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Posts Tagged ‘hindi

The anatomy of a song

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a.k.a. A confession about how I typically listen to music

The song below (Otherside, Red Hot Chili Peppers) is an excellent song. I must have listened to it quite a few times, quite often in a loop.

It might come as a bit of a shock then (well, at least a mild surprise) that I don’t really know the lyrics to the song. Sure, I know the ‘how long how loooong will I fly …’ or ‘… take it on the other side’ portions. But that’s more or less the extent of my lyrical eloquence. Besides, to be honest, I’m quite sure the song will be about one/more/all of the following –

Angst/ drugs/ Rock-n-Roll/ Chillin’ (or killin’) like a villain/ More dope/ Suicide/ Broken hearts/ Kinky stuff. Pretty much like most RHCP songs, I guess. So, drawing wisdom from the song where it says somewhere in the middle – ‘… Once you know you can never go back …’ – I’ll take my chances and stick with ignorance.

I will, however, claim to be quite well placed to identify pretty much every note, every drum change, every cymbal beat and probably every instrument used in the song. Try waking me up and going ‘aaaaaaaa … aaaaaaa … aaaaaa’ like the guys in the background do towards the end, and I’ll recognize the song. Unless I’m really pissed or if you’re an exceptionally bad singer – then, all bets are off.

The way the bass guitar is used to not just give the song some volume (of the mass x density or the nice-bouncy-hair type) but also to give it direction by making its presence felt without grabbing too much attention. I invariably like songs which do  justice to the bass guitar, in fact. Case and point – With or without You, U2.

Then there’s the way each stanza builds up to a crescendo, with more instruments and then the harmony/chorus all combining quite nicely. The way the opening notes keep persisting through the whole song. That’s what I end up humming every time – the opening notes (twang, twang twing twing …) or the wailing mentioned previously in the context of a challenge. This does end up irritating people in my vicinity (when I do the humming bit), but whatcha’ gonna do ’bout it? Every time the song ends, I resolve to pay attention to the lyrics the next time.

And it’s not just this song – every rock song that I like is a song whose lyrics I probably never know- I end up humming/ murmuring something which is at most phonetically similar to the actual lyrics (or at least in meter). Contrast this with Hindi film songs or any ‘Pop’ song, and I usually get the lyrics the first time. Unless it’s a Himes songs, ’cause then I don’t need to listen to the song at all – a glance at the song title gives away half the lyrics right away.

Is it because my grasp of the English language is poor? Maybe. Consistent poor performance in CAT Verbal Ability tests do point in that direction.

Is it because my grasp of the English rock language is poor? Quite likely.

Is it because Hindi film songs have less intricate music and/or better lyrics vis-a-vis English rock? Highly unlikely. At the risk of offending purists, though, I will say that the two are fairly on par.

Is it really that important? Moooo


Written by sujaybedekar

March 30, 2010 at 3:47 am

I can’t dance either :(

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So there’s a guy who has the following characteristics –  

– muscular, popular, spectacular, single, dashing

– owns fast car(s), is filthy rich, friendly, smart

– ambitious, musically inclined (plays the guitar), holidays in France, extremely popular and kind

– can’t dance.

And people are making fun of him solely because of the 4th point – that and probably because his parents, in what must have been a pretty rare bout of extreme drunkness, went and named him Pappu. Some folks have even created a controversy over this (link via this), which is quite ridiculous – probably even intentionally planted by Aamir Khan, who talks to the media only when he has a movie release around the corner 🙂

I never knew being able to dance was so important. This song might have been written by the aam junta (average person) to make fun of the popular kid in class everyone secretly hated, but all it does is just make me plain depressed. I want to be Pappu! I’m 25% there already !!

Written by sujaybedekar

June 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Movies, Music, videos

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Aamir (2008)

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Most movies crave for hype. Aamir was released without anAamir (2008)y hype or real promotion, but it picked up purely on word-of-mouth publicity, which is probably the truest test of how good a movie is. But by the time I watched it, the movie had been so trumped up, it didn’t seem to be that good.

<digression> I’ve often heard people say mouth-to-mouth publicity instead of word-of-mouth, and I have without fail imagined lifeguards in red bikinis coming to rescue folks. Every time. </digression>

The actor is a revelation – one of those few actors to go from TeeVee to MooVee quite effortlessly – although I must confess I’ve never quite seen any of TV series. The characters are played quite brilliantly by all actors (mostly Marathi actors, which is a sad reflection on the current state of Marathi cinema. Again I must confess, I don’t watch it much 😦 ). The story is quite standard but the plot is very nicely written (my English Lit. prof. must be so happy I finally understood the difference). Calling this movie a copy of Phonebooth is like saying The Thin Red line is a ripoff of Saving Private Ryan. The qawwaali in the movie is quite nice too.

And yet, the movie leaves you unsatisfied. Why? I explain with the help of my source of daily rozi-roti i.e. MS Excel.

Fraction of Movie completed Stage in the movie Nice? (Normalised w.r.t. Initial Hype)
-0.2 Initial Hype – Awesome! 1
0 Start (Missed first 10 minutes) 😦 0
0.2 The first twist (Taxi scene) 0.5
0.4 The Dongri scene (filled with crap) 0.7
0.6 The tale of the two sisters 0.8
0.8 Retrieves bag (Refer Video) 1.1
0.9 Final twist in the bus 1.3
0.95 The slo-mo in the end -0.1
1 Fini 0.7

In true analyst, here’s an overdose of the same information – but this time as a graph. Aamir (2008) - Niceness plot

Clearly, Average (0.667) < Hype (1). Hence proved.

I still give it 3 stars. And I do think that people should stop inserting redemption for kaum (community) in every movie with Muslim characters (e.g. Shaurya).

Ed: I’m not alone in the disappointment/ sense of being let down. PFC and J Ramanand concur too, apparently.

Written by sujaybedekar

June 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Movies, reviews

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Pick up the phone, you crazy hip-hopper

with 3 comments

What would you expect from a gathering of around a dozen of the ‘brightest minds‘ of the country (Note: quote-unquote AND italics) when they gather in a dorm room of one of the best Indian MBA institutes? (Note: No quote-unquote-italics)? Do they think/ speculate/ ponder? Do they solve national, if not global problems? Do they contemplate the fate of Indian politics, or better still – contemplate the fate of Indian cricket?

Well, think again.

Your surprise is understandable if you see the aforementioned group (+ moa) sitting in Room 231 (i think) in Dorm 21 (i think) in IIM-Ahmedabad and watching with full concentration and in an infinite loop one of the most absurd songs to have ever surfaced in the Indian pop music industry in the past decade. Each one of these guys has a different facial expression – if one guy is grinning sheepishly (omg! i can’t believe i actually kinda like this), another one is gaping in amazement (this is so ridiculous, it is frikkin’ awesome), while another fella is just plain aghast, as he nostalgically thinks back to the time when people danced around in white shoes and tight pants around columns made of fancy pottery.

The song starts off with a petite dehati-types (villagerish) servant girl dressend in a french-maid outfit calling out to her master –

Naashta taiyyaar hai sir‘ (Breakfast is ready, sire. Come hither).

After that, the breakfast is entirely forgotten, and all the song focuses on is the ‘come hither’ part.

Watch and learn –

Don’t read further unless you’ve watched the song, else most of the hindi references might seem vaguer than they actually are.

It came as a real shock – kind of like the shock I got when I learnt that electrons don’t actually revolve around the nucleus in cute little ring-a-ring-o’-roses- when I came to know that this song was sung by one of India’s premier female playback singers Sunidhi Chauhan. I had to go through the five stages of dealing with grief (i know – i too thought there were just four stages, apparently there are five!). And then I had to go through a sixth stage of lingering astonishment (I think I’m still in it).

What could have possibly possessed Sunidhi to agree to being a part of this song at all?
> I like to believe that I know Sunidhi personally (hence the first-name usage) because she went to the same tenth standard tutions as a friend of mine; although it is true  that we never really met and also that she kind of left the tution classes within a couple of months of joining to go and sing. I unintentionally let it be known here that she hasn’t cleared Xth grade.

Anyhoo, because I know Sunidhi so personally, I simply cannot fathom what hold the the ‘Ishq Bector’ fellow had over her to force her into doing this.

Maybe she wanted to do something dumber than her elopement and subsequent ditching of her marriage (I told you, i know her very well :P).

Maybe she lost a bet, and the choice was either to do this or to ‘maanj bartan-shartan poochha- vochha in Mr. Bector’s house roz-barabaar‘ (clean utensils-shutensils and floor-vloor daily).

Maybe she had a crush on the Bector guy *shudder*, which made her hope that he would give a ‘zor ka dhakka’ to her ‘dil ki rickshaw‘, rather to her ‘louwe ki rickshaw‘ even if he asked her to ‘foot-foot-foot-foot‘ as he had given her her due bonus.
Maybe she had a bout of what is one of the most popular used defences in all american legal dramas – temporary insanity.

Or – and this is the possiblity where she redeems herself in my eyes, making me want to be associated with her and be famous again by induction – maybe it was all about the money. And the chance to sing ‘Issshhhhh … lo naaaa ……… phoooooone!’

Written by sujaybedekar

March 8, 2008 at 5:05 am

Posted in Entertainment, Music

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