Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ek Aur Dopeher (Another Afternoon)

One afternoon, about a month ago, I ended up writing a few lines while having my third cup of Darjeeling. The words are in Urdu and I've tried to do a rough translation in English for my English-friendly friends.

Ek Aur Dopeher
Ek Aur Dopeher Chai Pee Pee Kar Guzaar Di,
Zindagi Ke Pannon Se Thodi Si Zindagi Mita Di

Gaadiyon Ki Gharr Gharr Sadak Se Aati Rahi
Shaam Yunhi Aa Aa Kar Jaati Rahi

Sooraj Apne Ghar Sone Ko Chala
Raat Dheere Dheere Jaagti Gayi

Shamma Har Kinaare Se Chamakne Lagi
Saara Sheher Ek Dulahn Sa Lagne Laga

Chalo Ab Hum Bhi Chal Kar Aaraam Karte Hain
Khaabon Ki Duniya Ke Nazaaron Se Milte Hain

Another Afternoon (A rough translation in English)
Spent another afternoon, between many cups of tea
Spent a bit of life from this Life of me

The whirring of the vehicles kept coming from the street
Evening continued to pass by

The Sun started leaving for its home
The Night started waking up slowly

Lights kept coming up from every corner
City had begun to look like a bride

Now, allow me to retire as well
To experience the world of my dreams

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FM in Mumbai

I have fallen into a new habit these days. While driving to work and back, I listen to the various FM radio stations of Mumbai. Despite their perennially talking RJs (a couple of them are good) who sometimes play a few good songs (the quality of popular music has improved a lot in the last couple of years…a subject which deserves a separate post, altogether) here and there, I am beginning to enjoy the experience for reasons more than just music. Perhaps it’s one of those passing phases, but while I’m at it, let me put down ‘more than just music’ parts of it.

FM stations are one of the best ways to know the pulse of Mumbai. Ranging from traffic updates, to the recent auto-rickshaw strike, to the review of a recent movie release, to a political drama; they cover everything under the Mumbai sun (or rains, these days). You feel like you really belong to the city and moving with its superfast pace.

Then there are some RJs who just speak and do all the right things. The most notable one is RJ Malishka of Red FM. The mix of her finesse with the 3 languages (Hindi, Marathi & English), her presence of mind, her sense of humor and her vibrant energy levels creates a potent cocktail full of punch!

But, amidst getting the pulse of Mumbai and Malishka’s humor, I noticed something rather unfortunate. They don’t mention the poet / lyricist of the song anymore unless it’s a Gulzar Saaheb (as they address him). Whether they are worth mentioning (if it isn’t a Gulzar) is a subject for another discussion. The role of a lyricist (good or bad) in making a song is as important as the musician or the singer(s), so it deserves a mention. In fact, all of us would remember how it used to be (I’m sure AIR / Vibhit Bharti must be still following it) the good old days of radio... ‘Bol Sahir Ludhianvi Ke Hain, Sangeet S.D Burman Ka, Aur Gaaya Hai Geeta Dutt Ne. Film Ka Naam Hai, Pyaasa'.(Lyrics by Saahir Ludhianvi, Music by S.D Burman and sung by Geeta Dutt. The Movie is Pyaasa).