Friday, January 15, 2010

The making of Ishqiya's Dil To Bachcha Hai by the numbers

In this age of Youtube and what not - try as I will, its hard to listen to a song before watching its video first.

Take Ke$ha's Tik Tok (the first US Billboard #1 of the decade) for instance. Long after the insanely persistent tune left my head, the image of a trashed out party chhokri who gargled with Jack was so seared in my brain that it was hard not to break out into the song whenever I felt boredom (or the police) approaching. This took a while to get rid of. (I did however add the vaguely inappropriate term 'Blow my speakers up' from the song to my vocabulary.)

In a similar vein, I ended up discovering Ishqiya's flagship song Dil to Bachcha Hai via its 'making of' video. And this messed up my perspective completely.

It's easy to mistake this song as a simple melody. Its the production more than the melody that is simple. Composer Vishal Bhardwaj uses Hitesh Sonik and Clinton Cerejo as his producers and together they are able to use instruments sparingly without making the song sound sparse.

There are two things that give Dil to Bachcha Hai its lilting cuteness: (1) a waltz rhythm, minimal percussion and a peti and guitar as primary instruments that don't overrun each other (2) delicate vocals by Rahet Fateh Ali Khan.

I review music a lot on the Drift so I decided to do something different. I watched the 'Making of...' video instead and made some important notes.

Number of times someone says 'bachcha': 13

Number of times Naseer explains the role of a song in a film: 1

Number of times Naseer clears his throat while doing that: 2

Number of come hither looks thrown by Vidya Balan: 8

Number of dopey looks thrown by Naseer: 1

Number of times Naseer's age in the film is referred to: 3

Number of references to lyricist Gulzar's age: 1

Amount of enthu Naseer has for the interview = Amount of enthu KJo has for RGV

The different ages that love reduces you to a bachcha according to Vidya Balan: 15, 50 and 80

Times composer Vishal instructs singer Rahat on how to pronounce 'Safed': 1

How Rahat pronounces 'Safed': Soofayd

Number of cheeky looks thrown by Rahet at Vishal immediately after doing this: 1

Number of people who think this is Vishal Bhardwaj's best work: 2

Number of shots of Drift favorite Hitesh Sonik: 4

Number of stills of Gulzar shown in montage: 6

Number of stills in which Gulzar's mouth is agape: 3

Number of times third lead Arshad Warsi shows up: 0

You can listen to the songs of Ishqiya on Saavn here. Be sure to catch Rekha Bhardwaj's super nasheeli jazz ghazal Ab Mujhe Koi.


Anonymous said...

Good counting, looks like you are good at math.
As for guitar, I thought I heard more of violin than guitar, but that could be just my untrained ears. And, also the vocals being drowned, now that I have heard the song for 20th time,in the first chorus of dil tu bachcha hai the drums are too load to drown the voice of Rahet Fateh ali.
Sliced either way, its a great song, done right and its hard not to 'blow my speakers out' on this one.

Pitu said...

Aww how cute is Vishal Bharadwaj? :)

Mind Rush said...

Can anyone remember LBD??? That would be Life Before Drift.
Thanks for introducing us to this awesome music! Loved the lyrics! Loved the interviews!Point to be noted---Naseer has completely "soofayed" hair so it was wierd to see him dark haired here.

Anonymous said...

ahhhh LBD, was quite, not rush to get back to the blog each day and then follow up on the listening part. Movies used to come and go, kept up with the ones that stayed too long on TV Asia. Now everything is what they would call "upto date" or as said the rush of listening.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed this :)

Speaking of how everything is up to date: Mahatma Gandhi is now on twitter.

Deep said...

i so hope ishqiya doesnt turn out to be one of those movies that looks good in the previews and sucks on screen. vishal b your reputation is at stake!!!

i agree with pitu, vishal is a cutie. he reminds me of my teddy bear yudhistir

Anonymous said...

mar jaya ga paar twitter ko nahi jana daga

Unknown said...

Mind Rush, thanks for the LDB comment. :)

deep, I love your teddy's name. We need to know more about him. Maybe he can stop by and comment one of these days. Does he never lie?

Drift Memsaab said...

Naseerbahi is a treat in any medium. Waiting for this release eagerly! I was very interested to note that in a previous post you compared Vidya B to Shabana Azmi--and now the former is even on screen with Naseer!

ak said...

i just came back from a mini road trip wherein i compared ishqiya and omkara music. i think vishal gave better tunes for omkara, but gulzar gave a slight edge to ishqiya. love rfak's voice (been listening a lot to his pakistani pop stuff) - am amazed that such a divine voice has continued after nusrat.

great blog, aspi!

Kanan said...

Aspi, I really like this music a lot, and it's quite catchy! But I'm sorry to say some parts of the lyrics suck like from feeling playful "dil baccha" to right away "dil kameena". C'mon!

Amrita said...

I've been listening to this song on a constant loop for about a week now and I'm still madly in love with it. And the video is completely, absolutely, thoroughly different from what I have going on in my brain.

Damn, I love VB.

Unknown said...

ak, seriously we should all be paying more attention to Rahat than that warbler - you know who I'm talking about :)

Kanan, I get the feeling Gulzar is in a different league because he doesn't give a whit about what people think. He thinks in terms of the character and pretty much writes out his songs in their voice. So we have to see Naseer's character in Ishqiya and see if Gulzar hit a home run or not.

Amrita, the promo vid? The one in which Vidya Balan makes merry with both male leads? :)

anamika said...
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Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

the songs are great but I think us expecting anything of the movie maybe too much. It is just a usual hindi movie, older guy first and then finds younger guy more compatible, after all its about love it can happen and then of course change its mind.

Unknown said...

My expectations of a Bollywood film are low and it must be said the ones that try to be original are the ones that disappoint me the most. But Anon, I'm hoping you will be wrong here.

memsaab said...

This should be a regular feature Aspi :) Hilarious!

I would marry Vishal B. and have his children.

Amrita said...

@ Aspi - yup, but that fit in much better with the movie. I heard it before I saw the promo and it vaguely reminded me of that song from Ocean's 12:

Anyway, I've been dreaming Mediterranean with this one. And it works very well for me.

Unknown said...

memsaab, then we'd have kids who could compose great 50s and 60s music.

Amrita, hmmm - that is worth a thought.