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Posted on 15.02.2006 at 02:36
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Har Saans (Black Mamba Remix) by Strings from Zinda OST

Eka Lavya has already mentioned the Pakistani group Strings and their outstanding composition for Zinda. The soundtrack is about the only thing good about the movie. The director Sanjay Gupta claims its a tribute to 'every Korean film he has seen' but as Sukanya Verma, reviewing it in Rediff points out, it means that he has only seen Oldboy. Someone told the director to make a dark film and he seems to have taken it literally; the murky result looks like it has been shot on a cellphone camera. 
I normally would not have gone to see it, but a depressed friend wanted something to cheer her up. I wasn't sure Zinda was the 'cheering-up' sort of film, being aware of its origins, but the friend said she was a big fan of Sanjay Dutt. By the end, the poor girl was shell-shocked with all the beheadings, teeth-being-hammered-ings, drilling holes into eyes etc.
Anyway, I digress.
As people who have heard it know, Yeh hai meri Kahani is the standout track. However, I also love Har Saans - which is perhaps somewhat underrated compared to its more famous cousin.
I had gmailed the song to A. asking her to translate the lyrics. I could sense what the song meant but my Urdu is not good enough to understand it completely.
A. did a great job, and here are the lyrics. Thanks A!

Har Saans - Every Breath

Har saans sulajh rahi thi,
uljhaane ko tum aa gaye ....
Jo aag bhuj rahi thi,
bhadkaane ko tum aa gaye ...

As each breath was getting easier,
You came to tangle it again
The flame that was getting extinguished,
You came to fan it again.

Har kadam har halaa,
hai kathin raasta,
Jeene ka hauslaa,
Dard ka silsilaa,
Saanse aazaab hain,
Jeena dushwaar hai,
Ehle-dil ke liye,
Maut hi pyaar hai.....
Main phir bhi jee raha hun,
Aazmaane tum aa gaye,
Main kab ka kho chuka hun,
Bataane tum aa gaye.....

Every step
the path is hard
the strength to live,
the dimension of pain
breathing is tormented
living is difficult
for the heart.
Death itself is love
and yet I am still living
but you came to test me
I am long since lost
you came to tell me 

Koi kehta yahaan,
Zindagi saj gayi,
Koi kehta wahaan,
Zindagi mit gayi,
Ek tamanna yahaan,
Ek tamanna wahaan,
Ek bharosa yahaan,
Aur nafrat wahaan
Har zakhm khil raha tha,
Dil jalaane tum aa gaye
Raste pe main chal pada tha,
Behkaane tum aa gaye ...

Some say life has become lovelier here
some say life has been lost there
a wish here
a wish there
trust here
hatred there
every wound was flowering
you came to burn the heart
I had set out on my way
you came to lead me astray....

Great stuff. 
I love the escalating tempo, the imagery (..every wound was flowering) and the way it builds up to a triumphant climax.  Also I was perhaps unduly harsh on the director. He has planned the soundtrack very well - there are two CDs, "Club" and "Lounge", with the Club CD containing the Remixes.  And the movie does have a brooding, menacing strength with Sanjay Dutt dominating its dark core. The man can act! He can also sing, his voice being the perfect vehicle for Yeh hai meri Kahani.

PS: Kindly note that if you click on the links to the songs, you can download them. Ain't  the 'Internets' wonderful?


(Anonymous) at 2006-02-15 06:30 (UTC) (Link)

great post

Excellent post jai.

the meaning and import of the entire poem-song is still elusive to me. did u listen to songs from hazaroon kawashiyan aishi. they are very good too.

nice link work. sukanya's review of zinda is better than most that appear in papers here.

sarpvinash at 2006-02-15 10:38 (UTC) (Link)

Re: great post

Yes, some of the online reviews these days are really good. Check out the coverage on www.fullhyd.com
It is a city-portal but has some of the funniest write-ups around.
The song:
Someone comes back into your life, just when you think you've moved on.
at least, that is what i understand from it, and it seems to be quite a dark vision. the escalating frenzy of the lyrics is matched by the despair in the singer's voice. you have to listen to it.

this reminds me of something by Rob Dougan (more famous for his work on the soundtrack of the Matrix films). of course, here the theme is revenge, vengeance and betrayal. despite all its dark threats and furious outpourings, it remains a love song...of sorts.

Left me for Dead
-Rob Dougan

You didn’t stop to look around
You were gone before I hit the ground
You went on your way
And no prayer was said
Ah, you left me for dead

You didn’t cover my face
I didn’t merit a communal grave
You set me aside
And no tears were shed
You left me for dead
And I say I won’t stop, no, till Hell is your home
There’s nowhere to hide, no, nowhere
You’ll feel the cold of my gun at your head
Ah, you left me for dead

And it’s not like you stayed by my side or you called me a priest
You searched through my mouth to check for gold teeth
You were pawning my shoes as I bled
You left me for,
left me for,
left me for dead

You kept on taking your time
Until it was certain I couldn’t survive
Judas remained, you turned and fled
Ah, You left me for dead

And it didn’t trouble your mind
It did not disturb you to see me decline
You turned out my lights
You put me to bed
Ah, you left me for dead

And I say that I won’t rest my head until Hell is your home
You think that you’re safe, but oh no
You’ll feel the cold of my gun hit your head
Ah, you left me for dead

And you didn’t stay close to me, didn’t stay by my side
I was choking in blood as delight filled your eyes
You’re going to burn for each word that was said
‘Cause you left me for, left me for, left me for dead

But I don’t want to search no more
There’s nowhere to hide
So why don’t you come quietly, my love
I wanted to say, to say that you sure proved the death of me
‘cause Now I’ve reached a dead end
And I can’t go back
But if I’m going down then you’ll come with me

You didn’t stop to look ‘round
You were gone before I hit the ground
You went on your way
And no prayer was said
Ah, you left me for dead

‘Cause you didn’t cover my face
I didn’t merit a communal grave
You set me aside
And no tears were shed
You left me for dead
(Anonymous) at 2006-02-16 09:06 (UTC) (Link)

Re: great post

great song jai.

here is a little something from bobdylan.

not his very famous song, but u may have heard it.
Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

notice the theme of hostility and revenge. and note judas in both poems.


(Anonymous) at 2006-02-16 07:26 (UTC) (Link)
Hey Jaideep,
This is really cool. I never watched the movie cause thought the story line was really boring but yes completely agree that the soundtracks are the sole saving grace for this film. Its a beautiful song and it has lot of pain and agony hidden in it.
(Anonymous) at 2006-02-16 09:02 (UTC) (Link)
i really dont understand how u can call oldboy's story boring. it's intruiging for me, who hasnt seen it. may be zinda is boring, but that is the film-maker's fault. not the fault of the movie that inspired him.

sarpvinash at 2006-02-16 09:54 (UTC) (Link)
Phoenix, that was Masters of War, right?
As I read the lyrics, I was immediately remined of this song by the Dave Gilmour Band (ok, i made that up, its Pink Floyd sans Waters)
from their 1987 album, 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason'.

Dogs of War

Dogs of war and men of hate
With no cause, we don't discriminate
Our currency is flesh and bone
Hell opened up and put on sale
Gather 'round and haggle

For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
Even our masters don't know the web we weave

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world ... One world

Invisible transfers, long distance calls,
Hollow laughter in marble halls
Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
Has unleashed the dogs of war
You can't stop what has begun
Signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion

We all have a dark side, to say the least
And dealing in death is the nature of the beast

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world ... One world

The dogs of war don't negotiate
The dogs of war won't capitulate,

They will take and you will give,
And you must die so that they may live

You can knock at any door,
But wherever you go, you know they've been there before
Well winners can lose and things can get strained
But whatever you change, you know the dogs remain.

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world ... One world

Note the ironic use of 'One World', normally used by the Socialists.
Dogs of War, of course, is a phrase made famous by Mark Antony in his sotto voce after the funeral oration for Julius Caesar.
- "Now cry Havoc, and let slip the Dogs of War"

I thought Oldboy's premise was very exciting when I first heard about it last year. Nandhu, did u see 'Zinda'? I am guessing that it came and went in Chennai.
The remakers sins are not to be visited upon the original.

btw- can anyonymous posters just add their names (or codenames, if they prefer) at the bottom of the post please? thanks. I think I know who this is, though :-)
eka_lavya at 2006-02-18 02:51 (UTC) (Link)

Dutt must feel honoured

Hi Jaideep,

That's a huge compliment Sanjay Dutt has received, coming from you. Truly, this guy rocks! He elevates meaningless roles, and makes dumb films worth a watch.

I highly recommend Mahesh Bhatt's Naam and Sadak. Dutt outshone his more experienced colleagues in both those films. And very rarely does a supporting actor outshine Dutt. I cite Munnabhai MBBS, where Arshad Warsi was a natural. [But that is saying a lot about Warsi's performance. Dutt was good too...]

I also second Nandhu's compliment to your post. The Zinda soundtrack is surreal, and 'Har Saans' is an outstanding track. I also like Shibani Kashyap's song on the album.

Indian film musicians have raised their game in the last couple of years because they now realise that by not necessarily being featured in the film concerned, their work has to function as good music always must: it must appeal to the ears. Not surprisingly, the stock of Shaans, KKs and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loys in India is rising.

Also, the Pakistani musicians who have set the Indian music charts on fire are doing a wonderful job here. They are raising the bar of music in India. And then, of course, there is A.R. Rehman, the man who started it all in 1993 (Ilayaraja fans must hate me for saying this). In hindsight, Rehman almost always got the timing and space right ('Fanah' in Yuva).

For once, free market is bringing good music to the fore.
sarpvinash at 2006-02-18 12:12 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dutt must feel honoured

Speaking of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, have you heard their composition for Kamal Hassan's "Aalavandhan"? It was called "Abhay" in Hindi. The movie is truly dire but a great soundtrack with punchy lyrics by Vairamuthu. For some reason really atrocious movies happen to have hit music, take "Aashique Banaya Apna" for instance. I don't think even a fraction of the people who've heard the Himesh Reshmaiyya's stuff have actually seen it. Speaking of Himesh Reshmaiyaa, I didn't know who this guy was until recently; I keep mistaking him for Emran Hashmi as both feature in similar movies and look the same (?).
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