Lyrics from the heart – Dil se!!!

As Gulzar, A R Rahman and Mani Ratnam come together again for Raavan, I thought it was time to revisit one of my favorite albums from the trio, and to focus on the sublime lyrics by Gulzar Saab. So here for you is my translation of the lyrics of Dil se!

CHAIYYA CHAIYYA (the train song – Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi)
Amar meets a girl at the train station and is instantly attracted to her but she leaves on another train….

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The story of a warrior caught in a time warp – Veer!

A period romance with no history to follow or flout, Veer works in parts at a surprisingly emotional level. The Pindaris, let by Dadda Mithun Chakraborty, are betrayed by the Raja of Madhavgarh (played by Jackie Shroff), who is hand in glove with the British and traps and kills many of them! Eternal enmity is sworn as Mithun manages to hack off the Raja’s hand. Cut to two sons being born to Mithun and growing up to be Salman and Sohail. Why oh why does Sohail have to be the spoiler in every Salman film? He is even less funny than Uday Chopra and should be selling cars, or even worse, car insurance. The boys are rowdies and in a Pindari raid on a train Veer, Salman, meets the princess of Madhavgarh, Zarine Khan, and their eyes meet. Need we say more? A romance is about to brew.
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A tale of doppelgangers and dope – Kaminey!

Vishal Bharadwaj turns from the Bard to an uber cool tale of drugs, violence, and mistaken identities, that in the end also tackles redemption through the merging of Yin and Yang personalities into one whole. The identical twins Charlie (the lisp) and Guddu (the stutter) are as dissimilar as chalk and cheese and have not seen each other for years. Yet they also have a common quality – thus Charlie has a focus in life and is racing towards it ahead of a pack of horses, and with blinkers on, while Guddu has his life chalked out as a straight line with landmark events noted on it – Shaadi in 2014! Charlie fixes horse races, while Guddu does AIDS benefit street dances. And their stories do not intersect until Charlie stumbles upon a guitar that is a vehicle for much more than music, is being transported by some corrupt narcs, and he decides to take that detour that will get him to his life goal via a forter fortcut! At the same time Guddu is marrying Sweety, the sister of AAMCHI Mumbai politician Bhau Bhope, the catch being that Guddu is a Sharma from Barabanki and could spell doom to Bhau’s political agenda and career. The narcs and Bhope are bound to each find the wrong man – it is a story about dopplegangers after all. The rest is filled with chaos, violence, much stuttering, and lisping, and the confrontation between Ram aur Shyam.

Vishal Bharadwaj took the story idea from a Kampala man Cajetan Boy, and spun it into a high octane screenplay that grabs you by the throat and does not let go until the final moments of mayhem segue into some serenity. The feel is very Tarantino-esque, but the identical twins twist is very Indian. The drugs in a guitar and heist theme is very Western, but there is an almost Deewar like (replace Maa with Paa) brother-against-brother true blue Indian backdrop. This is a clear attempt to Indianize a crime noir. It is filled with clever writing that never forces the humor but yet retains a humorous streak throughout – be it Guddu told by the narcs to sing out his story as his stuttering is taking too long, or rejoinder by Tashi to Bhope that he too has Topey (as he shows off his gun)! There are quirky characters galore, the elder Bengali brother who is not offended at being called senile by his sibling, Tashi with the gold tooth who calls his African friends “blackies” (no political correctness here!), Sweety who pretends to have a stutter so she can break through the emotional barriers the stuttering Guddu has erected, Bhope – the glorious Bhope! There is violence and gore but there are also many contemplative and enigmatic moments tucked in amongst all that. Charlie always sees himself with blinkers racing towards his goal, and that is why he makes unethical choices; Guddu sees the father lying dead with the shroud off his face when he is faced with any traumatic situation; there are two large uncut diamonds that are at the heart of the deal going down – just like Guddu and Charlie who are both diamonds in the rough!

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