Kashyap and the music in his films

by Noopur Bora | 1 comments | 12,011 views | Add comment

Anurag Kashyap – one may call him the flag bearer of independent cinema in India. He already is a superstar for all the aspiring directors in the country.

The cheer he garners for his blink-n-miss roles in his own films confirms this fact. But the "aarambh" (beginning) was never "prachand" (magnanimous) for him. Paanch was rejected by the censor board. Black Friday was delayed because of the controversial subject. No Smoking was murdered by the critics. His angry blogs kept him alive in that period. But now with Dev.D and Gulaal he has found his voice.

Kashyap's films boast of very interesting subjects, his style of shooting is very unique and unseen on Indian screens, and the dialogues are strong and realistic. So why specifically talk about the music in his films? Because the music in his films always is a part of the narrative. The way they merge with the storyline creates a great audio-visual experience. Though all the songs are situational and take a scene forward, they sound great even when they are heard individually. Along with this, each film has different kind of music. Right from Paanch he has experimented with different genres and has come up with interesting pieces. Not to mention that, he has worked with the who's who of the Indian music world to the newbies. From Gulzaar to Vishal Bharadwaj to Piyush Mishra to Amit Trivedi he has had support from one talent house after another. Chartbusters or not, but his films boast of unique music.


Paanch (2003)
Music: Vishal Bharadwaj
Lyrics: Abbas Tyrewala

Main Khuda
Singer: Kay Kay

This thriller revolved around a rock band. Vishal Bharadwaj gave one of the best Hindi rock songs of that time, rendered impeccably by Kay Kay. It's sad that very few people might have heard this song. These lines by Abbas Tyrewala perfectly reflect the youthful recklessness of the characters in the film.

Sar jhooka Khuda hoon main
Aasmaan pe khada hoon main
Main khuda, hoon khuda

(Bow, I'm the Lord
I stand above you all
I'm the Lord, the Lord)

Abbas Tyrewala and Anurag Kashyap never worked together again after this movie. Kashyap believes that Abbas has given himself up to the mainstream. That is why Ranvir Shorey's character (who accepts defeat to the powerful society) was named Abbas Tyrewala by Kashyap in the movie No Smoking.

The other notable songs in the movie are Tamas and Yeh Kaisa hai Shehar. Hope that Anurag can actually pull off the task of releasing this movie.

Black Friday
Music: Indian Ocean
Lyrics: Piyush Mishra

Singer: Rahul Ram

It is hard for me to write about something you like so much. With brilliant lyrics by Piyush Mishra to the tunes of Indian Ocean, this song creates such a strong impact that it leaves the mind blissfully blank when it's played during the end credits of the movie.

Arre ruk ja re bandeh, arre tham ja re bandeh
Ki kudrat has padegi ho
Arre neendein hai jakhmi
Arre sapne hai bhooke
Ki karvat phat padegi ho

(Wait, don't fight in name of god…
the creator will laugh at you..
Sleep is painful and
dreams are unfulfilled…)

A powerful song that testifies Anurag's great understanding of music. Other songs in the movie are mostly instrumentals played as background.

No Smoking
Music: Vishal Bharadwaj
Lyrics: Gulzaar

Ash Tray
Singer: Deva Sen Gupta

Bahut se aadhe bujhe huye din pade hai isme
Bahut si adhi jali huyi ratein gir padi hai
Yeh ash tray bharti jaa rahi hai

(Quite a few half-dead days lie here
Quite a few half-burnt nights have fallen here
These are now occupying this ash tray (of life) )

If you haven't heard it, you have missed out on one of the best Hindi trance songs ever. A song about days and nights lost, this song surely will make one feel blue. Haunting vocals by Deva Sen Gupta and pensive lyrics by Gulzaar makes you listen to this song in a loop. The more you listen to it the more it grows on to you. One wonders, "Where are you Deva Sen Gupta?" Brilliant!

Kash Laga
Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Daler Mehndi, Vishal Bharadwaj

The list of the singers itself will make one expect this to be a great song. And great song it is. Wonderful lyrics and superb rendition. Vishal Bharadwaj at his innovative best.

Yeh jahaan ek faani hai
Bulbula hai paani hai
Bulbulon pe rukna kya?
Paaniyon pe behta jaa

(This life is a series of bubbles...
Why let each bubbles bother you?
Flow with the water they form)

Phoonk De
Singer: Sukhwinder Singh

The female version of the song, picturised on Bipasha Basu, was heavily used for promotional purposes. But the male version sung by Sukhwinder Singh is the one which plays in the movie. Fantastic number. Not to mention, great lyrics and vocals.

Music: Amit Trivedi
Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya

Eighteen Songs. All chartbusters. Amit Trivedi became an overnight star after the music was out. Though his work in Aamir was highly appreciated by those who heard it, yet the album went unnoticed. With Dev D Amit Trivedi had actually arrived. Be it Punjabi bhangra numbers, rajasthani folk, fusion, electonica or rock music, he nailed everything. He composed a brass band song and made it a national break-up anthem. Need I say more? Anurag calls Amit Trivedi as the poor man's A.R.Rahman.

Listen to Nayan Tarse, Emotional Atyachar (both versions), Pardesi Ek Hulchul Si, Aankh Micholi, Duniya… I am tired. Listen to all the songs. They rock.

Music: Piyush Mishra
Lyrics: Piyush Mishra

Aarambh Singers: Rahul Ram, Piyush Mishra Aarambh hai prachand Bole mastakon ke jhund Aaj jung ki ghadi ki tum guhaar do Aan baan shaan Yaki jaan ka ho daan Aaj ek dhanush ke baan par utaar do (the beginning is enormous The number in the mob are evidence It is war-time Honor or respect Or a sacrifice of life It's time to draw all of it on an arrow) Piyush Mishra and Kashyap unite together after Black Friday. Gulaal is lyrically one of the most powerful albums. Each song has powerful lyrics. All credit to Piyush Mishra. Aarambh urges one to fight. It calls for revolution. The beats of the song are similar to the revolutionary songs we sung in school. Other songs in the album like Yaara Maula and Shehar have to be heard for their incredible lyrics. A fantastic album which proves that Anurag really knows his music.

This article is by guest author Noopur Bora.

Comments (1)

Click here for new comment

Shubham Gupta:

Hi Noopur,

Anurag Kashyap has a different vision towards cinema and the music in his films represents the desi swag of grassroots.

I love his movie thank you for the post.

Leave a new comment