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Veer-Zaara: A class of its own!

By Syed Firdaus Ashraf
Last updated on: September 22, 2004 18:31 IST
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On September 18, when the music of Yash Chopra's latest film Veer-Zaara was launched, I went over to meet an old man who owns a music store near my house.

I don't know his name; I call him Uncle. We have similar interests, one of them being listening to old Hindi film music. Both of us had eagerly awaited the release of late composer Madan Mohan's music in the film, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji.

Yash Chopra had told in anĀ 
interview that one of his greatest regrets in life was that he could not work with Madan Mohan. One of his favourite songs composed by Madan Mohan is Lag ja gale from Woh Kaun Thi.

I asked Uncle if he liked the music of Veer-Zaara but he could not judge it at one go. He said he would have to listen to it a couple of times to enjoy it.

And that is exactly what I felt too, after listening to the music.

It will disappoint you at first, but if you listen to it repeatedly, the music will grow on you.

Tere liye is catchy and soothing to the ears.

Main yahan hoon -- sung by Udit Narayan -- is beautiful, but I wonder why the Punjabi hit song Laung dawaja is introduced in it.

The same goes for Aisa des hai mera, which has bits of the Naya Daur song Yeh desh hai nau javanon ka. The song has all the Punjabi traits like any other Yash Chopra film, and is sung by Gurdas Mann, Pritha Majumder, Udit Narayan and Lata Mangeshkar. Yeh hum aa gaye hai kahaan and Hum to bhai jaise hai are passable.

Do pal has outstanding lyrics, and is a very touching song. Sonu Nigam has done a good job in this.

But the best song in the album is undoubtedly Kyon hawa, again sung by Sonu Nigam. Lata Mangeshkar accompanies him, along with a narration by Yash Chopra.

The qawwali Aaya tere dar par sung by Ahmed Hussain and Mohammed Hussain will take you back to the 1960s. But the song seems to be a mismatch when heard against the contemporary music. It does not fall into the same category as Tumse milke dil ka haal in Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na.

Lodi by Gurdas Mann and Lata Mangeshkar is the usual Punjabi song. It's good but does not match Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge's hit, Mehndi laga kar rakhna.

I wonder why two songs, Tum paas aa rahe ho (sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh) and Jaane kyon (Lata Mangeshkar) are not included in the audio cassette, and the movie as well. These two feature exclusively on CDs.

Due credit must be given to Javed Akhtar for his outstanding lyrics. Madan Mohan's son Sanjeev Kohli -- also the CEO of Yash Raj Films -- recreated the music, and RS Mani has arranged it.

All the male singers have done a commendable job but Lata Mangeshkar disappoints. If you compare her voice now to some of her earlier songs like Naina barse of Woh Kaun Thi, you will be disappointed.

If you love classical music, then Veer-Zaara's music will definitely appeal to you. But if you prefer funky music like that in Dhoom, this is not for you!

In another move to promote curiosity about his new film, Yash Chopra has not allowed radio and television stations to air songs from Veer-Zaara for a while. Yash Raj Films has tied up with MTV to offer exclusive clips from his film, as well as catch up on Chopra's earlier hits.

Preity Zinta, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji.
Inset: Madan Mohan.

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf