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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Pyarebhai!

It is the birthday of Pyarelal Sharma today. I don't know how old he turns today. The music of Laxmikant-Pyarelal (LP) however refuses to turn old.


I can talk a lot about LP's music but I'll reserve that for some other time. One blogpost is not going to be enough for that. What I want to share today is my own memories of Pyarebhai. 

My childhood was spent in Dadar. Many people would reckon that Dadar is where Mumbai ends. Anything after that is a suburban affair. So I lived in Dadar for a long time of my life. My apartment was near Kirti College. The peculiar fact of my place of residence was that exactly opposite Kirti College is a building called UMA. Next to UMA is a tenement that is called the AHMED MANSION. It is ironical that tenements in Mumbai are called mansions! Ahmed Mansion is round the curve and next to Ahmed Mansion is AMEYANAND - the apartment block where I lived. Now comes the peculiar twist that destiny loves to give! Snehal Bhatkar, the composer of the famous song by Mubarak Begum, 'Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein Yun Hamaari Yaad Aayegi' lived in UMA. Pyarelalji spent the initial part of his life in AHMED MANSION. And I spent my childhood in AMEYANAND! Three music directors of three different eras living on the same street! 

It is my good fortune that I met both the great music directors of the earlier eras. Snehal Bhatkarji I met soon after my college days when I interviewed him for a magazine. 

It was my good friend, Ajay Talgeri, who introduced me to Pyarebhai. Even today, on a Sunday, once in a month or two months, all the musicians who played for R. D. Burman get together in the Bhargava music shop and have lunch together. Ajay Talgeri who is a member of this lunch party was kind enough to invite me for this August gathering on one Sunday afternoon. It was one of the memorable afternoons of my life. I was among legends like Pt. Ulhas Bapat, the great keyboardist & accordion player, Kersi Lord, the multitalented Bhupinder Singh! It was a dream! 

After the lunch was over we went over to Kersiji's place in Bandra where Ajay Talgeri persuaded me to play the Marathi Abhimaangeet for Kersiji. I played the song. It was after he heard Maajhya Marathicha Bol that he put his hand in the pocket and drew out a 500 rupee note and handed it to me as a prize. I was overjoyed to receive a prize from a legendary musician who had played the accordion in Roop Tera Mastana or arranged the string section of Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho! It was then decided to pay a visit to Pyarebhai's Mount Mary residence. I was asked to come along. 

You can imagine how my heart must have been beating. Pyarelal of the Laxmikant Pyarelal fame!! And to visit his house!!! I realised this was going to be one of the most memorable days of my life! 

When we went to Pyarebhai's house we were greeted warmly by him and his charming wife. Kersiji and Ajay introduced me to him and asked me to play the Marayhi Abhimaangeet for him. Pyarebhai, most graciously gave his consent and listened to the song with great concentration. After the song was over he patted my back and said - "गाना बड़ा करना तो ख़ैर अलग बात है, लेकिन कमाल की बात ये है कि आपने धुन बड़ी अच्छी बनाई!" "(It is one thing to make a big song, but what is amazing is that you have made a very good tune.")
Those who know him well shall know what a compliment that is! 
His wife very warmly spoke to me in Marathi and said that henceforth she would talk to me only in Marathi!

I told Pyarebhai about how I lived near Kirti College and he was very excited to learn that. 
"I still visit my old neighbours there and next time I go there I'll visit your parents too!" That was the simplicity of the man. 

Three to four months later Pyarebhai had come to the sets of the Marathi SAREGAMAPA as a judge. I got a call from a producer friend saying that Rahul Saxena was singing one of my compositions in the episode in the presence of Pyarebhai and would I like to come over and witness the episode. I went gladly. I am giving the relevant clip below.




As I said in the episode of SAREGAMAPA Laxmikant-Pyarelal's music changed with the times but times also changed with LP's music.  From Hasta Hua Noorani Chehra to Choli Ke Peechhe Kya Hai LP's music saw everything! 

On his birthday, I wish Pyarebhai good health and great happiness - happiness multiplied by the happiness his millions of songs has given to billions of his fans! 

© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Two Obituaries.


21st August 2013 was a bleak day for Maharashtra. Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, crusader against superstition was assassinated by unknown assailants near the Omkareshwar temple in Pune. And Jyotirbhaskar Jayantrao Salgaonkar breathed his last at the Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai. The quirk of destiny (for loss of a better word) and the irony of the events cannot be lost on anybody.

That Dr. Dabholkar and Shri Salgaonkar should die on the same day did not seem an irony enough so fate played a game even with locations of their deaths. Dr. Dabholkar, a man of medicine and an atheist was gunned down, reported the journalists, near the Omkareshwar temple; while Jyotirbhaskar left for heavenly abode in one of the most technologically up to date hospitals of Mumbai. The place of their deaths will forever be noted in history.



For all we know these may be random events and it is our compulsion that we envisage a brain or a doer behind every single event. But dimaagh hai ki maanta nahin! We rationalise every event, every single detail of the event. I say even attributing a series of events to destiny is rationalising.
Jyotirbhaskar Jayantrao Salgaonkar
Of the two people, I was acquainted with Jayantrao. My father and he served as trustees on the Siddhivinayak temple. My father is an eminent tax advocate and that was the reason why he was on board as a trustee. He was and continues to be a sort of an atheist. I met Jayantrao a number of times, mostly at cultural programmes. He was a good orator and well read man, in every way a scholar. I remember that I had invited him for the inaugural concert of Jhenduchi Phule, in which I had set to music Acharya Atre's parodies and satires.

I, like my father, being sort of an atheist have never indulged in rituals of my own accord. It so happened that the pitru-paksha had just started. Apparently, it is a belief that you ought not to buy new things or start new projects during this fortnight. It is considered to be a fortnight of mourning for ancestors. I was blissfully of unaware of all this and in his speech Jayantrao mentioned that he was surprised that I had inaugurated the programme in the pitru-paksha. He said that normally people don't embark on new ventures during this time. Then he congratulated me on not being superstitious about it and going ahead with the concert. He dismissed all apprehensions of any ill effects of starting new ventures in the pitru-paksha! And the reason he agreed to come, he said, was to quell this superstition!

Jayantrao was, more than anything else, a successful Marathi entrepreneur. I don't really know what to make of him as an astrologer as I never looked at him for any predictions. But Kalnirnay as a calmanac and as a magazine was Jayantrao's great contribution to the Indian ethos. He also sponsored a number of cultural events and encouraged the arts. 
Dr. Narendra Dabholkar
On the other hand I had no personal acquaintance with Dr. Narendra Dabholkar but I was and am in complete sympathy & support of the work he was doing. He was the voice of reason in a society desperate to stay unreasonable. I remember Dr. Dabholkar's appearance in Khupte Tithe Gupte. He invoked stories of Gadge Maharaj to prove his point. He was an articulate speaker and although passionate about his thought, his voice was never shrill. In fact, when he spoke, he reminded me a lot of Dr. Ashok Ranade. His speech was clear, studious, laced with wit and dipped in wisdom. Even in Khupte Tithe Gupte he expressed his displeasure with the Vilasrao Deshmukh government for stalling the Anti-Superstition & Black Magic Bill. He also expressed surprise that it was the members of the ruling party who actually stalled the bill. But not once did his voice betray a hint of anger or ill temper. After all his voice was the voice of reason in the cacaphony of unreasonable arguments. He told tales of Gadge Maharaj and quoted Tukaram verbatim without as much as a chit of paper in his hand. Dr. Dabholkar, I would say, came across as a very spiritual person. And this is not ironical. Spirituality has little to do with religion and absolutely nothing to do with superstition. 

What disturbs me however was that Dr. Narendra Dabholkar's death was not meant to be. His life was interrupted in the most gruesome and inhuman manner. As Hercule Poirot says in almost all his novels - "I don't approve of murder." And Dr. Dabholkar's murder was not just deeply disturbing, it was alarming. 

George Bernard Shaw said, "Assassination is an extreme form of censorship." I have a gnawing feeling that his murder was not the result of fanaticism; it was the result of a corrupt economic and political order. After all superstition, in any faith, is lucrative business. From the people who travel with naked feet to the Siddhivinayak temple to the Novena at the Mahim church to the public display of spiritual healing there is more money involved than spirituality or even religion. 

Aristotle said that democracy is the corrupt form of polity. The degeneration of a democracy is in a public dictatorship - dictatorship of the people, by the people, against the people. Dr. Dabholkar's assassination proves that. We live in times that has an excess of faith and a shortage of belief - not to mention an absolute dearth of tolerance. There is nobody more relevant than Voltaire today, who said - "I don't agree with what you say but I shall defend to death, your right of saying so."

And so while I feel saddened by Jayantrao Salgaonkar's death as I knew him as an acquaintance, it is Dr. Dabholkar's death that has moved me and changed something within me. It has been sort of a spiritual awakening. That their deaths came together reminded me that in their lifetimes they existed together and could grow together in opposite directions. Both, in their own ways, contributed to the society. Even today the Dabholkars and the Salgaonkars of our society continue to coexist. And a sane, tolerant society is one where they shall continue to coexist. 


© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2013
Note: The photos have been sourced from the internet. There is no intention to infringe the copyright of the copyright holders. Jayant Salgaonkar's photo has been sourced from wikipedia. Dr. Dabholkar's photo has been sourced from firstpost.com

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dayaghana Re... A Prayer from PITRUROON

As I type this post I am sitting in Susmit's Limaye's music room in Goregaon. We are in the middle of the 3rd reel of composing the background score for PitruRoon, a movie being directed by Nitish Bharadwaj. Nitish is directing his first movie and his enthusiasm is infectious. We have taken a ten minute break for tea. Susmit and Nitish are collaborating on the tea making while I write this post.

The background score will soon be over and the film will go into the final stages of post production. Although composing and recording the background score is exciting, the part I enjoy most is doing is the songs.

And I absolutely cherished the experience of composing and recording the songs of PitruRoon, which is based on a story by Sudha Moorthy.


The first song that I composed for the film was DAYAGHANA RE... a prayer. Ranga Godbole, also the producer of the movie is a prolific lyric writer. He penned the song in a little above 10 minutes, so the ball was in my court. For this song, I did what I usually never do. I composed two tunes for the same lyrics. Nitish chose this one! I myself was in favour of this tune. The words Dayaghana Re were like a calling. The prayer was different from most other prayers because it was not a prayer that asked or demanded but thanked in gratitude.

There was a lot of discussion on who the singer should be and I came up with the name of Roopkumar Rathod, whose fan I have always been. I believed that his voice would suit Sachin Khedekar on whom the song was to be picturised. Also Roopji's voice had the magnanimity and contentment. I always find his rendition very spiritual even in a romantic song.

In the arrangement too there were a lot of discussions with Susmit Limaye who arranged the song. The interlude before the first verse uses a string & horn arrangement to denote the vast landscape of the countryside. We also used the bamboo flute, played by Varad Kathapurkar to underline the rustic Indianness of the song. The percussion is altogether acoustic (played by Vijay Shivalkar & Mandar Gogate) which accounts for the earthy sound. We have used as many acoustic instruments in the song as possible.

The song released on Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, last week and has been getting good reviews. Next week I shall write about the other song... Man Moharale sung by Hamsika Iyer and Hrishikesh Ranade. Till then sing along with Dayaghana Re... A prayer of gratitude and contentment!


© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Clean Sweep

From L to R: Kalyani Salunke, Aanandi Joshi, Jaydeep Bagwadkar, Madhura Kumbhar, Kaushal S. Inamdar, Kittu Myakal

Ajintha made a clean sweep at the first Radio Mirchi Music Awards - Marathi held in Mehboob Studios, Bandra, Mumbai winning 8 awards. The domination was unmistakable.

I am happy... very happy. But to know why I am so happy one has to recognise the significance of these awards. Radio Mirchi is a very popular radio station across India and they already have a property by the same name (Radio Mirchi Music Awards) in Hindi. And now they have held, for the first time, awards for music in Marathi. This increases the chances of Marathi music being played - especially NEW Marathi music being played across their stations in Maharashtra where Hindi music has held its sway. This is comforting news for music composers and musicians working in Marathi. If, in the third phase of the Prasar Bharati FM spectrum auction, Mumbai manages to get more stations, music lovers would like to hear some good Marathi music. And for the build up to the auction, I feel that these awards can go a long way. So from the bottom of my heart I thank the Radio Mirchi team - Tapas Sen, Ninad Sonawane, Indira Rangarajan, RJ Smita, RJ Aditi, RJ Rahul, RJ Prackriti and all the others who made it into a fantastic and memorable event.

For me Ajintha has always been very special. I believe that even individual awards are the result of chemistry between people. And so with great happiness I credit my entire team with these awards -


Music Director: Kaushal S. Inamdar
Associate Music Director: Aditya V. Oke.

Assistant: Mandar Gogate

Lyrics: Na Dho Mahanor,

Music Arrangements: Aditya V. Oke, Bhavesh Bhatt, Mithilesh Patankar, Vinayak Netke.

Associate Strings Arrangements: Neville Franco.

Background Score: Bhavesh Bhatt, Kaushal S Inamdar, Aditya V. Oke.

Rhythm: Deepak Borkar, Anil Karanjavkar, Vinayak Netke, Prabha Mosamkar, Krishna Musale,

Melody: 

Vibraphone / Spanish and 12 String Guitars: Dnynaesh Deo.
Bass / Spanish Guitar: Manish kulkarni / Sanjay Mahadik.
Santoor: Dhananjay Daithankar
Flute: Varad Kathapurkar.
Violin/ Swaralin: Mahesh Khanolkar, Shruti Bhave,
Ghungaroo Tarang: Deepak Borkar
With my favourite singer - Hamsika Iyer
Clarinet: Manchekar,
Shehanai: Yogesh More
Sarod: Sarang Kulkarni,
Strings Sections: Neville Franco, Puran Singh, Prakash Varma, Shyam Jawda, Rizwan Shaikh,
Viola: Abhijit Mazumdar, Sandeep Thakur,
Cello: Benny Gracious

Singers: Suresh Wadkar, Ravindra Sathe, Avdhoot Gupte, Swanand Kirkire, Milind Ingale, Kalyani Salunkhe, Urmila Dhangar, Kaushal Inamdar, Hamsika Iyer, Jaydeep Bagwadkar, Aanandi Joshi, Saee Tembhekar, Madhura Kumbhar, Priyanka Barve, Amruta Subhash, Yogita Godbole, Hrishikesh Ranade,
Tejaswini Kelkar, Nehha Rajpal, Savani Ravindra, Pt. Satyasheel deshpande.

Voice in Chimb Zali: Vinay Apte

Chorus: Umesh Joshi, Datta Mistry, Nilesh Mulye, Ketan Godbole, Vijay, Ganesh, Mangesh Chavan, Aditi Prabhudesai, Pragati Joshi, Rashmi Sule, Aarohi Mhatre, Aanandi Joshi, Kshiti Godse, Rasika Dhabadgaonkar, Madhura Kumbhar.

Recording Engineers: Kittu Myakal (ICPPL Studios), Aditya V. Oke (Audioarts), Satyajeet Ranade (Pancham Studios), Avadhoot Wadkar (Ajivasan Studios)
Mixing Engineer: Kittu Myakal (ICPPL Studios).
Assistants: Shailesh Sakpal (ICPPL Studios), Ganesh Pokle (Audioarts)

Mastered at: YRF Studios by Dipesh Sharma.


Special thanks to Vijay Dayal of Yashraj Studios.

The awards that Ajintha received were:

Best Recording & Mixing :  Kittu Myakal (Chaitacha Rang Sang)
Best Lyrics : N. D. Mahanor (Dolyanna Dasale)
Best Male Playback Singer : Suresh Wadkar (Shabdaat Gothale Dukkha)
Best Female Playback Singer : Hamsika Iyer (Mann Chimb Paavasaali)
Best Music Composer : Kaushal S. Inamdar (Mann Chimb Paavasaali)
Album of the Year Listeners' Choice : Ajintha
Album of the Year Jury Award : Ajintha
Song of the Year : Mann Chimb Paavasaali (Ajintha)

For those who have not yet listened to the Ajintha songs, here is the link. Feel free to share it with your friends.


© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2012

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Nominations Galore!

18 nominations for Radio Mirchi Marathi Music Awards for AJINTHA! 6 music related nominations in Zee Gaurav! Phew! I really hadn't expected that. Prior to this I had received only one nomination and only one competitive award!

Frankly speaking, I haven't had much of a love affair with awards. Awards have always been elusive to me, competitive ones in particular. I had sincerely thought that BALGANDHARVA would change all that. But it didn't. I didn't receive a single nomination for BALGANDHARVA in Zee Gaurav, MaTa Sanman and the State Awards. I did receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the music of BALGANDHARVA which balanced things in a manner of speaking. The interesting thing about Balgandharva was that the song that won all the awards for Anand Gandharva (Anand Bhate) was Chinmaya Sakal Hridaya. Now I had composed this song afresh for the film, but the challenge was to compose it as if it had been composed in Balgandharva's times! The result was that while the song won all awards for the singer, I didn't receive a single nomination because every time the jury would think that this was truly a Balgandharva song! Interestingly, it was for this very song that Anand Bhate went on to win the National Award! It was a touching moment for me when Anand, while receiving the award in Rashtrapati Bhavan sang out the lines from this song clearly mentioning that the song had been composed by me. This was to me, nothing less than an award.

Now with nominations raining for Ajintha, I am a little nervous once again. In the long run, awards do not really count, but at that moment of time, they mean a lot of things. An award for AJINTHA means that the songs will get airtime on radio, which is more precious than an award at this point of time, especially for a Marathi song, which still gets a step-motherly treatment from most of the private radio stations. There are people in these Radio stations who have been working hard for Marathi music to be played on their shows and it is to their credit that stations like BIG FM and Radio Mirchi have now started their own awards for Marathi music, which I sincerely believe is better music than what Bollywood is churning out. So till the awards are declared, I shall go through my mandatory nervousness while you enjoy a song from AJINTHA.




© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2013

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Sick Society

There has been great angst against the molestation in Delhi Bus and rightly so. In a way, this incident is the tip of the iceberg. I am personally of the opinion that this is a crime not only against women but against humankind. And women and children are exploited on multiple levels in our society. This exploitation is sexual, physical, mental and even moral. The exploitation is not done only by men. The whole society is a part of it - men and women. As an artist and as a privileged human being, I feel responsible for these happenings in the very society which I am a part of. I make songs, not only for entertainment but for making this society a better place.

A few years ago I wrote and composed this song for a film called It's Breaking News. This song is dedicated to victims - victims of our society. Victims of rape, marital rape, child abuse, dowry deaths, one-sided love (if it can be called that), domestic violence, mental and sexual harassment at workplace - and finally us - we have been the victims of our own negligence.

The song has been sung by Hamsika Iyer.


हक़ीक़त ने ऐसा पकडा गिरेबाँ
और पड गईं सिलवटें ख़्वाब पर
ज़ुबाँ सिल गई है, बदन छिल गया है
और रूह रोती रही रातभर

दिन की रातें, रातों के दिन
जुग जुग लागे पल पल छिन छिन
मरते यहाँ हैं अरमाँ कमसिन
अंधेरों से गहरा नाता जुड़ा है
लेकिन उजालों से लगता है डर

एक ही छब और लाखों दरपण
ना कोई पर्दा, ना कोई चिलमन
दिल सेहरा और आँखें सावन
आँखों की बातें कोई न समझे
और हाथों की दुआ बेअसर


© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dees Tekala Dharela - My First Movie Song

Sharing with you my first ever film song. The film - KRISHNAKATHCHI MEERA -  never made it to the theatres but this song won the BEST PLAYBACK SINGERS for both the singers - Ajit Ankush Parab and Yogita Pathak. The song has some grand memories for me. The year was 2000.

Gajendra Ahire, director of the movie was also the lyricist of the film wrote all sixsongs of the film in a single day and I composed all six songs in a single day too! While I composed one song, Gajendra used to run to the elavator (to get some privacy!) and write the first line of the next song in the lift of my building! At 11 in the morning we had no song with us. By 8 o'clock the same day, we were ready with 6 songs!

The recording process was also great fun! We were all excited because it was our first movie! Kamlesh Bhadkamkar's first arrangement for a film and Ajit Parab and Yogita Pathak's first stint as playback singers. Not to mention my debut as a music composer! Avdhoot Wadkar of V2 Studio was not just a sound engineer, but a friend who was involved in the whole process like it was his own offspring.

To work with colleagues is work. To work with friends is fun!

The entire film was made in a budget of Rs. 10 Lakhs! So you can imagine what a budget we were working on. We had to create a world in NO budget! Even a shoestring budget would have been considered a luxury! Not only did I spend the entire amount on the production of songs, I also spent money out of my own pocket! But then it was the first film and love, innocence and excitement were major ingredients of the song.

The situation of the song is understood from the lyrics. The girl wants to go home and the boy wants her to wait. A classic romantic situation immortalised by Jaidev and Sahir in Abhi Na Jao Chhodkar!

Looking back at the song after 12 years, I would most certainly love to redo it in better circumstances. This song is perhaps raw and not so fine, but I love listening to it because it has got a soul! So enjoy the song.



© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2012