Thursday February 22, 2018

Music: Is it for our good now?

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By Preksha Buttan

Music is said to be a universal language. It has been there since humans gathered the ability to appreciate sound and take note of elements of nature like rivers, wind, chirping birds and so on. There is hardly any person who does not like music. Almost everyone listens to it, gets affected by it and enjoys it in his/her own style.

With hundreds of years having passed, nature around us has changed. Humans and their lifestyle have gone through a huge evolution while technology has constantly endeavored to enhance our lives. With these, bollywood music has also come a long way.

Among the things that have changed and have affected music is technology. Today, a person who barely knows anything about music can create it using latest software and applications like ‘Reason’ or ‘Ableton Live’ and publish it on social media. Music created through software has taken the place of live band members. We are gradually losing the human touch.

Instruments are going through a make-over as well. Flute has come a long way from being a thin hollow bamboo stick with holes to plastic and metal ones with more dynamism, for instance.

While purely instrumental music never fails to touch the heart, it’s the beauty of the words which give the piece a more concrete meaning. Lyrics are the soul of music. According to Wikipedia, lyrics can be defined as: They are words that make up a song, usually consisting of verses and choruses. The meaning of music often lies in its lyrics. So, whatever the lyrics are like, the song will be reflected in the same way.

picture credit: indiannewslink.co.nz
picture credit: indiannewslink.co.nz

Along with all the changes that Bollywood music has seen over the years, lyrics are the most affected part, having undergone dramatic changes. Earlier, music had a softer touch and lyrics were more meaningful. Songs used to convey a message, whether it was religious or about love or friendship. Take a song from Bollywood movie Andaz sung by Kishore Kumar: “Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana” (Life is a wonderful journey. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.) Lyrics should speak about the hidden nuances and the truths of life.

Nowadays, songs are rather empty with shallow lyrics which have no deep impression to offer other than some head-banging enjoyment to the younger generation. Consider a song of the film ‘Yariyaan’ for instance: “Aaj blue hai paani paani pani paani paani paani, aur din bhi sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny” (The water is blue and the day is sunny today).

The elderly describe songs from their time as reasonable, inspiring and conveying a sense of philosophy of life that dwelt on from love, romance, friendship to words of wisdom. Songs such as these had a certain depth and a soothing nature which brought peace, or made us think. Complaining about latest trending songs, they say, the songs impart a wrong message about love, friendship and values to the youth, owing to which, they are moving away from Indian traditions.

picture credit: movies.suleka.com
picture credit: movies.suleka.com

Observe the lines from the song Abhi toh party shuru hui hai sung by Badshah and Aastha: “Thaka thaka jo feel kare wo jaake dou RedBull gatak le”, “Aur jisko dance nahi karna woh jaake apni bhains charaye”, “Hum hain bete hum, baaki saare paani kam; Humein rok ke dikhaaye jiski bum me hai dum” . Another example is the song Jaa chudail from ‘Delly Belly’ in which a girl is described in a very crude manner. For more, one can listen to Engine ki seeti from the movie ‘Khoobsurat’, Lip to lip from ‘Katti Batti’, G phad ke from ‘Happy Ending’ or Khoon choos le from ‘Go Goa Gone’. There is an endless list of such songs composed in last five to ten years.

In our fast-paced lifestyle where every appointment is a click away, where we have no time to take it easy and actually ‘feel’ a song, the younger generation chooses to pick songs with tempos as fast as their lives, shallow in meaning, but nevertheless upbeat.

Earlier, songs on friendship went like: “Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge, todenge dam magar tera saath na chodenge” (We will not break this friendship, I may break my pride but I will not leave your side); or “Tere jaisa yaar kaha, kaha aisa yaaraana; Yaad karegee duniya teraa meraa afsaana” (There is no friend like you, there is no friendship like this; world will remember our story). Now, however, this is what a song on friendship sounds like: “Mera yaar bada swanky; Hai karda hankey pankey; But daaru di ye tenkey; Not karda danga haaye”. So crude and vulgar are these lines that providing a translation for them would be a disappointment.

“Hume tumse pyaar kitna yeh hum nahi jaante; magar jee nahi sakte tumhaare bina” (I do not how much I love you but I cannot live without you) is a line from an eternal love song sung by Kishore Kumar. Today’s songs which go like– “mein kitna tanhaa tanhaa lonely lonely tere bin, O Baawariya!” (I am so alone, alone, lonely, lonely without you)– are fast gaining popularity. Words which are meant to reflect our deepest feelings of love are currently working at destroying all such feelings.

One major reason for this deterioration in the lyrics of Bollywood music is the effect of westernization. The youth is adopting a modern style and picks up things which make them look modern. Gone are the days when a person would fall in love and spend his/her days in bed signing along with Kishore da’s songs. They are more likely to do a Honey Singh and take out the girl for “Chaar bottle vodka”.

picture credit: tumblr.com
picture credit: tumblr.com

But then, any change is not completely good or bad. It would be completely wrong to say that today’s music is totally meaningless.  There are still many pieces which are heart touching. For example, Raabta from ‘Agent Vinod’“Kehte hain: Khuda ne iss jahaan mein sabhi ke liye kisi na kisi ko hai banaaya har kisi ke liye; tera milna hai uss rab ka ishaara maano mujhko banaya tere jaise hi kisi ke liye” (It is said that, God has made someone for everyone. Meeting you is like God is sending signs to me that you are the one made for me); Bande hai hum uske from ‘Dhoom 3’“Bande hai hum uske, humpe kiska zor, ummedon ke sooraj nikle chaaron ore” (We are his men, nobody other than him has control over us. Light of hope spreads all around), Give me some sunshine from ‘3 Idiots’– “Give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance, I wanna grow up once again”. These are just a few, but the list goes on.

But the sad truth is that it is the meaningless lyrics with their pumped up repetitive beats which are the most popular today. These songs are everywhere—be it at a marriage function, birthday party, nightclubs, on autorickshaws or even during pujas in certain areas. On a daily basis, you can see many people listening to them with the bass throbbing in their headphones, humming to them while going to work, or kids dancing to them at every little function.

Different kinds of music promote different feelings in the mind of the listeners. Since things can never remain the same, music will also change with time. Changing human notions, upcoming trends, small and big occurrences in the world will all modify our taste in music. Time will bring innumerable changes. Some will be more adaptive than the others. However, music will take its own course in the world and we can only hope to preserve what was once good while keeping our eyes open for the next big trend.

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Piyush Mishra: The Man Who Is Also Known As India’s, Bob Dylan

Piyush Mishra is undoubtedly the kind of talent which only comes along once in a while

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Piyush Mishra is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Wikimedia Commons
Piyush Mishra is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Wikimedia Commons
  • Piyush Mishra is a born star and his achievements are incalculable
  • Piyush Mishra shifted to Mumbai in 2002
  • Self-destructive in nature, Piyush Mishra admits that his anger drives his creativity

The Bollywood industry has plentiful stars but not like Piyush Mishra. He was born 13 January 1963 and is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer, scriptwriter. Piyush Mishra is a born star and his achievements are incalculable. He started writing lyrics with the film, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2002 and subsequently wrote for Black Friday (2004), Aaja Nachle and Tashan. Piyush Mishra’s songs gave industry back to back hits like “Aarambh Hai Prachand” (Gulaal, 2009), “Ik Bagal” (Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2, 2012), and “Husna” (MTV Coke Studio, 2012).

Piyush Mishra’s Life

He was born in Gwalior to Pratap Kumar Sharma. However, living in the authoritative household of his aunt, developed a rebellious streak in him, which showed up in his first poem, ‘Zinda ho haan tum koi shak nahin’ (Yes you are alive; of this, there is no doubt), he wrote in class 8th.

“Zinda ho haan tum koi shak nahin, saans lete hue dekha maine bhi hain,

Haath aur pairon aur jism ko harqatey khoob dete huey dekha maine bhi hain,

Ab bhale hi yeh kartey huey honth tum dard sehtey huey sakht see lete ho,

Ab hain bhi kya kum tumhaarey liye, khoob apni samajh mein toh jee lete ho”

He shifted to Mumbai in 2002, actor, lyricist and screenwriter, and receiving acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Around this time, he began to be drawn to the theatre – it was at places like Kala Mandair and Rangshri Little Ballet Troupe in Gwalior that his talent for the medium was first identified. Piyush acted as Maniac in operation three stars (an adaptation of Dario Fo’s play Accidental Death of an Anarchist).

Also Read: 8 Facts About ‘The Queen of Indipop’: Asha Bhosle

A lost and vile drunkard from the past has today become an almost ideal family man. Climbing from a dark weak background, he emerged as an example of self-transformation. He’s gone on air and has often reiterated in the media as being “ganda” and “neech.”  Now, let the dead past bury its dead; he’s done everything to swap this image. In 2010 he attended a course of Vipassana in Igatpuri.

Piyush Mishra received acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Wikimedia Commons
Piyush Mishra received acclaim for his acting in Maqbool (2003) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). Wikimedia Commons

Here are 20 Piyush Mishra facts that will amaze you about the journey of one of the most talented actors of Bollywood:

  1. When it comes to actor’s past journey, Piyush Mishra is a born rebel, 51 odd years of Piyush Mishra’s life are defined by a mix of disturbed childhood, wasted adulthood and an undeniable genius for arts and creativity.
  2. He grew up in Gwalior and was adopted by his father’s eldest sister at an early age
  3. Growing up in an authoritarian household incited in his rebellion and creativity both. Piyush Mishra attended Carmel Convent School, Gwalior, which according to him was the ‘wrong school.’
  4. Self-destructive in nature, Piyush Mishra admits that his anger drives his creativity.
  5. Priyakansha Sharma was his real name, which he changed to Piyush Mishra, by filing an affidavit when he was in class 10.
  6. Piyush Mishra moved to Mumbai as recently as 2003, before which he spent 20 years as an unruly and alcoholic theatre artist in Delhi. This was the most poetic and destructive phase of his life, marked by 24 hours work, alcohol and women.
  7. Piyush Mishra graduated from NSD (National School of Drama in 1986) and started a theatre group “Act One” with contemporaries like director NK Sharma, Manoj  Bajpai, Gajraj Rao and Ashish Vidyarthi.
  8. After becoming graduated from National School of Drama in 1986, he was considered to play the lead role in the famous blockbuster “Maine Pyar Kiya”. Piyush never made an effort and Sooraj Barjatya signed Salman Khan.
  9. Piyush Mishra did his film debut with Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se in 1998. He played the role of a C.B.I investigating Officer.
  10. Piyush Mishra television debut came with Tele-series, Rajdhani in 1989. He also worked in Shyam Benegal’s “Bharat Ek Khoj” and appeared in a horror TV serial, “Kile Ka Rahasya”.
  11. Piyush Mishra wrote lyrics of the famous musical score “Arre Ruk Ja Re Bande” and it gave him fame as a lyricist and singer. The song from the movie “Black Friday” is perhaps the most popular Indian Ocean song till date.
  12. He also gave stinging music for Anurag Kashyap’s “Gulaal,” And, he’s never had any formal training in music. He composed the music in 8 days and won the Stardust Award for “Standout Performance by Music Director: Gulaal”.
  13. Piyush Mishra songs from the movie Gulaal such as “Ye Shahar Humara Sota Hai” and “Yara Maula” are improvisations of songs Piyush Mishra did during theatre days.
  14. Piyush Mishra wrote dialogues for “The Legend of Bhagat Singh,”; it won him the award for the best Dialogue at the Zee Cine Awards
  15. Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, and Sai Kabir are the filmmakers Piyush shares a close bond with Anurag Kashyap, he says is a “Bad Habit.”
  16. If you remember Rockstar you can’t forget Dhingra, the music company owner who reiterates “image in everything… everything is image”
  17. All his dialogues in “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom” were self-written. The most famous of which is “Saj Gaye Lute hue sajinda jaise behte hai… aur yaar gaye magar hum besharam zinda jaise behte hain.”
  18. Piyush Mishra sang one of the most memorable Coke Studio India songs, Husna.
  19. Some of the Piyush Mishra movies are Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur, The Shaukeens, Pink, Dil Se and many more.
  20. He is well known for his performance in Swadesh Deepak’s Court Martial as Suraj Singh, first with Ranjeet Kapoor (1991) and later under the direction of Arvind Gaur (1996).
    Piyush Mishra shifted to Mumbai in 2002. Wikimedia Commons
    Piyush Mishra shifted to Mumbai in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

    Also Read: The Aspects You Don’t Want To Miss About Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

    Piyush Mishra is undoubtedly the kind of talent which only comes along once in a while. It’s not an overstatement, hence, when one says that Piyush Mishra is India’s, Bob Dylan. While most of us swoon over his songs and poetry, not all of us know about the roller coaster of a life he’s had. Receiving popularity at a later stage in his life, there are several aspects of his life that his fans don’t know.