to end my take on the whole issue with this quote of Shaw : ‘Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you’re driving at another.’
Now contrast this quote the against the backdrop of present day happening when modern relationships between men and women are increasingly becoming dependent on verdict of court !!!!!
Moral Of This Article : Generalizations are no longer generalizations when great writers make it part of their experience.