Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aarakshan - Shankar Ehsaan Loy rehashes themselves!

Here's the recent romantic ballad that comes from Shankar Ehsaan Loy's kitty.

And now hear the following two songs and make your guess easy. The taps come from this song from Armaan.

Oh there is one more reference to Aarakshan's 'Achcha Lagta hai...' Come on Prasoon Joshi you couldn't come up with at least a new words. 'Wohi ka wohi...'Achchi lagti ho...'

shankar-ji, public memory is not so short. At least your fans wont forget your created works so easily or wait a second, did you think that even your fans wont remember your made songs, so seedhe point pe aao and lift your own songs and as such Prakash Jha kaunsa apna regular hai...Apni achchi tunes toh Dharma aur Excel ke liye rakhhi hai na...

And there is more...hear the Pandit Channulal Mishra song 'Saans Albeli' and then hear Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan saab's 'Bhor Bhaye' from Delhi 6. This time is not a rehash. Delhi 6 was AR Rahman or if I am mistaking here, please make me understand if there is a connect of the same raga or the same family of ragas making it to make me feel the same kind of classical feel.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zurich at Night

The Last Tram

The final moments of the rush hour, when visitors can step on the roads and shout in their respective languages and the Zurich citizens wont give a fiddlers fart to them..! I loved shouting in faux German here...

The bridge across River Limmat.

Grossmunster across Limmat.

Camera, Cinema, Europa...but this was a different kind of cinema. Its called Cinema Erotica. Could see a huge preference for Porn films amongst Zurich population.

The last night at Zurich. The most memorable one.

© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Black and White Perspective through the Moving Train

Since now most of you know about Bhaand Master's fascination for Indian Railways and the work that resulted in. Here is a sneak peak of some black and white pictures that I could chance my hands upon while standing at the door of a moving train.

In villages or the smallest of the towns in India, the most happening place after the market or cinema hall is the Railway Platform. Here a Sardar uses his village railway platform for his morning walk.

Living next to the Railway Tracks in India is very common. Regular businesses go by as the trains pass by. Here a young boy crosses the tracks to join his friends on the other side.

Winter in North India brings dense fog and thus inevitably Trains start running late. Here a family waits for their delayed train.

The beautiful countryside that one is often treated to, while traveling through Indian Railways.

Four different age groups captured together in one frame through a moving train. Something that I feel how the stages of a growing boy in a village would be.

Advertisements about curing impotency, increasing virility and the talented hakims & saints who could cure these ailments are rampant on the bricked walls in Northern India. And the most prominent belt for these advertisements are Etawah-Agra-Mathura-Ghaziabad.

Migration. In the biting cold of a winter morning, a mother and a daughter walk by the railway track with all their belongings.

A Train passing through a small village is almost an event that the kids wait for. Here two young boys cheer from under a bridge as a speeding train passes.

Like people, birds too are no different when it comes to meeting near the Railway Station on evenings.

© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Day in the life of India

There's nothing more exciting than drama in real life. Imagine experiencing Hailey's Comet in one's lifetime! The 2011 Cricket World Cup Final in Mumbai was one such event that could not, not be captured on camera.

For a whole generation that has grown up on stories of that wonderful June evening at Lords Stadium in the summer of 1983, here was our chance to witness history on the 2nd of April 2011, right at our doorsteps, at the new mecca of this wonderful sport - Cricket.

And what a Day in the life of India it was...

music courtesy: Salento by Rene Aubry

Shot & Cut by
hardik mehta

The Day in the life of India from hardik mehta on Vimeo.

© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Amit Trivedi Vs. A. R. Rahman: Everything is a Remix!

The following is an interesting mix of two soundtracks and the kind of pattern they follow - different from each other in scale and instruments but yet so near to each other in their design. So near, that if it was not for scale they could have overlapped and we wouldn't even know. Its almost like the disciple has given a tribute to his master. The way Kill Bill series is to all the movies that Tarantino must have seen while growing up. And how Vishal-ji, a Tarantino fan gives him a cute-little tribute in 'The Blue Umbrella' - 'Saanp apne bill mei jaake Kill Bill-Kill Bill karne laga' and the frame splits into three with Bindiya jumping with the Umbrella in her hand, the way the Bride had held the sword!

The soundtrack that will be heard first is called 'Yeh Pal' from the recently released film 'No One Killed Jessica' (which I think is already the album of the year). It is performed by the talented Shilpa Rao and composed by Amit Trivedi. At the outset, I am a head-over-heels fan of Trivedi's music and since last many years have of course religiously followed Rahman. And I am sure Trivedi himself is head-over-heels in love with Rahman's music. Now 'Yeh Pal', the later part of the soundtrack got me hooked and reminded me of something that Rahman did a decade and a half ago and how Trivedi has actually in a way followed his icon and created something so original and yet so true to what Rahman created then. I got both the tracks together and dragged it on to the same timeline. It got me some interesting results. (The way we used to do in those smelly chemistry laboratories - mix some sodium sulphate with chloride and heat it on a burner for 30 seconds!).

Hear this concoction and we discuss further. The black screen will have some text appear - so keep your ears plugged to the headphones and intermittently do give a read.

I would recommend the reader to hear both the soundtracks from the start and one will realize the design. They both start slow with a female dusky voice taking the lead and gradually the soundtracks get launched into what you just heard. In case of 'Taal' the brief that might have gone to Rahman was 'It is a musical extravaganza' and thus he got together one of his best arrangements - right from the keys of harmonium to the digital beep. Trivedi too ends up doing with total style by adding the zing from his another soundtrack from the same album: 'Zaar zaar Aitbaar', the way 'Ishq Bina' was re-done for the second version. For fans of Trivedi, I have discussed 'Aetbaar' at length here.

Its only when we listen to Amit Trivedi's music that we realize the kind of subtle change, the man is bringing in the kind of music that we or maybe I have grown up listening to. Sounds from 'Haara' of Aamir, 'Nayan Tarse' of DevD, 'Shaam' of Aisha, 'Aazaadiyan' and 'Naav' from Udaan and 'Aitbaar' from No One…. haven't been heard during all my growing up years with music. It's like back in 1993, when we heard the flute of 'Chotti si Aasha' from Roja, we realized what we had been missing. Its a similar feeling when we hear the violence in Haara. More power to him.

The title of the post is of course 'copied' from a wonderful website that is doing awesome work on the movies. Source: Dev Benegal's tweet. And if you are a fan of movies, then this is something you will relish. Enjoy!
Everything is a Remix!

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The connection between Running, Love and 7 Khoon Maaf's music, which is purrre orrrrgasm!

Essentially Vishal-ji's all motion picture soundtracks start with a 'dhinchak' song usually sung by Sukhwinder or his likes: Sample this: Beedi from Omkara, Ibn-e-Batuta from Ishqiya, Dhan Te Nan from Kaminey and now Darrrrling. This time the sheer energy levels of Sukhwinder are replaced by the vociferous women - Usha Uthup and Rekha Bharadwaj - and what a replacement they have proved to be. Kudos to the idea of using Folk for the benefit of the story, its characters and thus giving it a whole new dimension. Remember: 'Tu Raja ki Raj Dulari' in Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye which is originally a folk song sung by Lord Shiva for Parvati) In this case the Russian folk tune Kalinka is used by Sussane to impress Vronsky who happens to be a Russian.

Darrling by the vociferous women and 'O Mama' sung by the awesome KK- Is the kind of music when played loud on speakers - that makes me go wild, makes me feel liberated, makes my hormones have a euphoric sensation and at the same time makes me feel poetic about the love for music. That blissful state of being high and yet knowing that 'I am high' the state that makes one feel 'Its so amazing to stay here for the rest of your life! and the guitar can screech all night, the percussions can play out loud and the voice can reach to the sky. What a feeling to be able to shoot visuals for this kind of music.

'O Mama' is nothing like Bharadwaj has composed anything in recent times. Once upon a time he did compose 'Khuda hoon mein' for the unreleased film Paanch which had this kind of madness - KK on that underground subway steps amidst the smoke making him feel-like 'khuda'. Pure adrenaline rush!! And so is 'O Mama' - it can give a fucking stiff competition to the rock version of 'Emotional Atyaachar'.

The second version of the Darrling song 'Doosri Darling' has an amazing poetic laziness accompanied by a beautiful violin, when the following lines come.
Milo Chal Ke Milon Se Aaya
Roos Ka Koi Pushkin Hai
Meri Khatir Moscow Chhoda
Ishq Mein Ye Bhi Mumkin Hai

Aah! amazing. The kind of metabolic activity that happens due to those slow to fast piano keys! And then suddenly the rush of blood when it all comes to Darrling!! 'Rrrroko na, Rrrroko na mujhko pyaarrr karrrne do'. The sudden rush of memories. I have always felt that if you can run for someone, you are in love with that someone and of course if you can love someone, you can run for that someone. But the idea of 'running for someone' is when you discover that 'you are in love with that someone'. Its when the rush of blood 'Rrrroko na, Rrrroko na, mujhko pyaarrr karrrrne do' makes so much sense. Run, not like run but run madly, when you don't care who is looking at you, Run, when you don't care where the pavement ends and street starts, Run with the widest distance between both the legs, Run by stopping your breath, coz thats when you can cover the maximum distance. (the later is my theory) - I think since Boys 'can't' cry, they should run - and as per Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express theory, it makes all the more sense to run. - 'I run, so that my tears get converted into sweat'

If you recollect the phases of your life when you have fell in love with someone and felt so strong about it, that its not easy to share with anyone - how will others see this - blasphemy? bliss? crush? Infatuation? - Hell, I don't care, I don't want to think - all I know is 'Rrrroko na, Rrrroko na, mujhko pyaarrr karrne do!' - The idea of running for someone and discovering that you are in love with that someone and you know what - Run? Run, where to? Run to the Neverland, Run where you wont be discovered, running from yourself, or running from everyone and Run so you dont have to think but yet you are doing something. There is a seed of filmyness in the idea of running like this - but the idea of falling in love is also filmyy. So 'Roko na, Roko na, mujhko pyaarrr karrne do!'

7 Khoon Maaf has some amazing music. Suresh Wadkar's lyrical 'Tere Liye' makes us rediscover the magic of 'lap steel' or 'hawaian' guitar esp the last one minute and there is an amazingly genuine moment that comes twice - during the end of both the antaras when Wadkar's voice and Gulzar's poetry both go on a high.

'humne aasmaano mein laakhon ke saude kiye!'

and during the second antara it says:
'humne to parindo se, baagon ke saude kiye!'

Last time Gulzar saab in his brillaint flourish of the pen made the romantic couple eat 'gillheri ke jhoothe mutter' and this time he chooses pistey and kishmish for his lady love. The lazy trumpet and the hawaian guitar reminds me of an evening spent staring at the sky and lightening giving way to intermittent rain. Such is the power of Vishal-ji's music, even if happens to fall in the trap of a particular 'pattern' for a complete motion picture soundtrack. And why do I mention trap - coz Vishal-ji's soundtracks have always stuck to a commercial design - one dhinchak number, one slow melody (sung by himself), one romantic ballad, one performance-oriented track(it could be a mujra, naach, or a street dance)

But apart from the usual suspects, 7 Khoon's soundtrack has a percussion-oriented track. 'Awaara' sung by Master Saleem is a song that makes one feel that it was composed for Rahat Fateh Ali Khan saab, its so apparent the way it is rendered. Percussions are the highlight of this track esp the mandir ki ghantiyaan-like sound - this track too reminds me of running. Somehow I can see the visuals of Fatih Akin's Head On - when the brother suddenly spots his sister (Siebel Kekilli) on the streets and runs behind her, but she is quick to escape. That amazing soundtrack!

'Lil ah'

Monday, January 31, 2011

Shopping with Abhay Deol and Amba Sanyal for Costumes: Chapter 2: The Road, Movie Diary continues

Since this post originally posted on Feb 2010 is corrupted. Here I am posting it again.
For chapter 1 click here.

Till the day I entered Road, Movie's office in Bombay, I wasn't aware of who is playing the main lead in the film. All that my google searches told me was that it’s a story about a small town guy called Vishnu. Ah… I loved the sound of the name: Vishnu and all the wonderful mythological undertones that come with that name, and his interactions with Narada Muni. As an after thought, I think with the kind of promotions I am doing for the film I am Vishnu’s Narada Muni, the one who sings his praises to all and the one who gets life’s lessons from Vishnu. Vishnu in this case could be the director too!
Anyways that’s perhaps indulgence, taking the thought too far, as Dev would later explain the reason for the name Vishnu: the one who moves from chaos to order, which is what one will see the protagonist going through in the film.

When I asked Sopan: "Who will be Vishnu?"
He replied: “…Abhay Deol.”

That was July 2008. The name hadn’t rung any extraordinary excitement in me. A couple of months earlier to that, a senior from college had asked me to join The Making of Oye Lucky's shoot in Delhi for a fortnight or so, but I wasn’t able to. I knew that Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye had Abhay Deol playing the title character, Lucky. And here I was: Abhay Deol phir se. Is baar as Vishnu! Narada has again come to you!

I had seen only one film of Abhay, Manorama Six Feet Under. Had seen neither Socha na tha, Honeymoon Travels, nor Ahista Ahista or Ek Chaalis ki Last Local. All I knew about them was that they were films by fresh/new/first time directors except Shivam Nair, who I am told is a guru for a lot of young directors. But then I thought, it doesn’t matter, whether I had seen these movies or not. This movie was important, the actor would come next.

Cut to 2010, I know why "Abhay Deol" the name is so important to be attached with a movie like "Road, Movie". For me, the movie needs Abhay as much as brand Abhay needs a Road, Movie. "Tomorrow, the costume designer is going to come from Delhi, she would be needing an assistant for going around Bombay and picking up costumes for Abhay, would you be free by any chance?" asked the Line Producer. And the best line came now: "You will also have to go to the airport to pick her up in the morning" "Oh No, not again".
Some mental voice overs came. The placard, the arrival lounge, the hotel ‘welcome’ personnel and the whole idea of standing there, clueless. And this was going to be a domestic airport. Hell, standing on the International airport was still better. Like a choice between the fire and the frying pan.
But no experience is ever worthless, I showed some foresight – to avoid the "standing with a placard" I duly noted down her mobile number. So as soon as she arrived, I called her and the kind woman walked herself at the decided place at the airport.

These were the only and last set of directions I’d give her. Once in Bombay, my days were was directed. I was asked to accompany her to Abhay's home in Juhu, pick him and then go shop for his costumes. I never knew that actors too came along to shop for their clothes in the film. I thought it would be a "on the set" thing. Pretty naïve of me, the memory actually makes me remember the once clear ‘outsider’ that I felt. How quickly do things change? As soon as I entered Abhay's home, the first thing that I saw was a wooden clap from his movie: Manorama Six Feet Under. Impressed.

A little later, he and Amba, the costume designer started discussing about the colour palette, the tone, and the kind of costumes that would go with the feel of the movie. Abhay pulled out a few t-shirts and showed them to Amba. THEN, he thought that since I was accompanying Amba, I must be the costume assistant, so naturally he asked me to fold the t-shirts: I was caught: Forget costumes, I didnt know a thing about folding or ironing the clothes.
Yet another mental voiceover that remained just that: "Yaar maine kabhi apne kapde ghadi nahi kiye, aapke kaise karoon?" (I don’t know how to do this, haven’t done it for myself ever, how would I do it for you? Ghadi = fold in gujarati)

Not that I am some snobbish rich kid who has never done “ghar ka kaam”. But its just one of the things that I never learnt in my life. Call it the perils of growing up in a male dominated family: Two brothers and a father, all-depending on an over-worked mother. Actually, the mother never teaches you these things or rather she just pampers you all the way till that fateful first day in hostel and you realize "yaar, life has just begun". Maybe, if I had a sister, she would have made sure, I learn these simple things: Till date I can’t iron a shirt for myself. I still can’t tie a tie for myself. Ashamed. So there: I tried subtly telling him: "I am actually Susan's assistant and don’t know anything about..." (thank god some voices go past – come out – beyond the voiceover stage) He was quick to notice my being uncomfortable. That’s the human thing about a‘Star’, I always look in for. Like Zafar Khan, Hrithik Roshan’s character, interacting with those street kids in Luck By Chance or Dharmendra in Guddi. Even on sets, I had observed: Abhay had amazing patience and the idea of imbibing everything as it comes. Again impressed.

Soon, we were inside the car, Babbanji was driving. I kept talking to him about roads and traffic. We approached Khar linking road, shopping for Vishnu had to be done from here. On the way I heard the concept of ‘colour against a barren landscape’, those were magical words that came from Amba.
First Stop: The Pepe Retail store: Didn’t get the right clothes. Next: Adidas for Vishnu’s footwear. It was quite interesting; the salesmen in the shop didn’t recognize Abhay in the first 5 minutes, like all stars he too was in shades and a cap that almost covered his eyes. As soon as the salesman who was showing different samples realized that who the customer is, he quickly went inside. Moments later came a group of salesmen with different samples and buying strategies for ‘Abhay Deol’. I couldn’t help but smile, standing alone in a corner.
Next stop: Levis store, Bandra. Got the best t-shirts and trousers for Vishnu: Amba took 5 pairs of the t-shirt that you see Vishnu wearing in all the promos of road, movie or in the above picture. Some 4 pairs of trousers were bought. Its only then that I realized that since in the movie Vishnu will be in the same t-shirt throughout, therefore we will be needing atleast 5 different but same looking t-shirts! Point noted.

Now, just when we were leaving the store, the owner came rushing. He must have been told that Abhay Deol is here (pretty late I thought to myself-our shopping is already done), but he rushed in to meet ‘Abhay’ and requested for a photo-shoto and all that. Abhay had the shopping bag in his hand, so naturally the owner took the bag from him and passed it to me, who was standing next to him. The owner’s assistant (OA) came close to me, as the photo was being clicked, he asked:
OA: Tum Abhayji ke saath ho? (Are you with Abhay?)
Me: haa…lekin...(yeah…but…)
OA: (looking curiously now) kya karte ho… (what do you do?)
Before I could explain, he pressed the trigger and words from his mouth came out in slow motion:
OA: u..n..k..e d..r..i..v..e..r h..o?
(Are you his driver?)
Aargh…boom…The bullet pierced deep. I was like, “where to look?” or rather “where should I hit him in the face?” expression. In a caste-based, occupation-based divided India, I felt like he insulted me.

The Levis Store had a lot of mirrors. On instinct I turned and looked into one of them, and thought “yaar kapde to theek thaak pehne hai, T-shirt bhi tuck kiya hua hai…” (I am dressed up properly, what made him think so?)

While returning home I was again with Baban bhai discussing roads, traffic and life. The real life driver. Babban bhai had been taking us around the city on that day and its now that I realized that he was not only the driver but also owns his travel enterprise. He does have driver under him and also owns a wada paav shack. The idea that he takes pride in his job of driving and being a driver is not at all derogatory for him. Like didn’t Balram Halwai drive his clients to call centre, if a driver didnt turn up. The White Tiger Technology Drivers. So the conclusion, why am I making a big deal if someone misunderstood. The same conclusion again: Respect your job, whatever it is.
‘Yeh hai Bombay meri jaan’

Bombay, you had welcomed me in more ways than one. Ganga had lent a lot of space in his heart and some space in his flat’s drawing room and Road, Movie was engaging me in every little small work. I was in the middle of things. Always a sure way to learn. What’s there to complain?

© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

Friday, January 21, 2011

The magic of morning light!

First up. this aint going to be a photo blog from now onwards. Words still and will be Bhaand Master's forte, its just that two back to back photo posts have come up coz it was irresistible to share these. And Feluda is just working wonders with its amazing lens.

Last one year has been full of different locations around the globe - from the seas of Goa to backwaters of Kerala, from the Highlands of Scotland to mountains of Madhya Pradesh - but let me tell you there is nothing as brilliant like the winter mornings of Punjab. Aivvein thodi na Yash Raj aur aadha Bollywood goes head over heels for this part of country. The winter mornings here have a beautiful sunlight spread like a Guru Dutt shaft over the plains and rivers of Punjab. If you are lucky enough to choose the right place and right time to shoot, there are chances that you will get some awe-inspiringly lit landscapes.

Here they go. Click on the photo to see the enlarged version (it will be worth the click :). And mind you all the photos are untouched, so now you know the magic of this amazing morning light.

© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

Monday, January 17, 2011

Romancing the Railways

If someone would ask me 'what's your favorite book'? - I would gladly tell them: its the Indian Railways Time Table. There is just so much fun to travel by trains in the times when flights have taken over the middle class imagination.

Me: 'Achcha ab next station kaunsa hoga?'
Fellow traveller: 'Anuppur'
Me: 'toh yahaan se Chhtaisgarh chalu hoga na?'
Fellow traveller: 'Nahi, yeh Madhya Pradesh ka last station hai, iske baad Chattisgarh shuru hoga..'

Me Enlightened.

Such is the fun of traveling in the Indian trains. To taste the tea at every station, to know what are the specialities of a particular town and to know that Ratlam has a special team of people dressed in light green uniform who get inside every train and clean the shit out of it.

While in Punjab I got the opportunity to see the amazing image of a train passing through the countryside and here are some of the results. Some of the photos are taken while being inside the train, while some are taken while enjoying this image of a passing train.

Also this happens to be the debut of my own Canon camera. Yess..finally. 'Ghar aaya apna Canon'.
So Bhaand Master readers, please do give a warm welcome to Feluda - my new team mate after Goopi and Bagha - Feluda has two lenses and has a HD video too - so there is so much in store for 2011!

Please click on the image to enlarge.

© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta