Music Review: Devdas (2002)


Rating: 1 out of 5.
Directed bySanjay Leela Bhansali
Produced byBharat Shah
Red Chillies Entertainment
Screenplay byPrakash Kapadia
Based onDevdas
by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
StarringMadhuri Dixit
Shah Rukh Khan
Aishwarya Rai
Music byIsmail Darbar and Monty Sharma
CinematographyBinod Pradhan
Edited byBela Segal
Production
company
Mega Bollywood Pvt.Ltd
Red Chillies Entertainment
Distributed byMega Bollywood Pvt.LTD
SLB Films
Red Chillies Entertainment
Release date12 July 2002

Devdas celebrates 20 years in 2022!! I still remember attending its South African Premier, at the Ster Kinekor Cinema’s at Rosebank, Johannesburg; it was a great experience; all the necessary paraphernalia printed, the songs of Devdas echoing through the beautifully decorated theater, everyone dressed in their finery, a lovely winters chill filling the hallways. The excitement to watch Devdas finally concluded that evening after a monumental one year wait. I still remember crazily collecting any form of pictures, information and newspaper articles that made my once younger mind dreamy. As a huge fan of Madhuri Dixit-Nene, my excitement soared to previously unattainable heights. Promos of the film showcased the beautiful songs with great verve, Madhuri’s dances in Maar Daala and Kaahe Chhed Mohe, Aishwarya’s beautiful diya song and the Ultimate dance in Dola Re Dola. These are cherished memories that have been kept alive with the most sweetest nostalgia.

This is the second Sanjay Leela Bhansali film’s music review that i am featuring on this site, more so, it was one of his first few films that he didn’t helm the Music Director’s chair for. That baton was handed to the multi talented and award-winning Ismail Darbar, and what a solid job he did with the Devdas Soundtrack; more about him a bit later on. Devdas was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s third film after Khamoshi and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. He went on to make Guzaarish, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat and Gangubai Kathiawadiwhich all featured him as the Director and Music Director.

Link to the Bajirao Mastani review that was done by The Great Bollywood Party.

Below is a filmography of Sanjay Leela Bhansali (as director) and the music directors he chose. There is no doubt in my mind that his movie aesthetic is quite unique and presents us with movies and music that are unbelievably beautiful. There might be some disparity over whether his films are meant for everyone, but this cannot be said about the music in each of his films. They are modern day classics that helm melody queen. In each of his ventures the music has been extremely memorable and long term quality. No doubt as the years progressed, Sanjay Leela Bhansali preferred a classical base for his music, but that is what will eventually provide longevity. His musical sensibilities are commendable in relaying his films themes and messages.

YearFilmMusic Director
1996Khamoshi: The MusicalJatin Lalit
1999Hum Dil De Chuke SanamIsmail Darbar
2002DevdasIsmail Darbar
2005BlackMonty Sharma
2007SaawariyaMonty Sharma
2010GuzaarishSanjay Leela Bhansali
2013Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-LeelaSanjay Leela Bhansali
2015Bajirao MastaniSanjay Leela Bhansali
2018PadmaavatSanjay Leela Bhansali
2022Gangubai KathiawadiSanjay Leela Bhansali

Devdas is one such of his soundtracks that carried a classical base and it empowered its characters; so much so that you cannot imagine Devdas without its music or its commanding lyrics by Nusrat Badr. Sadly, this was also the final collaboration between Ismail Darbar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and whilst Darbar went on to compose music outside of Bhansali’s films, these soundtracks remain the strong points in his career. One would have wished that this collaboration would have extended further, and that their fall-out would have mended. Alas, we have these phenomenal soundtracks to revel in.

Ismail Darbar comes from a family of four generation musicians; an exponent of the violin, he worked for nine years as a session violist for leading music directors. Lady luck’s shine increased on Ismail Darbar when he met director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, for whose film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, he composed the music. With the director’s keen ear for music, the result, was sheer magic! Film-goers were astonished by the exemplary quality, melody and originality of the musical score. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ismail Darbar have bedecked Devdas with nine songs that speak not only the story of the film but also the story of melody and passion at their entwined best.

Ismail Darbar

Nusrat Badr indeed knows how to cajole his pen into giving its best. Having created a mark as a poet, he makes a soulful debut as a film lyricist in Devdas. The story of Devdas has passion, pain and pathos as its synonymous companions. The lyrics had to lovingly capture this and open the route from the ears to the heart so that the musical words of Devdas may stay there forever. Nusrat Badr’s simple lyrics complimented the complex feelings that had to be conveyed with much accuracy. The Film Fraternity unfortunately lost Nusrat Badr on the 25th January 2020 due to a prolonging ailment. He had, since Devdas, written lyrics for 817 songs in 108 films; a great legacy left behind for his listeners to ponder upon. He was the son of famous poet Bashir Badr.

The Late Nusrat Badr

A dream as big as Devdas, entailed more than a fair share of heartache for its makers, as they embarked on this epic journey, it wasn’t all easy and smooth:

  • The set of Chandramukhi’s Kotha was made around a lake. Perhaps it was the beauty of the set, which tempted even the heat. So much so, that the water in the lake kept drying. Gallons and gallons of water had to be filled in with amazing regularity. Moreover, the bridge across the lake had a knack of sinking at all the wrong times. To us was as alarming as the London bridge falling down.
  • Uninvited guests such as wild animals ventured nonchalantly around the set which brought out the animal in each of us.
  • The lights and diyas which lit up the ambience, at times scared the daylights out of us. The kotha set caught minor fires on 3 occasions. Either due to the generators or the diyas. The generous lighting also gave a few people, a shock….literally and figuratively.
  • Paro’s delicate stained glass house was erected for seven months from November to June. Safe, non-monsoon months. Yet what does one know! There were unprecedented heavy rain showers at least four times during those months. So we had colours of the stained glass fading and this brought out the painters in our enthused team who had to keep re-touching. Moreover our use of the trolley’s over the delicate floors of the sets led to a lot of chipping. Each chip cut across our hearts.
  • By the time it came to creating Bhuvan’s Haveli, we had no budget. But what we had was a motivated team and lots of perseverance and co-operation. And the haveli became a reality.
  • All the sets were kept mounted for 7 – 9 months. It was a huge production problem and a Herculean task maintaining them.

The Soundtrack of Devdas released in March of 2002, with fanfare. It was highly anticipated by many who were curious to know what the eventual soundtrack would sound like. Cassettes and CD’s made their way to the stores and reeled in its every listener. It was a great time where physical releases were much appreciated, and eventually made their way into Music stores. I remember pestering the local Music shop every other day for the release; and when it finally arrived, they had kept one CD for me. When i looked at the CD i was excited to find out that the CD was released by Universal South Africa. I guess it was one of the first Bollywood Soundtracks to be released locally post the LP era (We mostly got Indian releases). Only later on to find out that the Devdas soundtrack had been released in almost every country in their regions. A particularly interesting release was the European release which included some dialogues and the Title music, which is not found on any of the other releases. Cut to 2018 and the soundtrack was eventually released on a 2 LP (Vinyl) set (by Vinyl Studio 34, find them on Instagram @vinylstudio34), to my excitement; which i bought on its immediate release. This release also included some of the dialogues but no Title music.

The South African CD Release

The Two LP Edition Released in 2018

Thanks to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ismail Darbar, the wonderfully gifted Shreya Ghoshal got her first break. A spectacular beginning to an illustrious career that has been shining ever since Devdas, Shreya, only 16 at the time recorded for Devdas. It was to the benefit of filmdom that we were graced with her talent and virtuosity at this young age. Shreya caught the attention of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s mother, who noticed her as a participant in Sa Re Ga Ma while she was singing a bhajan of Lata Mangeshkar. She was then offered her the opportunity to do playback. She sang five songs on the album, which won her critical acclaim and accolades, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for “Bairi Piya“.

This was a dream debut for Shreya Ghoshal, she became an instant sensation , due to her talent, admirable skill and humble personality, which until today has wowed us with her beautiful renditions. Shreya went on to win many accolades in 2002, including the sensuous rendition of ‘Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai‘ from Jism which portrayed her versatility even further. Devdas got her the prestigious National Award on her very first soundtrack. Along with seasoned artists like Kavita Krishnamurty, Udit Narayan & Jaspiner Narula, Devdas was a resounding album that showcased Ismail Darbar’s brilliance.

No.SongArtistsDuration
1Title MusicChorus1:51
2Silsila Ye Chaahat KaShreya Ghosal5:23
3Maar DaalaKavita Subramaniam / KK4:37
4Bairi PiyaUdit Narayan / Shreya Ghosal5:20
5Kaahe Chhed MohePandit Birju Maharaj / Kavita Subramaniam / Madhuri Dixit5:19
6Chalak ChalakUdit Narayan / Vinod Rathod / Shreya Ghosal5:10
7Hamesha Tumko ChahaUdit Narayan / Kavita Subramaniam5:59
8Woh Chand Jaisi LadkiUdit Narayan4:29
9Morey PiyaJaspinder Narula / Shreya Ghosal5:37
10Devdas – The ThemeRashmi Sharma / Supriya / Raghav Chatterjee4:00
11Dola Re DolaKavita Subramaniam / Shreya Ghosal / KK6:36
Total Duration54:21:00
Devdas Tracklist

2002 was a cutthroat year for Bollywood film music, there had been a plethora of films that released with great soundtracks, which included the likes of Raaz, Saathiya, Jism, Zindagi Khuboorat Hai etc. Going by today’s standards this was a magical year for music, with very varied genres and tunes serenading the audiences. Devdas no doubt stood out from these soundtracks, Its very essence and timbre made 2002 even more special and cemented itself into the core of music lovers hearts. All classically based songs, that had a wider appeal to anyone who gave it thought.

Interesting to note that Sanjay Leela Bhansali carries his film aesthetics to his music too. While Khamoshi showcased a family in Goa, the music suited it’s surroundings. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam displayed the Gujarati family system and its music contained really exquisite Gujarati elements. We see this in all of his films; Devdas is based on a book by Bengali Author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, and no doubt ,we see and hear Bengal in Devdas.

The title music and background score were composed by Monty Sharma – His debut in the Bollywood world, and what we got to see was just class. Monty Sharma started learning music from the age of 5 and had the opportunity of learning from his grandfather Pt. Ramprasad Sharma. Monty’s first tryst with the film world was playing the keyboards for Mr. India, which Laxmikant Pyarelal did the soundtrack for. Monty is the nephew of Pyarelal.

If the background score was anything to go by, then Monty displayed a myriad of talent as it bonded the very core of Devdas; it added the depth of emotion, key themes for each character clearly distinguishable and more importantly, it lent to the overall viewing experience.

The title music begins our Journey with the sound of Devdas, Monty is inspired by the Bengali interpretation and gives us an invigorating piece that remains close to the heart. His interpretation of the film comes alive in this 3.22 minute piece. The beginning sounds entrance as we hear the sound of the Durga Pooja, ululating belles (This is called Ooli) and the shank. A wave of chorus and pretty neat, intricately composed keyboard interludes play, with a mellow tarana suffused into its core. When the star names start to appear, the theme takes its ascent to the crescendo. Shah Rukh Khan’s names ushers in a deep melancholic acoustic sound, Madhuri Dixit’s name appears with a light ghungroo beat, Aishwarya; the melodious chorus piece and Jackie Shroff ,the bansuri; It is quite effective in its presentation. The crescendo hits exactly where the title of the film comes on, and creates a beautiful flow into the next segment. A more vocal piece which blends nicely in the Raga Yaman instrumental we’ve listened to so far.

Raghav Chatterjee helms the singing in this title music with able support by the chorus. At the part post the film title displays, we are treated to an emotionally vigorous piece that strives to characterise the rest of the film’s ‘crew / credits’ musically; It is mutually enjoyable. The Alaaps / Tarana that Raghav render are nothing short of zestful, and even though it is just the title music, it has much depth and is quite successful at being a standalone track. Listen closely, can you hear which Bandish Raghav is crooning? – the beautiful ‘Ae Ri Aali Piya Bina Sakhi‘. The amount of highs and lows we are taken through, pieces where the pakhawaj joins in are ingenious; Monty’s title music reflects snippets of his effective background score here, the choral elements are fantastic. Add to it the rustic classical flavour of Bengal, and we have an intense piece that tugs at heart. Once again, the use of this particular Bandish is absolutely perfect, as it portrays the themes of Devdas with distinct clarity.

And Intro… Shreya Ghoshal! Encore! What a dynamic entry into the world of film music, how much more spectacular could it have gotten? We have Shreya’s debut, singing for Aishwariya Rai to a semi-classical tune by Ismail Darbar, and picturised by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Such was the dream debut that Shreya received. And also how fitting, Shreya’s voice did indeed require such a huge stage, her bright angelic voice brought such great harmony and gave me goosebumps the moment i heard her croon the opening lines of ‘Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka‘. There is no doubt that this naturally gifted, talented young lady swept me off my feet, and took my heart to another level.

Ismail Darbar ingeniously creates a thunderstorm as a background for the song; In a way it cleverly makes us anticipate two things; Shreya’s vocals and Aishwariya’s entry into the film. This was also the ‘Diya‘ song that the media made us so excited about. The Diya that stayed alight the entire duration of the song, even during the storm. The Diya metaphorically displaying Paro’s love. Shreya’s first assignment was a tough song that required copious amount of rehearsals, but listen to it, the flow is so natural that you’d be forgiven for thinking this was an already well established, seasoned singer.

The thunder roars, the chorus provide the sound of the forthcoming rain with their Tarana ‘Dhoom Ta Dhoom Tana Dere Na‘ – making us anticipate the rain. Measured to precise bounty; the sitar is gloriously interspersed in the opening lines; its likening is to that of the light in the lightning. The chorus expands, and we hear the maidens achingly describe and tease Paro’s loneliness and anticipation for Devdas, they entrancingly sing about extinguishing her Diya that she kept alive since the day Devdas left for London. The tone of the chorus singers increasing the pitch with each line until Shreya appears. It is like when those first drops of water leave the clouds and touch the earth, that is her effect on the listener.

The way Bhansali and Darbar set out to create this songs is like a storm about to enter Paro’s life, and what a storm Devdas’s arrival creates in her life. The song, its instrumentation and vocals create that powerful thought about the loneliness and wait to behold the sight of your beloved, but also with it the unknown, the resilience of the love and its endgame. Listen to Shreya sing ‘Rom Rom Rom’ in the first antara; she places Paro’s heart in your hands. Its is fragile and so too are these haunting vocals rendered by Shreya. This was also Nusrat Badr’s first introduction to us listeners, and what soft, heartfelt and poignant lyrics he wrote; simple in structure and verse, but wholly impactful.

The unique tabla beat that Ismail Darbar creates is absolutely magnetic, listen properly; when the chorus sings, the beat is different, slightly teasing, then when Shreya sings, it is creatively haunting engaging with the bass drum that creates a storm in our minds. Ismail Darbar is a magician and the talent to create such beats mesmerizes me. It’s his gift of creation to us. Even the violin that is scattered in the song has its highs and lows at just the right moments. How mesmerising is the line that Shreya sings ‘Aur Yahan Jal Rahe The Hum’ – it uses the mandolin and violin in such a unique way, that is amazingly pleasing to the ear, yet so strewn with acute longing. When the song plays out, Darbar creates a bigger fantasy by increasing the intensity, we are treated to Shreya singing ‘Oh Piya‘ in three octaves with superb precision. She makes the longing in our hearts endure. But just hear the chorus, instruments and Darbar’s magic that carries our hearts to that final playout; it will give you goosebumps. What a beautiful way of making everything come together in such a display of colour and vivid imagery.

The industry also lost the most influential choreographer in the history of Bollywood; Legend ‘Saroj Khan‘. there can be no second, the way she made actresses dance onscreen are what legends are made of. ‘Silsila yeh Chaahat Ka‘ adds to her discography, and her magic can be felt throughout the song as we watch Aishwariya dance and emote to Sarojji’s instructions.

Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta Ta Na Na Na, Ta Na Na Na
(Tarana)
Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta, Ta Na Na Na, Ta Na Na Na
(Tarana)
Mausam Ne Li Angdai Aayi Aayi
The Weather Has Pandiculated
Lehra Ke Barkha Phir Chayi Chayi Chayi
The Rain Has Come All Over Again
Jhoka Hawa Ka Aayega
A Gust Of Wind Will Come
Aur Yeh Diya Bujh Jayega
And This Lamp Will Extinguish

Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka
The Connection Of Our Love
Na Maine Bujhne Diya … Ho O O
I Haven’t Let It Extinguish … Oh O O
Silsila Yeh Chahat Ka
The Connection Of Our Love
Na Maine Bujhne Diya
I Haven’t Let It Extinguish
Oh Piya, Yeh Diya
Oh My Beloved, This Lamp
Na Bujha Hai, Na Bujhega
Hasn’t Extinguished And Nor Will It
Meri Chaahat Ka Diya

The Lamp Of My Love
Mere Piya, Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
My Beloved, Come To Me Now
Ho Mere Piya, Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
My Beloved, Come To Me Now
Is Diye Sang Jal Raha
Along With This Lamp Is Burning
Mera Rom Rom Rom, Aur Jiya
My Whole Body And My Heart
Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
Now Come To Me My Beloved
Ho Mere Piya, Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
My Beloved Come To Me Now

Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta Ta Na Na Na, Ta Na Na Na
(Tarana)

Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta, Dhoom Ta, Ta Na Na Na, Ta Na Na Na
(Tarana)
Faasla Tha Doori Thi
There Was A Distance And Separation
Faasla Tha Doori Thi
There Was A Distance And Separation
Tha Judaai Ka Aalam
There Was An Ambience Of Detachment
Intezar Mein Nazrein Thi Aur
My Eyes Were Waiting And
Tum Wahan The, Tum Wahan The, Tum Wahan The
You Were There, You Were There, You Were There
Jhilmilatey Jagmagatey
Shining, Sparkling

Khushiyon Mein Jhoom Kar
And Roaming With Total Joy
Aur Yahan Jal Rahe The Hum
And Here I Was Burning
Aur Yahan Jal Rahe The Hum
And Here I Was Burning
Phir Se Baadal Garja Hai
The Clouds Thundered Again
Garaj Garaj Ke Barsa Hai
It Was Thundering And Raining
Jhoom Ke Toofan Aaya Hai
There Was A Storm Going On
Par Tujh Ko Bujha Nahin Paaya Hai
But Still It Couldn’t Extinguish You
Oh Piya Yeh Diya
Oh My Beloved, This Lamp
Chahe Jitna Sataye Tujhe Yeh Saawan
No Matter How Much This Rain
Yeh Hawa Aur Yeh Bijliyan
This Wind And This Lightning Bothers You
Mere Piya Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
My Beloved Come To Me Now
Ho Mere Piya Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
My Beloved Come To Me
Now
Dehko Yeh Pagli Deewani
Look At This Crazy Girl
Duniya Se Hai Yeh Anjaani
She Is Unaware Of The World
Jhoka Hawa Ka Aayega
A Gust Of Wind Will Come
Aur Iska Piya Sang Layega
And Will Bring Her Beloved Along
Oh Piya, Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya
My Beloved, Come To Me Now
Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka
The Connection Of Our Love
Na Dil Se Bujhne Diya
I Didn’t Let It Extinguish From My Heart
Oh Piya, Yeh Diya
Oh My Beloved, This Lamp
Aye Piya Piya Piya
Hey Beloved, Beloved, Beloved

I knew that Madhuri Dixit would be dancing to a mujhra in the movie when we first saw the trailers of the film. I still remember carefully analyzing the video and seeing Madhuri dance in the green / gold ensemble and the Maroon / Gold ensemble. If you remember the trailer, then you would know the songs were not played in the trailer, rather it was the theme music that was overlay-ed. It was still however tantalizing to the mind that i was going to see Madhuri Dixit in this avtaar. When i first heard the word ‘Maar Daala‘ i realized the potential power of this word; only until i heard the song from beginning to end did i understand how robustly the word was used. If you take it in context of the film, it makes you understand even more how powerful Nusrat Badr and Prakash Kapadias’ lyrics are. Ismari Darbar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Kavita Krishnamurty, Saroj Khan and Madhuri Dixit have worked tirelessly to create an Audio – Visual spectacle that has become legend. ‘Maar Daala‘ has a cult following on which people have doted on this extravaganza.

Maar Daala‘ was Chandramukhi’s second mujhra in the film, and there is a lot going on; prior to the song beginning we learn that Devdas has been roaming sadly across the town, saved by Chunni Babu who informs Chandramukhi. On their meeting, Devdas exchanges some unsavory words with Chandramukhi which results in a ‘debt’ that has to be paid off. Chandramukhi gives Devdas three days. On the third day we get to see Chandramukhi waiting for the payment of the ‘debt’; at the Kotha, candles light the boudoir, shimmering red / gold light up the kotha for the spectacular visual. One of Chandramukhi’s admirers also awaits her revelry, and challenges her when he cannot wait for the revelry anymore. But in her heart, Chandramukhi knows Devdas will repay his ‘debt’.

As Chandramukhi sees Devdas approaching the kotha, she taps the ghungroos and thats when the beautiful dream begins. Piano keys are hit, a harmoniously angelic chorus infused with ghungroo ‘chham chhams‘ cascading down to a passionate plea from Kavita Krishanmurty:

Yeh Kiski Hai Aahat
Whose Footsteps Is This
Yeh Kiska Hai Saaya
Whose Shadow Is This
Huyi Dil Mein Dastak
There Was A Knock In My Heart
Yahan Kaun Aaya
Who Has Come Here

Piano key notes flourish the ascent scales after the introduction and Kavitaji goes full on throttle and asks:

Hum Pe Yeh Kisne
Who Has Thrown On Me
Hara Rang Dala
This Green Colour

Pure magic emanates for the minds of Ismail Darbar and Nusrat Badr / Prakash Kapadia, the voice of Kavita Krishnamurty and the art that Madhuri Dixit brings onscreen courtesy of the late Saroj Khan. What a time to have witnessed such magical creation, rich in harmony and tehzeeb. We are transported to the time when a mujhra satisfied the narrative and the audience. Nusrat Badr begs the question ‘Who is this that has painted me emerald?, for my Happiness is what has killed me’. Ismail Darbar creates this semi classical mujhra from strains of Raga Yaman. We are but teased into the world of Chandramukhi and her laudable efforts to secure her hearts desire.

Hum Pe Yeh Kisne
Who Has Thrown On Me
Hara Rang Dala
This Green Colour
Oh Ho O O … Hum Pe Yeh Kisne
Oh Ho O O … Who Has Thrown On Me
Hara Rang Dala
This Green Colour
Khushi Ne Hamari Hamein Maar Dala
My Happiness Has Killed Me
Maar Dala
Killed Me
Maar Dala
Killed Me
Maar Dala
Killed Me
Hum Pe Yeh Kisne
Who Has Thrown On Me
Hara Rang Dala
This Green Colour
Khushi Ne Hamari Hamein Maar Dala
My Happiness Has Killed Me
Hamein Maar Dala
Has Killed Me
Hamein Maar Dala
Has Killed Me
Hamein Maar Dala
Has Killed Me
Allah Maar Dala
Oh God, It Has Killed Me
Allah Maar Dala
Oh God, It Has Killed Me
Allah Maar Dala
Oh God, It Has Killed Me

Look at the way Ismail Darbar composed this geet, not one ‘Maar Dala‘ is rendered the same, each repetition expresses further anguish; Sarojji composed the mujhra in the same way, Madhuri expresses each ‘Maar Dala‘ with imbued emotional torment; even towards the end of this piece Madhuri, with only her expression, banishes Kali Babu from her kotha. Kavita Krishnamurty sings effortlessly, hear her sing every ‘Allah‘ with an impassioned plea; it is what classics are made of.

Dhoom Dhoom Tana Na Tana Na Dere Dhoom Dhoom Tana Na Tana Na Dere Tana Na Ta Dhare
Ya Li Ya Li Ya La Li Ya Laam
Ta Dhare Ta Ni Ta Dhi Ya Na Ta Dere Na
Dhoom Tana Na
Dhoom Tana Na
Dheem Tana Na Ta Di Ta Ni
Dhoom Tana Dere Na Ta Na Ta Dere Ta Na Na Ta Di Ya Na Ta Dere Na

In this beautiful track, the period between 1:42 and 2:05, Ismail Darbar creates a spectacular Tarana to further mirror the onscreen presentation. It is a mere 23 sec piece but it is seeped in great mastery. For those who have not read my previous reviews, i will explain what a Tarana is. A Tarana strings sargams together in a specific melody either to enhance the fragrance of the song, or to entirely showcase the vocal portions of a raga melody without a bandish. Here Ismail Darbar chooses to enhance the beauty of the song. We are treated to a Male and Female chorus that take turns singing; rendering the Tarana with beautiful gusto. In addition the Taal is changed with each line rendition. The Male chorus begins in Ektaal, the female chorus proceeds on the next line in Madhyalaya Taal, until they effortlessly join in Teentaal unison. The instrumentation also changes, Darbar introduces the flute and a sonorous pakhawaj that replaces the Keherva Taal Tabla beat for the interlude; and what a visual spectacle it is; seeing Madhuri dance to Sarojji’s creation in pure Kathak, don’t mistake it for being an easy dance routine either. These 23 seconds further enhance Madhuri and Sarojji’s collaborations. They extenuate the epitome of talent. A game changer in 2002! Even more genius is the fact the just after Kavitaji croons ‘Allah‘, we see the Tarana representation of ‘Allah’ in ‘Ya Li Ya Li Ya La Li Ya Laam‘.

Na Chaand Hatheli Par Sajaya
I Didn’t Decorate The Moon On My Hands
Na Taaron Se Koi Bhi Rishta Banaya
I Didn’t Make Any Relation With The Stars
Na Rab Se Bhi Koi Shikayat Ki
Nor Did I Complain To God For Anything
Na Rab Se Bhi Koi Shikayat Ki
Nor Did I Complain To God For Anything
Har Gham Ko Humne Chupaya
I Hid Every Sorrow
Har Sitam Ko Haske Uthaya
I Faced All The Problems Smilingly
Kaanto Ko Bhi Gale Se Lagaya
I Even Hugged The Thorns
Aur Phoolon Se Zakhm Khaya
And Was Hurt By The Flowers
Haan Magar Dua Mein
Yes, But When I Prayed
Jab Yeh Haath Uthaya
With My Hands Together
Oh Ho O O … Haan Magar Dua Mein
Oh Ho O O … Yes, But When I Prayed
Jab Yeh Haath Uthaya
With My Hands Together
Khuda Se Dua Mein Tumhe Maang Dala
Then I Asked For You As My Blessings
Maang Dala
Asked For You
Allah Maang Dala
Asked For You From God
Allah Maang Dala
Asked For You From God

There is but one antara in this song, and Nusrat Badr / Prakash Kapadia so effectively expounds Chandramukhi’s delicate heart. Sombre notes of happiness accompany the true emotion felt in love, of fear, of rejection and blatant expression of reflection.

One might say a million things about how the song was crafted, but one element that would never be the same without is Kavita Krishnamurty. Her voice is absolute legend, adding her own dynamics and modulation to Chandramkuhi’s heartfelt plea. There a certain vocal range that Kavita can reach that others can dream to find, her vocal tonality and superiority is meted out splendidly in this track. From the beginning phrases to the mukhda, Kavitaji takes us entrancingly through Chandramukhi’s heart.

Maar Dala is a mujhra that came after a very long time, that’s why it became such a rage when it released. What the audience saw and now reminisce about, will be for the entirety of history foretold and all involved has become legend. and i will add again – There will never again be another Madhuri Dixit – Kavita Krishnamurty – Saroj Khan trio.

Bairi Piya gave Shreya Ghosal a National Award in her first outing. What a brilliant start to her career. In their last outing Darbar and Bhansali brought out ‘Ankhon Ki Gustakhiya‘ from the musically brilliant ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam‘. They bring a song of similar vein to Devdas; ingraining the romance between the Devdas and Paro. This one also had that tease tag attached to it and during the entire song onscreen we see the love-torn couple ‘at play’ with antics and sentimental staring and smiles.

Also based on semi classical music with flourishes of Raga Maand and Raga Bhupeshwari, we hear Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal crooning beautifully restrained under the baton of Darbar.  The “honey-dipped” inflection is graciously poured into this melody; Darbar creates this melody out of the rousing dusk and playfulness of the night. The lyrics are again simple, yet creatively through its story telling, displays its colors and impending disaster. The feel of the song that Darbar creates is melancholic sweetness.

Both Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal lift Darbar’s tune to exemplary levels; they follow the tune and extend on the swaras with melodious sweetness at the end of every mukhda and antara. The ‘Piya’s‘, ‘Saudaai‘, ‘Duhaai‘, ‘Jiya‘ and many more leave the listener in a blissful world. I cant begin to explain how i felt knowing that this was Shreya’s second song. At her young age, her enviable vocal range will leave people delirious. I remember reading an interview where Shreya stated:

Shreya was auditioned and selected. She remembers her first sitting: March 9, 2000. And the first song she recorded was Bairi piya, “I remember I was asked to rehearse the song once before finally recording it. I simply closed my eyes and sang without a break. When I opened my eyes, I noticed a lot of excitement and chaos outside the recording room. Then Sanjayji told me I had sung the song so well that they had recorded it at one go.

https://www.rediff.com/entertai/2002/jul/10shreya.htm

Udit really surprised me too, in this song and some of the other songs on this album, he has shown some great classical vocal range in Devdas. One can only thank Darbar for bringing this out in the singer. The same can be said for Kumar Sanu in ‘Ankhon Ki Gustakhiyan‘; he reached such great peaks in that particular song.

Ish!
Oh My!
Ish!
Oh My!
Bairi Piya Bada Bedardi
My Vengeful Lover You’re Heartless
Ish!
Oh My!
Ho … Bairi Piya Bada Bedardi
Oh … My Vengeful Lover You’re Heartless
Dil Ka Dard Na Jaane
You Don’t Know My Heart’s Pain
Saudai, Harjai, Zulmi, Ram Duhai
You’re Crazy, Unfaithful, Cruel, Oh God
Kaise Kahoon
How Should I Say This
Kaase Kahoon
Whom Should I Say This To
Haai Ram
Oh God
Dil Ka Dard Na Jaane
You Don’t Know My Heart’s Pain
Na Jaane, Na Jaane
You Don’t Know, You Don’t Know
Na Jaane Jaane Jaane Haai
You Simply Don’t Know It
Bairi Piya Bada Re Bedardi
My Vengeful Lover You’re Heartless
Ho … Bairi Piya Bada Be
Oh … My Vengeful Lover You’re Heartless
Ish!
Oh My!

Tu Door Joh Tha Toh Paas Hi Tha
When You Were Far You Were Close
Ab Paas Hai Toh Door Hai Kyun
Now You Are Close So Why Are You Far
Na Jaane Jaane Jaane Jaane Jaane
I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know
Tu Door Joh Tha Toh Paas Hi Tha
When You Were Far You Were Close
Ab Paas Hai Toh Door Hai Kyun
Now You Are Close So Why Are You Far
Aa Paas Toh Aa Pehna Bhi De Yeh Kangana
Now Come Close And Make Me Wear This Bangle
Na Sata Ab Maan Bhi Le Yeh Kehna
Now Listen To Me And Don’t Trouble Me

Kaise Kahoon
How Should I Say This
Kaase Kahoon
Whom Should I Say This To
Ram
Oh God
Kangana Kehna Na Maane
The Bangle Doesn’t Listen To Me
Na Maane, Na Maane, Na Maane
It Doesn’t Listen, It Doesn’t Listen
Yeh Kangana Bada Bedardi
This Bangle Is Heartless
Ho … Yeh Kangana Bada Bedardi
Oh … This Bangle Is Heartless
Kangana Kehna Na Maane
The Bangle Doesn’t Listen To Me
Deewana, Awaara, Sangdil, Ram Duhai
Crazy, Rogue, Cruel, Oh God

Ab Maan Bhi Jao Na
Now Listen To Me
Na Na Na Na
No, No, No, No
Tum Paas Toh Aao Na
Come Close To Me
Haan Haan Re Haan Haan
Yes, Yes
Baheki Baheki Baaton Mein Teri
In Your Intoxicating Conversations
Dheere Dheere Aane Lagi
I’m Slowly Falling
Jugnu Ne Mujhse Kaha
The Firefly Told Me That
Aaisa Hai Yeh Tera Piya
You’re Beloved Is Such That
Le Hi Jayega Tera Jiya
He Will Win Over Your Heart
Haan Pyari Pyari Baaton Pe Teri
Yes In Your Sweet Talks
Chandni Bhi Hasne Lagi
Even The Moonlight Is Laughing
Taare Muskurane Lage
The Stars Are Smiling
Hawa Gungunane Lagi
The Wind Is Humming
Aasmaan Bhi Jhoom Utha
And Even The Sky Is Full Of Joy

Kaise Kahoon
How Should I Say This
Kaase Kahoon
Whom Should I Say This To
Haai Ram
Oh God
Pagla Itna Na Jaane
This Crazy Guy Doesn’t Even Know This
Na Jaane, Na Jaane
Doesn’t Know This, Doesn’t Know This
Na Jaane Jaane Jaane Haai
Doesn’t Know This At All
Ish!
Oh My!
Ish!
Oh My!

Mandolin strumms with a heavy bass drum introduce the angelic voice of Shreya Ghoshal; ‘Issssssshhhhhhhhh‘ sings Shreya for a coy Paro onscreen. The sitar, santoor, flute and Jaltarang further proclaim this bright halo with help from an all women chorus. Its all layered to perfection. Listen with a discerning ear to see how Ismail Darbar takes a little from every instrument to produce the melody we hear. Then Shreya belts out the mukhda of the song, and with such grace and harmony. Its a wonder to think that this was the first song ever recorded for Shreya. She sounds seasoned, vibrant and her talent can be heard without doubt. The opening verse is carried well a great dadra taal and the intermittent bass drum which adds to that Bengali flavour.

The musical interludes are beautifully crafted to carry the song’s melody further, to further romance the heart. The first antara is probably the reason Shreya received the national award for this song. Just listen to her vocal intonations and difficult twist and turns to jolt this song’s emotional appeal. Each carried with such care and tender amplification, with sublime vocal tenacity and sheer talent. It’s like a continues wave that continues to give, all at the tender age of 18. Her First Song!!! The national award was well deserved! Take a bow Shreya! Udit joins Shreya towards the end of this antara; answering her taunts. beautifully matched in lyric verse by Nusrat Badr, the simple yet graceful chhed-chhad moves towards a ‘kangna‘ – but we all know what this ‘kangna‘ signifies. Simple and mindful additions like these makes the song even more appealing.

 A violin and accordion decorate the next antara with slight European influences Udit dazzles in the this antara with stretched out phrases soaring vocals to lofty pinnacles; his voice elevates the mood and detail of the song. Shreya matches with every reply, beautifully crafted teasing all through. One can actually feel the rhythm and verse culminate in the heart. Udit ends the song where Shreya started it – ‘Issssssshhhhhhhhh‘. Darbar then plays out his outro for the track until Shreya whispers ‘Issssssshhhhhhhhh‘ again.

2022 has been a really devastating year on Bollywood, we lost the ‘Legend’ of legends: Our Lata Mangeshkar. Her demise has left a personal hollowness that will be felt forever. A few weeks before this traumatic new, the classical scene had lost its ‘Legend’ of legends: Pt. Birju Maharaj for whom dance was the ultimate worship. A rare combination of virtuosity and expression, grace and control, Pt Birju Maharaj’s oeuvre was also about his intrepid belief that dance could convey just about everything. We are fortunate we could witness a few of his dance creations in film, one of them being Devdas.

Pt. Birju Maharaj was the nephew of the legendary Shambhu Maharaj and Lachchu Maharaj; for those who have not yet read the Mughal-E-Azam Review, Lachchu Maharaj composed the dance for the illustrious ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya‘ for Madhubala. Now we have Madhuri Dixit choreographed by Pt. Birju Maharaj in a spectacular display of Kathak that will go down in history as one of the most iconic dance pieces ever. From the setting to the music, to the scenery and then to Madhuri Dixit herself. What we have here is nothing short of legend, just look at how many people have done reaction videos to this visual spectacle, how many have danced to ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe‘ with great splendor. This is the only track not composed by Ismail Darbar; but by Pt. Birju Maharaj himself, who had also composed the lyrics!

When he makes the world dance on his fingers , nothing seems better. His legendary name has become synonymous with the traditional dance form of Kathak. Born in the illustrious family of Kathak Dancers of the Lucknow gharana, Pandit Birju Maharaj was initially trained by his father, Guru Achhan Maharaj and later by his uncle, Guru Shambhu Maharaj. His dances showcase an admirable blend of the best of the two greats. An institution by himself, he has not only bedazzled audiences the world over, but has also groomed a galaxy of young kathak dancers. As an ode to his unparalleled talent, are many prestigious awards including the Padma Vibhusan, Kalidas Samman and Soviet land Nehru award. Besides being a renowned dancer, he is also a vocalist, percussionist, music composer, poet and painter. For “Devdas” he has composed & choreographed “Kahe Ched Mohe…”, a ‘Mujra’ based on Indian Classical dance which is one of the highlights of the film. Thus, dance history awaits yet another addition in its glittering pages.

Taken from the Devdas website when the film released: http://www.devdasthefilm.com

It is said that Pt. Birju Maharaj was not keen on working in the film industry, but when he heard that he would be choreographing Madhuri Dixit, he agreed. A decision that has created history, especially for fans who knew and understood what their collaboration would’ve meant. Personally I’m not a fan of too many composers for one soundtrack, but i’ll forgive Sanjay Leela Bhansali for this addition. The depth of classical music that Pt Birju Maharaj has brought in with ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe‘ is of immense satisfaction. Firstly, we get to hear what Kavita Krishnamurty is actually capable of; her art presented to us in Raga Basant and provides the classical ear with mountains of pleasure. Secondly, for a movie of this stature (people were curious since shooting began), it was a sure shot hit; but this song would also be instrumental (no pun intended) at re-introducing classical music to audiences, and in some way shows the audience exactly what is missing from our cinema today. Thirdly, all Bollywood (Worldwide and India) compilation Cd’s and media included this track more then any other track from Devdas.

Raga Basant is an ancient Raga dating back to the 8th century, Performed in slow tempo, this gentle melody is seeped in quiet joy. The arohana is usually found at the beginning of a composition with the avarahona following later. It is usually sung in the Spring time and not restricted to any day / night schedule. What is particularly interesting about Basant, and they way its depicted in Devdas, is that we can feel that old world charm appear in the magic vocals of Kavita Krishnamurty. This song will be heralded as one of her best in Indian Cinema and also showcased the many facets to her stunning voice. This Raag encourages the mind to brush away its selfishness, just like spring- creating a fresh start. There are feelings of hope and expectation of a new beginning and the start of a new cycle. However, these emotions are not dependent on the physical change of the season, but are an encouragement of an internal effort to change. It all makes sense, when we realise why this Raga was chosen in context to Chandramukhi’s character arc.

Kaahe Chhed Mohe was an introduction the character Chandramukhi, it showcased a time long lost, the set; so exquisitely decorated – sculptured pillars with dancers surrounding the Kotha, Velvet drapes with gold borders, artefacts, a hypnotically mounted grand chandelier, a gloriously designed floor, hookahs, velvet cushions, musical instruments decorated with exotic materials – everywhere the eye could see had been bedecked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s aesthetic. Everything was so gallantly put together, that opulently brought back memories of ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya‘ from Mughal-E-Azam .

As mentioned earlier, this song was an introduction to the character Chandramukhi after a brief interaction with Devdas where she was smitten with him, so it it makes sense that the song she presents is full of excitement and the full spectrum of her song and dance. In the first 9 seconds alone we hear three stringed instruments; the rudra veena is plucked in the Aarohana, interspersed with the mandolin, which is all silenced by the sarangi which displays the full set of swaras of Raga Basant. A thunderous chorus belts out ‘bols‘ mesmerically in unison teentaal with the violin creating an elative mood, matched onscreen in a beautiful display of Kathak by Madhuri and team. The Tabla and Pakhawaj hypnotically create the teentaal with exemplary skill. The bass drum is added in just before we hear Pt. Birju Maharaj (picturised on Chunni Babu played by Jackie Shroff) croon the opening lines.

Maalati Gundhaay Kesh Pyare Ghungware (X2)
Fragrance Of Roses Emanate From Your Tresses
Mukh Damini Si Damakata Chaal Matwaari
Your Face Shines Like Light, Your Walk Is Intoxicating
Chaal Matwaari, Chaal Matwaari
Your Walk Is Intoxicating

Madhuri Dixit lends her voice to a Kavita (poem, but still no pun intended), and renders it so fervently gracious. Bass drum and ghatam provide able support instrumentally whilst the kavita is being rendered.

Dhaai Shaam Rok Lai, Rok Lai, Rok Lai
Krishna Stopped Me, Stopped Me
Dhaai Shaam Rok Lai, Aur Chakmaka Mukh Choom Lai
Krishna Stopped Me, And He Suddenly Kissed Me On My Face
Mukh Choom Lai, Mukh Choom Lai
Kissed My Face, Kissed My Face
Sar Se Mori Chunari Gayi, Gayi, Gayi
My Scarf Slipped From My Head
Sar Se Mori Chunari Gayi Sarak Sarak Sarak
My Scarf Slipped From My Head
Sarak Sarak Sarak, Sarak Sarak Sarak
Slipped, Slipped

Pure magic emanates from the vocals of Kavita Krishnmaurty as she renders the opening line of this fantastic track. Listen to the way she delivers Raga Basant, stressing on certain words to create hummingly sonorous taans that are so technically vibrant and yet so pleasing to the ear. This is why need to remember that we have been so fortunate to have Kavitaji sing in films; she pours her heart into her singing and we get to treasure these amazing tracks. On screen the Pt. Birju Maharaj – Maduri Dixit duo ensure that we get our hearts further fulfilled. The kathak mudras are fully envisioned with choreography that articulates the lyrics.

Kaahe Chhed, Chhed Mohe Garwa Lagaayi (X2)
Why Does He Tease Me So
Kaahe Chhed, Chhed Mohe
Why Does He Tease Me So
Nanda Ko Laal Aiso Dheet (X2)
He Is So Mean And Stuborn
Barbas Mori Laaj Leeni, Laaj Leeni, Laaj Leeni
He Stole Away My Honour From Me
Barbas Mori Laaj Leeni
He Stole Away My Honour From Me
Brindashaam Maanat Naahi, Brindashaam Maanat Naahi
He Doesn’t Listen To Me, He Doesn’t Listen To Me
Kaase Kahoon Main Apne Jiya Ki Soonat Naahi Maayi
How Should I Tell My Son, He Doesn’t Listen To Me
Kaahe Chhed, Chhed Mohe
Why Does He Tease Me So

Dadh Ki Bhari Matki, Dadh Ki Bhari Matki
A Pot Full Of Butter
Dadh Ki Bhari Matki Lai Jaata Rahi Dagar Beech
A Pot Full Of Butter, I Was Taking With Me Down The Road
Aahat Sun, Aahat Sun
On Listening To Some Noise
Aahat Sun Jiyara Gayo Dhadak Dhadak Dhadak
On Listening To Some Noise, My Heart Started Beating Very Fast
Dhadak Dhadak Dhadak, Dhadak Dhadak Dhadak
Heartbeats Went Fast

Kaahe Chhede, Chhede Chhede Mohe
Why Does He Tease Me So
Kar Pakadata Choodiyaan Sab Karki Karki Karki Karki
He Caught Hold Of My Bangles And So They All Broke
Kar Pakadata Choodiyaan Sab Karki Karki Karki
He Caught Hold Of My Bangles And So They All Broke
O Maayi
Oh Mother
Brindashaam Maanat Naahi, Brindashaam Maanat Naahi
He Doesn’t Listen To Me, He Doesn’t Listen To Me
Kaase Kahoon Main Apne Jiya Ki Soonat Naahi Maayi
How Should I Tell My Son, He Doesn’t Listen To Me
Kaahe Chhed, Chhed Mohe
Why Does He Tease Me So

The scene before Madhuri recites the second Kavita is spectacular, the musical interlude exquisitely showcases the choreography which ends with Madhuri spinning in the middle of the Kotha creating a whirlwind of imagination and full use of the sets. That shot in particular remains entrancing. Candidly mentioning that the dress Madhuri had worn for this song weighed 35kgs! That’s the Madhuri dedication and love that we had all grown up on. Taking everything to the next level and making sure that she serves her audience.

The next antara give Kavitaji a plethora of highs and lows which she handles with superfluous ease. The highlight being the word ‘Karki‘ which is strung between the arohana and avarohana of Raga Basant, but listen to the line ‘O Maayi‘ which is overlayed by Kavita singing in all three saptaks, all at once! It is done with such finesse; Kavitaji is just brilliant.

The songs ends with an energized Raga Basant instrumental piece; the sitar and tabla mete out notes likening to that of a coming thunderstorm. Slowly, the thunderstorm belts out it’s notes in the form of bols from the chorus. The violins creating a dramatic outro. Ghungroo and bols enamor the end piece with an impassioned Kathak rendition onscreen. Two things remained constant in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films after Devdas – 1. In all his future films – there would be a song similar to ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe’. The second thing, i will mention a little further down the review. It goes without saying that effort and creativity pays off heavily. ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe‘ is testament to that.

The above video is the introduction scene of Chandramukhi in the film; another really special reason to relay this, is the background music piece that is played as the curtains open adds to the zest of ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe‘. Monty Sharma, who composed the theme and background score is responsible for this amazing and capturing background score. This piece is sung by Raghav Chatterjee and is based on Raga Puriya Dhanashree.

Much has been already attributed this song in other online reviews, that it is a fun song and full of life, sphering splendour through the joyous act of letting go, but none of the reviews measures its double meaning and the context to the character Devdas. For sure its a fun song, but yet again a pyrrhic retort for Devdas who indulges in happiness (alcohol) that would foreshadow the gloom of his end. The metaphors drawn through the pen of Nusrat Badr contrast the on-screen happenings and almost showcases Devdas’s life story though this song, what he wants… he never gets. Instead only alternatives.

Drawing from Bengal’s folk music, Ismail Darbar fashions this song out of Baul music. Baul generally pours out their hearts into their music lyrically and use of certain instruments which draw on sympathy but still celebrate life vicariously through experiences.

Chalak Chalak‘ begins with the Morsing (in place of the ektara, which is usually used in Baul music), a heavy drum beat and piano flourishes follow, with a full throated Udit Narayan singing joyously; Vinod Rathod joins in on the fun and really metes it out standing shoulder to shoulder with Udit. They sing in unison and create a daunting atmosphere of celebration. The chorus also adds a great vibe and Ismail Darbar carefully measures out the use of his chorus; they enhance the track giving depth to the situation. Ismail Darbar creates a lively mood with his percussion, the heavy drum and tabla usage brings about a feeling to join in the celebration. Shah Rukh Khan and Jackie Shroff onscreen shadow Udit Narayan and Vinod Rathod respectively and dance with glee.

Sheeshe Se Sheesha Takraye
Let The Glasses Clink Away…
Hey … Hey … Hey
Hey … Hey … Hey
Sheeshe Se Sheesha Takraye…. Joh Bhi Ho Anjaam
Let The Glasses Clink Away… Come What May
O Dekho Kaise
O Look
Arre Sheeshe Se Sheesha Takraye…. Joh Bhi Ho Anjaam
Let The Glasses Clink Away… Come What May
O Dekho Kaise
O Look How
Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalkaye Re
The Splashing… Swirling
Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalkaye Re
The Splashing… Swirling
Jhaangh Pakhawaj Taashe Baaje… Chalke Jab Yeh Jaam
Beat The Drum And Slap Your Thigh… When The Glass Overflows
O Dehko Kaise … Ah Ha, Ah Ha, Ah Ha
O Look… Ah Ha, Ah Ha, Ah Ha
O Dehko Kaise
O Look
Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamkaye Re
And Hear The Thumping And Pounding Of Your Heart
Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamkaye Re
And Hear The Thumping And Pounding Of Your Heart
Sheeshe Se Sheesha Takraye
Let The Glasses Clink Away…

Hey … Hey … Hey
Hey … Hey … Hey
Yeh Madira, Yeh Madira
This Wine, This Wine
Haan Yeh Madira, Yeh Madira
Yes This Wine, This Wine
Yeh Madira Toh Le Aati Hai Yaadon Ki Barsaat
This Wine Brings With It A Shower Of Memories
Chalak Chalak Ke Chalti Jaaye Dil Ko Yeh Madira
With Every Drop This Wine Spills Into My Heart
Haan Yeh Madira Hothon Se Utre
As This Wine Passes My Lips….
Toh Bole Dil Ki Baat
…It Tells A Tale Of Hearts
Garaj Garaj Ke Dil Mein Garje Gham Ke Yeh Badra
This Roaring Shower Rains In My Heart
Dil Tak Jaise Yeh Pahunchi
As It Reaches My Heart…
Aayi Aayi Aayi Uski Yaad
…Her Memories Flow
Uski Ek Jhalak
One Glimpse Of Her
Uski Ek Jhalak
One Glimpse Of Her
Mil Jaaye Itni Hai Fariyad
That’s All I Wish For
Itni Hai Fariyad
That’s All I Wish For
Itni Hai Fariyad
That’s All I Wish For
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Naache Meera Jogan Banke O Mere Ghanshyam
Meera The Devotee Dances For Her Lord Krishna
Dekho Dekho Dekho
Look, Look, Look
Naache Meera Lehrake Balkhake O Mere Ghanshyam
Meera Dances Wildly For Her Lord Krishna
Jhanan Jhan … Ah Ha, Ah Ha, Ah Ha
Jingling Around … Ah Ha, Ah Ha, Ah Ha
O Dekho Kaise
O Look How
Jhanak Jhanak Jhan Jhanana Jhanana Jhan Payal Baaje Re
The Anklets Jingle And Tinkle
Jhanak Jhanak Jhan Jhanana Jhanana Jhan Payal Baaje Re
The Anklets Jingle And Tinkle
Pyar Mein Tere Dil Yeh Chahe Ho Jaye Badnaam
A Heart Still Longs For Love, Even If One Gets A Reputation
O Dekho Kaise
O Look How
O Dekho, O Dekho
O Look, O Look
Dekho Dekho Dekho Dekho Kaise
Look, Look, Look, Look How
Dhirak Dhirak Dil Dhirak Dhirak Dil Dhirak Dhirak Dil Dhirakta Jaye Re
The Heart Beats Fast And Fast
Dhirak Dhirak Dil Dhirak Dhirak Dil Dhirak Dhirak Dil Dhirakta Jaye Re
The Heart Beats Fast And Fast
Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamkaye Re
And Hear The Thumping And Pounding Of Your Heart
Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamak Dhamak Dham Dhamkaye Re
And Hear The Thumping And Pounding Of Your Heart
Chanana Chanana Chan Chanana Chanana Chan Chanana Chanana Chan Na Na Na
It Chimes And Rings
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Dhin Ta Chik Dhin … Ta Ta Chik Dhin
(Indian Drum Beats)
Chanana Chanana Chan Chanana Chanana Chan Chanana Chanana Chan Na Na Na
It Chimes And Rings
Jhanak Jhanak Jhan Jhanana Jhanana Jhan Payal Baaje Re
The Anklets Jingle And Tinkle
Jhanak Jhanak Jhan Jhanana Jhanana Jhan Payal Baaje Re
The Anklets Jingle And Tinkle
Chalak Chalak Chal Dhamak Dhamak Dham Khanak Khanak Khan Dhadak Dhadak Dil Dhirak Dhirakta Jaye Re
Thumping And Pounding Chiming And Ringing, The Heart Beats And Beats
Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalkaye Re
The Splashing… Swirling
Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalak Chalak Chal Chalkaye Re
The Splashing… Swirling
Sheeshe Se Sheesha Takraye (x2)
Let The Glasses Clink Away…

The first musical interlude is interspersed with the Ektara and Ghatam, slight hums by the chorus. Vinod Rathod begins the first antara with an amazing vocal display with Udit Narayan following. Together they shine, finishing each others’ thoughts; until the end of the first antara where the mood becomes sombre. Devdas reminisces about Paro and is begging for just one glance at her, this is where Udit Shines. The line ‘Itni Hai Fariyaad‘ is repeated three times and each time Udit ups his vocal scales and it really hits the heart. Udit sings with such ease and grace here, and really proves that this song is definitely one that adds to his caliber. Not to fall short, Vinod Rathod answers Udit in the antara with amazing clarity and his rendition of those lines are based on Raga Megh, Nothing short of stark talent. One wonders why his rustic voice was never purposefully used like in this track. Previously Darbar also used Vinod Rathod in ‘Doli Taro Dhol‘ from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam really well.

There is a constant flow in the song (again no pun intended) and there seems to be no break to introduce the second antara. It is contained with chorus. In the end of the previous antara Devdas begs for a glance of his beloved, only to be found by Chandramukhi. Even though she loves him abundantly, he never really acknowledges it, until nearer to the end. When this song released, many people assumed that because Shreya Ghoshal had rendered one line, that it would be picturized on Aishwariya Rai, but alas we had the amazing Madhuri Dixit and her presence just brings up the ante. Her dancing really gives the song that extra depth. The end of this track is just pure class, whilst the chorus is happily singing, the music turns dangerous and serious, but it is done with great creativity. When this happens, Devdas realises that he is terminally ill.

The second thing you will always and most definitely find in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film is a song based on Raga Yaman. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s obsession with Raga Yaman is a beautiful one, for one, it will showcase in how many forms it can be created in. Even if we just looked at the themes of his films, and the fact that he could effectively use Raga Yaman to depict all those nuances is simply fantastic.

Hamesha Tumko Chaaha‘ is that song for Devdas. molded out of Raga Yaman with utmost care, melancholic beauty and lyrical genius. Ismail Darbar and Nusrat Badr should get special mention in this song; the way the song is created, simple yet so intricate, delicate, yet so hard hitting. Its as if the fragrance of love is slowly disappearing as the inevitable happens. In all the songs the chorus has so effectively added life to the songs, and here too the chorus enables the main singers to truly express their emotions.

Kavita Krishnamurty and Udit Narayan gloriously decorate ‘Hamesha Tumko Chaaha‘ with their silky vocals. Kavitaji, once again embellishes the song with amazing grace, her intonations and vocal dynamics are simply entrancing. Udit Narayan, as well matches Kavitaji and does well, listen to each of his line, and see how he extends the last word of line, surely showcasing his vocal range and dynamics. Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurty are perfect for this song, and complement each other well. 20 years after this soundtrack and film released and this song has really managed the test of time. It sounds as beautiful as it did the day it released, in fact, the song may have actually hit harder on the emotions.

Raga Yaman (also known as Alyaan, Iman, Aiman,’Eman’, ‘Kalyani‘ in Carnatic classical music) is a heptatonic (Sampurna) Indian classical raga of Kalyan Thaat; Yaman emerged from the parent musical scale of Kalyan. Considered to be one of the most fundamental and basic ragas in Hindustani tradition, it is thus often one of the first ragas taught to students. Raga Yaman is traditionally performed only during the early evening. It conveys a mood that is serene, calm, and peaceful and at the same time joyful and lively. The nature of Raga Yaman is Romantic and depicts the Shaant Rasa as well.

The actual nature of this song contrasts starkly to the above paragraph, but that again represents the genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, onscreen happenings show a wedding (happiness), yet the bride is sad. The crux of the story is captured within ‘Hameshaa Tumko Chaaha

Aayi, Khushi Ki Hai Yeh Raat Aayi
Today The Night Of Happiness Has Come
Sajdhajke Baaraat Hai Aayi
The Decorated Wedding Procession Has Come
Dheere Dheere Gham Ka Saagar
Slowly Slowly, This Sea Of Sadness
Tham Gaya Aankhon Mein Aakar
Has Stopped In My Eyes
Goonj Uthi Hai Jo Shehnaai
The Sound Of The Shehnaai (A Reed Instrument Which Is
Famous For It Is Played Mostly In Indian Weddings) Has Risen
To Aankhon Ne Yeh Baat Bataayi
Then My Eyes Started Saying This

The violin chord strikes, a heavy drum note, sarod flourises and a melancholic chorus begin to darkly hum the Arohana / Avarohana of ., then the sarod in all its power plays out. The chorus begin their journey setting the tone of this track. Ismail Darbar creates a beautiful percusssion drone for this song, a huge base drum and then an echoed tabla, with subtle ghatam note added in. This beat continues throughout and only in the musical interludes do hear some variation, but what creativity! When the chorus have rendered their lines, the sarod plays into a silent second.

Hamesha Tumko Chaaha Aur Chaaha
I Loved You And Only You
Aur Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha
And I Loved
Hamesha Tumko Chaaha Aur Chaaha Kuch Bhi Nahin
I Loved You And Only You And I Loved No One Else
Tumhe Dil Ne Hai Pooja, Pooja, Pooja
My Heart Worshipped Only You
Aur Pooja Kuch Bhi Nahin
And Worshipped No One Else
Na Na Nahin, Na Na Nahin Nahin Nahin Nahin Nahin
No Nothing
Kuch Bhi Nahin, Ho Kuch Bhi Nahin
Nothing At All
Oh, Kuch Bhi Nahin
Oh, Nothing At All

Kavita Krishnamurty croons the opening lines with heartfelt yearning. her voice echoing into the depth of our hearts. with no accompaniment. Ismail Darbar only brings back the percussion on the second rendition of the opening lines. It creates a humbling effect. Kavita Krishnamurty is once again the star of this song. Her voice brings out the perfect emotions, and add to that the dexterity which she performs in. She brings out Paro’s inner struggle to her lips from her heart; her angst and her sadness.

Khushiyon Mein Bhi Chhaayi Udaasi
Even In This Happiness, There Is An Aura Of Sadness
Dard Ki Chhaaya Mein Voh Lipti
She Is Surrounded By The Shadows Of Hurt
Kehne Piya Se Bas Yeh Aayi (X2)
She Just Came To Say This To Her Beloved

Jo Daag Tumne Mujhko Diya
The Scar That You Gave Me
Us Daag Se Mera Chehra Khila
This Scar Has Made My Face Blossom
Rakhoongi Isko Nishaani Banaakar
I Will Keep This As A Memento
Maathe Pe Isko Hamesha Sajaakar
On My Head, Always Decorated
O Preetam, O Preetam Bin Tere Mere Is Jeevan Mein
O Soulmate, O Soulmate Without You There Is Nothing In My Life
Kuch Bhi Nahin, Nahin, Nahin, Nahin, Nahin
Nothing At All
Kuch Bhi Nahin
Nothing At All

At the beginning of the first interlude, the tone is serious as the sitar plays on, and a steady percussion. We hear the chorus Ooli, the backdrop of a wedding taking place (Bengal Style); all painted in such elaborate strokes. The shank and chorus add in the drama.

We hear the swarmandal strings plucked just before Kavitaji renders the first antara, and listen carefully as she maneuvers the lyrics around Raga Yaman, each line doesn’t represent the upper and lower scales but rather each complete sentence taking the Aaroha and Avarohana to higher / lower saptaks. Take the line ‘Rakhoongi Isko Nishaani Banaakar’ where in Kavita sings in Madhya saptak for the Aarohana and then sings the next line ‘Maathe Pe Isko Hamesha Sajaakar‘ in Taar saptak extending on the Aarohana. The next line ‘O Preetam, O Preetam Bin Tere Mere Is Jeevan Mein‘ is sung again in Madhya saptak but in the avarohana scale. Pure Genius!

Beete Lamhon Ki Yaadein Lekar
With The Memories Of The Distant Past
Bojhal Kadmon Se Voh Chalkar
With Heavy Steps She Walked
Dil Bhi Roya Aur Aankh Bhar Aayi
The Heart Cried And Also The Eyes Got Drenched
Mann Se Aawaaz Hai Aayi
From The Heart A Sound Came

Voh Bachpan Ki Yaadein
Those Memories Of Childhood
Voh Rishte Voh Naate Voh Saawan Ke Jhoole
Those Relations, Those Affections, Those Swings Of The Monsoon
Voh Hasna, Voh Hasaana, Voh Roothke Phir Manaana
That Laughter, That Making Him Laugh, That Fighting And Then Making Up
Voh Har Ek Pal Mein Dil Mein Samaaye Diye Mein Jalaaye
That Each And Every Moment Is There Inside My Heart, I Have Burnt A Lamp For It
Le Jaa Rahi Hoon Main Le Jaa Rahi Hoon Main Le Jaa Rahi Hoon
I Am Taking It All Away

O Preetam, O Preetam Bin Tere Mere Is Jeevan Mein
O Soulmate, O Soulmate Without You There Is Nothing In My Life
Kuch Bhi Nahin, Nahin, Nahin, Nahin, Nahin
Nothing At All
Kuch Bhi Nahin
Nothing At All

Hamesha Tumko Chaaha, Aur Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha
I Loved You And Only You
Aur Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha (X2)
And I Loved
Haan Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha
Yes I Loved
Bas Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha
Just I Loved
Haan Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha
Yes I Loved
Aur Chaaha Chaaha Chaaha (X2)
And I Loved

Hums of the chorus turn this melancholic piece into pure sorrow and the following lyrics of the chorus are apt in portraying the lovers peril with a heavy percussion beat to support. We are introduced to Udit Narayan in the next antara, He renders the next three lines in the arohana with amazing precision and tugs heavily at our hearts with notions of childhood memories that remain aloof within his heart, reminding his lover that all they have shared are with him. Hear how Ismail Darbar has created this antara, every line Udit utters has a response by Kavita overlayed in the Alaap form of Raga Yaman with painful remembrance of his utterance, until she replies wherein she does so in the avarahona of the Raga. Then its her turn to remind her lover that she will keep all those memories alive in the lamp that she has lit for him ‘Main Le Jaa Rahi Hoon’. Udit complies and responds with the ‘O Preetam’ refrain also in the avarahona notes. Again pure genius!

The ending of this track delves even deeper into the heart, even though its just the mukhda, listen to the way the Udit & Kavita interact, answering each other with the deepest sadness. The shehnai makes an appearance as to further torment the lovers knowing that all borders have been firmly set, there’s no crossing it anymore. The male chorus add on to the flow of tears, with the sarangi confirming the defeat.

In this soundtrack dominated by female vocals, we finally get to a male solo by Udit Narayan. I have mentioned in the above songs that Udit’s singing prowess has been highlighted graciously by Ismail Darbar, and here too the quality remains that of a high caliber. Udit gets to render a ghazal based on strains of Raga Bihag, full of metaphors from the heart. In what has been a tragic story for the lovers, this sweetly coated ghazal reminds Devdas why he loves Paro, but the ultimate struggle remains. The fact that even though he loves her, he cannot fulfill his duty due to the constant conflict around them. The lyrics by Nusrat Badr especially in the second antara really delves into the struggle. He uses the moon as a metaphor to show that even in the darkness of the night, the brightness of the moon reaches even the darkest of places, yet the irony is, it is till far away from the earth and the two will never unite.

The Ghazal is a form of amatory poem which has its origination around Persia and Arabia. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. The lyrics are an integral part of the Ghazal, and just to reflect on this, consider the simplest meaning of ‘Woh Chand Jaisi Ladki‘; if you understand the language you will understand its detailed meaning, but translate it into English, you will lose its intensity by way of translation. The literal meaning is devoid of the emotional intention from the original language.

Woh Chaand Jaisi Ladki Is Dil Pe Chhaa Rahi Hai (X2)
That Moonlike Girl Is Gaining Over This Heart Of Mine
Aankhon Ke Raaste Se Is Dil Mein Aa Rahi Hai
From The Path Of The Eyes She Is Entering My Heart
Woh Chaand, Woh Chaand
That Moon, That Moon
Woh Chaand Jaisi Ladki Is Dil Pe Chhaa Rahi Hai
That Moonlike Girl Is Gaining Over This Heart Of Mine

Alhad Si Bholi Bhaali Maasoom Yeh Sharaarat
This Spirited, Innocent, Carefree, Mischievous
Badli Nahin Hai Ab Tak Bachpan Ki Uski Aadat
She Hasn’t Changed Her Childhood Behaviour Till Now
Tadpa Rahi Hai Yaadein, Ho Jaaoon Na Na Ho Jaaoon
Memories Are Torturing Me, May I Not Become
Ho Jaaoon Na Main Paagal
May I Not Become Crazy

Aa Jaaye Saamne Woh, Yeh Jaan Jaa Rahi Hai
Let Her Come In Front Of Me, My Life Is Leaving Me
Woh, Woh
That, That
Woh Chaand Jaisi Ladki Is Dil Pe Chhaa Rahi Hai
That Moonlike Girl Is Gaining Over This Heart Of Mine

Mera Chaand Baadalon Mein Kyoon Jaake Kho Gaya Hai
Why Has My Moon Gone Into The Clouds And Gotten Lost
Ab Door Is Kadar Woh Kyoon Mujhse Ho Gaya Hai
Now Why Has She Gone Far Away From Me Like This
Kyoon Jee Raha Hoon Tanha Yeh Yaad Bhi Nahin Hai
Why Am I Living Alone, I Don’t Even Remember Why
Bas Itna Yaad Hai Ke Woh Yaad Aa Rahi Hai
I Only Remember This Much, That I Am Remembering Her

Woh Chaand, Woh Chaand
That Moon, That Moon
Woh Chaand Jaisi Ladki Is Dil Pe Chhaa Rahi Hai
That Moonlike Girl Is Gaining Over This Heart Of Mine
Aankhon Ke Raaste Se Is Dil Mein Aa Rahi Hai
From The Path Of The Eyes She Is Entering My Heart
Woh Chaand, Woh Chaand Jaisi
That Moon, That Moon Like

Udit Narayan mellifluously glides through ‘Woh Chand Jaisi Ladki‘ with consummate ease, his intonations in the antaras are nothing short of great. When you hear this song, you are reminded of why he survived so long in the Industry. Ismail Darbar does complete justice to Udit Narayan, and since at some point in his career, his voice represented Shah Rukh Khan perfectly onscreen, this was a great choice by Ismail Darbar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The intro to this track begins with a thud from the bass drum, sweeping violins cascade into the night, santoor and flute mesmerize the stars, a chorus hums Udit into his opening lines. Hear the chorus overlayed into his first rendition, almost like impending doom. The opening mukhda is littered with light piano notes and guitar strums. Udit almost whispers the opening lines, and then we hear his voice slightly increase in scale, it immediately displays the intensity in his heart.

The first musical interlude creeps up to a crescendo introducing the percussion, a beautiful tabla in ektaal, whilst the violin serenades stars. The flute and santoor make a brief appearance like the moon in a sky full of clouds. Udit begins the antara smoothly, calmly ably supported by the violin. But hear when he hits the high notes in the line ‘Tadpa Rahi Hai Yaadein, Ho Jaaoon Na Na Ho Jaaoon‘, its like his emotions have come up to his throat, full of remorse, he then continues on and the way he sings ‘Woh, Woh‘ lulls the audience back to calm, sheer brilliance.

The violin remains pertinent and takes the next musical interlude to a brilliant height with the flute continuing on. Udit immediately goes into the high notes in this antara and leisurely lowers his vocals until he reaches the painfully emotional lyrics ‘Kyoon Jee Raha Hoon Tanha Yeh Yaad Bhi Nahin Hai‘ which unduly portrays his defeat. The songs continues back into the Mukhda with Udit whispering the opening lines, closing the track off accepting his defeat. The track has been beautifully orchestrated by Ismail Darbar, ensuring that the listener understands the tone of the lyrics. Listen properly to even when Udit hits the high notes, the music remains calm.

This is the only track on this soundtrack that didn’t have a proper visual. Only a few lines appear in the movie in a scene where Devdas visits Paro at night; In fact the song only made an appearance in the Indian version of the film (another interesting fact is that the voice in this scene is that of Raghav Chatterjee and not Udit Narayan). The Udit Narayan version released on the physical music media. On the international circuit, the same scene just had the background score. Here are the scenes:

The Indian Release
The International release

Quick fact: When the original soundtrack released, this particular song recieved very little attention, in fact many of the music reviewers dismissed this song, some even calling it situational and bringing very little to the soundtrack. My thoughts directly contrasted the popular consent. When i first heard this track, my mind was in a frenzy for a few standout reasons. It’s intricate composition, the complex percussion beat, the masterful singing and more importantly, many seem to have not read the credits of the Lyric writer Sameer Anjaan; this is one of his more poetic compositions and this might have gone unnoticed. We’ll delve into this track by detailing each of the components i have mentioned.

Ismail Darbar’s genius comes to fore with this track, if you detail the thought that went into this track in context of the film, you will agree that he had really delivered on this track. Sumitra is invited to a ‘baby shower’ but is also under the notion that the ‘token’ of gifting her daughter as a bride to Devdas’s family will happen on the same night. But Kaushalya has other intentions. Sumitra is close to Devdas and Paro and understands their connection, so her part in this track had to show how she felt about the love-torn pair. The song showcases the intense feelings of happiness of Sumitra of presenting her ‘token’.

Using a singer like Jaspinder Narula, who until the time of the release of Devdas had been singing Punjabi flavoured songs, was simply pure genius. It’s unlike any of the songs we’ve heard the talented Jaspinder Narula sing, here she gets the opportunity to showcase her range. Jaspinder takes the composition a great high, her into and outro of this track is sure to let you know that she is a powerhouse singer. Beautiful Alaaps cascading into this intricate, semi-classical composition by Darbar, with amazing grace. The rustic feel she brings, is sure to remain with you.

Heavily contrasted with Jaspinder’s vocals is the sweetly tuned Shreya Ghoshal; but don’t let this young voice give you once ounce of doubt, she is simply fantastic. This track was not easy to sing, not by any measure, both singers bring their A-game to the table and revel in the beauty of the composition. We’ve heard songs where composers have used rustic / sweet vocals contrast each other before, but none sound like ‘Morey Piya’.

Aasmaan Ki Baahon Mein Chaand Akela Thehra Tha
In The Arms Of The Sky, The Moon Is Waiting Alone
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Raat Ki Jawaani Pe Chaandni Ka Pehra Tha
On The Night’s Youthfulness, The Moonlight’s Gaze Was Fixed
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Runjhun Runjhun Hawa Ka Jhonka Ujli Ujli Raat

Hey, A Blowing Gust Of Wind In This Shining Night
Taaron Ki Doli Mein Aayi Jhilmilaate Jugnu Ki Baaraat
In Palanquin Of The Stars, A Sparkling Procession Of Fireflies Has Come
Sab Ke Honton Pe Thehri Thi Aake Koi Baat
Upon Everyone’s Lips, Some Talk Had Come And Stopped
Dhol Manjire Bajne Lage, Padi Dafli Par Thaap Aur
The Drums And Cymbals Started To Play, So Did The Tambourine, And
Dhumak Dhumak Kar Naach Rahi Thi Meri Radha Pyaari, Haan
Thumping, My Lovely Radha Was Dancing, Yes
Dhumak Dhumak Kar Naach Rahi Thi Meri Radha Pyaari
Thumping, My Lovely Radha Was Dancing
Jaane Kahan Se Raas Rachaane Aaya Chhaila Girdhaari
Who Knows From Where This Krishna Has Come To Play Raas (Indian Folk Dance)

More Piya, Darta Hai Dekho Mora Jiya
My Lover, My Heart Is Feeling Afraid
Ho More Piya, Darrta Hai Dekho Mora Jiya
Oh My Lover, My Heart Is Feeling Afraid
Haan
Yes
More Piya
My Lover

Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Hey Eh

Na Baiyyaan Dharo, Aati Hai Mujhe Sharam
Don’t Grab My Wrists, I Am Feeling Bashful
Haan, Chhod Do Tumko Hai Meri Kasam
Yes, Let Go Of It, You Have My Promise
Na, Zid Na Karo Jaane Do Mujhe Balam
No, Don’t Be Stubborn, Let Me Go My Sweetheart
Dekho, Doongi Main Gaaliyaan Bhaanwre
Look, I Will Start Throwing Curses At You
Chalo Hato Sataao Na More Piya
Come On, Move Away, Don’t Trouble Me My Lover
More Piya, Darrta Hai Dekho Mora Jiya
My Lover, My Heart Is Feeling Afraid
Ho More Piya, Darrta Hai Dekho Mora Jiya
My Lover, My Heart Is Feeling Afraid
More Piya
My Lover

Jamuna Ke Teer Baaje Mridang
On Banks Of River Yamuna, The Drums Are Beating
Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang (X2)
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Athron Pe Geet Mann Mein Umang
There Are Songs On The Lips, The Heart Is Filled With Enthusiasm
Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang (X2)
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Saanson Mein Pyaas Tan Mein Tarang
There Is A Thirst In The Breath, There Is Restlessness In The Body
Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang (X2)
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Isse Dekh Dekh Duniya Hai Dang
Looking At Both Of Them, The World Is Astounded
Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

Kare Krishn Raas Radha Ke Sang (X8)
Krishna Does The Raas With Radha

The base drum drops, Jaspinder begins on her journey, singing ‘Morey Piya‘ into the darkness of night, echoing the intensity of her feelings. Sitar flourishes the track with the twinkling of the flute interspersed. A light percussion is littered through the intro, piano strums are also heard, together they create magic until the sitar takes the fore. The flute emerges and creates a wonderful transcendental atmosphere that absolutely pulls you away from reality. The chorus is introduced and they hum until they reach the crescendo, a violin introduces a disturbing feeling and then Ismail Darbar goes into power mode. The percussion takes foreground and what a fantastic piece Darbar has composed for this track. It is of that caliber that we heard Laxmikant Pyarelal composed in. It is a complex myriad of drums layered together to produce the drama of the song. Bass Drums, Tabla, Dhol, Pakhwaj descend into metered chaos with a range and spectrum that is not attainable by most composers of the 2000’s or even now.

Then again we hear Jaspinder Narula singing the opening lines, listen properly as she sings her lines, intensifying as she progresses, her voice here graces the power and technical ability that she so easily showcases. Even more interesting, observe the percussion, the percussion ensemble introduces her vocals, and when sings, it is so rhythmically blended into her voice, where it takes over the as the main instrument, and in between Darbar re-introduces his ensemble, powerplay by the talents of this track. Even the echoing Alaaps in between these lines are simply fantastic.

An small interlude introduces the voice of the young Shreya Ghoshal, sweetly reminding us of the situation she is in, and her voice takes us on her journey, she is excitedly nervous, with reflecting lyrics; This is just teaser for her prowess in the next antara. but yet again listen to the percussion that Darbar creates for this piece. She hums us to re-introduce the the chorus, then we hear rumbling clouds and then Jaspinder sings a restrained Alaap that fervently elevates the heart.

The interlude that follows is just so well put together, and further adds to the rustic detailing we’ve heard in this track so far. The pakhawaj takes the stage for a minute with precision and drama. The violin adds to the atmosphere, and the santoor and sitar settles it down. In Sheer brilliance, Shreya again sings the antara with such purity, she realizes that timid, nervous nature of the song until the line ‘Jaane Do Mujhe Balam‘, and then hits the line ‘Dekho, Doongi Main Gaaliyaan Bhaanwre, Chalo Hato Sataao Na More Piya‘ in Taar Saptak. It gives us measure around her talent, if this was the level at which she began her career, then we could have almost already predicted her success in the future. Darbar again should lauded for his effort, listen to the percussion when Shreya sings that lyric in taar saptak; it effectively portraying her emotions.

This immediately takes us to the outro of the song, and if what we have already heard has stunned you, listen to what Jaspinder and the chorus adds to this piece, it almost foretells us of the situation that will happen. It is intense and filled with a wonderful orchestration by Darbar, everything is in measured detail. The interplay between the chorus and Jaspinder is mounted majestically, and Jaspinder’s concluding alaap delves us deeper into the mind of Sumitra. Sheer class by all involved in bringing the track alive. Even the visuals were a beautiful segment that showcased Aishwariya and Shah Rukh Khan in spectacular form. Aishwariya performed this piece without any lip synching, but her depiction remains cemented in our minds.

Morey Piya written by Sameer is a unique song of his career. It captures emotions in a very convincing way, the stresses and strains of the betrayed Sumitra; as a doting mother and her proud daughter contain their sense of outrage from the rebuke they receive by Devdas’s family, the duet plays this struggle they feel between shrinking from the scene in a dignified manner and yet expressing their diametrically opposing emotions, those of an unfulfilled love of a daughter and a indignity by Sumitra goes through for the sake of this love.

Theme tracks barely seem to make it onto majority of soundtracks in the Indian Film world, but if you look at the soundtracks from the stalwarts of the sub-continent, you will always find a theme piece that encapsulates the feel of the film. Film makers like Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt and a few others always included a theme piece to give the audience a feel of the film. The background scores enhanced the film and brought much in terms of characterization, be it the scene, characters or even creating the emotional context. A beautiful theme piece from Guru Dutt’sSahib Bibi Aur Ghulam‘ comes to mind wherein just listening to the piece that the great Hemant Kumar created called ‘Title Music‘ allows the listener to experience the film without even watching it.

This Devdas theme piece does exactly the same, it allows you a myriad of emotions through this four minute composition by Monty Sharma. How it begins and where it ends, how the vocals advance your thought process, the actual music liberating the mind and understanding the situation that this piece might have been in. For those that have watched this movie, you will know that the complete background score is nothing short of spectacular, especially when you have a perfectionist director like Sanjay Leela Bhansali who knows exactly what he wants and extracts the best from his team. Here too Monty Sharma ensures that he makes the most of his opportunity. The background pieces really gave much to the film, be it when characters themes are played or certain situations.

In the beginning of this track, birds are heard happily going about their day, calm and spirited, water can be heard in light splashes, and then you hear the call from a young girl ‘Arre O Deva’. The little girl laughs a little but is contrasted with a great sense of fear by the music that plays on. The chorus and percussion creates a tumultuous feeling, intensifying and then a cloudburst. A split second of silence and a deep sadness ensues with the male chorus. The violin adds a forlorn sound and the track immerses out hearts into its sadness, the flute comes in like a whirlwind with a regretful alaap by the little girl. The male chorus have been sounding tarana to create a heartbeat of pain; the track then transitions into a sort of a meditative sound with the sound of bells and the religious chants. Raghav Chatterjee makes a resounding call and it stirs within you. The shank is blown and the track immediately goes darker as if in the height of all the trouble, what must happen will happen. The chorus have already taken on quite a journey, but here even as the track delves into its melancholy we are greeted with sorrowful hums and tarana. We again hear the little girl crying ‘Devaaaaa‘, and can somewhat hear the sounds of gates opening, the charioteers whips is cracked and we are being pulled into this dangerous predicament, we feel what it happening. The cries of the little girl intensify, with the chorus heightening the danger until they reach the crescendo; which ultimately dies down and reaches an almost peaceful state. The sound of an empty bottle spinning can be heard in the end of the track, where it stops. If you have watched the film, you know what this signifies. There are two accompanying female vocalists on this track and they are Rashmi Sharma and Supriya.

Before i say anything about Dola Re Dola, i have to pay tribute to the singer that is mainly focused in the background of this track and and ‘Maar Dala‘. Krishnakumar Kunnath who went by the stage name KK, featured in many outstanding tracks after Devdas and rose to stardom in particular with another track from a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film; Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. He sang the beautiful Tadap Tadap track that became a rage, I still remember listening to this very song and feeling every last lyric that he croons. It is still my go to song when I feel I need to let out some steam. This wasn’t his first song by the way, he initially sang for Vishal Bharadwaj’sMaachis‘. He sings the introduction bit in the track ‘Chapa Chapa Chad Ka Chale‘. The industry had lost once again, when he passed on in May this year, due to a heart attack after his concert. In the years of late, he had been doing much of his own concerts and we heard him much less in films. By no blame on his part as well, as the music industry is in complete tatters, remaking older songs and very little creativity around to bring singers like him alive. I still however feel that after the great success of ‘Tadap Tadap‘, he should have at least sang a full track in Devdas. Relegated much to the background, he does make an impact in ‘Dola Re Dola‘ and ‘Maar Dala‘. We grew up in his famous years and he has given tracks that will shine on.

The situation in which ‘Dola Re Dola‘ appears was a highly contested one around the film’s release because it strays the novel’s story line where in the two female characters never meet. Sanjay Leela Bhansali had taken cinematic liberty to bring the two characters together and have them celebrate their love for same person, but unrequited love for both. In the older version of the film as well, the characters of Paro and Chandramukhi never meet, in line with the novel by Sarat Chandra. With Sanjay Leela Bhansali taking this liberty, did it have the ultimate payback? Was it epic? Will it stay with you? and more importantly, did it divert from the novel to such an extent that felt added in? The answers to all those questions is a resounding Yes, Yes, Yes and No. The scene was carefully planned out and presented itself in a charming way. We get the scene where Paro visits the Kotha, which lead to an invite. The invitation is accepted and we get Dola Re Dola, and the explosive scene after the song. It also showcased the double standards of society way back then.

Dola Re Dola‘ also received much flack when the soundtrack released. people didn’t gel with the track immediately. The orchestration and rhythm mainly highlighted as the weak points, but little did the people know what an impact this would create when they witnessed it onscreen. That seemed to have changed people’s minds and they realized how powerful it was. Watching Madhuri Dixit and Aishwariya Rai dance their hearts out, gave everyone a huge jolt of energy. Saroj Khan also should be lauded for her effort here, giving both Aishwariya and Madhuri dance moves that encapsulated the greatness of the dance and bonding that the two shared. Everything flowed so beautifully, but I bet that nothing was easy. From the song composition, to the singing, to the dancing and then the transition to the scene afterwards must have been a really difficult task. Hats off to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for dreaming up this sequence and leaving another gem in filmdom for us to revel in.

High on energy, high on the beats and high on the melody, ‘Dola Re Dola‘ was no simple task to compose or to sing. Ismail Darbar once has proved that his meticulous detail gives us the best of the assignment at hand. The intricate percussion and chorus once again enhance and highlight the completeness of this composition. An interesting through comes to mind, is that this song was sung during the ‘Durga Pooja’ segment and the bonding by the two female leads are existentially highlighted. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has always given preference to all his female leads in his films and here too, he shines as the two female leads give the audience something spectacular to witness.

KK begins this track with his inimitable vocals singing the title of this track with gusto, especially in the second line where he repeats the lines, here his intonations, just pure class. Ooli is heard and then the hums by Shreya Ghoshal and Kavita Krishnamurty. Another thought appears in my mind, can you imagine that Shreya Ghoshal had been pitted against Kavita Krishnamurty for this track? It is mind blowing that as a newcomer she had to contend with singing with a stalwart like Kavita, and to everyone’s surprise she kept up with Kavita and the two had a blast singing the song. Like many who always misidentified the dance routine as a muqabla (competition), it really wasn’t. This song captured the bonding the two leads had been experiencing onscreen celebrating their love for Devdas,

The percussion immediately kicks in and we have a highly energetic chorus resounding the joy of Shreya and Kavita. The music is highly infectious and creates a celebration of beauty, poignance and breath taking orchestration. Just listen to the pieces that Ismail Darbar creates to fruitfully portray the joy. Kavita Krishnamurty croons ‘Oh Maahi‘ in taar saptak, and then yet again another brilliant percussion beat overlayed with intricate chorus work. Shreya and Kavita take turns crooning the mukhda.

Hey Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
Hey, I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled

Hey Dola Re
Hey, I Swayed
(Haan, Haan, Hm Aah
Haan, Haan, Haan Haan
Haan, Haan, Haan Haan
Haan, Haan, Haan Haan)

Oh Maahi
Oh Lover

Hey Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
Hey, I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Hey Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
Hey, I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Lag Jaane Do Najariya, Gir Jaane Do Bijuriya
Let Gazes Get Struck On Me, Let The Lighting Fall
Bijuriya, Bijuriya, Gir Jaane Do Aaj Bijuriya
Lighting, Lighting, Let The Lightning Fall Today
Lag Jaane Do Najariya, Gir Jaane Do Bijuriya
Let Gazes Get Struck On Me, Let The Lighting Fall
Baandhke Main Ghunghroo
Strapping On My Jingling Anklets
Pahenke Main Paayal
Wearing My Anklets

Oh, Baandhke Main Ghunghroo
Strapping On My Jingling Anklets
Pahenke Main Paayal
Wearing My Anklets
Ho Jhoomke Naachoongi Ghoomke Naachoongi
Oh, Shaking I Will Dance, Spinning I Will Dance

Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Dekho Ji Dekho Dekho Kaise Yeh Jhankaar Hai
Look Now, Look What Sort Of Jingling Is This
Inki Aankhon Mein Dekho Piyaji Ka Pyaar Hai
Look In Her Eyes, There Is The Lover For Her Beloved
Inki Aawaaz Mein Haai Kaisi Thanadaar Hai
Look How Her Soft Voice Is Also Filled With Command
Piya Ki Yaadon Mein Yeh Jiya Beqaraar Hai
In The Memories Of Her Beloved, This Heart Is Restless

Haai, Haai, Haai Aai Aai Aai Aai

Maathe Ki Bindiya Mein Voh Hai
In The Bindi (A Decorative Dot Put On The Centre Of Forehead)
Of My Forehead, He Is There
Mm, Palkon Ki Nindiya Mein Voh Hai
In My Sleepy Eyelashes, He Is There
Tere To Tan Mann Mein Voh Hai
In Your Heart And Soul, He Is There
Teri Bhi Dhadkan Mein Voh Hai
Even In Your Heartbeat, He Is There

Choodi Ki Chhan Chhan Mein Voh Hai
In The Jingle Of My Bangles, He Is There
Kangan Ki Khan Khan Mein Voh Hai
In The Chime Of My Bracelets, He Is There
Choodi Ki Chhan Chhan Mein Voh Hai
In The Jingle Of My Bangles, He Is There
Kangan Ki Khan Khan Mein Voh Hai
In The Chime Of My Bracelets, He Is There
Baandhke Main Ghunghroo
Strapping On My Jingling Anklets
Pahenke Main Paayal
Wearing My Anklets

Oh, Baandhke Main Ghunghroo
Strapping On My Jingling Anklets
Pahenke Main Paayal
Wearing My Anklets
Ho Jhoomke Naachoongi Ghoomke Naachoongi
Oh, Shaking I Will Dance, Spinning I Will Dance

Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

The interlude begins with yet another drum rhythm that Darbar so beautifully creates whilst Shreya, Kavita and the chorus have a blast singing the first antara ably supporting one another. The bonding is further strengthened but listen to Shreya and Kavita sing, they leave you with your mouth agape, their intonations fortified by their talents. Here Shreya initiates the antara to which Kavita replies her in every lyric line.

Hey Eh Eh Hey Eh, Hey Eh Eh Eh Eh Eh, Hey Hey Eh Eh Eh Eh, Hey Hey Eh Hey

Tumne Mujhko Duniya De Di
You Have Given Me The World
Mujhko Apni Haan Khushiyaan De Di
You Have Given Me All Your Happiness
Tumse Kabhi Na Hona Door
I Will Never Be Away From You
Haan Maang Mein Bhar Le Na Sindoor
Yes, Fill The Parting Of My Hair With Sindoor (A Red Colored Powder Which
Married Women In India Apply In The Parting Of Their Hair.
It Symbolizes That She Is Married)

Unki Baahon Ka Tum Ho Phool
You Are The Flower Of His Arms
Main Hoon Kadmon Ki Bas Dhool
I Am Just The Dust Of His Feet
Baandhke Main Ghunghroo
Strapping On My Jingling Anklets
Pahenke Main Paayal
Wearing My Anklets

Oh, Baandhke Main Ghunghroo
Strapping On My Jingling Anklets
Pahenke Main Paayal
Wearing My Anklets
Ho Jhoomke Naachoongi Ghoomke Naachoongi
Oh, Shaking I Will Dance, Spinning I Will Dance

Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Ae Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola Re Dola
Hey, I Swayed, I Moved, I Circled
Haai Dola Dil Dola Mann Dola Re Dola
Oh, My Heart Swayed, My Mind Circled

Ae Dola Re
Hey, I Swayed

The beginning of the next interlude starts with KK singing a hearty alaap that melts at the heart, you will also notice that the song also moves towards the emotional side with slightly more serious music by Darbar. This all leads well into the intention of the next antara to which Kavita initiates. Consider the context within the film to exemplify what is being sung. The sounds of violins, trumpets and ghungroos allow for this change, and once again this antara is sung much differently to the first one. Here the ladies sing with a much more serious tone and their vocal intonations match the emotions of the lyrics perfectly. We are treated Madhuri and Aishwariya showing the world why they were chosen and any two lesser dancers would not have handled this task with the appropriate measure. In almost all films we talk about character arcs, but when it comes to the soundtracks we perhaps don’t feature this. But ‘Dola Re Dola‘ is a great example of showing why it matters, especially where we have seen the songs transcend from ‘Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka‘ and ‘Bairi Piya‘ for Shreya Ghoshal and ‘Kaahe Ched Mohe‘ and ‘ Maar Dala‘ for Kavita Krishnamurty. This track brings the two of them together celebrating their heartaches and pleas from the previous two songs with zest and energy.

Taking in the context of what is happening onscreen, the track gets even more serious in the outro with substantial orchestration digging to the sensibilities of the risk the ladies have undertaken. Trumpets, percussion and chorus effectively take us through this whirl wind of swaying and dancing. Violins and KK approach the end with great drama.

One might wonder how Darbar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali had imagined the track and could not have been happier with its outcome. I was completely ecstatic when I heard ‘Dola Re Dola‘, imagining how it would be portrayed onscreen. But when I witnessed it, I had been shocked at the detailing of the dance, the sets and even the sheer amount of background dancers. At such an epic scale we were treated to the most amazing visuals and audio that we could have wished for.

Ismail Darbar is a name to be reckoned with, I mention this in the present tense as his caliber of work remains strong even after Devdas. If at any point in time, one goes back and looks at these compositions, you will realize the detailing involved in each of his songs. In Devdas particular he enriches the story to such an extent that one cannot simply ignore the songs, or even forget the meaningful layering behind them. He also captured the sound of the era so graciously, not losing the era to modern instruments or even by giving the tracks a more synthetic sound. If you just take the percussion of each of the tracks that he composed for Devdas, you will find his genius smiling back at you. These style of compositions were relegated to the golden oldies of filmdom, but he brings it forth here with oomph. The rhythm and the powerful orchestration is the essence of the album essaying love, passion, bonding , jealousy , trials and tribulations of the characters.

In 2004, the album was considered to be one of “best music in film” by Sight & Sound. In 2005, it was judged the top Hindi soundtrack of all time by voters on the BBC, and in 2014, they included the song “Maar Daala” in their listing of the “100 Greatest Bollywood Song of All Time”. In 2011, Planet Bollywood featured Devdas amongst the “100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks Ever” of Hindi cinema. “Dola Re Dola” has been listed three times as “the best Bollywood dance number of all time”: by Scroll.in in 2016, the Eastern Eye in 2018 and Time Out in 2019. HuffPost’s Tatsam Mukherjee added the album in his 2020 listing of the “Top 20 Bollywood Albums since 2000”.

With all these accolades in hand, who would in their right mind deny the cult status that Devdas shares?

The singers that feature in Devdas:

Devdas Scores 9 Stars

Rating
★★★★★★★★★

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